Intelligent Business

Assurance plays a critical role in navigating change and closing the trust gap

Dear Readers,

The current economic environment is characterised by profound changes and challenges. Geopolitical uncertainty, global warming, digital transformation, and demographic shifts are confronting companies worldwide with new and complex tasks. In such a dynamic landscape, continuous adaption is essential to remain competitive and mitigate risks. Trust in the measures and actions taken is of utmost importance – and assurance plays a central role: trust in what matters!

Reflecting on the past ten years as Head of Assurance, Alex Astolfi notes significant changes in the ASR business. The rapid pace of digitalisation and new regulatory requirements have redefined the demands on auditing. Auditing now encompasses a much broader range of responsibilities beyond financial reporting, including non-financial areas such as sustainability and social responsibility. In parallel to these shifts and new emerging technologies, a trust gap has emerged – a trust gap in technological solutions and processes as well as in the information delivered by companies in general. Reliable information and transparent communication with stakeholders have therefore taken a new significance. Assurance is critical in closing this gap, and it is our responsibility to provide this trust to our stakeholders. In addition, the evolving expectations of our employees require us to create a more flexible and supportive working environment. We can only succeed if we have the right culture and the right people.

Our new Head of ASR, Andrin Bernet, also believes that the future of the ASR business will be characterised by far-reaching changes, but he equally recognises that traditional requirements will continue to apply. New technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) will transform the way we work, offering opportunities to optimise processes and gain deeper insights, but also bringing new risks that must be managed actively. People will thus remain the central factor and success will depend on the synergy between technology and skilled professionals with the right knowledge and mindset. Since expectations of both technology and people are constantly rising, products and services must be raised to an even higher level. Maintaining quality is fundamental, requiring us to innovate our service delivery while continuously investing in technology, quality, and people. This strategy is vital for upholding our commitment to providing reliable and transparent solutions. Despite technological advancements, trust in new solutions remains paramount – not only for the financial markets, but also in the relationship with clients and stakeholders. Our ongoing task will be to continuously strengthen this trust.

This issue of Disclose focuses on “Intelligent Business”. In an ever-changing world, smart and sustainable decisions are vital for long-term success. The ability to adapt while maintaining quality, transparency, and trust is the key to intelligent business.

We thank Alex for his outstanding work and commitment as Head of Assurance over the last ten years. Under his leadership, we have developed into a pioneer and innovator in the field of auditing. At the same time, we look forward to the future under Andrin’s leadership and are convinced that he will further advance the ASR business with new technological possibilities and a people-centered approach.

We hope you enjoy reading this issue and that you take away some valuable insights and ideas.

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

Andrin Bernet and Alex Astolfi

Good relationship is the solid foundation for trust. 

Andrin is the new Member of the Management Board and Leader Assurance at PwC Switzerland.

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