Hi, I’m Bob Moritz, Chairman of the PwC network and welcome to our Global Annual Review.
Before you explore our report, I wanted to share a few highlights with you. We all know the world of work is unrecognisable from over 30 years ago. Even when looking at the changes that have come in the last 5 or 10 years, from smartphones to the internet to AI and automation, how we work today looks very different.
While this has brought benefits for us, our stakeholders and society, we’ve also seen some pressing challenges.
How do we keep up with the skills required to create and use these technologies to their full advantage? How do we upskill our people to harness innovation in new and different ways? And how do we make sure no one gets left behind, as artificial intelligence and robotics revolutionise the workplace and workforce?
As a global organisation, we have a responsibility to help people adapt to the future. Not just at PwC but the communities in which we live and work.
So how are we going to do this? First, we are going to speed up our own efforts by investing very heavily in upskilling our people. Second, we are encouraging other businesses to join us on the upskilling journey. And third, and equally important, we're making upskilling a key focus of our societal initiatives around the world.
This is the beginning of a journey that I believe will bring real positive change so watch for further news and developments.
Thanks to the hard work, enthusiasm and ingenuity of our 276,000 people around the world, our revenues grew by 7% in FY19. Despite some very tough competition, each of our lines of business continued to grow and we saw increased revenues in all of the major regions and countries where we work.
This growth is driven by our continued investment in people and technology. Working together right across our business to help clients tackle their most pressing issues – transforming to use the latest technologies to their full advantage – managing risk and regulation – embracing technology and executing deals.
Most importantly, we continue to invest heavily in the quality of our services. We know there is always more that we can do to improve quality and we remain committed to that as a top priority for PwC. Nothing is more important for our brand and our reputation than the quality of our work.
Audit has played a crucial role in the operation of the capital markets around the world for over a hundred years and it will continue to play that role in the future. But there are challenges that must be faced. As businesses change – becoming faster and more complex – and stakeholders expectations rise – so the need for assurance increases and the audit must evolve. With the talent that we have today and the new technologies available to us, we have a real opportunity to evolve the audit to deliver more.
But we can only do that by working together with all those involved in the corporate reporting ecosystem. To find a solution that works for everyone and most importantly delivers high-quality, relevant audits.
We are working on a series of proposals and actions which we plan to discuss with stakeholders around the world on how to achieve this. It is not going to be easy but it is essential if we are to deliver the audits of tomorrow and help build better trust in the capital markets.
As well as challenges there are many opportunities. Organisations are no longer judged just on their financial performance. There are many other drivers of value and reputation: how an organisation deals with risks, the role it plays in the community, its impact on the environment, and how it treats its people and stakeholders.
In all of these areas, stakeholders are looking for a “window” into the company and someone to assure them of the quality of what the company reports. Stakeholders are rightly demanding more and we’re listening.
In today’s complex and fast-moving world, our stakeholders demand that we use technology more effectively. They tell us they need more insight and faster, real time answers. At PwC, we’re taking action to achieve just that. We’re on a digital transformation journey. Our aim: to be one of the most cloud-enabled organisations in the world.
So please take a moment to explore the review and learn more about how we are using technology to transform our business, our clients’ businesses and wider society.