|Type||Member firms have different legal structures; both UK and US firms are limited liability partnerships|
(Coopers & Lybrand)
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
|Key people||Dennis Nally (Chairman)|
|Revenue||US$ 31.5 billion (2012)|
|Employees||Approx. 180,000 (2012)|
PricewaterhouseCoopers (trading as PwC) is a multinational professional services firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's largest professional services firm and the largest of the "Big Four" accountancy firms measured by 2012 revenues.
PwC has offices in 776 cities across 159 countries and employs over 180,000 people. It had total revenues of $31.5 billion in FY 2012, of which $14.9 billion was generated by its Assurance practice, $7.9 billion by its Tax practice and $8.7 billion by its Advisory practice.
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.
The firm was created in 1998 when Coopers & Lybrand merged with Price Waterhouse. The two firms each had histories dating back to the 19th century.
Coopers & Lybrand 
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. In 1990 in certain countries including the UK Coopers & Lybrand merged with Deloitte Haskins & Sells to become Coopers & Lybrand Deloitte, in 1992 renamed Coopers & Lybrand.
Price Waterhouse 
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 after 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 between the 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') in an attempt to gain a scale that would put the new firm in a different league.
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 that led to the passage of the Sarbanes–Oxley Act severely limited the 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 Omnilogic Systems.
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 IBM for approximately $3.9 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.
The company currently offers a growing range of enterprise-level software services to meet rising data management challenges. In 2013, the company partnered with data integration firm Pneuron Corporation to help firms manage big data.
PricewaterhouseCoopers' operations are Global, but with Europe accounting for 42% of the total.
PwC audits 33% of companies in the FT Global 500 and 29% of the companies in the Fortune Global 500.
Service lines 
PricewaterhouseCoopers is organised into the following three main service lines:
- Assurance Services
- Tax Advisory, (international tax planning and compliance with local tax laws, customs, human resource consulting, and transfer pricing)
- Advisory – mainly consulting activities which covers Strategy, Performance Improvement, Transactions Services, Business Recovery Services, Corporate Finance, Business Valuation, Sustainability and Crisis Management in a range of specialist areas such as accountancy and actuarial advisory.
PwC's service lines face the market in each country by broad industry specialisations such as:
- Consumer and Industrial Products and Service (CIPS)
- Financial Services (FS)
- Technology, Information, Communications and Entertainment (TICE)
- Infrastructure, Government and Utilities (IG&U)
- Private Company Services (PCS)
These sub-divisions may vary slightly in some territories.
PwC has developed several broader consulting initiatives in the Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) framework, including a global effort to assist corporations with outsourcing, as well as a global political risk assessment with the political risk advisory firm Eurasia Group.
Advisory services offered by PwC also include two actuarial consultancy departments; Actuarial and Insurance Management Solutions (AIMS) and a sub branch of "Human Resource Services" (HRS). Actuarial covers mainly 4 areas: pensions, life insurance, non-life insurance, and investments. AIMS deals with life and non-life insurance and investments, while HRS deals mainly with pensions.
PwC serves the US Federal Government through their Public Sector practice. PwC has over 2000 professionals based in the Washington Metro Corridor.
PwC has offices in 776 cities across 158 countries.
|Notable PwC office buildings|
Legal structure 
The legal structure of a limited liability partnership (LLP) is very different from that of a corporation, and as such the global firm is in fact a collection of member firms, that are run autonomously in their respective jurisdictions. The senior partners of member firms sit on a global board of partners and there is also an 'umbrella' company called PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited, a UK-based company which provides co-ordination. Dennis Nally, the former Chairman of the US firm, became Chairman of PwC International on 1 July 2009.
Notable clients 
PwC provides auditing services to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, giving it the unique distinction of having been (in various incarnations) the tabulator and certifier of votes for the Academy Awards since 1934.
Willie Nelson 
In 1990, the US 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 Inc. 
BusinessWeek said that PwC was 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 insurer's losses.
BusinessWeek said that PwC appears 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."
ChuoAoyama Suspension 
From 2000 to 2006, PwC's affiliate of assurance service in Japan was ChuoAoyama Audit Corporation (中央青山監査法人 Chūō-Aoyama Kansa Hōjin ). In May 2006, the Financial Services Agency of Japan suspended ChuoAoyama from provision of some statutory auditing service for two months following the collapse of cosmetics company Kanebo of which three of the firm's 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 eighteen 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 that July.
Shortly after the suspension of ChuoAoyama, PwC acted quickly to stem any possible client attrition as a result of the scandal. It set up the 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 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.
Tyco settlement 
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.
Satyam case 
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) Chairman and 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 in connection with the Satyam scandal. Since the scandal broke out, Subramani Gopalakrishnan retired from the firm after reaching mandatory retirement age; while Talluri remains on suspension from the firm.
Yukos prosecutions 
In November 2010, The New York Times reported that PwC had been assisting the Russian Government with prosecutions in relation to alleged tax evasion at Yukos stating "...Then, 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."
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." Russian authorities were investigating PwC for tax evasion, but suspended the investigation once PwC withdrew the Yukos audits.
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 Reserve Bank of India 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 few more scandals like "Ketan Parekh stock manipulations."
Transneft Russia case 
The construction of the ESPO (East Siberia-Pacific Ocean) pipeline by Transneft was estimated to cost in excess of US$13 billion. A leaked report of the Audit Chamber of the Russian Federation indicated that the total amount stolen and siphoned from the company during construction through various mechanisms and schemes reaches up to USD 4 billion. A Moscow Times editorial stated that one of the chamber's auditors attempted "damage control" by saying in effect, "Yes, money was stolen, but not as much the media reported." PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) was Transneft's auditor and denied wrongdoing saying "We believe there are absolutely no grounds for such allegations, and we stand behind our work."
House of Lords inquiry in the UK 
In 2011, a House of Lords inquiry specifically criticized PwC for not drawing attention to the risks in the business model followed by Northern Rock, a client of the firm, which was rescued by the UK government during the financial crisis.
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.
World Bank Favoring for Water Privatization in Delhi 
PricewaterhouseCoopers 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 submitting a 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 times. 
The 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 approached the 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 Bank.
- "Chronology". PricewaterhouseCoopers. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
- "How we are structured". PricewaterhouseCoopers. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
- "Our leadership team". PricewaterhouseCoopers. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
- "PwC FY 2012 Global Revenues Rise to US$31.5 billion". PwC. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
- PwC reports record $31.5 billion revenue, regains lead, Reuters, 3 October 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
- Sinclair, Lara (20 September 2010). "Logo puts case first and last". The Australian. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
- "Ten Largest Private Companies In America". Forbes. 28 November 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
- "ICAEW: Firms family trees".
- "ICAEW family trees". Icaew.com.
- Accounting for Success: a History of Price Waterhouse in America 1890–1990. Harvard Business School Press. ISBN 978-0-87584-328-5.
- "University of Washington: Accounting firms and organisations". Faculty.washington.edu.
- Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand to merge Weekly Corporate Growth Report 29 September 1997
- Ernst & Young sells consulting unit to Cap Gemini Cnet News, 29 February 2000
- Hewlett-Packard drops PWC bid BBC News, 13 November 2000
- Passion for business takes entrepreneur from software to cars to music
- Andersen Affiliates in China to Join Rival Singapore News, 21 March 2002
- Monday:[dead link]
- Monday name change for PwC, BBC News, 10 June 2002.
- IBM buying PricewaterhouseCoopers' consulting business Technology, 31 July 2002
- Groenfeldt, Tom. "Making Disparate Data Meet Business Needs". Forbes. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
- Chris Kentouris. "Pneuron and PwC Tackle FATCA and Big Data Problems". International Security Services. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
- "Global Annual Review 2011 – Facts and figures". PricewaterhouseCoopers. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
- "PWC Global Review 2007 Page 34". Pwc.com.
- PWC: CIPS[dead link]
- PWC: FS[dead link]
- PWC: TICE[dead link]
- "G&PS". PWC.
- "PCS". PWC.
- "How managing political risk improves global financial performance". PWC.
- "Actuarial & Insurance Management Solutions". Pwc.com.
- "Public Sector practice". Pwc.com.
- "PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited". Pwc.com.
- Nally named Global Chair of PwC Accountancy Age, 17 March 2009
- PricewaterhouseCoopers to safeguard Hollywood's biggest secret for 72nd year
- Logos in the news
- "Willie Nelson Hopes for a Hit; So Does the I.R.S". New York Times. 2 September 1991. "$32 million bill for delinquent taxes ... pay for the $45 million lawsuit Mr. Nelson filed last year against his former accountants at Price Waterhouse, who he contends put him into ill-advised tax shelters. The Government ruled against many of the tax shelters, and the I.R.S. later disallowed many of the tax benefits that Mr. Nelson claimed."
- "Tax Shelter of Rich and Famous Has Final Date in Court". The New York Times. 4 November 1995.
- Tough Questions For AIG's Auditors – Regulators are probing if PwC let the financial shenanigans slip through Businessweek, Joseph Weber, Mike McNamee, Marcia Vickers and Diane Brady, 11 APRIL 2005
- CPAs in Kanebo fraud avoid prison, The Japan Times (registration required), 10 August 2006.
- Jim Frederick (15 May 2006). "Japan's Regulators Get Tough". Time.
- Rocky road for new accounting firm, The Daily Yomiuri, 2 September 2006.[dead link]
- New Japanese Internal Controls Framework Fraud Magazine, November/December 2007
- "Pricewaterhouse to pay $225 mln in Tyco settlement". Reuters. 6 July 2007.
- Chen, George (8 January 2009). "Satyam scandal rattles confidence in accounting Big Four". In.reuters.com.
- ET Bureau 8 January 2009, 08.10 am IST (8 January 2009). "PwC's fate Hangs in Balance". Economictimes.indiatimes.com.
- "ICAI to seek explanation from Satyam's auditor PwC". Livemint.com. 7 January 2009.
- "Satyam auditor says examining chairman's statement". Reuters. 7 January 2009.
- What happens to PWC, The Auditor For Satyam?[dead link]
- "Satyam: Auditors' body to pull up PwC ICAI to seek explanation from Satyam's auditor PwC". Rediff.com.
- The author has posted comments on this article (8 January 2009). "Satyam: A Rs 7,000cr Lie". The Times of India.
- "PWC says Satyam audit opinions may be unreliable". Reuters. 14 January 2009.
- Scheer, David (20 January 2009). "Satyam Said to Draw SEC Scrutiny in Accounting Case". Bloomberg.
- Pomerantz Law Firm Charges Satyam's Auditors With Securities Law Violations[dead link]
- Raghavendra Verma, Keith Nuthall (8 April 2009). "PwC partners charged over Satyam". Accountancy Age. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
- New York Times issue of 6 November 2010, business columnist Joe Nocera
- "Khodorkovsky Case Discussed in Leaked Cable". The Moscow Times. 3 December 2010. Retrieved 28 December 2010.
- Wilson, Tony (4 January 2010). "Rule of law crucial for safe investment". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). Retrieved 4 January 2010.
- Business Standard (15 March 2008). "RBI lifts ban on PwC". Business-standard.com.
- Business Standard. "PwC has a chequered past with taxmen". Business-standard.com.
- Business Standard. "Regulator may blacklist Price Waterhouse". Business-standard.com.
- Mukherjee, Ritwik. "Third mess-up by PwC after GTB, DSQ Soft". Mydigitalfc.com.
- Business Standard. "Investor group wants Sebi to supersede Satyam board". Business-standard.com.
- "Transneft Accused Of Stealing $4 Billion". The St. Petersburg Times. 19 November 2010. Retrieved 28 December 2010.
- "Silencing the Whistleblower". The Moscow Times. 14 December 2010.
- Adam Jones, Auditors criticised for role in financial crisis, Financial Times, 30 March 2011
- Anna White (5 January 2012). "PwC fined record £1.4m over JP Morgan audit". The Daily Telegraph.
- RTI expose of how World Bank had arm-twisted Delhi Jal Board for water privatisation. Money Life. January 1, 2012.
- Delhi Water Privatisation Plan. Independent Peoples Tribunal on the World Bank in India.
- How World-Bank Dicatates Indian Policies. Youtube. BharatKiAwaaz.
- RTI Spurs Debate on World Bank Involvement in Delhi Water Deal. Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative.
Further reading 
- True and Fair: A History of Price Waterhouse, Jones, E., 1995, Hamish Hamilton, ISBN 0-241-00172-2
- An Early History of Coopers & Lybrand, 1984, Garland Publishing Inc., ISBN 978-0-8240-6319-1
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: PricewaterhouseCoopers|