PwC has unveiled The New Equation, PwC’s landmark global 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 deal sees US$12 billion investment over the next five years and the creating of over 100,000 new jobs. Initial commitments include new ESG 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.
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.
Bob Moritz, Global Chairman of PwC said: “The profound changes in the world mean that to succeed, organisations need to create a virtuous circle between earning trust and delivering sustained outcomes. By bringing our unique combination of capabilities together and matching it with serious investment and our commitment to quality, we can help them do that. In doing so, we will help clients unlock value for shareholders, stakeholders and wider society.”
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. PwC 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 PwC’s partners and employees.
PwC’s 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.
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The New Equation also accelerates PwC’s growth in Asia Pacific, with US$3 billion of the investment planned for the region, aimed at doubling its business and significantly scaling up capabilities to serve clients.
Bob Moritz continued: “To do what we are setting out to do, we are mobilising multi-disciplinary teams, powered by technology and drawing on deep specialist expertise. 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 – bringing together the unique combinations needed to help clients answer the expectations of their shareholders, stakeholders and society at large.”
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.”
Commitments in our Africa region
As part of The New Equation, PwC’s Africa region is also announcing plans to meet the specific needs of clients in our market. Here in Africa, PwC will continue focusing on the following, with plans of further commitments to be announced within the next few months:
- PwC Africa is committed to delivering quality in everything we do, and we are making substantial investments to further enhance quality. We’re committed to driving a strong culture of quality. It’s core to our purpose – to build trust in society and solve important problems. Importantly, it’s also what our clients and stakeholders expect of us, and rightly so.
- The New Equation will lead PwC to make the most of the multi-disciplinary model – building capabilities at the depth and scale needed to serve our clients as they seek to build trust and deliver sustained outcomes. At a time when businesses are evolving, we are focused on providing innovative, high-quality services and solutions. The trust that our clients and our people place in PwC, and our high standards of ethical behaviour are fundamental to everything we do.
- The new world of work will demand the development of new skills. PwC Africa is fully committed to continue to invest in helping our clients and our people to prepare for change brought about by advances in technology and digitalisation. Digitising our business is a strategic focus for the Africa firm, including upskilling all of our people and making them more digitally astute, including growing their competency with the firm’s digital assets and tools to deliver services to clients. To achieve this goal, we will invest some 150,000 hours in training across the continent. Through our New World. New Skills initiative we’re excited to share what we’ve learned, and we plan to help businesses, governments, local communities, and individuals accelerate their own upskilling journeys. We believe everyone should be able to live, learn, work and participate in the digital world, but that will require business leaders, governments and educators to work together to make the world a more resilient, more capable and more inclusive place.
“We are bringing the best of our people, capabilities and technology together to support our clients in building trust and delivering sustained outcomes for their businesses and society,” said Dion Shango.
Building PwC’s passionate community of solvers
The most important challenges faced by clients and stakeholders can only be met through multi-disciplinary, diverse teams. PwC is doubling down on its existing commitment to attract and equip its people to meet this need – combining human ingenuity with technology to deliver sustained outcomes whilst building trust across the value chain.
PwC is continuing to attract diverse talent, supported by expanded flexible and remote working as well as progressing the previously announced commitment to upskill its own people. The 100,000 net new jobs will be focused in emerging capability areas, from ESG to AI. In addition, PwC will continue to hire over 30,000 people into early career posts each year, providing training and qualifications that set people up for a strong career either within PwC or elsewhere.
Bob Moritz said: “We want our people to be the most sought after in the market, because they have the technical, digital and human skills needed to build trust and deliver sustained outcomes. We are proud that so many people begin their careers at PwC before moving on and are committed to continuing to support training and development for a new generation of business leaders.”
Here in our Africa region, PwC is taking further action to improve the diversity of our talent. Dion Shango elaborated:
“The diversity of our firm contributes to its growth in various ways. PwC Africa’s goal is to achieve a staff profile reflective of the demographics across the continent and to achieve equality in the workplace. Our people strategy is focused on being the leading developer of talent on the African continent. We are focused on diversity and fostering an inclusive environment.”
Delivering Net Zero, increasing transparency
In addition, the network is mobilising around the commitment made last year to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, which involves transforming its business model to decarbonise its value chain. It is submitting specific science-based targets to the SBTi, and each member firm has appointed a Net Zero leader to enable progress based on local plans.
PwC is also increasing transparency around its own operations, through expanded reporting based on the World Economic Forum/International Business Council metrics, as well as the recommendations of the World Business Council on Sustainable Development.
Bob Moritz went on to say: “There is a strong need for stakeholders from across society to work together. Whether it’s the pandemic, climate change, social injustice or the digital divide, there is a growing expectation that businesses have a role to play in addressing broader societal issues. Our new strategy is about helping clients address their toughest challenges and delivering for society and the planet.”
Dion Shango concluded: “Our Africa firm actively supports our global commitment to become net zero by 2030. This is an ambitious target that will require the reshaping of our operations, working across our value chain and engaging in public policy discussions. We are also committed to supporting our clients in their sustainability journey. We are equipped to support organisations with insights including energy transitions, TCFD alignment, net-zero strategy and implementation, circular economic opportunities, carbon tax, carbon emissions assurance and much more.