This year, the World Economic Forum is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The Forum remains true to its original goal: bringing people together who can make positive changes for global society. In 2020 this goal has to be seen with some sense of urgency.
2020 is an important year for KPMG in Romania as well: it is our 25th anniversary. And, like the World Economic Forum, we’re using this moment to reflect on our past actions, on our present footprint and on where we’re heading. The pace of change is exponential and this shapes continuously the way we do our work. From fax machines back in 1995 to chat bots and drones in 2020. However, there is one thing which has not changed in the last 25 years and this has to do with WHY we do what we do: we continue to support our people, Romania’s business and its communities. Our ambition is for KPMG to continue delivering growth while being the most trusted and trustworthy professional services firm. That means being an employer of choice, a trusted advisor, an effective auditor and a responsible industry leader. This is what CLEAR CHOICE means to us.
For 2019, we are pleased to have achieved strong growth in all functions. We continue to make significant investments as part of our multi-year strategy implementation.
KPMG is built on strong values — they guide our decisions and help us to do the right thing. They are as important today as they ever have been — perhaps more so. That’s why, as we approach the 25th anniversary of the Romanian firm, we are taking the opportunity to refresh those values. Quality and integrity will remain at the heart of our values, but we will make them simple, memorable and more relevant to today. At global level, KPMG member firms are also investing in a roll-out program across the network to help bring our values to life and to enable each of our colleagues to live them every day.
I’ve been inspired by KPMG’s history in Romania. It’s filled with examples of how our people have helped share a vision, address topical issues and shape the future. Since 1995, KPMG in Romania has educated and trained a whole generation of Romanian business leaders. The KPMG alumni network has over 3200 professionals. KPMG alumni recognise the fundamental role KPMG has had, as a true business school, in the development of their careers. KPMG supported the “Magurele, town of lights” platform, by encouraging the development of public-private partnerships and the effective use of a combination of private, national and European cohesion funds, all of which contributed to the European Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) project. KPMG in Romania also set up a programme to accelerate the growth of Romanian start-ups. Over 100 startups applied for the first stage of the KPMG Startup Grow Pad, launched by KPMG, along with Spherik Accelerator. Hundreds of my colleagues have given their time, and their skills, to contribute to the preparation and clarification of many areas of legislation, and have worked to create a legislative framework which is beneficial to development and the attraction of investment to our country. In today’s interconnected world, consistency is ever more important, and KPMG member firms are making important investments. In 2017, KPMG began its journey to a cloud-based audit with the launch of KPMG Clara, a ‘smart’ audit platform based on Microsoft Azure. We were the first of the Big Four to move to a cloud-based audit and are on track to full deployment across the globe. Clients are already seeing the benefits in the depth and range of insights we can provide to understand risks or anomalies. KPMG in Romania will start implementing the new Clara audit platform in 2020 with the aim of full implementation in 2021.
Of course there’s more we can do. With our current challenging economic situation, labor deficit, and the need to improve digitalization in public administration and financial intermediation, all in all, prosperity relies on the ability of the government, civil society and businesses to respond to these challenges. KPMG has a part to play too.
In a world of technology, artificial intelligence and automation, people remain our differentiating asset. We are committed to creating an inclusive, diverse, open and transparent organization and want our culture to reflect all these things.
As we approach our 25th anniversary, I am encouraged by the progress we are making on all fronts — focusing on trust and growing the business sustainably. I am confident that our investments through our collective strategy will continue to deliver and continuously improve our services to clients. I am also committed to continue putting in place the measures that we need to be the most trusted and trustworthy professional services firm, and ensure KPMG remains a place where my colleagues and I are proud to work.
Last but not least, I’m proud to be part of a firm that has served all of society and I know that our firm’s contribution gives us the perspective, and the experience, we need to continue to support Romania into the future, for the coming decades.