PwC will invest US$12 billion investment over the next five years, creating over 100,000 new jobs; Initial commitments include new ESG (Environment Social and Governance) Centres of Excellence, Leadership Institutes, accelerated deployment of emerging technologies and increased investment to support audit quality; Strategy focuses on helping clients build trust and deliver sustained outcomes.
PwC Africa unveiled The New Equation strategy, which responds to fundamental changes in the world, including technological disruption, climate change, fractured geopolitics, and the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The New Equation is based on analysis of global trends and thousands of conversations with clients and stakeholders. It builds on more than a decade of sustained revenue growth and continued investment.
The New Equation focuses on two interconnected needs that clients face in the coming years.
The first is to build trust, which has never been more important, nor more difficult. Organisations increasingly need to earn trust across a wide range of topics that are important to their stakeholders. Success depends on fundamental shifts in the way executives think, organisational culture, systems, and ambition.
The second is to deliver sustained outcomes in an environment where competition and the risk of disruption are more intense than ever, and societal expectations have never been greater. Businesses need to change faster and more thoroughly to attract capital, talent, and customers. Too often, however, narrowly conceived transformation initiatives do not deliver the outcomes they promise. A new approach is needed.
How PwC will help build trust and deliver sustained outcomes
PwC’s multidisciplinary model is the foundation for the strategy, bringing together a passionate, diverse community to help organisations build trust and deliver sustained outcomes. The model enables investment at scale in the combination of capabilities that is essential to delivering quality and impact for clients, stakeholders, and society. The firms will invest US$12 billion over the next five years, creating over 100,000 net new jobs across PwC, as well as continuing to develop the skills of partners and employees. At present, the firm employs about 284,000 people globally.
The approach to building trust is designed to meet rising expectations of transparency and stakeholder engagement. It combines expertise in audit, tax, and compliance activity with an expansion of specialist capabilities including cyber security, data privacy, ESG and AI. It recognises the importance of quality and that reporting, and compliance are just one link in a chain that includes organisational culture, executive mindset, aligned standards, certified professionals, stringent controls, tailored technologies, and appropriate governance.
Similarly, delivering sustained outcomes requires an integrated approach. Instead of a traditional technology-driven approach to transformation, PwC’s approach is focused on the outcome that effort seeks to achieve. PwC then mobilises expertise in strategy, digital and cloud services, value creation, people and organisation, tax, ESG, deals, business recovery services, legal and compliance, amongst other areas to deliver the agreed outcomes.
Planned investments include:
- ESG. PwC will expand Centres of Excellence for specialists on key ESG topics, including climate risk and supply chain, as well as create a global ESG Academy which will enable all PwC partners and staff to integrate the fundamentals of ESG into their work. 1,000 partners from 60 territories across the network have already completed an in-depth six-week programme focused on business issues resulting from critical global trends.
- Quality. PwC will continue to invest to further enhance quality across its businesses. This will include US$1bn dedicated to accelerate deployment of technology that further automates the implementation of quality frameworks in audit, as well as build the delivery model for the audits of the future – which are expected to require more types of data, assess a broader range of risks and more fully integrate non-financial information. This additional technology investment builds on the ongoing focus on quality, supported by rigorous methodology and training across all lines of service.
- Leadership Institutes. Today’s leaders need new skills to help lead through and manage uncertainty, build inclusive cultures, and support transformation. New Leadership Institutes will be created to support clients and stakeholders. The first Institute will be based in the United States and will empower more than 10,000 of today and tomorrow’s C-suite leaders, executives, and Board members to build trust. Another Leadership Institute will be created in Asia-Pacific and further announcements will be made in the coming months.
- Technology. PwC will continue its strategy of being human led and tech powered. It will continue to rapidly expand its use of cloud, artificial intelligence, technology alliances, virtual reality and other emerging technologies to deliver insight and drive competitive advantage for clients. In addition, PwC is accelerating the deployment of technology products, supporting seamless collaboration and enabling its people to automate processes. These products and automations will transform the client experience and allow new insights and value to emerge.
Dion Shango, CEO for PwC Africa said: “PwC Africa is excited by the opportunity that The New Equation represents for our clients, employees and other stakeholders. The launch of our new global strategy comes at a time of unprecedented change – it will enable PwC teams to support clients and other stakeholders across the African continent to move toward greater sustainability and more inclusive growth, as well as to drive their digital evolution. The strategy will shape how PwC Africa develops in the coming years as we seek to deliver against our purpose in society – which is to build trust and solve important problems. As part of the strategy, we are making substantial investments to further enhance audit quality and expand our capabilities.”