Disclose 30

Das Onlinemagazin von PwC

In the spotlight: trust in the digital era

Issue 2, 2019

«For it is mutual trust, even more than mutual interest, that holds human associations together.»

I think this quote from the satirist H.L. Mencken makes a great introduction to the theme of this issue of Disclose: trust in the digital era.

The notion of trust is sometimes defined in terms of a willingness to show vulnerability. For there to be trust you need to have faith that the other person isn’t completely selfish, the feeling that you can rely on promises, and the hope that one day trust will pay off.

Vulnerability, faith, feelings and hope aren’t necessarily the kind of words that spring to mind in a world of hard facts and data-driven decisions. But once you recognise that there’s no such thing as 100% security, either in the bunker or in cyberspace, you realise that the trust of investors, customers, network partners, employees and members of the public is just as crucial to business as figures and data. It all boils down to the way we deal with our vulnerability.

In this issue of Disclose we look at this topic from different angles. We investigate the way new technologies are for the first time enabling ways of monitoring processes and risks more efficiently, while at the same time creating potential threats that are hard to assess. We examine the question of whether and how you can trust the figures and predictions made by hardware and software in your daily business. Blockchain, for example, is a groundbreaking digital innovation that requires a whole new way of looking at trust. For Liechtenstein the word ‘trust’ has a double meaning: a specific fiduciary arrangement governed by contract law, and the principle of holding in trust that underlies a long tradition of looking after people’s wealth. In this issue you’ll also find out what you can do to combat economic criminals who have found so many clever ways of abusing trust, mostly in the gloomy depths of the virtual world. Finally, we look at the key importance of trust in family businesses and how it serves as the foundation on which owners and family members base their loyalties and decisions.

As usual, our Update articles bring you up to speed on a variety of audit and assurance related topics. We take a particularly close look at the amended legislation on withholding tax (income tax paid at source) and the latest developments in VAT legislation.

I hope and trust that you’ll enjoy reading this issue of Disclose.

Alex Astolfi

Alex Astolfi, Member of the Management Board, Leader Assurance PwC Switzerland

Alex Astolfi
Member of the Management Board,
Leader Assurance PwC Switzerland

 

Spotlight

In our Focus pieces we look at the issue "Trust in the digital era" from different standpoints and perspectives.

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Update

These expert articles are designed to give you a clear picture of the latest relevant developments in financial reporting, tax and new technologies, but also of business processes optimisations.

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