The suits at KPMG are experts at wielding the axe at other businesses. They have recently fired thousands as the administrator of retailers Peacocks, Blacks Leisure and La Senza.
But the accountancy giant, which employs 10,000 in the UK, doesn't seem to be too sensitive when telling its own employees about job cuts. Staff received a curt email from an HR manager asking them to dial in to hear a recorded message from their department head.
The voicemail warns of mass redundancies, in a vein reminiscent of George Clooney's character in the film Up in the Air.
After talking of financial losses in the department, the message adds. "We have a high proportion of... senior manager staff mix compared to other parts of the firm..." It goes on to say there will be job cuts.
One employee said: "Last time we were told about mass cuts, they said everyone involved had been informed beforehand, but it wasn't true. So this time everyone is scared."
KPMG said: "Any individuals are told of job losses personally. It's important that the business as a whole is aware of what is going on."