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How tech helps build trust in business

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Wes Bricker

Vice Chair - US Trust Solutions Co-Leader, PwC US

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Kathryn Kaminsky

Vice Chair - Trust Solutions Co-Leader, PwC US

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In today’s rapidly shifting digital landscape, companies are expected to deliver value to stakeholders while continuously adapting to changing realities, especially as technology evolves to create new dynamics and opportunities.

Add to that rising stakeholder expectations and external pressures that are forcing companies to reevaluate how they drive value, transparently disclose information and positively contribute to their communities and society. As a result, building and maintaining trust is critical for our clients across sectors and around the world, and the relationship between digital transformation and stakeholder trust is deeply connected.

At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. We are continually innovating to better discover how technology can help us solve complex business challenges and identify new opportunities — not only for our clients but for ourselves and for society at large. Through our work with clients and our firm’s own digital transformation, we’ve come to understand that a strategic focus on tech and digital has an important role in helping to build trust. 

Here are a few ways we are helping to build trust with our clients through being tech-powered and people focused.

Enhancing audits through technology

Our audit model brings together technologists and auditors to build solutions that advance audits with the power of data-driven decision-making. This human-led and tech-powered approach is part of our ongoing commitment to digital transformation — to maximize impact and minimize disruption for our clients. 

We’re proud of our investments, which include tools built from an enterprise level, or what we call “business-led,” and some built by our people, or what we call “citizen-led.” These tools allow for the combination of our people’s emotional intelligence, sound judgment, professional skepticism and experience with the deep dynamic analysis made possible by machines — a combination far more powerful than either alone.

Through these efforts, our people are equipped to conceive and implement technological changes that benefit our business, manage our costs and enhance process efficiency, so our clients can trust that they are receiving the best quality service and information. Providing our clients with high-quality data allows their stakeholders to make more informed decisions, ultimately building trust in both the company and the capital markets.

After all, the foundations of our markets are built on the ongoing exchange of quality financial information between institutions and investors, and building and maintaining trust in those markets is a role we take seriously.

Leveraging technology for tax modeling

As the new administration continues to roll out its agenda, there are questions about US and global tax policy. It’s a challenging time right now and, given the current environment, it’s more important than ever to help our clients plan effectively to mitigate risk. Through investments in technology and automation, tax functions can be better-prepared with sharper insights that lead to improved transparency, informed actions and increased trust. Tax leaders are already buying in, with 66% investing in new technology to support reporting and 53% optimizing internal tech-enabled processes. We know that our clients expect and deserve our best counsel — so we’ve accelerated the digitization of our tax function by leveraging data from AI technology to better assist our clients with various needs like tax modeling projections.  

Incorporating technology into tax functions can help inform pivotal decisions and make a critical segment of business operations more agile and responsive to change. We need to look at tax beyond an essential business function. It also directly contributes to and affects society by helping fund education, medical and living assistance, and other public benefits.

Building and maintaining trusted relationships with our clients and stakeholders in tax functions, particularly with C-suite leadership and tax directors, is non negotiable.

These leaders depend on tax professionals to understand the intricacies of tax policy and trust that they are going to make the right judgments based on demands in an evolving legislative environment and competitive marketplace. Tax needs a seat at the table. There’s so much at stake.

Tech-enabled ESG reporting

We’re at an inflection point when it comes to a corporate focus on ESG as demand increases for companies to disclose metrics on environmental, human capital, D&I and governance topics. And, as more companies make purpose-led commitments, strategies and milestones are critical. A focus on ESG reporting can help companies better understand where they are, track progress against goals and regularly communicate with stakeholders. However, gathering the necessary investor-grade data requires multiple functions to work together toward common goals and reporting that connects directly to the overall business strategy — a hurdle that most of our clients face. 

Our ESG Pulse tool helps our teams and clients better understand the quality and transparency of their ESG data and pinpoint opportunities for reporting improvements. This level of detailed information allows companies to better understand where they stand on ESG issues so they can proactively and transparently communicate with stakeholders.

We understand the strength that comes from combining people and technology to help our clients realize greater value in all of their efforts.

While we’re focused on delivering quality and value to our clients, we bear the same responsibility to each and every one of our stakeholders: our workforce, our communities, universities, strategic business relationships and others. 

Additionally, we believe that to deliver lasting and meaningful change in the world, every action we take must lead with trust. This is why PwC US has made a $300 million commitment to embed trust-based leadership principles into the core of today’s and tomorrow’s leaders — what we call Tomorrow Takes Trust. As gaining and maintaining trust continues to emerge as a critical success factor for virtually every organization, business leaders must find new ways of working, whether it be in embracing technology or reinforcing their leadership skills, to deliver the necessary outcomes for their stakeholders.

By utilizing innovative technology across our audit, tax and ESG services, we’re living our purpose by enabling our clients and stakeholders to access better, higher-quality information and help build trust within their organizations. And, while it’s true that we’re a business, it’s equally true that our business depends on how we contribute to our communities and help others thrive.  We’re committed and we take action — it’s all connected and imperative to building trust. 

Tell your ESG story to the capital markets with confidence.

Tell your ESG story to the capital markets with confidence.

ESG Pulse can help assess maturity, reduce risks, recalibrate efforts, and benchmark against peers.

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ESG Pulse, A PwC Product

Tomorrow's audit, today

Tomorrow's audit, today

The perfect blend of people + technology

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