PricewaterhouseCoopers (doing business as PwC) is a multinational
professional services network headquartered in London, United Kingdom.
It is the second largest professional services firm in the world,
and is one of the Big Four auditors, along with Deloitte, EY and
KPMG. Vault Accounting 50 has ranked PwC as the most prestigious
accounting firm in the world for seven consecutive years, as well as
the top firm to work for in North America for three consecutive
PwC is a network of firms in 158 countries, 743 locations, with more
than 236,000 people. As of 2015, 22% of the workforce worked in
Asia, 26% in North America and Caribbean and 32% in Western Europe.
The company's global revenues were $37.7 billion in FY 2017, of which
$16 billion was generated by its Assurance practice, $9.46 billion by
Tax practice and $12.25 billion by its Advisory practice. PwC
provides services to 422 out of 500
Fortune 500 companies.
The firm was formed in 1998 by a merger between Coopers & Lybrand
and Price Waterhouse. Both firms had histories dating back to the
19th century. The trading name was shortened to PwC in September 2010
as part of a rebranding.
As of 2016[update], PwC is the 5th-largest privately owned company in
the United States.
1.1 Coopers & Lybrand
1.2 Price Waterhouse
1.3 1998 to present
2.1 Service lines
6 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
6.1 Best Picture announcement error
8 Corporate affairs and culture
8.1 General corporate culture
8.2 Charitable foundation
8.3 Sustainable Development Goals: The World Business Council for
8.4 Supporting education
8.5 Workers' rights
8.6 Flexible working hours policy
8.7 Global "Code of Conduct"
9.6 DXC Technology
9.11 United Nations
9.13 Request Network
13.1 Gender employment discrimination
American International Group
American International Group Inc.
13.4 ChuoAoyama Suspension
13.5 Tyco settlement
13.6 Satyam case
13.8 Global Trust Bank Ltd and DSQ Software
Transneft Russia case
13.10 Northern Rock
13.11 JP Morgan Securities audit
13.12 Water privatisation in Delhi
13.14 PCAOB report on audit inspections
13.15 Quinn Insurance
13.16 Connaught plc
13.18 Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ
13.19 Luxembourg Leaks
13.23 MF Global malpractice lawsuit
13.24 BT Italy
13.25 Lezo Case
15 See also
17 Further reading
18 External links
The firm was created in 1998 when Coopers & Lybrand merged with
Coopers & Lybrand
In 1854 William Cooper founded an accountancy practice in London,
which became Cooper Brothers seven years later when his three brothers
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.
In 1957 Cooper Brothers; Lybrand, Ross Bros & Montgomery and a
Canadian firm McDonald, Currie and Co, agreed to adopt the name
Coopers & Lybrand in international practice. In 1973 the three
member firms in the UK, US and Canada changed their names to Coopers
& Lybrand. Then in 1980 Coopers & Lybrand expanded its
expertise in insolvency substantially by acquiring Cork Gully, a
leading firm in that field in the UK. In 1990 in certain countries
including the UK, Coopers & Lybrand merged with
& Sells to become Coopers & Lybrand Deloitte: in 1992 they
reverted to Coopers & Lybrand.
Edwin Waterhouse photographed as a young man
Samuel Lowell Price, an accountant, founded an accountancy practice in
London in 1849. In 1865 Price went into partnership with William
Hopkins Holyland and Edwin Waterhouse. Holyland left shortly
afterwards to work alone in accountancy and the firm was known from
1874 as Price, Waterhouse & Co. (The comma was dropped from
the name much later.) The original partnership agreement, signed by
Price, Holyland and Waterhouse could be found in Southwark Towers, one
of PwC's important legacy offices (now demolished).
By the late 19th century, Price Waterhouse had gained significant
recognition as an accounting firm. As a result of growing trade
United Kingdom and the United States, Price Waterhouse
opened an office in New York in 1890, and the American firm itself
soon expanded rapidly. 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.
In a further effort to take advantage of economies of scale, PW and
Arthur Andersen discussed a merger in 1989 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.
1998 to present
In 1998, Price Waterhouse merged with Coopers & Lybrand to form
PricewaterhouseCoopers (written with a lowercase "w" and a camelcase
After the merger the firm had a large professional consulting branch,
as did other major accountancy firms, generating much of its fees.
Management Consulting Services (MCS) was the fastest growing and often
most profitable area of the practice, though it was cyclical. The
major cause for growth in the 1990s was the implementation of complex
integrated ERP systems for multi-national companies. PwC came under
increasing pressure to avoid conflicts of interests 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.
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.
In 2000, PwC acquired Canada's largest SAP consulting partner
In March 2002 Arthur Andersen, LLP affiliates in Hong Kong and China
completed talks to join PricewaterhouseCoopers, China.
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". 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." These plans were soon revised, however. In
October 2002, PwC sold the entire consultancy business to
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.
PwC began rebuilding its consulting practice with acquisitions such as
Paragon Consulting Group and the commercial services business of
BearingPoint in 2009. The firm continued this process by acquiring
Diamond Management & Technology Consultants in November 2010
PRTM in August 2011. In 2012 the firm acquired Logan Tod &
Co, a digital analytics and optimisation consultancy, 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.
On October 30, 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 April 3, 2014, Booz & Company combined with PwC to
On November 4, 2013, the firm acquired BGT Partners, a 17-year-old
After researching the role of digital money for over two years, PwC
published a 17-page report called “Money is no object: Understanding
the evolving crypto-currency market,” in August, 2015. The report
concluded that cryptocurrency will replace conventional markets with
new technology-driven markets.
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 strategy partner of InvestCloud focused
on enterprise delivery and innovative development of new financial app
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 will acquire GE’s tax technologies and provide managed services
not only to GE but also to other PwC clients as well.
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. The
cryptocurrency was accepted by the company’s Hong Kong office in
relation to work from local companies that specialize in blockchain
technology and cryptocurrencies.
PwC's operations are global, but with Europe accounting for 43% of the
total, and North America and the Caribbean 41%.
PwC is organized into the following three service lines (the 2017
revenue shares are listed in parentheses):
Advisory (33%) - Advisory services offered by PwC include two
actuarial consultancy departments;
Actuarial and Insurance Management
Solutions (AIMS) and a sub branch of "Human Resource Services" (HRS).
Actuarial covers mainly 5 areas: pensions, life insurance, non-life
insurance, health, and investments. AIMS deals with life and non-life
insurance and investments, while HRS deals mainly with pensions and
group health. In the US PwC serves the US Federal Government
through their Public Sector practice. PwC has over 2000 professionals
based in the Washington Metro Corridor.
Tax (25%) – International tax planning and compliance with local tax
laws, customs, human resource consulting, legal services and transfer
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 report stating
that the world drone market will reach close to $127 billion by 2020,
with Poland at the forefront of legislation for the commercial use of
unmanned aerial vehicles.
PwC coined the phrase E7 to describe the seven emerging economies with
the company is predicting will take over today’s G7 nations by the
year 2050. Those emerging nations include: China, Russia, India,
Mexico, Indonesia, Turkey and Brazil.
PwC assesses the risk premiums of countries, an important factor in
analyzing the valuation of a business.
The company analyzes pay parity, the comparative salaries for men
versus women. In early 2017 PwC found in one study that it could take
24 years to close the gender pay gap.
PwC publishes the Low Carbon Economy Index which tracks the extent to
which the G20 countries are reducing carbon intensity, which is
emissions linked to energy usage.
The Economy of the Sea is a long-term analysis project of PwC
Portugal. Launched ten years ago, Economy of the Sea is part of the
HELM project to create an integrated approach to the successful and
sustainable “blue economy.”
PwC developed the Total Impact Measurement and Management (TIMM)
framework designed to assist companies in carrying out impact studies
which will help them put a value on all a company’s activities,
products or services. Mervyn King,
Chairman of the International
Integrated Reporting Council described it as “a huge step forward in
assisting companies in thinking on an integrated basis and enabling
them to do business in the 21st century. It also helps to change
mindsets to take a holistic perspective and move towards Integrated
PwC has partners in approximately 800 offices across 157 countries
with 200,000 employees.
Notable offices: Seaport office tower in Boston; and Magwa
Crescent Waterfall City tower in Midrand, South Africa.
Notable PwC office buildings
Tower 185, Frankfurt, Germany
Figueroa at Wilshire, Los Angeles, California, US
Freshwater Place, Melbourne, Australia
Kasumigaseki Building, Tokyo, Japan
Torre PwC, Madrid, Spain
Auckland, New Zealand
Leeds, United Kingdom
Tower 1 International Towers Sydney, Australia
The following list of revenue according to region is from the PwC
Global Annual Review: 2016.
Australia, Pacific Islands and New Zealand
Central and Eastern Europe
Middle East and Africa
North America and the Caribbean
South and Central America
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. 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
PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited. In
addition, PwC is registered as a multidisciplinary entity which also
provides legal services.
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,
as PwC, although the legal name of the firm remained
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.
The Coopers & Lybrand logo prior to the 1998 merger
The Price Waterhouse logo prior to the 1998 merger
PricewaterhouseCoopers logo from 1998 to 2010
The PwC logo from 2010 to present
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. In addition, the company oversees AMPAS elections, prepares
its financial documents, and is responsible for the group’s tax
Best Picture announcement error
89th Academy Awards
89th Academy Awards § Best Picture announcement error
89th Academy Awards
89th Academy Awards in 2017 La La Land was incorrectly
announced as the winner of Best Picture after PwC partner, Brian
Cullinan gave presenters
Warren Beatty and
Faye Dunaway the wrong
envelope. PwC was responsible for tabulating the results, preparing
the envelopes, and handing them to presenters. It was called "as
bad a mess-up as you could imagine." The firm took "full
responsibility" for handing the presenters the wrong envelope and
apologized for the error, acknowledging that Cullinan and PwC
partner Martha Ruiz did not follow protocols for correcting the error
quickly. In March 2017, the board of governors for the Academy voted
to retain the services of accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers,
despite the mix up, saying “new protocols have been established
including greater oversight from PwC's U.S. chairman Tim Ryan.”
PwC sponsors the Canadian Football League’s Weekly Insights online
Since 2011 PwC has been sponsoring the Royal Belgian Football
Association and the national team, the Red Devils.
The firm sponsored nine Canadian athletes in 2011: cyclist Ryder
Hesjedal; Olympic gold medalist speed skaters Charles and François
Hamelin; wrestler Carol Huynh; para-alpine skier Matt Hallatt; and
four additional athletes.
PwC has sponsored the Dutch national soccer team, since 1992.
In May 2016 PwC agreed to renew their sponsorship of the Irish Rugby
Football Union (IRFU) for four more years. The sponsorship includes
PwC continuing to be the official sponsor of the Ireland U20, Ireland
U19 and Ireland U18 teams.
PwC extended its sponsorship of the Players Championship of the
Professional Golfer’s Association (PGA) through 2017. The company
will be one of only two “Proud Partners” of the annual PGA Tour
event which is held every year at TPC Sawgrass.
PwC sponsors Canada’s CFO of the year award.
PwC created “The Building Public Trust in Corporate Reporting
Awards” (BPTA) in 2002 which now covers the FTSE 100, FTSE 250,
private, public and charity sectors for a total of 18 awards.
Startupbootcamp Copenhagen announced that PwC Denmark signed a
sponsorship agreement with them, making PwC its first signed
In 2010 PwC began sponsoring the international non-profit organization
“Slush” which organizes events that match entrepreneurs and
technology talent with major corporations and investors.
PwC sponsors Fast Growth Icons, a conference which highlights insights
from the builders of successful businesses; a group of attendees who
are founders of companies with rapid revenue growth; and offering tips
and hands-on learning in founder-to-founder sessions.
The PwC Social Entrepreneurs Club sponsors members through community
partners including the School for Social Entrepreneurs and Social
In February 2011 PwC was the sponsor of the televised debate “The
Future of Employment: The West Isn't Working,” filmed at the World
Economic Forum’s annual meeting. The company has been a
strategic partner with the WEF since the 1980s.
PwC sponsors a Charitable Foundation, founded in 1949, whose mission
it is to “make contributions to the people of the firm in times of
financial hardship through the people who care fund, and to nonprofit
organizations that support and promote education and
In 2016 PwC was a sponsor of the APEC CEO Summit held in Peru.
The company is a sponsor of the Mobile World Congress, and the
World Economic Forum.
PwC sponsors PwC Pantomime, a theater group that produces a full scale
show whose aim is to bring joy to children from inner-city schools and
charities. In 2017 their production of Hansel and Gretel was its
31st pantomime production as part of its community Affairs Program
that supports the local community.
The firm is partners with the
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of the
PwC sponsors the Buy Social Campaign, the flagship campaign of Social
Enterprise UK, which builds markets for social enterprises in the
public and private sectors. The Buy Social Corporate Challenge is
co-sponsored by PwC, Social Enterprise UK, and the Cabinet Office to
bring high-profile businesses together to commit to spending £1
billion with social enterprises by 2020.
The firm supports London’s Old Vic Theater.
Wellbeing of Women is a non-profit organization that works to improve
the health of women and babies, supported by PwC.
PwC sponsors the yearly UK Private Business Awards.
Corporate affairs and culture
General corporate culture
Compared to the other three of the “Big Four,” PwC is said to have
a “less competitive” atmosphere. According to one observer,
the core to the business is how the firm values and promotes
“difference by building an environment where everyone can be
themselves.” The company employs large numbers of young
workers, with 80 percent of their work-force millennials. PwC uses
education to bridge the culture gap between generations. The firm
also implements the “Connect-Embed-Improve plan to promote employee
engagement. PwC relies on employees sharing of knowledge and
learning. Senior staff facilitate learning. Teaching the next
generation what they know is one of the keys that ensures that PwC can
bring value to its clients.
PwC is committed to diversity in the workplace, holding an annual
“Global Diversity Week.”
In order to promote inclusion, diversity, equality, respect and
tolerance in a respectful work environment PwC the Netherlands
launched GLEE: Gay Lesbian and Everybody Else network.
The PwC Charitable Foundation, a separate entity from the firm, shares
similar goals, according to Frank Gaudia, a trustee and member of the
Board of Directors for the Foundation. The Foundation focuses on
humanitarianism, education for children, and veterans.
Sustainable Development Goals: The World Business Council for
PwC published a report including data on SDG-sustainable development
goals awareness and on who is perceived as the entity responsible for
bringing SDGs to the marketplace.
In 2015 PwC gave a donation of $100,000 to the Florida International
University College of Business and the School of Accounting.
In 2011 PwC was appointed to conduct independent monitoring of the
Tourism Development and Investment Company, TDIC’s Employment
Practices Policy, (EPP), which had already been introduced in 2009.
Abu Dhabi’s TDIC was the first major developer in the Middle East to
introduce such a policy, designed to protect the welfare of workers
employed by contractors and sub-contractors.
Flexible working hours policy
Employees at PwC can suggest their own working hours, but the firm
does not have to comply.
Global "Code of Conduct"
In 2002 PwC published the accounting profession’s first global
“Code of Conduct” to help its employees around the world maintain
a corporate culture of ethics and integrity. In November 2016 the
company updated their Code of Conduct.
Strategy& and PwC publish Strategy + Business, an online magazine
discussing aspects of business strategy and related issues.
In May 2016, at the
United Nations Headquarters in New York, PwC was
one of the principal sponsors of the inaugural ID2020 Summit. The
summit brought together over 400 people to discuss how to provide
digital identity to all, a defined Sustainable Development Goal
including to 1.5bn people living without any form of recognized
identification. Experts in blockchain and other cryptographic
technology joined with representatives of technical standards bodies
to identify how technology and other private sector expertise could
achieve the goal.
PwC is a founding partner with the
HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10
Initiative to advance gender equality. The initiative created an
online course featuring Michael Kimmel, an SUNY Distinguished
Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at Stony Brook University
which aims to increase awareness of unconscious gender bias in
corporate life. Emma Watson, British actress and UN Women
Goodwill Ambassador, is a high-profile supporter of the UN Women’s
Google announced its partnership with PwC to drive cloud
adoption among businesses. Partnering with
Google is part of
PwC’s decision to begin to move its own business to the
cloud. PwC is one of three million business customers using
paid services through G Suite, previously known as Apps for Work.
The company, in partnership with Coursera, launched an on-line
five-course educational platform called “
Data Analysis and
PwC began to include the
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) DNS Malware
Analytics (DMA) in its Security Assessment Services portfolio.
DXC Technology (formerly CSC) with PwC to bring digital
transformation solutions to businesses.
In January 2017 Oracle and PwC announced their international
collaboration to offer IFRS 9 compliance solutions.
Karim Textiles Limited, a division of Purbani Group, signed a
partnership agreement with PwC in February, 2017 to implement
In November 2016 PwC acquired technology/consulting firm NSI DMCC,
Salesforce’s largest implementation partner in the Middle East.
In 2013 PwC and
Microsoft Corp. formed a strategic alliance to help
companies engaged in enterprise transformation projects using
Microsoft Business Solutions technology. In 2016 PwC joined with
Microsoft in India to bring the services of both companies to the
business community in India.
PwC partners with the
United Nations to help keep the international
organization’s monitoring systems up to date. The two
organizations also teamed up to create a course about unconscious
Main article: VeChain
On 15 May 2017 PwC China and PwC Singapore announced a partnership
with VeChain, a Singapore incorporated blockchain service
On 26 March 2018 PwC France announced a partnership with Request
Network, a Singapore based blockchain service provider, which had
formed a partnership with the Francophone Africa Blockchain Lab.
From 2010 until 2016, the number of employees worldwide rose from a
total of about 160,000 to over 223,000. The largest percentage of
workers are employed in Europe. PwC emphasises the role CEOs play
in the transformation of companies to meet the needs of the 21st
The following is a chart of the number of employees in each region of
the world as of Q1 2017.
Number of Employees
Australia, Pacific Islands and New Zealand
Central and Eastern Europe
Middle East and Africa
North America and the Caribbean
South and Central America
Notable firm alumni include:
Phil Knight - Founder Nike, Inc.
Ed Bastian - CEO Delta Air Lines
Rich Kramer - Chairman, President and CEO of The Goodyear Tire and
Brad Tilden - CEO and
Chairman of Alaska Airlines
Sir Ian Powell -
Chairman of Capita, an outsourcing company.
Wendell Weeks - President Corning Inc.
Mike Dooley - author, speaker and entrepreneur
Tony Harrington - CEO MinterEllison
PwC was ranked #175 on Forbes’ Canada’s Best Employers list, #5 on
their America’s Largest Private Companies list, and #256 on their
America’s Best Employers list.
Advertising Age named PwC Digital Services Experience Center one of
the four best places to work in advertising and media in 2016.
International Accounting Bulletin awarded PwC the “
of the Year” award for 2016.
PwC Singapore won the Best Practice Award in 2016 from the Institute
of Singapore Chartered Accountants.
The Australian Financial Review Client Choice Awards recognized PwC
with the Market Leader Australia award for 2017.
PwC Australia has been recognized by clients as Market Leader at the
Financial Review Client Choice Awards 2016.
In 2016, Brand Finance named PwC as the strongest business to business
brand, and one of the world’s 10 most powerful brands in their
PwC ranked #3 in DiversityInc’s Top 12 Companies for Global
For the second consecutive year PwC was named Global Corporate
Consultancy Firm of the Year.
Strategy&’s strategy+business publication ranked #4 in top
research and think tanks globally by Global Think Tanks and Civil
PwC was ranked number one on The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers for
2016, for a record-breaking 13th consecutive year.
For the 14th consecutive year, PwC Brazil was ranked #1 in the Audit
segment on the Carta Capital magazine’s list of ‘As Empresas mais
Admiradas no Brasil’ (Brazil’s Most Admired Companies.)
PwC US was named one of Fortune’s ‘100 Best Companies to Work
For’ for the 11th consecutive year of 13 years on the list.
PwC India won the 2016 AMCF (Association of Management Consulting
Firms) Global Spotlight Award in the Growth Strategies category.
Gender employment discrimination
Main article: Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins
In 1989, the United States Supreme Court held that Price Waterhouse
must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the decision
regarding employment would have been the same if sex discrimination
had not occurred. The accounting firm failed to prove that the same
decision to postpone Ann Hopkins's promotion to partnership would have
still been made in the absence of sex discrimination, and therefore,
the employment decision constituted sex discrimination under Title VII
of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The significance of the Supreme
Court's ruling was twofold. First, it established that gender
stereotyping is actionable as sex discrimination. Second, it
established the mixed-motive framework as an evidentiary framework for
proving discrimination under a disparate treatment theory even when
lawful reasons for the adverse employment action are also
present. Hopkins's candidacy for partnership was put on
indefinite hold. She eventually resigned and sued the company for
occupational sexism, arguing that her lack of promotion came after
pressure to walk, talk, dress, and act more "femininely."
In 1990 a Federal district judge in Washington ordered the firm to
make Hopkins a partner. It was the first time in which a court awarded
partnership in a professional company as a remedy for sexual or
Following the suit, the firm received media attention due to its
discriminatory labor practices towards males as well. Although
incidents of such labor marginalization take place rarely, there were
several cases of unfair work treatment.
PwC received $55m from
Caterpillar Inc. to develop a tax avoidance
scheme, according to an investigation of the US Senate. Profits valued
at $8bn were shifted from the US to Switzerland, which allegedly made
it possible to save more than $2.4bn in US taxes over a decade. In
Switzerland profits were taxed at 4%. A PricewaterhouseCoopers
partner who was involved in designing the tax savings plan commented:
“We'll all be retired when this . . . comes up on audit.”
In 1990, the US
Internal Revenue Service
Internal Revenue Service seized most of the assets of
Willie Nelson, claiming he owed $32 million in back taxes, including
penalties and interest. He sued Price Waterhouse, contending that they
put him into tax shelters that were later disallowed by the IRS.
The lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed amount.
American International Group
American International Group Inc.
Business Week said that PwC was
American International Group
American International Group Inc.'s
auditor through years of "questionable dealings." AIG on 30 March 2005
said that deals with a Barbados-based insurance company, for instance,
may have been incorrectly accounted for over the past 14 years,
because an AIG-affiliated company may have been secretly covering that
BusinessWeek said that PwC appeared to have "dropped the ball" on the
deals between AIG and
Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s General Re Corp.
General Re transferred $500 million in anticipated claims and premiums
to AIG. BusinessWeek asked: "Did the auditor do its job by verifying
that AIG was assuming risk on claims beyond the $500 million, thus
allowing AIG to account for the deal as insurance? That's Accounting
101 in any reinsurance transaction."
PwC was also criticised by several witnesses during the investigation
into AIG's collapse, after the insurer was unable to fulfil its
collateral obligations to Goldman Sachs. The insurer was expected to
cover the difference in value between the credit default swap
contracts it had sold to Goldman Sachs, however the head of the unit
at AIG disagreed with the valuation that Goldman presented. According
to a memo published by Business Insider, witnesses wondered how PwC
was signing off on the accounts for both AIG and Goldman Sachs, when
they were using different valuation methods for the swaps contracts
(and therefore booked different values for them in their
Audit Corporation (中央青山監査法人, Chūō-Aoyama
Kansa Hōjin) was the Japanese affiliate of assurance service of PwC
from April 2000 to 2006. In May 2006, the Financial Services
Agency of Japan suspended ChuoAoyama from provision of some statutory
auditing services for two months following the collapse of
cosmetics company Kanebo, of which three of the partners were found
assisting with accounting fraud for boosting earnings by the company
of about $1.9 billion over the course of five years. The accountants
got suspended prison terms up to 18 months from the Tokyo District
Court after the judge deemed them to have played a "passive role" in
the crime. The suspension was the first ever imposed on a major
accounting firm in the country. Many of the firm's largest clients
were forced to find replacement auditors before the suspension began
Shortly after the suspension of ChuoAoyama, PwC acted quickly to stem
any possible client attrition as a result of the scandal. It set up
PricewaterhouseCoopers Aarata, and some of ChuoAoyama's
accountants (but most of the international divisions) moved to the new
firm. ChuoAoyama resumed operations on 1 September 2006 under the
Misuzu name. However, by this point the two firms combined had 30%
fewer clients than did ChuoAoyama prior to its suspension. Misuzu was
dissolved in July 2007.
In July 2007, PwC agreed to pay US$229 million to settle a
class-action lawsuit brought by shareholders of Tyco International
Ltd. over a multibillion-dollar accounting fraud. The chief executive
and chief financial officer of Tyco were found guilty of looting $600
million from the company.
In January 2009 PwC was criticised, along
with the promoters of Satyam, an Indian IT firm listed on the NASDAQ,
in a $1.5 billion fraud. PwC wrote a letter to the board of
directors of Satyam that its audit may be rendered "inaccurate and
unreliable" due to the disclosures made by Satyam's (ex)
subsequently withdrew its audit opinions. PwC's US arm "was the
reviewer for the U.S. filings for Satyam." Consequently, lawsuits
have been filed in the US with PwC as a defendant. Two partners of
PricewaterhouseCoopers, Srinivas Talluri and Subramani Gopalakrishnan,
have been charged by India's
Central Bureau of Investigation
Central Bureau of Investigation in
connection with the Satyam scandal. Since the scandal broke out,
Subramani Gopalakrishnan has retired from the firm after reaching
mandatory retirement age, while Talluri remains on suspension from the
In 2015 PwC India said they were disappointed with court judgement of
the case saying, “As we have said many times, there has never been
any evidence presented that either of our former partners S
Gopalakrishnan or Srinivas Talluri were involved in or were aware of
the management-led fraud at Satyam. We understand that Gopal and
Talluri are considering filing an appeal against this verdict."
In 2018, PwC was banned by India's securities regulator from providing
auditing services to public-listed companies for 2 years, PwC was
fined $2 million in addition to the suspension.
Yukos was a Russian oil and gas company that was the target of
politically motivated prosecutions by Russian authorities. The
company's assets were sold for alleged unpaid taxes and it was
declared bankrupt. PwC's audits were the foundation for the firm's
defense in a series of continuing trials against former chief
executive, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and the former majority shareholder,
Platon Lebedev. The Russian authorities then went after PwC. In March,
2007 police raided PwC's Moscow offices, confiscating documents
Yukos and charging and convicting PwC of failing to pay 243
million rubles, or $9.4 million, in taxes. PwC withdrew its Yukos
audits and less than two weeks later authorities cleared PwC of any
wrongdoing in regard to its audit.
"In 2007, with the prospect of parole on the horizon, the same
prosecutors—with what appears to be the complicity of
PricewaterhouseCoopers, Yukos's longtime accounting firm—indicted
the two men (Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev), again,
bringing a new round of Kafkaesque charges."
In 2010, it was revealed that the Russian government placed pressure
on PwC to withdraw audits.
A cable from the US embassy in Moscow stated that the trial was
politically motivated and that a deposition in a US court by
PricewaterhouseCoopers may show that PwC was pressured by the Russian
government to withdraw its prior
Yukos audits. An embassy source noted
that if the audits were not properly withdrawn it "would greatly
tarnish PWC's international reputation."
Global Trust Bank Ltd and DSQ Software
India's accounting standards agency ICAI is investigating partners of
PwC for professional negligence in the now-defunct Global Trust
Bank Ltd. case of 2007. Like Satyam, Global Trust Bank was also based
in Hyderabad. This led to the RBI banning PwC from auditing any
financial company for over a year. PwC was also
associated with the accounting scandal at DSQ Software in India.
Following the Satyam scandal, the Mumbai-based Small Investor
Grievances Association (SIGA) has requested the Indian stock market
regulator SEBI to ban PwC permanently and seize its assets in India
alleging more scandals like "Ketan Parekh stock manipulations."
Transneft Russia case
Upon the completion of the construction of the ESPO (East
Siberia-Pacific Ocean) pipeline by Transneftin December 2010, an
official report of the
Audit Chamber of the Russian Federation
suggested that $4 billion was stolen by
Transneft insiders. One
Federation Council Speaker, Sergei Mironov, called for an
investigation. Alexei Navalny, a minority
Transneft shareholder and
lawyer, accused the company of wrongdoing in his personal blog, and
criticized PwC, Transneft's auditor, of ignoring his warnings. PwC
denied wrongdoing, stating that, “We believe there are absolutely no
grounds for such allegations, and we stand behind our work for OAO AK
In 2007, PwC was criticised by the
Treasury Select Committee of the
Parliament of the
United Kingdom for helping Northern Rock, a client
of the firm, to sell its mortgage assets while also acting as its
auditor. In 2011, a
House of Lords
House of Lords inquiry criticized PwC
for not drawing attention to the risks in the business model followed
by Northern Rock, which was rescued by the UK government during the
JP Morgan Securities audit
In 2012, the Accountancy and
Actuarial Discipline Board (AADB) of the
UK fined PwC a record £1.4m for wrongly reporting to the Financial
Services Authority that JP Morgan Securities had complied with client
money rules which protects client funds. The accountants neglected to
check whether JP Morgan had the correct systems in place, and failed
to gather sufficient evidence to form opinions on the issue, and as a
result, failed to report that JP Morgan failed to hold client money
separate from JP Morgan's money. It is the greatest penalty
administered to a professional accountancy firm in the UK.
Water privatisation in Delhi
PwC was found to be unethically favored by the
World Bank in a bid to
privatize the water distribution system of Delhi, India, an effort
that was alleged as corrupt by investigators. When bidding took
place, PwC repeatedly failed in each round, and the
World Bank in each
case pressured PwC to be pushed to the next round and eventually win
the bid. The effort at privatization fell through when an
investigation was conducted by
Arvind Kejriwal and the
non-governmental organization (NGO) Parivartan in 2005. After
Right to Information
Right to Information (RTI) request, Parivartan received
9000 pages of correspondence and consultation with the World Bank,
where it was revealed that the privatization of Delhi's water supply
would provide salaries of $25,000 a month to four administrators of
each of the 21 water zones, which amounted to over $25 million per
year, increasing the budget by over 60% and water taxes 9
Delhi Jal Board (DJB), which administers the water system of
Delhi, was first approached by Parivartan in November 2004, following
a report by the newspaper The Asian Age, where the scheme was revealed
to the public for the first time. The DJB denied the
existence of the project, but after an appeal, the RTI request was
granted. The documents revealed that the project began in 1998, in
complete secrecy within the DJB administration. The DJB
World Bank for a loan to improve the water system,
which it approved, and the effort began with a $2.5 million
consultation loan. The
Delhi government could have easily provided the
money, and the interest rate of 12% that was to be loaned by the World
Bank could have been raised on capital markets for 6%.
Following the consultation, 35 multi-national companies bid, of which
six were to be short listed. When PwC was in 10th place, the World
Bank said that at least one company should be from a developing
country, and since PwC made the bid from its
Kolkata office, it was
dubbed an "Indian" company, and its rank was dropped to 6th. When
PwC failed in the second round, the
World Bank pressured the DJB to
start over with a fresh round of bidding. Only one company succeeded
in the new round that was not PwC, and the
World Bank had the lowest
marks from an evaluator thrown out. The contract was awarded to PwC in
2001. Following the investigation by Parivartan, a campaign was
waged by Kejriwal, Aruna Roy, and other activists across Delhi, and
the DJB withdrew the loan application to the World
Cattles plc brought a legal action against PwC in the UK in
respect of the 2006 and 2007 audits claiming that they had failed to
carry out adequate investigations. Cattles, a UK consumer finance
company, later discovered control weaknesses which caused its loan
book to be materially overstated in its balance sheet; having been
listed as a FTSE250 company, it subsequently lost its listing. PwC
disputed this legal claim. The claim was settled out of court on
Financial Reporting Council
Financial Reporting Council (FRC) issued a fine of £2.3m on PwC
and ordered the firm to pay £750,000 costs following their
investigation of the 2007 audits of
Cattles and its principal trading
subsidiary. PwC admitted their “conduct fell significantly short of
the standards reasonably to be expected of a member firm” in respect
of the 2007 financial statements. The FRC said that PwC had
insufficient audit evidence as to the adequacy of loan loss
PCAOB report on audit inspections
Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) report on audit
work carried out by PwC in 2014 in respect of US public companies
identified significant deficiencies in 17 of 58 audits examined.
The PCAOB report on work carried out in 2015 identified significant
deficiencies in 12 of 55 audits examined.
PwC Ireland is being sued by the joint administrators of Quinn
Insurance Limited (QIL) for €1bn. Having been audited by PwC for the
years 2005 to 2008, QIL went into administration in 2010. The
administrators allege that PwC should have identified a material
understatement of QIL’s provisions for claims.
Connaught plc, a UK former
FTSE 250 Index outsourcing company
operating in property maintenance for the social housing and public
sector, was put into administration on 2010 after reporting material
losses. In 2017, the
Financial Reporting Council
Financial Reporting Council (FRC) severely
reprimanded PwC and its audit partner following an investigation of
their conduct in respect of the 2009 audit of Connaught. PwC was fined
a record £5 million plus costs.
In 2014 Tesco, a UK retailer, announced that it had overstated profits
by £263m by misreporting discounts with suppliers. The Financial
Reporting Council started an investigation into accounting practices
Tesco and into the conduct of PwC in carrying out its audits in
2012, 2013 and 2014. Two members of Tesco's
responsible for monitoring Tesco's relationship with its auditors, had
themselves previously worked for PwC, including its chairman, Ken
Hanna; he later stood down. In 2015 PwC were replaced as auditors
of Tesco, ending a 32-year engagement, following a tender process to
which they did not participate. In June 2017 the Financial
Reporting Council said there was no "realistic prospect" that a
tribunal of the UK's accountancy watchdog would rule against the
auditor PwC concerning its involvement in Tesco's 2014 case.
Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ
The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ
The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ was investigated by New York
banking regulators over its role in routing payments for Iranian
customers through its New York branch in violation of U.S. sanctions.
It was found that PwC had altered an investigation report on the
issue; PwC itself was fined $25 million in relation to the
Main article: Luxembourg Leaks
One of the tax rulings of
Luxembourg Leaks negotiated by PwC
The firm helped multinational companies obtain 548 legal tax rulings
in Luxembourg between 2002 and 2010. The rulings provide written
assurance that companies’ tax-saving plans will be seen favorably by
the Luxembourg authorities. The companies saved billions of dollars in
taxes with these arrangements. Some firms paid less than one percent
tax on the profits they shifted to Luxembourg. Employees or former
employees of PwC provided documentation of the rulings to
journalists. PwC UK’s head of tax was before the UK's
public accounts committee and was questioned about lying regarding the
marketing of these tax avoidance schemes. He told the committee the
financing, investments and tax structure is legal and well-known to
the British government. “If you want to change the Lux tax regime,
the politicians could change the Lux tax regime.” The
disclosures attracted international attention and comment about tax
avoidance schemes in Luxembourg and other tax havens. The revelations
later led to a series of EU-wide measures aimed at regulating tax
avoidance schemes and tax probes into several EU companies. PwC
initiated charges against the two whistleblowers that revealed the
LuxLeaks tax controversy. In March 2017 a Luxembourg appeals court
upheld their convictions, but with reduced sentences.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation by
Microsoft founder Bill
Gates has sued
Petrobras and accounting firm PwC Brazil arm over
investment losses due to corruption at the Brazilian oil company. The
filings have also alleged that PwC's Brazil affiliate,
PricewaterhouseCoopers Auditores Independentes, played a significant
role by attesting to
Petrobras financial statements and ignoring
CEO, Luke Sayers, is a vocal supporter of gay marriage and
had the firm prepare a report in 2016 projecting the excessive cost of
a plebiscite on the issue. Mark Allaby, a senior executive at
PwC, left the board of the Australian Christian Lobby, a group
campaigning against same-sex marriage, following outrage.
Shopping center giant Centro understated its current liabilities by
more than $3 billion and almost collapsed when it was unable to
refinance its debt during the global financial crisis. PwC was
Centro's auditor and admitted negligence. Centro and PwC paid a $200
million settlement to resolve the shareholder class action, the
largest ever in Australia.
PwC in the UK is being investigated by the Financial Reporting Council
over its conduct in relation to the audit of BHS for the year to 30
August 2014. PwC completed their audit of financial statements in
which BHS was described as a going concern days before its sale for
£1 to a consortium with no retail experience. BHS collapsed the
following year with a substantial deficit in its pension fund.
MF Global malpractice lawsuit
United States federal judge
United States federal judge rejected PwC's bid to dismiss a
$3 billion lawsuit accusing the accounting firm of professional
malpractice for helping cause the October 2011 bankruptcy of MF Global
Holdings Ltd, a brokerage once run by former New Jersey Governor Jon
BT Group (British Telecom), a client of PwC, reported in 2017 that
profits in its Italian subsidiary had been over-stated by £530
million. BT reportedly sought the immediate replacement of PwC as
auditors following a breakdown of trust, but had existing commercial
relationships with the other Big 4 firms which would have prevented
their early appointment. BT subsequently stated that its audit
would be put out to tender to identify a replacement for PwC. The
Financial Reporting Council
Financial Reporting Council has begun an investigation of PwC’s
audit of BT.
PwC Spain is being investigated by the Spanish National Court as part
of the Lezo Case for participating in and profiting from the
embezzlement of public funds to illegally finance the People's Party
(PP) political party in the Community of Madrid.
PwC Ukraine had its audit license removed by the National Bank of
Ukraine in July 2017 for its alleged "verification of misrepresented
financial information" leading to a $5.5 billion balance-sheet hole in
PrivatBank. The government of Ukraine had had to rescue
PrivatBank by nationalisation in 2016 to protect its 20 million
PwC, along with PA Consulting Group,
KPMG were the only
four consultancy firms in the UK to be named among the 25 best
companies to work for in 2017.
PwC was ranked #9 by Consulting Magazine in the 2016 Best Firms to
Work for ranking published in their September 2016 edition.
Brand Finance ranked PwC among the world’s 500 most valuable brands
The company was recognized by The European Diversity Awards as the
‘Most Inclusive Employer of the Year’ in 2015.
PwC's Public Sector practice was awarded the Malcolm Baldrige National
Quality Award in 2014.
PwC received the full five stars on the BITC Corporate Responsibility
Index for several years, and achieved it again in 2016 with a score of
99%. They were one of only four professional services companies to do
The Vault accounting firm rankings placed PwC 1st in Accounting 50;
1st in Prestige; and 1st in Overall Diversity.
Gartner recognized PwC with a Top Rating for Financial
List of companies based in London
Price Waterhouse v Kwan
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1890-1990 (1992) ISBN 0-875-843-28X
Wikimedia Commons has media related to PricewaterhouseCoopers.
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