Big four hit

PwC partners take 10% earnings cut as profits fall

Claire Reid PwC

Claire Reid: ‘started the year well’

Partners at big four accountant PwC saw a cut in their earnings as the firm’s profits for the year to the end of June fell 8% to £938m.

Distributable profit per partner was down 10% to £685,000 as the firm prioritised protecting jobs.

Revenue increased for the year ended by 3% to £4.38 billion, despite the exceptional circumstances of the pandemic.

Kevin Ellis, UK chairman and senior partner, said: “I’ve been impressed by the resilience of our people and business as we’ve adapted to new ways of working.

“As is to be expected the pandemic had a significant impact on our financial performance in 2020, however I am proud that we have continued to invest in our people and regional growth opportunities.


“We were clear in our response to the crisis from day one that we prioritised providing support and reassurance to our people. We took an early decision not to take government funding through the furlough scheme or loans.

“Supporting our people enabled us to continue to deliver for our clients. Through the hard work of our partners and staff we have maintained our focus while recognising it’s been a difficult time for everyone and that many of our people have been personally impacted.”

Claire Reid, regional leader for PwC in Scotland, commented: “While our business was impacted by the effects of the pandemic, we have started the current financial year well, which has allowed us to continue to invest in the business, upskilling our people and taking on more than 100 student graduates.

“With the rescheduled COP26 taking place in Glasgow in 2021, we will undoubtedly see an increased focus from businesses as they plan their paths to Net Zero, while we expect demand to be driven by the predicted deals-led recovery, and businesses’ drive to become more tech-enabled.” 

In September, Deloitte announced a 16% fall in annual profit, and a 17% cut in average partner pay to £731,000.

EY performed better, with average partner pay down just 1.8% to be £667,000. KPMG will report annual results in the new year.

Smaller rival BDO also said that, with merger benefits stripped out, annual profits were down.

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