Faculty newsletter

November 2016

Dear Educator,

We are proud to celebrate Veterans Day this month and to honor the men and women that serve this country. Also, during this time of Thanksgiving, we hope you have time to relax and be with family and friends. 

This month, we would like to highlight our post-election updates and insights from the Tax and Health Industry practices. Please continue to share our resources on student debt and our course materials through the Coursera platform. Also, hear from a couple of our firm’s leaders on innovation and shattering the glass ceiling. In addition, we share with you our Holiday Outlook and publications on Audit Quality, Deals, Segment Disclosures and Family Business Survey. 

PwC Makes the 2017 Military Friendly® Employer List

We live in an era when the value of military service in the professional world is unquestioned and unmatched. Our nation’s military members perform highly skilled jobs using high-tech equipment in the most challenging situations around the globe. They develop real-world experience and global diversity. They are leaders who work well in teams and are truly mission-oriented. They are graduates of the premier training institution in the world. We like to call them “military alumni.”

Employers know this, which is why they compete to attract military candidates as employees. What this means is that veterans have countless opportunities on where they can put their skills and benefits to use. They need a consistent and predictable standard that lets them make good choices for major life decisions like where to work.

The 2017 list of Military Friendly® Employers distinguishes elite companies who boast the strongest job opportunities, hiring practices and retention programs for transitioning service members seeking civilian employment. To read the full list, click here

To hear from Chris Crace on the importance of investing in our veterans, click here. Also, hear from Mike Donoghue, PwC Partner & Veterans Affinity Network Leader, on the top 10 things employers should know about veterans and military spouses here.

Election results may provide opportunities for major tax law changes in 2017

November 8 election results indicate that Republican candidate Donald J. Trump has been elected to serve as the 45th President of the United States. At this writing, President-elect Trump is projected to have won at least 276 electoral college votes against 218 for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Moreover, it appears that Republicans will retain control of the next Congress, but with reduced majorities in both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate.

President-elect Trump’s call for action on comprehensive tax reform is expected to receive strong support from Republicans in Congress, but the divisive nature of the 2016 elections means that there will be no “honeymoon” period for the new president. To read more, click here. To see a video recap, click here.

Election Results & Healthcare

Predicting the impact on the health industry

Like a chief executive hired to turn a failing company into a profitable one, president-elect Trump has said he will take an unflinching corporate approach to overhauling the US healthcare system. For an industry that prefers stability to surprises--and one that has worked to adapt to the Affordable Care Act—Trump’s “repeal and replace” agenda may create new uncertainty and opportunity for healthcare leaders. To learn more, click here. Register to download the publication here.

2016 Holiday Outlook

Smart shoppers

Consumers will spend more this holiday season according to our 2016 Holiday Outlook. And they’re looking forward to an enjoyable shopping experience. In their quest for the perfect gift for themselves and others, they will shop at both physical and digital retailers.

Where and when consumers will shop? What drives their purchasing decisions? How retailers are preparing for the season?

Check out videos, trends and download the report for a view into the consumer’s mindset and likely shopping behaviors and retailers expectations and strategies. To learn more, click here.

In case you missed it: PwC’s Coursera Courses now Available

Course one and Course two are now available on the Coursera platform and you can view the syllabus for each course using these links:  1) Data Driven Decision Making and 2) Problem Solving with Excel.   As instructors, you may find the materials useful for personal development.  You could also potentially identify portions of the courses which you could incorporate into your classes to help demonstrate concepts you are teaching. All course materials can be accessed at no charge when enrolling in the individual courses.  (Those enrolling in the specialization to include the capstone will pay a small fee and will receive a certificate of completion).   We hope you will agree this is a valuable resource. To access the press release about this collaboration, click here. To enroll in these courses today, click here.

Spreading Knowledge about Student Loan Debt

In order to build financial capability in the marketplace, we need to address the more than $1.2 trillion of student debt that current exists in the US. As part of our Student Loan Paydown Program we support our people by helping pay down their college loans, but we believe we can do more. 71% of students graduate with student loan debt, and those loans can have a significant impact on long-term financial health. As part of our commitment to youth education, we put together a series of 2 minute videos to help aspiring college students and recent graduates understand and address student loan debt. Striving to tackle one student loan at a time. See the videos about paying for college here and see the videos about managing your finances after college here.

Voice of Experience: Amity Millhiser, Chief Client Officer, PwC US

When Amity Millhiser considers her career with PwC, the word that comes to mind is “expansive.” Over her 20 years with the firm, she has worked across countries, industry sectors and lines of business.

“I am proud that I have been able to have such a multi-faceted career while raising my amazing daughter,” she says. “If you’re courageous enough to pursue the opportunities that are thrown your way and think ambitiously about your future, you can have amazing experiences. I’ve spent my entire career in one firm yet had multiple careers within that framework.”

To learn more about Amity’s experience, click here.

Why Accounting is the Biggest Hub for Innovation

PwC’s revolutionary data-auditing tool, Halo, has been awarded the prestigious International Accounting Bulletin’s ‘Audit Innovation of the Year’. PwC received the award 6th October 2016 in London at the International Accounting Bulletin Forum & Awards.

The award recognizes organizations that, with a new initiative or innovation in audit, have made a major change in improving audit quality, efficiency or added value to clients. Judges consider cutting-edge thinking behind the innovation as well as improvements in efficiency, accuracy and reliability; client satisfaction; contribution to improved audit quality and reliability; and potential to keep the relevance and value of assurance services.

These developments create major opportunities for us to continually meet the changing needs of our clients and other stakeholders and to reshape the assurance landscape by opening up the way to new forms of assurance and audit in the future.

Recently, Maria Moats, PwC’s US Audit & Assurance Leader, wrote an article articulating why Accounting is the biggest hub for innovation. She challenges our professionals to dream big and rethink how to solve complex problems to help drive the profession forward. To hear more from Maria, click here.

Our Focus on Audit Quality

The 2016 edition of our annual audit quality report gives stakeholders a transparent look at the foundation of quality in our assurance practice - and the actions we have taken, and will continue to take, to sustain and build upon audit quality.

We are committed to proactively advancing audit quality. This means developing our people, enhancing our processes, investing in technology so we sustain and build on our recent quality results, and continuing to enhance our culture of excellence and quality.

This report is intended to provide you with detailed information on our quality journey. We’ve included 16 Transparency Data Points to provide additional information about our audit practice and our investment in and focus on audit quality. You will see how those measures have changed over the course of the past three years, in most cases providing quantitative evidence of our growth and improvement. While not all of the transparency data points we include in this report may be individually directly linked to audit quality, we believe the suite of transparency data points included in this report provides useful information that—particularly when combined with additional context and discussion—offers valuable insight to our stakeholders. To read more and download the report, click here.

Deals Industry Insights

More M&A insights in more places

A powerful and nuanced understanding of an industry can highlight hidden ways to achieve your goals. We keep a pulse on industry dynamics impacting your business by bringing together insights from across our network on a quarterly basis.

Whether you want to be the driving force for change in your sector, or simply expand where you play today, we can match you with professionals and breaking insights to help you identify new opportunities. To read the current insights, click here.

Point of view: Segment disclosures - going beyond the basics

Segment disclosures included in the notes to the financial statements provide users with insights into how the chief operating decision maker (CODM) allocates resources and assesses the performance of the company’s segments.

The disclosures are based on “management’s approach,” and are intended to provide stakeholders with a view of the business through the eyes of management. As a result, a company’s operating segments may be based on the nature of the business activities, the regulatory environment, the geographies in which it operates, or some combination of factors. Operating segments are based on how the CODM views the business, therefore, the segments and the segment performance metrics may not be comparable with peer companies. To read more, click here.

2016 Family Business Survey

The 'missing middle': Bridging the strategy gap in family firms

This is the 8th PwC Family Business Survey and it’s the largest yet.  We’ve spoken to firms approaching their first generational transition, and those that can measure their longevity in centuries. We’ve talked to founders, next gens, and professional CEOs. We discussed global megatrends such as digital and globalization, and the challenges of ‘keeping it in the family’.

Key issues stay constant year-on-year, but there is also change.  In 2012, the dominant themes were skills, scale and succession. By 2014, this evolved to a focus on the need to professionalize both the business and the family. This agenda is far from complete, though progress is being made.  This year, the shift is perhaps more fundamental: from the short term and tactical, to the medium term and strategic. To learn more, click here.

Best Regards,

Julie Peters, US University Relations Leader

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