Careers at KPMG
KPMG’s mission is to be the global network of professional services firms whose aim is to turn understanding of information, industries, and business trends into value.
KPMG is a professional services firm. The company operates three reportable business units:
Audit – Offerings include Board Leadership Center, Audit Innovation, Private Markets Group, and Permissible Services.
Tax – Offerings include Accounting Methods & Credits, Compensation & Benefits, Compliance Management, Economic & Statistical Consulting, Global Mobility, Indirect Taxes, International Tax, Mergers & Acquisitions Tax, Passthrough Tax, State & Local Tax, Tax Dispute Resolution, Tax Transformation, Trade & Customs, Transfer Pricing, U.S. Inbound Investments, and Valuations.
Advisory – Offerings include Management Consulting, Risk Consulting, Deal Advisory, and Strategy.
In 1897 Scottish immigrants James Marwick and Roger Mitchell founded accounting firm Marwick, Mitchell & Company in New York City. In 1911 it merged with British accounting firm William Barclay Peat, forming Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Company. The move allowed MM&C to expand its operations in Europe, while enabling its partner access to the fast-growing North American market.
Over the next 75 years Peat Marwick grew to become one of the “Big Eight“ public accounting firms in the U.S. Its success was aided by the rise of complex tax laws and new industry regulations. Its high activity made it the subject of lawsuits from some clients claiming if often failed to expose financial malfeasance. The company responded by becoming the first to request a public peer review.
In 1978 the firm founded Peat Marwick International to supervise its local branches outside the U.S., preparing for increased globalization. The following year it generated record revenues. However, in the 1980s, facing stiffer compeititon, it began automating the audit process – initially by creating a program called SeaCas, short for Systems Evaluation Approach-Computerized Audit Support
In 1986, Peat Marwick agreed to merge with Dutch accounting firm Klynveld Main Goerdeler (KMG). At the time, Peat Marwik was the second largest accounting firm in the U.S., while KMG was #9. Their combination established the largest such firm in the world in terms of sales, with revenues of $2.7 billion. Its name was KPMG Peat Marwick McLintock, later shortened in 1991 to KPMG.
Benefits at KPMG
Business model of KPMG
KPMG has a mass market business model, with no significant differentiation between customers. The company targets its offerings at firms of all industries and sizes desiring audit, tax, and advisory services.
KPMG offers three primary value propositions: accessibility, performance, and brand/status.
The company creates accessibility by offering a wide variety of options. It has actively pursued acquisitions in order to expand into new areas. Acquired companies include Link Analytics, a provider of scalable business analytics applications, and Cynergy, a provider of mobility services and digital experiences. These moves have enabled it to add new capabilities to its portfolio.
The company has demonstrated strong performance through results for clients. High-profile examples of this include the following:
- Helped a global industrial manufacturing conglomerate develop a logistics target operating model to help save it $100 million in three years
- Created benchmarking and scenario models for a recently acquired HVAC manufacturer that identified opportunities for it to save 11% in operational costs
- Transformed the retail sales process for a top wireless provider, which in turn increased sales reps‘ engagement and output
- Overhauled and updated Cigna’s financial and IT instructure, facilitating easier financial reporting at a lower cost
- Developed and implemented a human capital management system for Baylor Scott & White Health that had reduced manual activity and cost of ownership
The company has established a powerful brand as a result of its performance. It is one of the “Big Four” audit firms, along with Ernst & Young, Deloitte, and PwC. It generated $24.4 billion in revenues in 2015, up 8.1% from the prior year. It has over 174,000 employees operating in 700 offices in 155 countries. It serves over 80% of the Fortune Global 500 and over 75% of the Forbes Global 1000. Lastly, it has won many honors, including ranking as #2 in the “World's Best Outsourcing Advisors“ list by IOAP (2011), induction in the Working Mother Hall of Fame (2011), International Tax Review Asia Tax Awards (2010) and ranking as #2 in Consultancy Rankings by OpRisk & Compliance (2009).
KPMG’s main channel are the direct customer relationships of their partners. The company also promotes its offerings through its social media pages; webcasts; sponsorships of athletes such as Phil Mickelson, Stacy Lewis, Magdalena Forsberg, and Alexandre Bilodeau; and attendance of conferences.
KPMG’s customer relationship is primarily of a dedicated personal assistance nature. The company has its teams work closely with clients to solve their problems. It also offers “KPMG Learning”, a program consisting of training and executive education classroom courses covering various industry topics. Most of the courses qualify participants for continuing professional education credits. KPMG also provides phone and e-mail support as well as an International Hotline for more serious concerns.
Despite this orientation, there is a self-service component. The company’s website offers online versions of its classes as well as web-based self studies. It also includes a section called “KPMG Institutes” that features self-help resources such as articles, reports, podcasts, and webcasts on emerging industry trends, risks, and opportunities. Furthermore, it includes a glossary and a feature called “TaxNewsFlash” that offers summaries of recent tax developments.
KPMG’s business model entails designing and providing problem-solving services for clients.
KPMG maintains the following partnership programs:
Strategic Alliances – The company works with top service and technology providers to develop solutions that benefit its clients in areas such as data and analytics, regulatory change, disruptive technology, cyber security, and transformation. Specific partners include Microsoft, IBM, SAP, Oracle, Dun & Bradstreet, Flexera Software, Appian, Coupa, MetricStream, Nuix, and Thomson Reuters.
KPMG Capital – The company invests in other firms in order to foster innovation and commercialize new software solutions leveraging its strengths. Specific partners include Bottlenose, Astrus, Customer Compass, Financial Microscope, and Label Insight.
KPMG’s main resources are its employees, who include accounting professionals, consultants, and training specialists. The company also maintains important physical resources called Global Innovation Hubs. One type of hub is its collection of “Insights Centers” that enable customers to interact directly with their data and watch solutions come to life.
These are located in London, Frankfurt, Paris, and Hong Kong, with additional locations planned for Sydney, Melbourne, and New York. Another type of hub is its set of “Insights Labs”, research and development facilities where data scientists investigate D&A applications, incubate ideas, and develop proofs of concept while creating technology for use across regions and functions. They are located in the U.S., UK, and India.
KPMG has a value-driven structure, aiming to provide a premium proposition through significant personal service. Its biggest cost driver is likely cost of services, a variable expense. Other major drivers are in the areas of customer support and operations and sales/marketing, both fixed costs.
KPMG has one revenue stream, the fees charged to its clients for its range of services. These fees vary by type of client and individual project.
info: John earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting at the University of Notre Dame. He previously served as the Chairman and CEO of KPMU U.S., as well as the Chairman of the Americas, Deputy U.S. Chairman, and Washington Office Managing Partner.
info: John earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting at Baylor University. He previously served as a Partner and Attorney-at-Law at Conner & Winters, as a Partner at Keisling Pieper & Scott and the Everett Law Firm, and as a Staff Accountant at KPMG.
info: Isabelle earned a degree in Business & Management at EM Lyon Business School. She previously served as Partner and Head of Markets at KPMG France, and as Audit Manager and Consumer Markets Consultant at KPMG UK.
info: Nicole earned a BCom in Accounting at Queen’s University and an MPAcc in Accounting at the University of Saskatchewan. She previously served as Senior Manager of Global People, Performance and Culture at KPMG.
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