PwC launches global strategy to meet unprecedented change

The New Equation aims to focus on trust and sustainability reveals PwC CEO Dion Shango.

Professional services network PwC has launched The New Equation, a global strategy that responds to fundamental changes in the world, including technological disruption, climate change, fractured geopolitics, and the continuing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The New Equation focuses on two interconnected needs, being to build trust and deliver sustained outcomes.

Dion Shango, CEO for PwC Africa says, “The launch of our new global strategy comes at a time of unprecedented change – it will enable PwC teams to support clients and other stakeholders across the African continent to move toward greater sustainability and more inclusive growth, as well as to drive their digital evolution.

“The strategy will shape how PwC Africa develops in the coming years as we seek to deliver against our purpose in society – which is to build trust and solve important problems. As part of the strategy, we are making substantial investments to further enhance audit quality and expand our capabilities.”

PwC’s multidisciplinary model is the foundation for the strategy, and the model will enable investment at scale in the combination of capabilities that is essential to delivering quality and impact for clients, stakeholders and society.

PwC firms will invest $12 billion (R169.14 billion) over the next five years, creating over 100,000 net new jobs, as well as continuing to develop the skills of partners and employees.

“From an SA perspective, to bring that to light, we would need to increase the existing headcount of 5,000 people by at least 50 percent,” says Dion. “We are still working through those particular details.

“The diversity of our firm contributes to its growth in various ways. PwC Africa’s goal is to achieve a staff profile reflective of the demographics across the continent and to achieve equality in the workplace. Our people strategy is focused on being the leading developer of talent on the African continent. We are focused on diversity and fostering an inclusive environment,” he adds.

Planned investments include ESG by expanding centres of excellence for specialists, quality by enhancing quality across its businesses, leadership institutes to support clients and stakeholders, and technology, with a focus on being human-led and tech-powered.

“The increase in tech will amplify our ability to cover much larger datasets. So, if we can continue to invest in tech and develop it in such a way that allows us to cover greater and greater datasets, this will increase our ability to uncover fraud and add value to the users of those financial statements than we have ever been able to,” Dion says.

In addition, the network is mobilising around the commitment made last year to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, which involves transforming its business model to decarbonise its value chain.

“This is an ambitious target that will require the reshaping of our operations, working across our value chain and engaging in public policy discussions,” he says. “We are also committed to supporting our clients in their sustainability journey. We are equipped to support organisations with insights including energy transitions, TCFD alignment, net-zero strategy and implementation, circular economic opportunities, carbon tax, carbon emissions assurance and much more.”