PwC has not had the best of weeks recently. The accounting and consultancy firm has come under intense scrutiny from both the Public Accounts Committee and Margaret Hodge for what may be promoting tax avoidance on an industrial scale, as well as draw ire from Sweden’s egalitarian society for private jet extravagance and elk hunts.
Swedish society prides itself on egalitarian values, shunning the showing of extravagances and the ostentatious displays of wealth and privilege. Recent revelations about the extravagances displayed by Jan Johansson, CEO of SCA a forestry group and the world’s largest maker of incontinence products, after it emerged that the jets were being used to ferry everything from family members and pets to his forgotten wallet, has seen him step down. The SCA executive’s resignation drew in other parties, among which, professional services firm PwC.
As the auditors of SCA, PwC has been drawn into the spotlight for taking part in private jet flights and going on hunting trips. A statement from the Swedish accountancy association reflects that it "is very inappropriate that the auditor participates in an elk hunt that the client company organises and hosts."
PwC tells the Financial Times that its former lead auditor to SCA made use of private jets twice at no additional cost, while a number of its auditors were invited – and took part – in elk hunting trips organised by the SCA. While it is permitted to hunt the beasts between August and February, how it fits in with the professional services’ abacus is harder to scope.