PwC Execs. Receive Record-Breaking Pay Amid "Repeated Censure Over Standards"


PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is, perhaps, the best known of the Big Four accounting firms, a category that also includes Deloitte, Ernst & Young (EY), and Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG).

The company has had an immensely successful year, with a recent report out of the United Kingdom noting that "950 members of its top executive tier" are expected to earn " an average profit per partner of £920,000 (USD $1,094,064) in the year to the end of June 2022," a record for the company.

The figure is up from the prior record of £868,000 (USD $1,032,225.60) last year and £765,000 (USD $909,738) in pre-pandemic 2019.

Intriguingly, however, the massive compensation package comes on the heels of "repeated censure over standards at its auditing business."

PwC is currently facing investigations by the UK’s Financial Reporting Council into outsourcing company Babcock, faltering Wyelands Bank, shuttered investment firm London Capital and Finance, and Eddie Stobart Logistics.
Credit: Getty Images

This is not the first time the global accounting giant has been involved in controversies. Per CNN, "In 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged PwC with "improper professional conduct" and violating auditor independence rules."

Despite these missteps -- and ongoing investigations in the UK -- PwC seems thrilled with its current positioning. PwC’s UK chairman and senior partner Kevin Ellis shared a statement about the company's profits per partner:

“Our business is in a strong place thanks to the breadth of our services and clients, the skills of our people, and the investments we’ve made. It has been an exceptional year, but we can’t take this for granted. With economic headwinds facing all businesses including rising costs and the tightness of the labour market, we have to shore up with further investment, particularly in people, skills and technology."
Credit: Getty Images

Ellis went on to conclude:

“These investments are likely to reduce our profit per partner next year but given the expected boost to financial performance over the medium to longer term, it’s right that we make these investments now.”

Do you think PwC executives should have received massive payouts amid ongoing conduct investigations?

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