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PricewaterhouseCoopers

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Background Summary

Founded in 1998, when accounting practices Coopers & Lybrand and Price Waterhouse merged together, PricewaterhouseCoopers has provided financial services for clients in over 26 industries for over two decades. Both its parent firms originated in London during the mid-1800s. 

William Cooper founded an accountancy practice in 1854, which later became Cooper Brothers seven years later. In 1954, the firm agreed with Lybrand, Ross Bros & Montgomery and McDonald, Currie and Co. to adopt the name Coopers & Lybrand when practicing internationally.

Accountant Samuel Lowell Price partnered with William Hopkins Holyland and Edwin Waterhouse in 1865, which later became known as Price, Waterhouse & Co. In 1998, Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand merged together.

In 2010, the firm shortened its name to PwC, which is what it is more commonly known as, however legally remains PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Currently, Kevin Ellis serves as the alliance senior partner for PwC UK and the Middle East.

Today, the accountancy giant focuses on delivering services relating to tax, assurance, auditing, crisis management and transactions, among other things, to its clients and stakeholders globally. Furthermore, PwC offers its expertise and influence to assist governments, non-profit organisations, relief agencies and high education institutions in addressing their business issues.

Financials

In FY23, PwC saw reported £5.8bn in revenues, a 16% increase compared to the year prior.

By the end of the financial year, ending 30 June 2023, profit had fallen to £1.3bn, with the average distributable profit per partner falling to £906,000 in comparison to £920,000 in 2022.

The firm’s consulting division reported the highest revenues at £1.7bn, while PwC’s audit division reported £1.3bn and the tax division reported £1.2bn over the period. Revenues for the firm’s auditing services rose to £965m for the year, an increase from the £818m reported in FY22.

PwC’s tax practice was previously split into two separate “trust solutions” and “consulting solutions” divisions under Tim Ryan’s tenure. However, following widespread discontent among tax partner, the firm is set to reverse the tax split under the leadership of incoming senior partner Paul Griggs. 

Recent Coverage

Recently, PwC alongside EY has been fined by the FRC over their audits of collapsed minibonds firm London Capital and Finance (LC&F), with PwC fined £4.9m and EY fined £4.41m for breaches related to failures in assessing the risks of material misstatement and obtaining adequate understanding of LCF’s business, prompting criticism for their failure to apply sufficient professional skepticism.

The firm has also bolstered its deals practice by appointing Charles Chang as partner to its corporate finance team, bringing over 20 years of experience in software M&A transactions and strengthening the firm’s coverage in the mid-market sector.

In April, PwC appointed Marco Amitrano as alliance senior partner for its UK and Middle East divisions, effective from July 1, 2024, for four years, recognising his extensive experience in technology, transformation, and leadership roles within the firm, emphasising his commitment to driving change while prioritising diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The firm also announced its plans to reverse the restructuring of its US tax practice, with incoming senior partner Paul Griggs aiming to reunify the division by scrapping the split implemented three years ago under Tim Ryan’s leadership, opting instead for a model integrating tax under “assurance” and “advisory” arms to enhance brand value and client-centricity.

In March, PwC partnered with FloQast to leverage its finance and accounting operations platform, aiming to enhance critical accounting processes, ensure compliance, and provide clients with tailored consulting services to streamline operations and achieve financial transformation.

Read PwC news.

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