pwc to sack 330 workers after it was caught up in scandal for using secret government info654d6c9c8099c

PWC to sack 330 workers after it was caught up in scandal for using secret government information

  • PwC to axe more than 330 jobs
  • Firm has been mired in scandal

By David Southwell For Daily Mail Australia

Published: | Updated:

‘Big Four’ accountancy firm PwC is axing more than 330 jobs in the wake of the scandal over leaking confidential government tax information.

The company on Wednesday blamed ‘economic headwinds’ for closing its consultancy ‘skilled service hub’ in South Australia, which will see 141 jobs go with another 200 positions to be cut nationwide.

As part of a change in the company’s ‘portfolio and strategic areas of focus’, 200 other Adelaide workers will be redeployed.

PwC has been embroiled in controversy after it emerged that former taxation partner Peter Collins had leaked sensitive and confidential government information to fellow partners and clients.

‘Big four’ accountancy firm PwC has announced it will shed more than 330 jobs across its operations

Mr Collins has since been banned from acting as a tax practitioner, and federal Treasury has referred the scandal to the Australian Federal Police for a criminal investigation.

In June PwC announced all of its federal and state government business would be divested to Allegro Funds for a mere $1.

The government consulting operations arm of PwC had been responsible for about 20 per cent of the firm’s revenue in the 2023 financial year.

A spin-off firm, Scyne Advisory, was created and which retained 75 jobs but all those positions will now be axed.

The staff had been encouraged to find other work within PwC Australia but the firm said this was ‘not always possible or desired by the individual’.

The partnership’s chief executive Kevin Burrowes outlined the job cuts to staff and partners on Wednesday morning.

Tom Seymour (pictured) stepped down as the CEO of the consultancy firm back in May after it was revealed he had received emails from former taxation partner, Peter Collins, containing confidential Treasury information

‘These are extremely difficult decisions and my thoughts are with all of those people and their families impacted by the changes we have been forced to make,’ Burrowes said in a statement.

‘While we are optimistic about the future, PwC must take pragmatic action to manage these challenges and make difficult decisions to meet the needs of its clients and to ensure the long-term success of the firm.

‘In South Australia and across the rest of the country, we will continue to serve our clients with the highest degree of quality and professionalism – and we are grateful to our people for the resilience and dedication they have shown their clients.’

Graduates due to start in PwC’s consulting business next year can voluntarily defer their positions for six to 12 months.

As federal and state governments review their dependence on consultants and reduce outsourcing, other big four firms Deloitte and KPMG have also cut staff this year.

Graduates who were set to start in PwC’s consultancy arm have been told to defer for a year

In the wake of the scandal around the leaked tax information Mr Burrowes took over from Kristin Stubbins after former CEO Tom Seymour resigned in early May.

Mr Seymour quit after he was revealed to have received emails from Mr Collins containing confidential Treasury information.

Nine PwC partners were directed to go on leave immediately around the same time as Mr Seymour stepped down last month.

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