Accounting goes to Hollywood

When the winners of this year’s Academy Awards are announced on 5 March, film
fans will be able to rest assured that the votes have been accurately compiled
by Brad Oltmanns and Rick Rosas, the PwC partners who will be responsible for
the balloting process.

Ahead of the big night, Oltmanns and Rosas will lead a small, ‘close-mouthed’
team of accountants to a secret location where they will spend 1,700 ‘person
hours’ counting and verifying the votes cast by the Academy’s 6,000 members.

The vote counting is a unique and rare privilege. Over the last 72 years only
12 PwC partners have been allowed to count the ballots.

Oltmanns, the managing partner of PwC Los Angeles, said that each and every
vote would be counted by hand to ensure accuracy and security.

‘PwC has created a process based on hand tabulations that has worked for more
than seven decades. Just the way Rolls-Royce continues to build cars by hand, we
continue to count by hand,’ said Oltmanns.

PwC began this year’s vote counting by mailing eligible Academy members the
nomination ballots in December. Final ballots forms will go out this month.

Oltmanns and Rosas will then receive all votes and begin the process of
manually tabulating the responses according to Academy rules.

The PwC partners will gave to memorise all the winners as a back-up, in
addition to producing two sets of complete envelopes holding the winners’ names
which will be couriered to the ceremony via secret routes.

The two PwC men will remain backstage for the whole ceremony, passing the
envelopes to the presenters as they walk on stage.

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