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November 27, 2022

PwC Has Rally Caps on After PCAOB’s Expanded Reports

Yesterday afternoon, right about the time I couldn't read another word about PwC's love of CAKE, this tip came through at approximately 7 pm ET:

Tim Ryan just finished up an "emergency" call with all partners and managers about this. Call began at 5:30 EST. 
Mr. Ryan, as we noted this morning, was quoted in Floyd Norris' New York Times column as saying that the firm "takes audit quality very seriously" and that the actions taken by the firm to improve their quality control "not significant enough" in the PCAOB's opinion. And those are things that you would probably expect him to say to the New York Times, considering the situation. 
But back to the alleged "emergency" call. Internal communication by these large firms is also carefully crafted and the highlights our tipster shared with us reflect that the firm:  
“We believe we are in very good shape today”
I guess that depends on whom you ask.
“We are dealing in a very different environment”
Different from 2001? Yes, that's true.  
“Being regulated has negatives, but overall we believe it is positive…"
You can't expect him to sound like a Going Concern commenter, can you?
"They tell us that we are relevant… that people care about what we do.”
Presumably, the "they" here is "clients" and this seems like the pep talk part of the call. 

Overall, the message — both the one in the Times and on the call — has a tone of patience and resilience, again, precisely what you would expect. The firm is hopeful that this will blow over in the coming days and I'm sure there are lots of questions from the the staff and partners. And leadership is eager to rally them, especially while busy season rolls towards its conclusion.     

We'll keep you posted with any additional communication if we receive. If you were on the call and have thoughts, share them below or email us.

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