Revenues increase at PwC as all four areas of business grow

Ian Morrison, PwC's Yorkshire and North East regional leader.
Ian Morrison, PwC's Yorkshire and North East regional leader.
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Professional services firm PwC UK saw reported revenue rise 5 per cent during the year ended June 30, 2018, as it continued to invest in staff and technology.

PwC reported revenue of £3.76bn, up 5 per cent from £3.6bn the previous year with the professional services firm seeing growth across all four of its business areas.

Kevin Ellis, chairman and senior partner at PwC, said: “Despite uncertainty over Brexit, all four of our business divisions grew this year, with high demand for technology-related services, including cyber, data analytics and GDPR.

“Twenty-nine per cent of the firm’s revenues came from inbound, organisations headquartered outside the UK, highlighting the importance of the UK as a global business hub.”

Revenues in its assurance business increased by 3 per cent, while consulting revenues were up by 1 per cent.

Deals grew by 10 per cent, and the tax practice, which includes specialists in areas such as immigration, legal services and pensions, experienced growth of 7 per cent.

The auditing industry has been under the spotlight over the past year. PwC has come under fire for its audit of the accounts of the now-defunct retailer BHS ahead of its sale in 2015.

Sir Philip Green sold the business to Dominic Chappell for £1 and over a year later BHS collapsed. The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) levied an unprecedented fine on PwC for its shortcomings during the auditing of the retailer’s accounts. The FRC also fined PwC over misconduct in relation to the audit of RSM Tenon.

Mr Ellis said: “This year we settled two Financial Reporting Council investigations (BHS and Tenon) where our work fell below the standards expected of us and that we demand of ourselves.

“Our goal is always to deliver work of the highest calibre. When we get things wrong we put our hands up, learn the necessary lessons and improve our processes.

“Audit remains a fundamental part of the firm and the commitment to continuously improve audit quality is at the forefront of our strategy.”

PwC has launched tech degree apprenticeships at five UK universities, including one in conjunction with Leeds University.

Ian Morrison, inset, PwC’s Yorkshire and North East regional leader, said: “Investing in our regional footprint is a priority for the firm and I’m delighted that the Leeds office was one of five regional centres to launch the tech and data degree apprenticeships this year which we will run in conjunction with Leeds University.

“On September 24, 36 apprentices will join the firm as part of the fully funded degree course, this is in addition to 58 graduates who have already joined the wider practice this summer.

“Ensuring that we have the right skills, increased levels of specialisms and technologies to assist with the challenges facing our clients in the future is essential.”

The professional services giant said it had made a significant investment in cloud-based technologies. “We are adopting new technologies to ensure our business is efficient and connected for the future,” Mr Ellis said.

“We’ve made a step change in our own digital transformation this year with significant investment in cloud-based technologies such as Google for Work, Salesforce, and Workday, as well as continuing to invest in emerging technologies expertise in AI, virtual reality and a drones team to build and innovate client services.”