Market leader PwC Switzerland sees revenues up CHF 21 million

18.09.2007 | from Pricewaterhouse Coopers

Pricewaterhouse Coopers

18.09.2007, In the 2006-07 financial year ended 30 June 2007, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Switzerland saw fee revenues increase by 3 per cent, or CHF 21 million to CHF 674 million. Employing 2,491 people at fifteen offices throughout Switzerland, PwC remains the clear industry leader, as well as the country’s largest auditor and advisor to SMEs. PwC created 111 new jobs over the last twelve months. Surveys show that the company is seen as the best place to work in its industry in Switzerland. PwC is boosting university-level teaching in financial accounting by funding professorships at universities and colleges of higher education all over Switzerland. In the coming year the firm will invest in expanding its advisory offering and in further improving the quality of its Assurance services. PwC leads its industry worldwide, with a global network of 149,000 people in 149 countries. Alongside his role as CEO of PwC Switzerland, on 1 July 2007 Markus Neuhaus was also appointed CEO of PwC’s Continental European organisation.

Zurich, 18 September 2007 – In terms of net fee revenues, i.e. revenues not including expenses and revenues generated by other PwC companies, PwC in Switzerland grew 5 per cent. Markus Neuhaus, CEO of PwC Switzerland, comments on this growth: “Our results are in line with the global trend and the local market situation. The surge of new regulation is slowing, but demand for high-quality advisory services continues to rise. In this context it’s important to understand that two things determine our success in the market: our specialist know-how, and the way we conduct relationships with our clients. We can only be successful if we combine these two components.”

Constant dialogue with the auditor After strong growth the previous year, gross fee revenues in the Assurance line of service declined 3 per cent in the 2006-07 financial year to CHF 370 million. This development is due to the completion of major one-off projects – conducted to a large extent by experts from PwC companies outside Switzerland – related to changes in internal control systems pursuant to the introduction of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Net Assurance fee revenues generated in Switzerland increased 1 per cent year-on-year to CHF 331 million. Edgar Fluri, Partner and Chairman of the Board of Directors of PwC Switzerland, comments: “More and more companies are recognising the importance of high- quality financial statements. These are companies with well organised processes and a functioning internal control system, who also maintain closer dialogue with their auditors throughout the year.”

Audit Supervision Act (RAG): Will public expectations remain unmet? The organisational provisions of the Audit Supervision Act (RAG) were enacted by the Swiss Federal Council back on 1 November 2006, and the new audit oversight authority has commenced work in the meantime. Edgar Fluri: “The public expects the new regulations to eliminate the risk of corporate scandal. But even with the new audit supervision act in place, these expectations cannot be met: as before, the auditors only verify the current state of the company; they do not pass public judgment on its future development. The job of developing and executing corporate strategy is still entirely in the hands of the company’s board of directors and management.”

Demand for Advisory services climbs in the wake of internationalisation The Tax & Legal line of service saw fee revenues climb 17 per cent to CHF 201 million last financial year. “This increase is primarily due to heavy demand for international tax advice and human resources consulting,“ explains Markus Neuhaus. “Fee revenues for the Advisory line of service were up 4 per cent to CHF 103 million. Demand for advice on business, financial and regulatory matters is on the increase, primarily thanks to lively M&A activity, but also because clients are keen to achieve a high degree of compliance and good corporate governance.” Without expenses and services provided by foreign PwC companies, Advisory fee revenues increased 9 per cent. The coming year will see further investment in the Advisory offering.

111 new jobs – successes in recruitment PwC Switzerland created 111 new jobs during the last financial year, and on 30 June 2007 employed 2,491 people from more than 40 nations. Thanks to massive efforts in recruitment, PwC is able to find qualified candidates for around 400 vacancies a year. For the eighth consecutive time, the Universum graduate survey revealed that PwC is seen as the best employer in its industry. In addition to attracting the talent that best fits the organisation, PwC aims to develop new staff and offer them an outstanding place to work. For this reason PwC invested CHF 77 million, or 11 per cent of fee revenues, in staff learning and education last financial year. Markus Neuhaus: “How do you create an outstanding place to work? We asked ourselves this question and came to the conclusion that you can only be aware of needs, special qualities and skills if you’re prepared to listen. Rapid integration of new joiners, permanent training and systematic talent management are just as crucial as a high degree of mobility when it comes to maintaining an outstanding working environment. And a good way of motivating people is to ensure that they have challenging work to do.

Positive client experiences In everything that PwC does, one question is central: What do clients expect from their advisor, and what do clients, shareholders and the regulators expect from the auditor? The realisation that client needs are largely the same over all continents and regions prompted PwC to develop a global client relationship management programme. The name of the programme, PwC Client Experience, says it all: the idea is that clients should always have a positive experience in their dealings with PwC.

Eurofirms: Balancing European integration and flexibility on the national level On 1 July 2007, Markus Neuhaus, CEO of PwC Switzerland, was also appointed new CEO of Eurofirms, PwC’s Continental European organisation. Eurofirms will create additional client value by enabling the organisation to mesh more closely in Europe on a strategic and operational level. The relationship network is one of PwC’s main means of maintaining the same standards of quality in all countries. PwC wants to co-ordinate strategy and management in its core markets more closely. Close ties between the management of Eurofirms and the managements of the national firms enable the company to achieve the optimum balance between European integration and flexibility on the national level.

--- END press release Market leader PwC Switzerland sees revenues up CHF 21 million ---

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