Behind the scenes: Counting Oscar ballots

PricewaterhouseCoopers is marking its 77th year as the official accountants of the Academy Awards. Only two men — Brad Oltmanns (left) and Rick Rosas (right) — will know the results of the 24 competitive races before they are revealed during the Oscars telecast on Feb. 27.

PwC prepares two briefcases with a complete set of envelopes with the winners’ names that arrive at the ceremony via separate, secret routes with each of them. They also memorize the names of the winners. At the show, the pair hand each envelope to the presenters just before they walk onstage.

As the PwC press release notes, “they lead a tight-lipped group of PwC accountants who work on the project at a concealed location. The meticulous process has remained the same each year, as the PwC team hand counts every single ballot to ensure the highest level of accuracy, objectivity and confidentiality.”

For academy president Tom Sherak, “Trust and integrity are the foundation of our 77-year-long relationship with PwC. We look forward to continuing this tradition with PwC as our balloting partner for many years to come.”

Rosas, a PwC partner who has lead the balloting team since 2001, said, “PwC takes great pride in leading the Oscars balloting process, and it’s a personal honor for me to be involved in such a high-profile event, and helping to keep the tradition of ensuring accuracy and confidentiality. Our work with the Academy illustrates our long-standing association with Hollywood and the entertainment and media industry at large.”

And Oltmanns, a PwC partner who has been a team leader since 2004, added, “We take pride in our long-standing relationship with the Academy Awards in tabulating every single ballot by hand for the world’s most highly-anticipated and prestigious entertainment industry celebration. Our work with the Academy Awards is a testament to PwC’s heritage in providing clients with the highest degree of trust, precision and value.”

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