Ranked as the UK’s eleventh largest consultancy practice, PricewaterhouseCoopers has had a good year, with turnover at £1.8 billion, up 12 per cent compared with an increase of five per cent the previous year.
IT took up the majority of the firm’s capital expenditure of £27 million, due mainly to the purchase rather than the lease of PCs and investment in new systems like CRM. However the firm says it continues to retain tight control over costs, while suffering sharp rises from the increasing burden of regulation. It is also investing in recruitment and training to handle the growth in the business, in particular in Performance Improvement Consulting and increased activity from IFRS and Sarbanes-Oxley.
Its client facing businesses are supported by an internal shared service team and it is continuing to create a flexible and scaleable suite of shared services. It measures quality of service by SLAs and quarterly customer satisfaction surveys. Internal service satisfaction levels have increased from 82 per cent in 2004 to 85 per cent last year. The firm believes that the delivery of client service is only possible if its infrastructure provides continuous support to its partners and staff, and its shared service teams ensure that its infrastructure is maintained effectively.
It has launched a programme to further streamline business processes. Called ‘Making it Easier’, the firm says it aims to reduce the overall administrative burden in the business, simplify processes further and improve systems education and training.