June 23, 2018

We Finally Found a Service That a Big 4 Firm Won’t Provide

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One thing we talk about around here from time to time is the fact that Big 4 firms want to be the proverbial Walmart of professional services. If you’re a business and you need a service, you can pick one firm and they’ll do pretty much anything and everything. If you’re an important enough client, they may even make something up just for you (see: General Electric). The exception, of course, is assurance services which have those pesky independence rules. So pick one firm to be your auditor and then give the rest of your work to another firm. Simple!

One area where mega firms have made some noise is creative aka digital services. This is essentially an advertising agency within an accounting firm that does design, development and user experience and a slew of other things that a typical accounting firm has no business doing. Big 4 firms, however, have money to burn so they can throw some money at a boutique agency if they feel like it and presto they offer that creative service now.

However! It seems that we’ve found a limit to at least one Big 4 firm’s ambition when it comes to digital services. PwC Digital is not interested in doing your media buys:

[O]ne thing PwC Digital Services doesn’t have an interest in building is its own agency trading desk to run programmatic campaigns for clients.

“Media buying is not the most complex marketing problem that our clients want to solve,” said John Swadener, chief operations officer for PwC Digital Services. “We are working with clients on in-house media, but we don’t want to — and will not — get into media buying.”

Okay, so PwC won’t do that, but they will help you spend a gazillion dollars building your own:

[I]f a software company wants to move programmatic in house, Swadener’s team will help the brand figure out how many people it needs to hire in order to manage the new processing, how to structure the teams, the proper technology platforms and how to implement the technology.

Always ready to serve.

[Digiday]

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In Case You Need Another Reason to Hate the French

french flag.jpgWalking around the PwC office in Midtown Manhattan, our blogospondent in the field happened across a couple of young ladies having the picture taken in front of the P Dubya sign out front, proudly posing as if it was their names on the building at 300 Madison.
Said blogospondent approached the young ladies and asked if they worked at the P Dub and they responded in heavily French accents, “yes”. As result of further prying, it was revealed that the ladies do work a lot during “busy times”, sometimes between 50 and 60 hours a week!
This compared to an American tax associate who we spoke to just a couple days before who, in the last fifteen days, had worked 185 hours.
Let’s recap: America – 185 hours in 15 days in the middle of June vs. France – 50-60 hours in one week during the “busy time”.
American vitriol towards the French may now ensue.

PwC Needs a Lesson or Two in Spin

240px-PricewaterhouseCoopers.svg.pngIn, lets talk about anything but Satyam, PwC news, the largest Big 4 firm was rated highest among professional service providers on brand recognition in the Brand Finance Top 50 ranking of Best Brands of British Origin.
“Chairman of PwC [in the UK] Ian Powell said the recognition was ‘testament to the strength and reach of our clients, the talents of our people, and the contribution that we make to the wider community.'”
We won’t take anything away from PwC but sometimes bad news is the best news for brand recognition. So this whole Satyam thing is probably not getting the credit it deserves. Come on P. Dubs! Lemons into lemonade!

PwC most recognised professional services brand
[Accountancy Age]