PracticeAccounting FirmsPwC’s five strategic priorities for becoming ‘the leading professional services firm’

PwC’s five strategic priorities for becoming ‘the leading professional services firm’

Will the firm achieve its strategic aim of becoming synonymous with innovation?

PwC released its annual results earlier this week, with the firm reporting a record revenue of £3.6bn for the year ending 30 June 2017. The figure represented a 5% increase on the £3.44bn revenue recorded in 2016.

PwC UK chairman and senior partner Kevin Ellis commented on the results that the firm’s priority was to support clients, and that investment in “innovative new services”, such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality and cloud technology, would enable clients to “tackle their immediate and longer term challenges and opportunities”.

“We’re transforming our business to ensure we have the right skills and technologies to assist with the challenges facing our clients as a result of the 4th industrial revolution. Building a vibrant and sustainable economy right across the UK is essential for the UK to prosper post-Brexit, and we need to play our part,” said Ellis.

So, what does a closer look at PwC’s strategy report indicate about the firm’s direction over the coming years?

1. Clients are number one

A focus on clients will be “at the forefront” of growth priorities, with strengthening client relationships a key element of the strategy. To do this, PwC has committed to increasing client feedback, and ensuring that the firm offers innovative solutions to resolve client business issues.

2. Growth underpinned by technology

The firm has advocated “sustainable, profitable growth” and investment in “innovative businesses” to strengthen its competitiveness. Investing in the future is a key theme here, with PwC planning to use technology to navigate through uncertain environments, such as Brexit, and manage its business portfolio. Technology-based propositions has been highlighted as a top growth priority.

3. People empowerment

PwC has said that fostering a “flexible mindset and agile workforce” will enable its staff to provide innovative solutions to clients. Vowing to maintain a “shared and inclusive environment”, the firm has also said it would raise awareness around mental health and wellbeing.

In the annual report, PwC noted that social mobility initiatives had resulted in the recruitment of a more diverse workforce. When looking at its 2017 graduate intake, 39% of recruits were first generation graduates, and 74% attended state schools.

Yet, the firm has recently revealed that it has a BAME pay gap of 12.8% and that it needs to do more to ensure BAME talent progression to senior levels.

4. Backing the tech revolution

The firm will focus on working “more efficiently with digital advancements”, ensuring that PwC becomes associated with technology and innovation to foster collaboration between employees, clients and commercial partners. Acknowledging that technology has brought about a “strategic challenge”, the firm looks set to embrace the tech revolution.

5. Integrity and promoting standards

For the firm, leading by example means building a trusted relationship with government, regulators, the public and businesses. Championing initiatives to build a better society are also a priority with social mobility and tax fairness high on the agenda.

‘Innovation’ the 2017 strategy buzzword

Innovation is the core theme of PwC’s strategy plan. The firm has committed to providing innovative solutions to support clients and drive growth, and will be looking to leverage technology as much as possible in order to propel the business forward and ensure success as the UK delves further into the Brexit negotiations.

With the firm now having posted growth for the fourteenth year running, it certainly won’t want to see a decline in its 2018 report. So, will PwC’s aim of becoming synonymous with innovation become a reality?

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