Not Your Father’s Accounting Firm

I popped over to the PricewaterhouseCoopers website yesterday in search of some current venture capital statistics from the always excellent MoneyTree survey.
Thought I had landed on the wrong website and actually did a Google search to see if the domain name had changed.
It’s a new, very NOW branding initiative, much discussed at a PwC alumni event .   A big, bold refresh– the first since the merger of Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand in 1998 that yielded the squished typeface logo.
The new branding identity will be controversial and much discussed.  I think it’s fabulous.  Truly breakthrough.  Very exciting.  It telegraphs a strong message that PwC will have a bold, fresh approach in serving client needs.
It follows a very Hollywood axiom in the Media & Entertainment world (where PwC handles the Oscar tabulations, as you know…)   Don’t just say it, show it! 
TREND ALERT: Look for others in the staid world of professional services to loosen up their visuals and migrate out of the staid look of the previous millennium.
A few months ago, I was interviewed by a McKinsey consultant regarding finance hiring decisionmakers and their perceptions of the Big Four accounting firms.  Does anyone ever specify previous experience from a specific firm?  Not really.
There is often a requirement for a CPA certification with a career foundation in Big 4 public accounting, but there is typically no preference regarding where the candidate gained the experience.  What they want is the credential + discipline + training + personal/professional rigor.  The next ”must have” might look like this:  public company experience within a certain revenue range in a specific industry sector, rapid growth via M&A;, etc.
But recruiting new, young talent into the accounting firms is a totally different matter.  Millennials are seeking an experience that’s meaningful to them.  One that will give them rotational assignments, training, growth, excitement and challenge.  A cool place to work!
Definitely, the Big 4 and other public accounting firms have variances in their internal cultures — work/life balance attempts, career tracks for women, diversity initiatives.
But the new PwC brand identity will be an attention-getter within a young demographic.  It was designed to play well in the digital world, including social media.  Expect lots of buzz and a splintered range of Love It/Hate It opinions.
Too much fun!
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One Comment

  1. Nancy, I was a recruiter for PwC for six + years and when my husband (who still works there as an M&A; Consultant) showed me the logo all I could think of was "The Partridge Family"! Thanks for a great post.

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