Price Waterhouse Coopers, LLP, known as PwC, serves companies across the globe by providing accounting, assurance, financial advisory, and crisis management services.
The PwC mission statement has evolved over the years, but their website currently lists it as, “Our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems.”
Table of Contents
3 Core Values
- Act with integrity
- Make a difference
- Work together
- Reimagine the impossible
What we know today as PwC, used to be Price Waterhouse, est. 1849, and Coopers & Lybrand, est. 1854, respectively. Both companies started in London and had name changes as new partnerships were formed along the way.
Although the history notes available are not fleshed out, the respective business owners had some differences in the way they chose their partnerships. Samuel Lowell Price brought on new partners to expand his business ventures, whereas William Cooper chose partnerships with the “family business” approach, as most of his business partners were either related to him or each other.
Both companies would go on to expand to the United States during the 1890s. Accounting in America had no real professional standard, nor was there anyone of authority to regulate how it was done. The two firms were both involved in establishing the profession, terminology, rules, and ethics that had to be abided by, etc., based on British principles.
A new way of working…
At the turn of the 20th century, the companies would both see a struggle of how things were done in the historically British way as compared to the newer Americanization of the practice.
Price Waterhouse went on to dominate the industry as the profession was regulated in a monolithic fashion by the 1930s. In essence, they had a good recipe for success and could use it to their advantage for a good few decades before they would need to reinvent themselves.
Cooper Brothers, as it was known, slowed down in growth, as they were not quite as far ahead during the Great Depression. However, a lifeline was thrown their way as they were to be in charge of a nationwide federal audit of banks in the United States.
Entering the modern era…
The final name of Cooper Brothers becoming Coopers & Lybrand occurred in 1957. Price Waterhouse World Firm came to be named as such in 1982. The industry saw great reform and change from the 1970s onward as technology would take the world by storm. The thought of digital paper trails was becoming a reality, as money and business were now being conducted by using computers – a costly integration.
By 1998 the final merge between the two major companies would occur, and Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) was formed.
The IT giant, IBM, acquired PwC in 2002 for a whopping $3.5 billion; however, PwC would continue to operate with their own name and branding. By 2010, they started using PwC formally but kept the full name of Price Waterhouse Coopers, LLP, as their legal name. This is to pay homage to the original founders.
In spite of a tumultuous economy and a world pandemic, it is said that PwC still provides services and counsel to 84% of companies that feature in the Fortune 500.
|Name||Price Waterhouse Coopers, LLP (legally) / PwC (trading as)|
|Industries served||Business and Finance (accounting and crisis management), 26 industries in total|
|Geographic areas served||Worldwide (156 countries)|
|Current CEO (2023)||Robert E. Moritz (Global Chairman)|
|Revenue||$45 Billion (PwC Finance report, 2021)|
The company is fundamentally in the business of seeing to the success of the companies they serve. Their vision reflects this exceptionally, as indicated in their statements regarding the Covid-19 pandemic:
They recognize how the pandemic evolved and how it affected people, businesses, and societies around the world. There’s a growing realization that there is a new normal and an opportunity where economic and social progress can be aligned.
“Creating a common purpose will help to steer (sic) business through the next stage of evolution, as the systems upon which economies and societies depend are disrupted and evolve.”
The company has declared the following: “Our values define who we are, what we stand for, and how we behave.”
Act with integrity
The company vows to do the right thing, even when it is hard, to expect and deliver the highest quality service, and to make decisions with regards to business as if their personal reputations are at stake.
Make a difference
PwC vows to stay informed and in tune with the world, have a positive impact on its employees, clients, and communities, and remain agile to acclimate with change in the world.
There is a conscious effort to understand individuals and what is important to them, to recognize intrinsic value and contribution, and to nurture the best parts of people.
They seek to integrate innovation and knowledge by way of collaboration and strong relationships, inclusive of many perspectives and ideas, with the opportunity for all to provide feedback on where improvements can be made.
Reimagine the impossible
PwC aims to always challenge the old and try the new, use past failures as lessons for the future, and approach what “could be” with an open mind.
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After the 25th Annual Global CEO Survey, the tagline “Building trust for today and tomorrow” was chosen for 2023. On the premise that other companies who are focusing on the “here and now,” only trying to survive the pandemic, are losing the trust of their clients. PwC aims to last another 150 years and does not want to make use of the “it’s the next leader’s problem” line of thinking.