Innovating for a sustainable future, our Research & Development (R&D) strategy

Continuously improving our existing business and developing new services is a key focus for us as it is for any successful business. It is also indispensable to remain relevant for our wider ecosystem:

  • Our clients
  • Our people
  • Industry associations

  • Regulators

  • Students and universities

  • Government

With that in mind, we created the enabling structures to make sure that the way we are organised supports our ambitions. Those enabling structures include:

  • Dedicated transformation teams in our various lines of service,
  • Innovation function coordinated through a small core central team,
  • Development of our Market Research Centre and PwC's Academy,
  • Development of partnerships, as well as

  • Significant investments in our internal IT team’s skills and our product development skills.

 

We are also empowering our lines of services and industries by leveraging platforms and other means of technology. We are currently running four big bets - strategic projects for which we are developing new product-driven service offerings for our Advisory, Assurance and Tax businesses. In this framework, we have for instance worked closely with the PwC US firm on Marketplace for Talent, a turnkey solution which matches client needs with the right set of PwC skills. Our approach of ‘big bets’ with incremental turnover allows us to focus our time and efforts on key strategic R&D areas relevant to our clients.

Overall, on top of the investments of our global Network, in which we participate, PwC Luxembourg manages a transformation and innovation budget of approximately 6% of our turnover, or roughly EUR 29,5 millions invested primarily in our people and local technologies development/adaptation.

Below, we outline some key current areas of focus for our R&D today:

Quality first, purpose always.

That’s what drives us today and it is how we are bringing the audit into the future. Tomorrow’s Audit Today is about reimagining the audit with equal parts automation and human experience. How do we do it? Through a combination of acquired and internally developed solutions, utilising the most recent technologies including AI and machine learning, and through our citizen-led innovation. This is a market leading approach for equipping our people with new skills and giving them the tools and freedom to put this learning to work. The result: auditors who are digitally upskilled and continuously looking for ways to bring innovation and insights along with the integrity, independence and professional scepticism our stakeholders expect. To foster this innovation, our teams are supported by our 41 Digital Accelerators (each receiving and graduating from an intensive 400-hour immersion learning programme), our data scientists and a data ecosystem including our Digital Lab (a virtual space for our people to collaborate, create, and share automations). 

Today our leading platforms include:

  • Aura: our global ERP system, which ensures that work gets done one way - the right way, globally. It is used by over 100,000 auditors worldwide, on every PwC audit. Aura ensures our teams take a consistent, focused and efficient approach to audit risk,
  • Connect: our collaborative workflow tool that provides fast, efficient and secure information sharing at every stage of the audit - creating a better audit experience for clients, and
  • Halo for Funds: our global solution tailored to investment funds. This data-driven solution allows us to test huge volumes of business-critical data, analyse whole populations, improve risk assessment, analysis and testing, and unlock a wealth of insight. 

The leading platforms that power today’s audit are just the beginning, and we continue to develop the next wave of innovation to drive even higher quality.

Alternative and Asset Management players need to focus their energy and time on their core business.

Alternative and Asset Management players need to focus their energy and time on their core business. Not only being a question of cost optimisation, the need for simplification comes with an ongoing support in the delivery or co-delivery of some of their business and/or regulatory requirements such as the preparation of financial statements, accounting, regulatory reporting (e.g. AIFMD, KIID/PRIIPS, etc.). As this truly brings value when it is a smooth process, we have invested in technology both for interacting with our clients and on the data collection and usage.

But, technology and services are nothing without the right solutions and people. We’re continuing to hire new profiles to expand the range of services we offer, always keeping in mind that the delivery model needs to be efficient, secure and provide an exceptional client experience.

On top of those areas of focus for innovation and transformation, we also continuously source new ideas and stay connected as much as possible with our stakeholders. Some examples include:

  1. We created the Idea Lab, our idea-sourcing platform, which has inspired our colleagues to share 200+ ideas via challenges. It has acted as a connecting point to solve our client & market needs with creative solutions.

  2. Our Dragons’ Den event series, which is a unique opportunity for our people to reveal their intrapreneurship mindset and pitch their ideas with a startup mindset, driving them through the innovation journey and turning them into valuable solutions for clients

  3. As a founding member of the LHoFT, we are actively involved in various initiatives set up to support the FinTech sector: mentoring startups such as those participating in the Catapult Kickstarter programme hosted by the Ministry of Economy & the LHoFT and mentoring high school students in the Digital for Financial inclusion hackathon hosted by the Luxembourg Technology School. We have moderated masterclass sessions on content strategy, fundraising and product design and participated as panelists on Tech career days and more recently the VC scholar programme.

  4. We invest significantly in thought leadership papers and surveys. These allow us to deepen our understanding of trends/evolutions and/or specific topics, but also to connect with our clients and stakeholders to embed their views and so get an understanding of which challenges PwC should address. We cover a wide range of topics our clients need insights on, such as Green, Social and Sustainability BondsAsset and wealth management revolution: The power to shape the futureAWM: From 'A brave new world' to a new normal, or our 24th Annual Global CEO Survey.

  5. We invest significantly in platforms like the "Journée de l’Economie", the "PwC Cybersecurity & Privacy Days" or the "AWM Monthly Briefings" series, which group relevant stakeholders of an industry or around a topic and where a focus is to also bring the outside-in view from outside Luxembourg.

  6. We run “Client Advisory Boards” where we invite our clients to exchange with them directly on their industry and/or their most critical business challenges.

  7. We partner in a targeted manner with industry associations and the Union des Entreprises Luxembourgeoises to remain close to the topics most relevant to the industries of our clients and contribute to solving their problems.

  8. Finally, PwC's Academy  is for us a means to ensure that our partners and people invest time to deep-dive into topics relevant for our clients through the design and distribution of training programmes, either in-person or digitally.

Contact us

Rima Adas

Deputy Territory Senior Partner, PwC Luxembourg

Tel: +352 49 48 48 2101

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