Vault Guide to the Top 20 Accounting Firms, 2010 UK EditionPricewaterhouseCoopers (UK) LLPIN THE NEWSMarch 2009: Good vibes all aroundIn the Times’ listing of the Best 100 Companies for 2009, PwC came in No. 7 under the“professional services” category. A survey conducted by the publication revealed that 73 percent of employees think the training they get is a “great benefit” to them, and 81 per cent“believe their jobs are good for their personal growth.”December 2008: Mixing auditing with consultingThe Financial Reporting Council, the UK accounting regulator, recently rapped PWC fortaking advantage of loopholes to push its consulting services to audit clients during 2007.The Council criticised the practice whereby senior partners who were involved in makingkey audit assessments (but outside the audit department itself) sold audit clients the firm'smore lucrative advisory services. While this practice isn't strictly prohibited, it has beenheavily discouraged since the 2001-2002 Enron and WorldCom accounting scandals.Relying on higher-yielding non-audit work raises the likelihood of a conflict of interest, as itis believed that audit firms who take on double-duty are less likely to question financial dataprovided by their clients. Richard Sexton, UK head of assurance at PwC, disagreed with thecriticism, however. “We are completely satisfied that our remuneration practices areconsistent with ethical and auditing standards and the principles involved,” he told theFinancial Times. In 2000, PwC became the first of the then-Big Five firms to separate its audit, tax andbusiness advisory services from its management consultancy as a means of ensuring itsindependence as an auditing firm. The decision to split followed mounting speculation thatPwC was considering a break-up as well as moves by the U.S. Securities and ExchangeCommission to monitor audit independence rules more strictly. December 2008: Job cutsPricewaterhouseCoopers announced that it would trim at least 100 jobs across most servicelines by offering voluntary redundancies to staff. In a press release about the cuts, a PwCspokeswoman said, “From time to time we offer voluntary severance terms such as this.Despite difficult economic conditions, however, we are continuing to invest and recruit ingrowth areas and take long-term investment decisions for the benefit of our clients, ourpeople and our business.” September 2008: Administering the biggest failure of them all Accounting firms are appointed as administrators left and right these days, raking in profitsas companies fall victim to the recession, yet PwC's appointment to oversee the LehmanBrothers liquidation stands out, to say the least. Lehman had almost US$639 billion inVisit Vault at europe.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.