August 18, 2018

Let’s Wildly Speculate About Why PwC Is Shopping Its Government Services Practice

pwc culture

This Reuters story reports that PwC is looking to sell its government services, perhaps “to pursue the growing business of auditing government agencies.” The story says that Morgan Stanley is running the sale and private equity firms Veritas and Madison Dearborn Partners are two potential buyers. None of the firms mentioned commented for the Reuters story.

As for the work that PwC might be pursuing, there’s a new big fish:

One of biggest audits in history, the audit of the U.S. Department of Defense, kicked off this month and is due at the end of the government’s 2018 fiscal year.

According to Pentagon records, PWC, one of world’s largest auditing companies, has been contracted to provide “audit-readiness” services to the department.

“The Department is engaging auditors to perform over 24 individual financial statement audits of its largest components, as well as a Department-wide consolidated audit to summarize all results and conclusions on a DoD-wide basis,” a Pentagon spokesman said.

Gad. The Defense Department has something in the ballpark of $2.4 trillion in assets and is one of the most iconic organizations of any kind. So, indulge me while I speculate a bit.

Although PwC is fully committed to expanding its lucrative advisory business, the DoD is the type of crown jewel audit client the firm craves. By spinning off the government consulting arm, the firm would be able to pitch its services “With the full commitment to the integrity of the process” something-something. I’m sure the exact language on the RFP PowerPoint is being agonized over right this second.

But don’t think for a second that PwC is having a come-to-Jesus moment over independence. If they secure the audit, after a year two on the job, some slick client service partners will start pointing out the most Byzantine areas of DoD’s sprawling bureaucracy, and how the firm can help make them more efficient. Since the average DoD contract is worth something in the neighborhood of eleventy billion dollars, PwC should be able to rebuild its government consulting practice in about six months.

I’m sure someone at PwC has already thought this through. If not, you can thank me later, Tim.

[Reuters]

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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]