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PricewaterhouseCoopers is a multinational professional services network of firms, operating as partnerships under the PwC brand. PwC ranks as the second-largest professional services network in the world[6] and is considered one of the Big Four accounting firms, along with Deloitte, EY and KPMG.[7]

PwC firms operate in 157 countries, 742 locations, with 276,000 people.[5] As of 2019, 26% of the workforce worked in the Americas, 26% in Asia, 32% in Western Europe and 5% in Middle East and Africa.[8] The company's global revenues were $42.4 billion in FY 2019, of which $17.4 billion was generated by its Assurance practice, $10.7 billion by its Tax and Legal practice and $14.4 billion by its Advisory practice.[9]

The firm in its present form was created in 1998 by a merger between two accounting firms; Coopers & Lybrand, and Price Waterhouse.[1] Both firms had histories dating back to the 19th century. The trading name was shortened to PwC (on-logo writing pwc) in September 2010 as part of a rebranding effort.[10]

PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited, based in London, United Kingdom,[11] is a co-ordinating entity for the global network of firms. It manages the global brand, and develops policies and initiatives, to create a common and coordinated approach in areas such as risk, quality, and strategy. It does not provide services to clients.[12]

As of 2020, PwC is the fifth-largest privately owned company in the United States.[13]

History

The firm was created in 1998 when Coopers & Lybrand merged with Price Waterhouse.[1]

Coopers & Lybrand

In 1854, William Cooper founded an accountancy practice in London, England. It became Cooper Brothers seven years later when his three brothers joined.[1]

In 1898, Robert H. Montgomery, William M. Lybrand, Adam A. Ross Jr. and his brother T. Edward Ross formed Lybrand, Ross Brothers and Montgomery in the United States.[1]

In 1957, Cooper Brothers, along with Lybrand, Ross Bros & Montgomery and a Canadian firm (McDonald, Currie and Co.), agreed to adopt the name Coopers & Lybrand in international practice.[1] In 1973, the three member firms in the UK, US and Canada changed their names to Coopers & Lybrand.[14] Then in 1980, Coopers & Lybrand expanded its expertise in insolvency substantially by acquiring Cork Gully, a leading firm in that field in the UK.[15] In 1990, in certain countries, including the UK, Coopers & Lybrand merged with Deloitte, Haskins & Sells to become Coopers & Lybrand Deloitte;[1] in 1992 they reverted to Coopers & Lybrand.[16]

Price Waterhouse

Edwin Waterhouse photographed as a young man

In 1849, Samuel Lowell Price, an accountant, founded an accountancy practice in London, England.[17] In 1865, Price went into partnership with William Hopkins Holyland and Edwin Waterhouse.[17] Holyland left shortly afterwards to work alone in accountancy and the firm was known from 1874 as Price, Waterhouse & Co.[17] The original partnership agreement, signed by Price, Holyland, and Waterhouse could be found in Southwark Towers.[18]

By the late 19th century, Price Waterhouse had gained recognition as an accounting firm. As a result of growing trade between the United Kingdom and the United States, Price Waterhouse opened an office in New York in 1890, and the American firm expanded. The original British firm opened an office in Liverpool in 1904 and then elsewhere in the United Kingdom and worldwide, each time establishing a separate partnership in each country: the worldwide practice of PW was, therefore, a federation of collaborating firms that had grown organically rather than being the result of an international merger.[17]

In a further effort to take advantage of economies of scale, PW and Arthur Andersen discussed a merger in 1989[19] but the negotiations failed, mainly because of conflicts of interest such as Andersen's strong commercial links with IBM and PW's audit of IBM, as well as the radically different cultures of the two firms. It was said by those involved with the failed merger that at the end of the discussion, the partners at the table realized they had different views of business, and the potential merger was scrapped.[20]

1998 to present

In 1998, Price Waterhouse merged with Coopers & Lybrand to form PricewaterhouseCoopers (written with a lowercase "w" and a camelcase "C").[21]

After the merger, the firm had a large professional consulting branch, as did other major accountancy firms, generating much of its fees. The major cause for growth in the 1990s was the implementation of complex integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems for multi-national companies. PwC came under increasing pressure to avoid conflicts of interest by not providing some consulting services, particularly financial systems design and implementation, to its audit clients. Since it audited a large proportion of the world's largest companies, this was beginning to limit its consulting market. These conflicts increased as additional services including outsourcing of IT and back-office operations were developed. For these reasons, in 2000, Ernst & Young was the first of the Big Four to sell its consulting services, to Capgemini.[22][23]

The fallout from the Enron, Worldcom and other financial auditing scandals led to the passage of the Sarbanes–Oxley Act (2002), severely limiting interaction between management consulting and auditing (assurance) services. PwC Consulting began to conduct business under its own name rather than as the MCS division of PricewaterhouseCoopers. PwC, therefore, planned to capitalize on MCS's rapid growth through its sale to Hewlett Packard (for a reported $17 billion) but negotiations broke down in 2000.[24]

In 2000, PwC acquired Canada's largest SAP consulting partner, Omnilogic Systems.[25]

In March 2002, Arthur Andersen, LLP affiliates in Hong Kong and China completed talks to join PricewaterhouseCoopers, China.[26]

PwC announced in May 2002 that its consulting activities would be spun off as an independent entity and hired an outside CEO to run the global firm. An outside consultancy, Wolff Olins, was hired to create a brand image for the new entity, called "Monday".[27] The firm's CEO, Greg Brenn

In 1854, William Cooper founded an accountancy practice in London, England. It became Cooper Brothers seven years later when his three brothers joined.[1]

In 1898, Robert H. Montgomery, William M. Lybrand, Adam A. Ross Jr. and his brother T. Edward Ross formed Lybrand, Ross Brothers and Montgomery in the United States.[1]

In 1957, Cooper Brothers, a

In 1898, Robert H. Montgomery, William M. Lybrand, Adam A. Ross Jr. and his brother T. Edward Ross formed Lybrand, Ross Brothers and Montgomery in the United States.[1]

In 1957, Cooper Brothers, along with Lybrand, Ross Bros & Montgomery and a Canadian firm (McDonald, Currie and Co.), agreed to adopt the name Coopers & Lybrand in international practice.[1] In 1973, the three member firms in the UK, US and Canada changed their names to Coopers & Lybrand.[14] Then in 1980, Coopers & Lybrand expanded its expertise in insolvency substantially by acquiring Cork Gully, a leading firm in that field in the UK.[15] In 1990, in certain countries, including the UK, Coopers & Lybrand merged with Deloitte, Haskins & Sells to become Coopers & Lybrand Deloitte;[1] in 1992 they reverted to Coopers & Lybrand.[16]

In 1849, Samuel Lowell Price, an accountant, founded an accountancy practice in London, England.[17] In 1865, Price went into partnership with William Hopkins Holyland and Edwin Waterhouse.[17] Holyland left shortly afterwards to work alone in accountancy and the firm was known from 1874 as Price, Waterhouse & Co.[17] The original partnership agreement, signed by Price, Holyland, and Waterhouse could be found in Southwark Towers.[18]

By the late 19th century, Price Waterhouse had gained recognition as an accounting firm. As a result of growing trade between the United Kingdom and the United States, Price Waterhouse opened an office in New York in 1890, and the American firm expanded. The original British firm opened an office in Liverpool in 1904 and then elsewhere in the United Kingdom and worldwide, each time establishing a separate partnership in each country: the worldwide practice of PW was, therefore, a federation of collaborating firms that had grown organically rather than being the result of an international merger.[17]

In a further effort to take advantage of economies of scale, PW and Arthur Andersen discussed a merger in 1989[19] but the negotiations fai

By the late 19th century, Price Waterhouse had gained recognition as an accounting firm. As a result of growing trade between the United Kingdom and the United States, Price Waterhouse opened an office in New York in 1890, and the American firm expanded. The original British firm opened an office in Liverpool in 1904 and then elsewhere in the United Kingdom and worldwide, each time establishing a separate partnership in each country: the worldwide practice of PW was, therefore, a federation of collaborating firms that had grown organically rather than being the result of an international merger.[17]

In a further effort to take advantage of economies of scale, PW and Arthur Andersen discussed a merger in 1989[19] but the negotiations failed, mainly because of conflicts of interest such as Andersen's strong commercial links with IBM and PW's audit of IBM, as well as the radically different cultures of the two firms. It was said by those involved with the failed merger that at the end of the discussion, the partners at the table realized they had different views of business, and the potential merger was scrapped.[20]

In 1998, Price Waterhouse merged with Coopers & Lybrand to form PricewaterhouseCoopers (written with a lowercase "w" and a camelcase "C").[21]

After the merger, the firm had a large professional consulting branch, as did other major accountancy firms, generating much of its fees. The major cause for growth in the 1990s was the implementation of complex integrated consulting branch, as did other major accountancy firms, generating much of its fees. The major cause for growth in the 1990s was the implementation of complex integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems for multi-national companies. PwC came under increasing pressure to avoid conflicts of interest by not providing some consulting services, particularly financial systems design and implementation, to its audit clients. Since it audited a large proportion of the world's largest companies, this was beginning to limit its consulting market. These conflicts increased as additional services including outsourcing of IT and back-office operations were developed. For these reasons, in 2000, Ernst & Young was the first of the Big Four to sell its consulting services, to Capgemini.[22][23]

The fallout from the Enron, Worldcom and other financial auditing scandals led to the passage of the Sarbanes–Oxley Act (2002), severely limiting interaction between management consulting and auditing (assurance) services. PwC Consulting began to conduct business under its own name rather than as the MCS division of PricewaterhouseCoopers. PwC, therefore, planned to capitalize on MCS's rapid growth through its sale to Hewlett Packard (for a reported $17 billion) but negotiations broke down in 2000.[24]

In 2000, PwC acquired Canada's largest SAP consulting partner, Omnilogic Systems.[25]

In March 2002, Arthur Andersen, LLP affiliates in Hong Kong and China completed talks to join PricewaterhouseCoopers, China.[26]

PwC announced in May 2002 that its consulting activities would be spun off as an independent entity and hired an outside CEO to run the global firm. An outside consultancy, Wolff Olins, was hired to create a brand image for the new entity, called "Monday".[27] The firm's CEO, Greg Brenneman described the unusual name as "a real word, concise, recognizable, global and the right fit for a company that works hard to deliver results."[28] These plans were soon revised, however. In October 2002, PwC sold the entire consultancy business to IBM for approximately $3.5 billion in cash and stock. PwC's consultancy business was absorbed into IBM Global Business Services, increasing the size and capabilities of IBM's growing consulting practice.[29]

PwC began rebuilding its consulting practice with acquisitions such as Paragon Consulting Group and the commercial services business of BearingPoint in 2009.[30] The firm continued this process by acquiring Diamond Management & Technology Consultants in November 2010[31] and PRTM in August 2011.[32] In 2012, the firm acquired Logan Tod & Co, a digital analytics and optimisation consultancy,[33] and Ant's Eye View, a social media strategy development and consulting firm to build upon PwC's growing Management Consulting customer impact and customer engagement capabilities.[34]

On 30 October 2013, the firm announced that it would acquire Booz & Company, including the company's name and its 300 partners, after a December vote by Booz & Company partners authorized the deal. On 3 April 2014,[35] Booz & Company combined with PwC to form Strategy&.[36][37]

On 4 November 2013, the firm acquired BGT Partners, a 17-year-old digital consultancy.[38]

In October 2016, PwC and InvestCloud, LLC, the world's largest Digital App Platform announced that they entered into a non-exclusive joint business relationship, designed to accelerate adoption and implementation of the InvestCloud Digital App Platform. PwC will be a preferred implementation and strategic partner of InvestCloud focused on enterprise delivery and innovative development of new financial app capabilities.[39]

In November 2016, PwC acquired technology/consulting firm NSI DMCC, Salesforce's largest implementation partner in the Middle East.[40]

In January 2017, PwC announced a five-year agreement with GE to provide managed tax services to GE on a global basis, transferring more than 600 of GE's in-house global tax team to PwC. In addition, PwC would acquire GE's tax technologies and provide managed services not only to GE but also to other PwC clients as well.[41]

In November 2017, PwC accepted bitcoin as payment for advisory services, the first time the company, or any of the Big Four accounting firms, accepted virtual currency as payment.[42]

Veritas Capital acquired PwC's US public sector business in 2018, and branded the new company as Guidehouse.[43][44]

In February 2020, PwC announced a new collaboration with technology firm ThoughtRiver to launch AI-driven LawTech products aimed at standardizing PwC's service of UK law clients.[45]

PwC's operations are global, with Europe accounting for 36% of the total, and the Americas 44%, as of 2016.[46][47] PwC's largest growth in FY18 was in Asia where revenues were up 15%, followed by 12% revenue growth from the Middle East and Africa.[48]

Service linesPwC is organized into the following three service lines (the 2017 revenue shares are listed in parentheses):[49]

  • Assurance (41%) – Assurance services are those typically associated with financial audits
  • Advisory (33%) –

    Due to its size, PwC is able to contribute data analysis to a wide range of areas.

    • Calculation of the drone market size: PwC published a 2016 report stating that the world drone market would reach close to $127 billion by 2020, with Poland at the forefront of legislation for the commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles.[52][53]
    • PwC coined the term E7 to describe the seven emerging economies which the company is predicting will take over today's G7 nations by the year 2050. Those seven emerging nations are China, Russia, India, Mexico, Indonesia, Turkey and Brazil.[54]
    • PwC assesses a country's risk premium, an important factor in analyzing the valuation of an entity.[55][56]
    • The company analyzes pay parity, the comparative salaries for men versus women. In early 2017 PwC found in its Women in Work Index study that it could take the UK 24 years, until 2041, to close its gender pay gap.[57]
    • PwC publishes the Low Carbon Economy Index, which tracks the extent to which the G20 countries are reducing carbon emissions.[66][67]

      Notable offices: Seaport office tower in Boston;[68] and Magwa Crescent Waterfall City tower in Midrand, South Africa.[69]

    • Oslo, Norway

    • Kasumigaseki Building, Tokyo, Japan

    • Warsaw, Poland

    • Torre PwC, Madrid, Spain

    • Accra, Ghana

    • Auckland, New Zealand

    • Auckland, New Zealand

    • Leeds, United Kingdom

    • Tower 1 International Towers Sydney, Australia

    • PwC Tower, Milan, Italy

The following list of revenue according to region is from the PwC Global Annual Review: 2018.[70][71]

Region Revenue (2018)
Americas $17.454 billion
Asia $5.675 billion
Australasia and Pacific $1.810 billion
Central and Eastern Eur

The following list of revenue according to region is from the PwC Global Annual Review: 2018.[70][71]

Regio

PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity due to local legislative requirements.[72] Much like other professional services firms, each member firm is financially and legally independent. PwC is co-ordinated by a private company limited by guarantee under English law, called PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited.[73] In addition, PwC is registered as a multidisciplinary entity which also provides legal services.[74]

Name

The PricewaterhouseCoopers name was formed by the combination of the names of Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand, following their merger in 1998. On 20 September 2010, PricewaterhouseCoopers rebranded as PwC, although the legal name of the firm remained PricewaterhouseCoopers.[10]

[10]

The following are the several logos the company has used through the years. The current PwC logo was introduced in September 2010, when the company changed its trading name from PricewaterhouseCoopers to PwC. It was designed by Wolff Olins.[75][76][77]

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has utilized the services of PwC to tally the votes for the Academy Awards since 1935.[78] In addition, the company oversees AMPAS elections, prepares its financial documents, and is respon

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has utilized the services of PwC to tally the votes for the Academy Awards since 1935.[78] In addition, the company oversees AMPAS elections, prepares its financial documents, and is responsible for the group's tax filings.[79]

Best Picture announcement error