Price Waterhouse Coopers

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  • Topic: Big Four auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Edwin Waterhouse
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  • Published : September 23, 2011
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Price Waterhouse Coopers|
Intermediate Accounting|

Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) is an accounting firm, “the 5th largest privately held business in the US” ("Pricewaterhousecoopers us audit," 2009) and “one of the world’s largest professional service firms. ("Pricewaterhousecoopers: company profile," 2009). It is one of the four dominate global accounting firms which also includes: Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Ernst and Young International, and KPMG International. Its other major competitors are BDO International B.V., The Boston Consulting Group, Grant Thornton International, Deloitte Consulting and The Management Network Group, Inc. ("Pricewaterhousecoopers: company profile," 2009). Price Waterhouse Coopers has a long history. It can trace its origin back to two firms. Both firms began in London during the mid-nineteenth century. “Price Waterhouse was founded in 1850 by Samuel Lowell Price, who wanted to take advantage of England’s recent parliamentary laws requiring the examination of a company’s financial records.” ("Pricewaterhousecoopers - company"). In 1865, Edwin Waterehouse became Price’s partner. A number of years later William Cooper started his own firm. Both firms went through several mergers and transitions and became two of the big six accounting firms. They ultimately merged together in 1998 and formed Price Waterhouse Coopers. ("Pricewaterhousecoopers us audit," 2009). Its three main divisions are assurance, advisory, and tax services. In 2008, its assurance division provided half of its revenues followed by the tax and advisory divisions respectively, the tax division earned slightly more than the advisory division. ("Pricewaterhousecoopers: company profile," 2009). PWC’s audit and assurance division provide services such as valuations, IFRS conversions, pensions and share plans, listings, corporate treasury, and company secretarial functions. It includes both financial and regulatory reporting. ("Pricewaterhousecoopers: company profile," 2009). According to PWC’s Online Campus Magazine its “assurance teams ask questions, test assumptions, and provide assurance that companies are reporting information that investors and others can rely on”. ("Who we are," 2009). The advisory department helps clients “anticipate create and manage change. This includes unplanned change. For example when new laws and regulations are passed or unanticipated market events happen. Planned change represents management’s decisions around growth, expansion, cost reduction, and strategic transformation.” ("Who we are," 2009). PWC’s advisory department handles both types of change. PWC’s tax division assists both individuals and corporate clients with tax planning and compliance with tax policies. It provides services in 140 countries and has 23,000 employees that specialize in the tax field. According to the Datamonitor, PwC’s tax department “develops comprehensive integrated solutions by combing industry insight with the technical skills of financial and tax specialists, economists, lawyers and other in-house experts”. ("Pricewaterhousecoopers: company profile," 2009). In the United States, Price Waterhouse Coopers has over 300,000 employees. Its workforce is made up of 27% minorities and 48% women. It was ranked 58th on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best companies to work for in 2009. However, it also had a negative 2% growth in the last year. ("100 best companies," 2009). PwC appears to be proactive in influencing policy setting, industry guidelines and in developing academic standard in the accounting field compared to other companies. One way PwC is proactive is its emphasis on international Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). PwC awarded one million dollars to the IFRS ready grant program. The goal was to encourage college professors to incorporating the standards into it existing curriculum. It also enabled students to access material directly from...
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