We deliver assurance services that include statutory audit, internal audit, risk assurance, actuarial services and advice in connection with capital markets transactions. Our practice has almost 7,000 people who are part of a network of over 84,000 PwC assurance professionals around the world.
Our profession has made it on to the front pages in recent months, with audit regulation and market reform high up the public policy agenda. We welcome this increased scrutiny. It offers a unique opportunity to demonstrate the relevance of and need for trust and assurance in the marketplace. We’ll continue to play our part in restoring this trust in the quality, independence and objectivity of an audit. Quality is at the very heart of what we do: it is essential to our reputation, important to the work that we undertake for our clients and a fundamental strategic objective for the firm. We are pleased that the Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) Annual Quality Inspection Report showed continued year-on-year improvement. The observations and recommendations in the report help us focus on and deliver continuous quality improvements.
We remain proud of our FTSE 100 (41%) and FTSE 350 (29%) audit market shares. Investment and innovation remain key to the future of the PwC audit. Our Audit Transformation Programme was set up four years ago with the aim of delivering higher quality audits, more efficiently, while delivering greater insight to our clients. We are making significant investments in our audit methodology and new technologies necessary to deliver an insightful, efficient and high quality audit.
As well as audit, our other assurance services have gone from strength to strength and now account for almost one third of our assurance business. Our risk assurance business is the largest of these other assurance services, growing by 15% in the past year. It continues to innovate in helping clients deal with or prevent governance, risk and control issues – from technology to talent, processes to compliance, regulation to reputation, we are providing independent insight and assurance to our clients over a broad spectrum of risk areas. We were delighted to be asked by EDF Energy to deliver an innovative assurance project designed to help build customer trust. We tailored our traditional financial audit methodology to evaluate its procedures and controls to make sure it met its commitment to customers to match their energy supply to nuclear-sourced generation.
Over 1,300 people joined our assurance teams during the year. This was a mix of experienced hires and graduates, and we also had a number of people from other PwC territories join us on secondment.We think the time is right to enhance the value of audit. We’ll work with companies, investors and other stakeholders to give them the assurance they need to invest in corporate UK with confidence. We’ll continue to invest in improving audit quality and how we deliver our assurance services.