PwC is the brand under which the member firms of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited (PwCIL) operate and provide professional services. Together, these firms form the PwC network. ‘PwC’ is often used to refer either to individual firms within the PwC network or to several or all of them collectively.
In many parts of the world, accounting firms are required by law to be locally owned and independent. Although regulatory attitudes on this issue are changing, PwC member firms do not and cannot currently operate as a corporate multinational. The PwC network is not a global partnership, a single firm, or a multinational corporation.
For these reasons, the PwC network consists of firms which are separate legal entities. The firms that make up the network are committed to working together to provide quality service offerings for clients throughout the world. Firms in the PwC network are members in, or have other connections to, PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited (PwCIL), an English private company limited by guarantee. PwCIL does not practise accountancy, provide services to clients or conduct business with third parties. Rather its purpose is to act as a coordinating entity for member firms in the PwC network. Focusing on key areas such as strategy, brand, and risk and quality, the Network Leadership Team and Board of PwCIL develop and implement policies and initiatives to achieve a common and coordinated approach among individual firms where appropriate. Member firms of PwCIL can use the PwC name and draw on the resources and methodologies of the PwC network. In addition, member firms may draw upon the resources of other member firms and/or secure the provision of professional services by other member firms and/or other entities. In return, member firms are bound to abide by certain common policies and to maintain the standards of the PwC network as put forward by PwCIL.
The PwC network is not one international partnership and PwC member firms are not otherwise legal partners with each other. Many of the member firms have legally registered names which contain “PricewaterhouseCoopers”, however there is no ownership by PwCIL. A member firm cannot act as agent of PwCIL or any other member firm, cannot obligate PwCIL or any other member firm, and is liable only for its own acts or omissions and not those of PwCIL or any other member firm. Similarly, PwCIL cannot act as an agent of any member firm, cannot obligate any member firm, and is liable only for its own acts or omissions.