This AI system is designed to alleviate the increasing compliance burden and complexity faced by businesses in a global context.
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC), one of the world’s leading accounting and consulting firms, has partnered with OpenAI to integrate Artificial Intelligence (AI) into its advisory services. This innovative collaboration marks a significant milestone as PwC becomes the first of the Big Four audit firms to embrace AI technology for offering advice to clients.
PwC Expanding the AI Initiative
Harvey, another AI startup backed by OpenAI, is also a key player in this transformative partnership, specializing in professional services. Together with OpenAI, this collaboration is set to revolutionize the way PwC operates.
While PwC has not disclosed the exact value of its partnership with OpenAI and Harvey, recent reports highlight that the UK business is making a substantial investment, allocating £100 million ($122 million) to AI in 2023.
The professional services industry, especially among the Big Four firms, has witnessed a transformation in recent years. Cost-cutting, increased complexities in compliance, and the need to remain competitive have led to a push for greater innovation and efficiency.
With these challenges in mind, PwC has made a strategic decision to harness the power of AI, in collaboration with OpenAI, to provide clients with an unprecedented level of service. PwC’s AI system is currently being rolled out in the UK, with around 650 staff gaining access for testing and training. The firm plans to extend access to more than 10,000 employees across over 50 countries in the coming months.
This expansion allows employees to undertake multiple major projects in the time it would traditionally take to complete just one, and to a higher standard. Additionally, it enables large-scale projects that would have been previously considered too costly or time-consuming.
PwC’s new AI system, powered by OpenAI, has been described as “behaving like a 25-year tenure partner” by Bivek Sharma, Chief Operating Officer for Tax, Legal, and People at PwC UK.
This AI system is designed to alleviate the increasing compliance burden and complexity faced by businesses in a global context. Sharma emphasized the necessity of AI to navigate these intricate situations, especially in the tax, legal, and human resources domains.
PwC Competing in the AI Frontier
Similarly, Ernst & Young has partnered with IBM (NYSE: IBM) to streamline HR processes using AI. Deloitte is collaborating with Google Cloud to develop AI-powered solutions for clients. Moreover, PwC has previously implemented chatbot services to expedite tasks such as document summarization.
However, as these firms leverage AI to navigate the challenges of the industry, it’s crucial to exercise caution. Fiona Czerniawska, CEO of Source Global Research, highlighted the risk that AI-embedded tools might be used primarily to reduce costs rather than genuinely improving solutions. Striking the right balance between cost efficiency and delivering quality service will be a key challenge for the Big Four.