150 years supporting the UK
We're marking 150 years of KPMG in the UK
That's 150 years of our firm supporting businesses to grow, supporting our people to achieve and supporting our communities to thrive.
On these pages, you can uncover the story of our firm. You'll see where we came from, what we've done and what we believe will shape our future.
Explore our history
These are the people, the businesses and the ideas which made us.
Today and tomorrow
William Barclay Peat left an extraordinary legacy and it's the privilege of those of us working in the firm today, both to protect that legacy and move it forward.
Our rich history is a source of pride and it's also a challenge. We want to write the next chapter of our story with the same confidence and ambition as the men and women who came before us.
It's a fascinating time for our firm. Meet a few of the people who are shaping our future.
Jack, a computer scientist on our graduate scheme, is helping the NSPCC keep children safe. As one of 133 volunteers from our cyber security practice, Jack's coordinated a day-long event that gave the NSPCC access to our firm's expertise. The team helped the NSPCC understand the ‘Internet of Toys' and the risks children face when playing games online. Having tested the toys – and revealing issues with their security – the team then created an assessment framework for the NSPCC to evaluate the safety of connected toys.
The NSPCC is KPMG's national charity. By the end of September 2019, people like Jack spent nearly 1,000 hours supporting the NSPCC, through pro bono volunteering.
I really enjoyed it, and I'd definitely do it again.”
“Consultants like a challenge, and Brexit is a big one,” says Hannah, who led our Brexit Readiness work this year. Advising clients on how to prepare for and thrive on the other side of Brexit has meant knowing a few key things about a lot of things.
“Brexit is super-complex. My job was to digest it all and come to clients with something super-practical.” The expertise she needed varied with each business.“ We helped Booking.com with workforce planning and communications to their people. And at Asda, the conversation revolved around risk management: finding experts within Asda and prioritising which risks needed addressing first.” But for other clients, the biggest task was simply persuading them not to have their heads in the sand.“ Some people just didn't want to face the reality of it. There were many days I was more counsellor than consultant.”
And it turns out that Brexit experts are a hot property. Hannah's increasingly had to balance her face-to-face client work with appearances on panels, podcasts and TV news programmes. “I love the variation and, I'll be honest, I don't mind the limelight!”
I was part consultant, part counsellor.”
Helping British tech pioneers get ahead
Tim spends his day with entrepreneurs and high-growth businesses. “They're growing fast and they're ambitious. We become an extension of their team, taking away worries about issues they don't have the capability to solve in-house, like tax treatment, or compliance, or how to expand.”
He also leads on our Best British Tech Pioneer programme – a national competition to find game-changing businesses and give them access to investors, large corporate boardrooms and other entrepreneurs, as well as the opportunity to pitch on stage in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress. Some of the previous winners are now household names. “Everyone's interested in this space and people ask me about what I'm doing all of the time.”
So what happens when he needs to get away from the 100-miles-an-hour world of high-growth businesses? You'll find Tim pottering on his allotment.
We're an extension of their team.”
Yasmin attended KPMG's Audit University for the second time this year. The three day, residential course is not your typical training course. It sees all colleagues, including partners, come together to learn new ways of collectively improving audit quality.
“I liked that there was a mix of experience. It enabled us to get many different perspectives at once.” Our auditors are introduced to new tools and tech which will help them improve the quality of our audits and the efficiency of our delivery. And it's social too. With 700 new colleagues joining our Audit practice this year, there are plenty of new faces to meet.
We are all personally driving the change to improve the quality of audits.”
“The company is a giant. And giants can end up with a particular kind of problem,” says Gareth, a senior manager in our Solutions & Digital team. Gareth was working with a global financial services client. It has different businesses doing different work in dozens of different countries. Each of those areas had its own approach to procurement and to filing expenses. So they asked KPMG for the solution.“ Our job was to simplify. Put one pair of systems in place which could do it all.”
We proposed a solution we call Powered Procurement. “It means taking their vast, fragmented functions, making sense of them and delivering them from the cloud.” It was a complex job and the team was against the clock: The client's existing software was due to be decommissioned. “There was real pressure, but it created a really collaborative way of working,” says Gareth.
Today the system is up and running and approving expenses. The feedback from the client has been phenomenal. “The project's been a huge success and it's unlocked untold value in their business. The client has told us its success was down to our team's commitment, energy and high standards. That's been really gratifying.”
Our job was to simplify.”
Rosie worked as a music teacher before she joined KPMG. So when a colleague told her about National Numeracy Day she jumped at the chance to get involved. She was one of hundreds of people who volunteered in schools, helping build children's confidence in numbers. “It was great to join up what I knew from teaching with what I'm learning as I become an accountant.” Above all, Rosie wanted to encourage the children she spent time with: “Maths might not seem relevant to them now, but there are lots of ways they can use it in their life.”
KPMG is one of the founding supporters of National Numeracy Day. It encourages people to boost their confidence with numbers as poor numeracy can have a negative impact on people's lives and the wider economy.
I wanted to show how I use maths in my life.”
Supporting Britain and business
We know that trust is the foundation on which our future growth will be built. Trust and growth guide the way we operate in every part of the business.
We're remodelling our audit practice because we want to enhance public trust in auditing.
- We're investing heavily
- We're recruiting at a record rate
- We're equipping our people with the right technology and tools to do high-quality work
We see this work as crucial not only to the future of our firm but to the future of our wider economy. Company audits are the rivets in our economy, binding enterprise to investment. The trust they provide underpins our capital markets.
In our non-audit business, we're reshaping the way we work to deliver entirely new kinds of solutions. Businesses want an answer to their problem delivered, complete.
- We're making big upfront investments
- We're working closely with specialist alliance partners
- We're building technology and processes from scratch
We call these our Integrated Solutions and we're pivoting towards them across the firm.
And you'll find that the beating heart of our firm remains in our offices around the UK. Our strategy is focused on the most exciting and fastest-growing private capital businesses. These companies play a vital role in our firm and a vital role in UK society – the more they succeed, the more balanced our country becomes.
Supporting our people and communities
Firms as big as ours are a phenomenon of recent times – we are over 16,000 people in the UK. Our people trust the firm with their careers and we want society to trust our people to make a difference.
On their first day in the firm, we explain to every new starter that diversity of thought is essential to our success. Gender, ethnicity, identity, background or beliefs shouldn't create barriers to anyone's progress, and we're working hard to make sure they don't.
- Across the past three years, we’ve been consistently ranked one of the UK's top employers for social mobility
- In 2019, our partner promotions were gender balanced
- We've achieved a 50/50 gender split on our UK Board for the first time
We've been masters of adaption over our history. And we know there’s more to do to make our business as inclusive and diverse as possible. We will keep working to create the open, accessible firm that we all want.
The contribution we make to our communities is as important to us as our client work. All our people are given up to six days leave to volunteer, every year.
- We give our skills, as well as our time
- We focus on the areas where we believe we can have the biggest impact - tackling disadvantage and creating positive climate action
- 3,500 people volunteered from the firm last year, in schools, charities and social enterprises
- We're on target to raise £1.5m for the NSPCC by autumn 2020
We have to earn, and keep, the trust of our colleagues and our communities before we can do anything else. Today more than any time in our history, making the right contribution is crucial.
The road ahead
We're preparing the way for the generations who will follow us.
We're investing in the future of our business, we're pioneering new technology for our clients and we're building a stronger firm. We're doing it all so that for the next 150 years, this firm can still be here, supporting our people, our communities and the UK.