PwC to invest $12 billion, add 100,000 people in next five years

16 June 2021 2 min. read
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PwC Global on Tuesday announced a new international strategy that will increase focus on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) services, digital, and the concept of “trust.” The accounting and consulting network plans to invest $12 billion and add 100,000 people in the next five years.

The investment budget is a significant increase over the last five years, when PwC invested $7.4 billion and its annual revenues grew by 20% to $43 billion. The firm grew by over a quarter to 284,000 people in the last five years. The planned 100,000-person net growth will represent a headcount increase of more than a third.

PwC is calling its new strategy “The New Equation.” Its first pillar is building trust in a world shaken by the pandemic, social division, fractured geopolitics, and climate change. The Big Four firm says its trust-building will extend past transparency and quality in reporting and compliance through to meeting rising expectations for ESG, tax morality, worker safety, and data security, among other areas.

The New Equation’s second pillar is the “delivery of sustained outcomes” for clients, whether in the areas of digital, people, tax, or elsewhere.

PwC US will change its structure to combine audit and tax reporting services into one “Trust Solutions” business, which will enable closer collaboration between the firm’s tax and audit sides. Tax consulting will join the rest of the firm, which will be titled “Consulting Solutions.”

“Companies really need to build trust with their investors, their employees, their customers, and the public. So we have organized into what is now the largest trust business in the world,” Mike Quinlan, PwC lead board director, told Accounting Today.

PwC will launch several “trust leadership” institutes with the aim of training more than 10,000 executives and board leaders in business ethics and trust-building. The first such institute will launch in the US.

The Big Four firm also plans to create centers of excellence on key ESG topics, as well as an ESG academy to help employees integrate ESG into their work.

PwC’s US investment strategy incudes $125 million for an initiative that will find 25,000 jobs over the next five years for diverse college students, including 10,000 at PwC.

Other major elements of the global strategy include $3 billion to double the Asia-Pacific business – which represents $6.4 billion in revenue – and $1 billion toward improvements in quality control and audit automation.

Aside from the increased focus on ESG and trust, the firm says it will continue to expand its capabilities in cloud, AI, virtual reality, and other emerging technologies.