Uncertainty over bonuses delays PwC publishing its UK accounts
CONSULTING firm PwC has delayed publishing its annual accounts by four months as bosses try to determine how much pay and bonuses it can afford to pay staff and partners.
The Big Four firm said it will publish its UK accounts in January rather than in September. Its full global financial results, which showed revenues of $42.4bn (£32.4bn) last year, are expected to be released next week.
PwC delayed promotions, pay rises and bonuses for its 22,000 UK employees in April while it fought to preserve cash. Consultants have been hit hard during the pandemic as clients cut non-essential spending and delay longterm projects. Firms fear that business could slump as much as 10pc next year even if there is no repeat of this year’s extended lockdown, according to industry research.
PwC’s 900 partners are paid from the profits left after all other expenses have been paid at the end of its financial year, which runs to June 30. They received an average of £765,000 each last year but the firm pledged earlier this year to protect jobs and for partners to bear the brunt of the financial pain inflicted by the pandemic.
Partners took a 20pc hit to their monthly distributions during the pandemic. The firm has not been able to decide how much to pay partners until it makes a final call on the bonuses it hands to its rank-and-file auditors, accountants and consultants. Unlike rivals such as KPMG, BDO and Grant Thornton, the firm has not used the furlough scheme and has avoided making redundancies.
A PwC spokesman said: “In keeping with our focus throughout the pandemic, our current priorities are managing our business, supporting our clients and preserving jobs before we make any decisions about the quantum of the bonuses we pay to our staff and distributions to partners.”
The publication of gender and ethnicity pay gap data, which is affected by pay and bonuses, will also be delayed until January. The accounts will still be within the statutory deadline if they are filed in January.
PwC generated £4.2bn in UK revenue and £1bn in profits last year.