What Is the History of Price Waterhouse Coopers?

Price Waterhouse Coopers was formed in 1998 through a merger of accounting firms Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand. The company itself can trace its history back to three firms founded in the second half of the 19th century. Today it is one of the "big four" auditing and accounting firms worldwide.

History of Price Waterhouse

Price Waterhouse started as a small accounting practice in 1849 by Samuel Lowell Price. He was joined by Edwin Waterhouse in 1865. The company took the Name Price, Waterhouse and & co in 1874. The company opened its US branch in 1890.

History of Coopers & Lybrand

Coopers & Lybrand can trace its history back to1854. Cooper Brothers & Co was started when William Cooper started his accounting firm. He was joined by his brothers years later. The Lybrand branch started as Lybrand, Ross Brothers & Montgomery in 1898. The two firms merged in 1957.


The Coopers & Lybrand and Price Waterhouse merged in 1998 to grow in scale and more effectively compete for large clients.

Company Today

Today, Price Waterhouse Coopers has over 155,000 employees and over 28 billion dollars, as of 2008. The company operates in all major world markets and is considered one of the "big four" accounting firms.

Products and Services

The company has three main services: Financial auditing and assurances, Tax planning, as well consulting advisory.