“Our purpose as PwC is to build trust in society and solve important problems. The New Equation will shape how we help to build trust, as well as how we deliver sustained outcomes as a community of problem solvers. Quality is at the heart of everything that we do, and therefore quality is the foundation supporting our execution of The New Equation strategy.”
Our vision for PwC, fuelled by our purpose, is to be the most trusted and relevant professional services network in the world - one that attracts the best talent and combines the most innovative technologies, helping organisations to build trust with their stakeholders and deliver sustained outcomes.
We’re calling our new global strategy The New Equation, and it addresses two interconnected challenges shaping the world today. One of those challenges is to respond to change by delivering sustained outcomes that create value for a broad range of stakeholders, today and tomorrow. Second is the need to build trust at a time when it is both more fragile and more complicated to earn.
During times of uncertainty, organisations, people, communities and other stakeholders look to institutions they can trust. Trust is the bridge connecting an organisation with its people, customers, stakeholders and the world. At PwC Africa, we know that trust isn't something you can buy off the shelf. It's something you earn through every interaction, every experience and every relationship, and every outcome delivered.
As the old saying goes, “Trust takes years to build, seconds to break and forever to repair”.
Building trust and delivering sustained outcomes
The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed many organisations to rethink the way they operate and how they build trust and deliver sustained outcomes. The pandemic has also exacerbated many structural challenges our societies face: global and generational inequality, automation of jobs, rapid growth in digital data, and the rise of cyberattacks. Such increasing complexity has caused individuals and organisations to demand transparency and reliable information that they can trust.
In the current environment, business leaders face two fundamental challenges: first, how to build trust with a broad range of stakeholders, whose expectations of business are higher than ever before; and second, how to adapt their businesses and deliver sustained outcomes in a rapidly changing environment.
We support these current and future leaders through equipping and assisting them to lead their organisations more effectively, manage more complex scenarios, engage and listen to a broader set of stakeholders and act with courage during uncertainty.
It bears remembering that reporting and compliance are just one link in a chain that includes organisational culture, executive mindset, aligned standards, certified professionals, stringent controls, tailored technologies, and appropriate governance.
A community of human-led, tech-empowered solvers
As a business ourselves, we build trust by being transparent and forthcoming. Transparent communication with our stakeholders, including regulators, is very important to us. We also take seriously our responsibility to help our clients and other stakeholders build trust.
At PwC, we are committed to driving a strong culture of quality. Quality is fundamental to all aspects of PwC’s Africa strategy, and we’ve made it one of our stated objectives to continue to support and sustain quality through internal processes, controls, and the support teams that monitor and enhance quality. We know that for our business, like many others, the quality of our services is the foundation of the trust that our clients place in us.
Currently, the audit profession is undergoing deep introspection. The profession has some work to do in regaining and rebuilding trust. There are many organisations and initiatives focused on building trust within the profession. For instance, the South African Auditing Profession Trust Initiative, or SAAPTI, is a voluntary committee established by the audit profession in South Africa. The committee’s members include CEOs of the larger, medium-sized and emerging audit firms. In my capacity as PwC Africa CEO, I currently chair this committee.
SAAPTI’s mandate is to identify proactive responses to the concerns of the financial markets and, importantly, the role that the audit profession has to play in building trust and confidence. Improving the quality of the audit is one of the core issues that SAAPTI is addressing; by doing so, we will all benefit from minimizing the possibility of damaging trust.
The audit and professional services profession needs to continue making progress towards repositioning the profession as a force for good; returning to its core professional principles of integrity, objectivity and due care. As a community of solvers at PwC Africa, we are committed to helping to build trust and deliver sustained outcomes.
More on what PwC Africa is doing in particular, can be read on The New Equation press release here.
It all adds up to The New Equation.
Territory Senior Partner for PwC’s East, West and South Market regions in Africa, PwC South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 11 797 4166
Associate Director, PwC Kenya
Tel: +254 (20) 285 5000