'We want our people to be the most sought after in the market'
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is investing US$12bn across its global business in an overhaul targeting better audits, digitisation of services and greener operations.
The professional-services provider will hire 100,000 employees and develop the skills of existing staff over the next five years as it seeks to respond to the post-pandemic operating environment, it said in an emailed statement on Tuesday.
“We will continue to evolve our ways of working, and expand our capabilities in the areas that matter most for the future, while remaining steadfast in our commitment to quality,” PwC Chairman Bob Moritz said. “We want our people to be the most sought after in the market.”
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Auditors are grappling with managing quality amid a shift in ways of working introduced by the Covid-19 pandemic. The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board has revised standards for auditors, coming into effect in 2022, to boost technology use, help manage new risks, and improve quality management.
PwC is also seeking ways to address growing calls for transparency in the profession from stakeholders after several accounting scandals among the Big Four auditing firms knocked public trust. In South Africa, for example, KPMG has put in place a variety of reforms after it came under fire in 2017 for work done for a politically connected family accused of plundering the government’s coffers.
The South African unit of PwC will add at least 2,500 new employees over the next five years, Chief Executive Officer in the region Dion Shango told reporters in a conference call. Across Africa, where it has a presence in 34 countries, the firm plans to bulk up its operations with a $400 million investment. The company is also interviewing for non-executive directors to strengthen audit oversight.
PwC has also set aside $3bn of its total global investment to help double the scale of its Asia-Pacific operations, it said. The firm’s spending will also focus on responding to environmental, social and governance trends across its operations.