December 19, 2023 - PwC in Belgium grew by 11.7% in fiscal year 2023 (July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023), booking net revenue of EUR 418.1 million. The professional services firm strengthened its position within the sector in its various business lines - Advisory, Assurance and Tax & Legal Services - in an ever-changing market. "As the world continues to transform at a rapid pace, our people gear up to facilitate change and solve important problems for our clients. We are now bringing together our capabilities and expertise in multi competency platforms, to more than ever positively impact topics that really matter," says Axel Smits, Chairman of PwC Belgium. "We want our people to be at the forefront of digital change and invest heavily in digital transformation. So we’re especially proud of being ranked as one of the top five Digital Transformation Leaders by S-Square in 2023, with the highest customer satisfaction score of all companies ranked - clear recognition for our innovative and efficient digital solutions implemented for our clients.” The launch and staged rollout of Chat PwC in 2024 will be a new proof point in this digital transformation.
People: our first priority
With 617 new hires and nearly 10% growth in headcount, PwC now has over 2300 people in its community of solvers. "In 2023 and over the past years we have learned how to best connect people and we remain a true believer in flexibility. We create a strong culture that empowers people and supports how, when and where they work, and we see the positive impact of allowing people to decide on the work pattern that's most effective for them," explains Smits.
95% of PwC Belgium employees trained in Sustainability Academy
By bringing together a unique group of people and skills, PwC is able to tackle the many challenges clients face. Competencies that now also increasingly include data analysis and visualisation, industry and business expertise demand constantly upskilling. Continuous learning is supported by a broad training and coaching programme. In FY23 each employee spent no less than 104 hours on average on training. PwC supports the upskilling of the firm’s entire population with, among other things, its Sustainability Academy. The Academy offers a learner pathway entitled Climate Essentials that consists of everything people should know about climate change and why it’s important for their role within PwC. “Already 95% of our people have completed the Climate Essentials module. The goal is to help teams integrate sustainability into existing offerings and create new cross-competency services to support clients and communities,” says Smits.
PwC Belgium recorded net revenue of EUR 418.1 million for financial year 2023, running from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023, good for a strong growth of 11.7%*.
PwC Belgium's Tax and Legal Services booked growth of 11.3%, with net revenue of EUR 131.8 million. Following the decision in 2021 to dispose of the PwC network’s global mobility business, the business realised significant growth in its legal and tax reporting services. The surge of business transformations at clients and the introduction of new EU customs regulations such as CBAM has resulted in increased demand for PwC Belgium's Indirect and International Tax services in recent months. Clients rely on PwC's expertise to navigate an increasingly complex regulatory and compliance environment and the challenges it brings. Given the legal and regulatory ramifications of many transactions and transformations, we’ve seen similar strong driven performance within PwC Legal. And this in all its areas of expertise, i.e. business law, employment law, public law and tax law, including its tax controversy and dispute resolution practice which has been further strengthened during FY23.
Combining the firm’s Consulting and Deals units, PwC Belgium’s Advisory practice continued its growth path, increasing net revenue to EUR 149.5 million, a rise of 10.6% compared to FY22. A significant part of its growth was driven by helping clients with substantial transformation initiatives enabled by technology, and the further expansion of PwC’s industry footprint. In addition, PwC has also broadened its Deals offerings, for example with services in the context of sustainability. “People and Transformation is a key area of focus, taking us beyond traditional HR capabilities and enabling us to support clients with the broader people themes of their transformation, in particular by leveraging advanced (cloud) technologies,” explains Smits. “PwC Belgium was named Best Assessment and Development Company by the prestigious HR Excellence Awards for helping clients develop their workforce and shape the leaders of tomorrow. A nice recognition for our strong people and reward services expertise.”
The Assurance practice posted revenue of EUR 136.8 million FY23, growing 13.1% - almost EUR 16 million more than the previous year. In financial audit, PwC reinforced its position on the Belgian market as a provider of financial assurance services. In addition, PwC was able to respond to the growing demand from clients for support in rapidly adapting to fast-moving regulatory developments in reporting obligations related to CSRD and ESG topics. ESG related services in combination with accounting advisory services, governance risk and compliance services, as well as internal audit services contributed to a strong performance of PwC’s broader assurance services.
* Adjusted for disposal at network level of the global mobility business in the course of FY22.
PwC invested USD 2 billion in AI Capabilities
In FY23 PwC continued to invest heavily in digital tools and assets. “We continuously research, develop and invest in quality and innovation,” comments Smits. “The rise of generative AI in particular represents a wide range of opportunities for clients.” At network level PwC has so far invested USD 2 billion in expanding and scaling up its AI capabilities. To respond to this rapidly changing digital transformation, PwC continues to conclude new partnerships, enabling its teams to maximise the use of artificial intelligence to support clients. Chat PwC, to be launched in 2024, will offer PwC’s teams in Tax & Legal Services secure and private domain access to OpenAI’s technology in an internal tool. “To do that, we had to make it valuable for the work we do every day, which means bringing in some of our own intellectual property. The model has been populated with data that covers common tax questions and regulations,” explains Smits.
PwC’s commitment and expertise as a trusted partner were again acknowledged by various stakeholders. PwC Belgium was recognised in 2023 for the first time in the Partnership Benchmark survey S-Square. In the survey, PwC was ranked as one of the top five Digital Transformation Leaders, with the highest customer satisfaction score of all companies ranked - in fact, an all-time record score for the research benchmark.
On track for commitment to Net Zero by 2030
In the meantime, PwC is working hard to achieve its net zero GHG commitment by 2030. Our aim of a transition to 100% renewable electricity by the end of 2022 has been achieved, having all of our buildings (Antwerpen, Brussel, Gent, Hasselt and Liège) using 100% green energy. We succeeded in reducing our consumption of natural gas and electricity by 79% and 14% respectively. In 2023, PwC Belgium received the prestigious Ecovadis Gold rating, rewarding the firm for its ongoing sustainability commitment.
“A prime example of PwC’s steadfast investment in innovative green technology is our partnership with the world champion solar car racing team, the Innoptus Solar Team,” comments Smits. “In terms of green mobility, FY23 was also an important year as we set in motion the full electrification of our own vehicle fleet. Given the sustainability focus of our people, we decided to bring forward the deadline for the full electrification of our fleet to 2028 instead of 2030.”
New code of conduct to build trust and deliver quality
Active in regulated professions such as auditing, accounting and tax services, the PwC network continues to set itself very high standards in order to remain a trusted partner for its clients and society. "After a challenging year, we also recognise that our profession and sector have been under pressure recently. More than ever, quality and integrity remain of paramount importance for PwC. By constantly questioning ourselves and critically evaluating our actions, renewing our code of conduct and challenging our people, we invest in being a trusted partner for our clients and society,” explains Smits. In response to an increasingly complex environment and rapid evolution in stakeholder expectations, PwC continuously revisits its Code of Conduct. The latest version of PwC’s Code of Conduct was recently introduced, setting out our core principles — integrity, objectivity, professional competence and due care, confidentiality and professional behaviour. “It shows how our people should turn principles into actions and it holds them accountable for always giving their best,” concludes Smits.
Tess Minnens - [email protected] - +32 497 38 34 31
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