Edwin Waterhouse Biography

Edwin Waterhouse – The Co-Founder of PwC

Biography

Edwin Waterhouse was born in 1841. He was an English accountant born in Oakfield of Liverpool. He was the son of a wealthy family and his brothers were famous in many fields. For example, his brothers were good architects in the country back then and some of them were the good designers in London. But Edwin Waterhouse chose a different way compared with their brothers.

Edwin Waterhouse received education from University College School and he studied in the University College London later. He founded the Price Waterhouse with his business partner Samuel Price.

What they are famous for

As mentioned above, Edwin Waterhouse was famous for establishment the Price Waterhouse accounting firm. But he achieve more than this. He was also the president of Institute of Chartered Accountants from 1892 to 1894. Although his term was not long, he helped the Institute to consolidate the accounting practice and this helped the accountants in the UK to perform audit work in a standardized way.

The original establishment of Price Waterhouse was not an easy thing. At that time, there was limited knowledge about the role of accounting firms in the business world. There were accountants, but the accountants did not know exactly the services that they should or should not provide for clients. Therefore, the positioning of Price Waterhouse at that time changed in the first few years of operations. Finally, it determined to provide the comprehensive sets of accounting and advisory services for clients, which are also the major business lines of the company in the current world.

How they affected the world today

Nowadays, Price Waterhouse has evolved and become the PricewaterhouseCoopers company in the current decade. It has become one of the big four accounting firms in the world. The scale of business of this firm is beyond the imagination of Edwin Waterhouse back then.

The success of PwC nowadays cannot be separated from the foundation laid by Edwin Waterhouse. Together with Samuel Price at that time, Edwin Waterhouse tried to create a long term development plan for the firm.

When he was the president of Institute of Chartered Accountants, Edwin Waterhouse tried to provide different opportunities for accountants to learn and grow. Instead of the examinations, he tried to organize different learning opportunities for accountants and promoted the culture and knowledge exchange between different levels of accountants. This became the good learning model that many accounting firms would adopt nowadays.

Edwin Waterhouse demonstrated to the world that a person can live their own professional path. Although he was born from a well-off family, he had his own thinking and belief and he followed his own path in the career development. But at the same time, he maintained a good relationship with his family. In other words, he was successful in convincing his family about his career goals instead of sacrificing the relationship with his family for the career development.

In conclusion, Edwin Waterhouse was a successful man and he provided the guide for an accounting firm to grow from a regional firm to an international firm now.

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