Today’s dynamic marketplace requires organizations to constantly evolve and adapt. KPMG’s 2019 Global CEO Outlook found that businesses must constantly rethink skills and technology, accelerate the adoption of advanced technologies and constantly upskill the workforce. We are no different.

Nhlamu Dlomu
Nhlamu Dlomu

Building a future-ready workforce

As we embed disruptive technologies, from AI to machine learning, into client solutions and business processes, we’re constantly assessing the skills and capabilities our people need to be future and digital ready. We’re looking across the industry and working with think tanks, research institutions and our subject matter experts to identify the future skills our people need — from human-centric skills that drive trust and creativity to digital, data science and cognitive flexibility. And we’re making learning and development in future skills available when and where our people need it most, through the latest learning technologies and by embedding learning into the way we work — for example in our new smart audit platform, KPMG Clara.

This year, we launched hundreds of courses and curated digital learning programs on data science, digital automation and other future disruptive technologies and trends, developed by KPMG thought leaders and through our relationships with leading digital learning vendors and universities. We’re investing in state-of-the-art learning hubs like our Digital Academies in Spain and the Netherlands. Our world-class learning and innovation center in Lake Nona, Orlando, will open in January 2020 and offer our people collaborative and hands-on learning experiences. By investing in our learning and development, we are building skills and capabilities designed to have the greatest impact to our people and clients. 

Smart technology shaping the auditor experience

Thomas MacKenzie
Principal, Audit
KPMG in the US

“Clients today expect our people to be tech savvy, for us to be able to leverage technology and be enabled by it. With the introduction of KPMG Clara, we have evolved our traditional auditing practices by rolling out a smart audit platform that’s fundamentally changing the way we work.”

“Through a workflow that is more efficient and effective than ever before, our auditors can take data, immediately analyze and understand it, and prepare a high-quality audit. KPMG Clara also facilitates a transformative collaboration experience by bringing together our auditors and our clients through technology, enabling both sides to share information and build solutions collectively. This new way of working is reshaping our auditors’ experience and enabling them to develop and use new skills and capabilities.”

“To help our professionals become familiar with the tool and use it effectively, we have micro learnings infused into the tool, giving our people the learning they need, when they need it most. With this technology, we are developing our people in an innovative way, so they emerge not just with new knowledge but with an understanding of how they can practically apply that knowledge day-to-day.”

“We’re excited about KPMG Clara and how it is transforming the audit experience our people have, as well as the audit product we provide.”


Attracting diverse talent

While we’re investing heavily in upskilling and reskilling our people, we also recognize the need to attract talent from diverse professional backgrounds. By hiring more software engineers and data scientists, lawyers and other professionals with established careers in business, industry and government, we’re creating the professionally diverse workforce we need and our clients expect.

Cultivating careers for rising talent

Kate Iannelli
Lead Specialist
KPMG in the US

“I’ve had a very non-traditional career path and, to be honest, I actually never thought I would have a career in the tech space. I have an undergrad in Finance but went back to school to learn about design thinking and realized this is absolutely how my brain works. Since then, I’ve joined a new team in Management Consulting and recently represented KPMG in the US at a conference dedicated to advancing Women in Technology — it’s been an unbelievable ride.”

“The work my team does focuses on human-centered design and technology. We work with our clients to gain a deep understanding of who their customers are and then work backwards to build technology solutions that put their customers at the heart of the experience. It’s a totally customer-centric approach.”

“This past year has been about us growing our capabilities in this area and it’s incredibly exciting to be at the forefront of this effort as clients turn to us more and more for support with emerging technologies. I am empowered to contribute and bring new ideas to the table. I’m encouraged to test ideas out and have the team rally around me to help me explore, test and prototype them. As someone who doesn’t have an established background in technology, this culture has enabled me to feel comfortable, confident and intellectually stimulated.”


At the forefront of global expansion

Shirley Fu
SF Lawyers (in association with KPMG Law)
Global Legal Services
KPMG China

“My career journey at KPMG has taken me in a number of different directions. After finishing school, I joined the Tax and Legal Department in KPMG Australia’s Sydney office. After 11 years living in Sydney, I moved back home to Hong Kong (SAR), China, to be closer to family and worked in a number of different law firms building my experience and professional expertise. Then I had the opportunity of a lifetime — to rejoin KPMG and assist in setting up our first KPMG-affiliated law firm in Hong Kong (SAR). I knew straight away this was a special opportunity and I leaped at the chance to take it on.”

“Being at the forefront of KPMG’s growth in Global Legal Services2 has been incredible — the opening of our Hong Kong (SAR) law firm is part of a very ambitious plan to expand across the globe, including an additional launch of legal services in Shanghai. It makes for a very exciting period for Global Legal Services as we implement our multi-year plan to help organizations adapt to the shifting market, expanding our offerings globally and changing the field of play.”

“What’s unique about being in Global Legal Services is that we are able to provide a one-stop shop for our clients by bringing together great legal talent with consulting and business expertise. It means we can offer our clients broader solutions that are powered by technology and innovation. I take great pride in knowing that I am not just helping to build our solutions and capabilities in legal services but that I am also creating amazing career development opportunities for our people by creating an environment that provides a breadth and depth of legal and commercial experience that you simply can’t get elsewhere.”


Our efforts are not limited to those with professional experience. This year we recruited 44,000 graduates and other entry-level professionals — more than at any other time in our history. Through programs like our KPMG Ideation Challenge, we’re attracting the future generation of business leaders. Providing them with an opportunity to learn from our KPMG professionals, we coach them to take a business solution that’s close to their heart and turn it into a functioning prototype they can take to market. Programs like these and the opportunities we give our people have seen us rank #6 in Universum’s ‘World’s Most Attractive Employers Rankings, 2019’ for business students and rise to #59 for engineering and technology students.

Empowering business leaders of the future

Minh-Kha Nguyen
Ideation Challenge winner 2018

“Prior to the KPMG Ideation Challenge, I had heard of KPMG but really thought of it as just an Advisory and Auditing firm. As a STEM student, it hadn’t occurred to me just how much KPMG could offer someone like me.”

“When we entered the competition, our team really wanted to make a difference and felt we could impact society in a positive way through healthcare. We developed a prototype that leveraged augmented reality on a Microsoft HoloLens device to allow nurses to see real-time information on their patients so they can provide the best treatment in an efficient manner.”

“We ultimately won the competition, which was truly an incredible experience. We worked alongside an augmented reality startup, software developers and business specialists from KPMG Lighthouse to build a working prototype of our idea, in just 2 days! We had tremendous mentoring and engaged with people from all over the world. And we had the chance to present our prototype at the 2018 KPMG Lighthouse Summit in Paris in front of executives and professionals from all over the world. Needless to say, this was a surreal moment for me.”

“Following the competition, I joined KPMG Australia and then KPMG in Germany as an intern. I was deeply involved with projects and the teams really positioned me as a valuable contributor — this was such a great feeling as a student. This entire experience really did change my life and opened doors for me that I never thought possible.”


KPMG Ideation Challenge

A first of its kind competition in professional services, top STEM and business students from around the world work in teams of four to six with KPMG Lighthouse data‑driven technologies practitioners and data scientists to create, prototype and present an innovative solution to a business issue that’s close to their hearts. The teams receive ongoing mentorship and coaching as they prepare to present their idea to a panel of KPMG judges.

The 2019 competition in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, saw Team Paramount AI from the University of Toronto in Canada win the competition. Their idea? Solve the issue of rising landfills by combining AI and intelligent automation to automate waste segregation at the source. In October 2019, they presented their idea to several hundred KPMG professionals, data scientists, influencers and clients at the 2019 KPMG Global Lighthouse Summit hosted this year in Toronto, Canada. The team is currently being coached and supported in bringing their idea to fruition.

Driving culture

We’re continuing to invest heavily in our culture, empowering our people to recognize and develop their leadership qualities and capabilities. Through 2019, we’ve embedded a globally-aligned leadership and performance framework, which makes clear to all our people the behaviors we expect from them and the leadership role they can play, regardless of level or position. This framework is at the heart of a new performance management approach, ‘Open Performance Development,’ which we’ve designed around the employee experience and which is now live in more than 100 KPMG firms1 around the world. 

These changes, among others, help us to hold each other accountable to the highest standards for our actions and behaviors. Where we have seen behavior that does not meet these standards or align with our culture, we’ve acted. And we’re a much stronger organization as a result.

We have undertaken a review that has helped us understand further the cultural strengths and core beliefs that have guided and distinguished our organization for decades. Through this we have identified areas to focus on in 2020 and beyond. 

We also recognize our responsibility for the well-being of our people. That’s why we are strengthening a culture where all our people feel increasingly empowered to balance the time they dedicate to delivering high-quality work with their need for rest and reflection. In Australia, for example, we are giving our people the freedom to choose how they work to deliver the best outcomes for themselves. As a result, their clients, teams and the firm are increasing productivity and engagement. And in the Cayman Islands, a flexible work policy that trusts our people to work autonomously to deliver high-quality work is enabling us to remove traditional vacation limits, enhancing teamwork and collaboration as a result.

Co-creating solutions with our people

Shannon Henderson
Leader, Performance and Engagement
KPMG in Canada

“It has been an exciting time for us in the Talent & Culture team in the Canadian firm as we’ve shifted to implementing an employee-first, design thinking approach to the way we work. In leveraging design thinking principles, we are deeply involving our people in the process of developing our people programs, such as Open Performance Development, which we launched this year.”

“The design thinking approach is focused on co-creation of solutions — it puts our people at the center of both understanding the problem and designing a solution. Using design thinking techniques, we first work to understand the journey of our people and identify how we can improve their employee experience. We then tap into our people directly to come up with new, innovative ideas that deliver an enhanced employee experience that was built collectively with their help. We then test and iterate these ideas with them, using their input along the way to get to a far better outcome. This has become a natural way for us to build programs — getting our people engaged and involved from the start and giving them the opportunity to shape the direction we take.”

“We have already seen some great results. Open Performance Development is centered around creating a feedback culture and a coaching culture — two principles that were directly created by using a design thinking approach with our people. The result is a solution that garners more buy-in from our people and one that has been tested with employees prior to launch.”

“As an HR professional, using the design thinking approach has made my work more meaningful. Not only am I working directly with our people to co-create solutions, the solutions that we land on work better for our people and our business. This gives me a greater sense of purpose and impact, and that’s rewarding.”


Bringing our best to clients

We’re placing a strategic focus on bringing the best service to clients by identifying the skills and capabilities our clients need at any given moment and quickly mobilizing an international team around them. Not only does this foster our clients’ access to our best thinking, it’s creating career-defining opportunities for our people as they experience business in diverse cultures and pass on their knowledge and experience to colleagues in new markets.

KPMG’s Global Mobility Program in 2019 – an overview
KPMG’s Global Mobility Program in 2019

Mobilizing to serve the needs of a global landscape

Alex Holt
Global Chair, Media and Telecommunications
KPMG International

“Our clients are at the center of everything we do, which is why it’s a priority that we mobilize great talent to where it’s needed the most. But mobility is also important to our people who are intellectually curious, don’t want to be restricted by borders and seek opportunities to broaden their experience and global outlook by working in different parts of the world.”

“I have first-hand experience. I was a Partner working at KPMG in the UK and I recently moved to Silicon Valley to lead KPMG’s work with some of the largest technology companies in the world. Silicon Valley has always been the mecca for technology and a place where we do brand-defining work for brand-defining clients, so it was a dream come true to have this opportunity. And what’s incredible is that even after more than 20 years in the industry, I am still learning every single day.”

“KPMG has been tremendous in supporting my move. We have amazing infrastructure in place that helped me settle in — getting visas, finding somewhere to live, getting the kids into schools, and helping my wife with her career in a new environment. And we also have an incredible culture that’s part of our DNA and almost unspoken — people inviting us over for the holiday celebrations, because they know it’s our first away from home, or making time to catch up and see how we’re doing. I’m massively grateful to KPMG and all my colleagues for this support.”

“As a leader, I also have a role helping colleagues with their mobility journeys. That starts by helping them to recognize how their skills might transcend borders and to open their minds to the capabilities and skills they could develop by working in a different market. Moving overseas can be an intimidating process and people aren’t always sure where to start, but I encourage them to challenge themselves and get out of their comfort zone because, at the end of the day, mobility is great for both personal and professional development.”


Driving development through international experiences

Frylen Manacio
Tax Assistant Manager
KPMG in the Philippines

“I had the fortunate opportunity to participate in Tax Trek, an exchange program for KPMG Tax professionals, where I got to work out of KPMG in Japan’s Tokyo office along with colleagues from around the world. Going on an international assignment with KPMG was a transformational experience."

“Not only was it my first time leaving the Philippines, but I got to experience Japan — a beautiful and fascinating destination that blends modernity with tradition. I climbed Mount Fuji, ate fresh and delicious sashimi and immersed myself in Japanese culture.”

“I got to know myself and gained a lot of confidence from being outside my comfort zone. I am typically quite risk-averse but in Japan I developed the courage to travel alone to Kyoto, making new friends along the way. I remember spending hours on a train with a fellow passenger and despite neither of us speaking each other’s language, we still managed to have a conversation and connect with each other. It was such a unique and amazing interaction and a situation I would never have imagined being in before.”

“My visit to Japan also opened my eyes to the fact that tax is actually quite universal. There are nuanced differences in taxation across borders but the core principles are similar. It’s sparked an interest for me in international tax and inspired confidence in me that it’s something I can be great at. Before leaving on assignment, I wasn’t sure what path I wanted my career to take, but this experience has really solidified my passion for this field.”

“Mobilizing our people is so important to KPMG but I never imagined I would get a chance like this as a Supervisor (at the time). It brings to life the type of culture we have — encouraging our people, whatever their role, to open their minds to new experiences, opportunities and learnings. It really was an invaluable experience and one that I hope many of my colleagues explore as part of their development.”


Inclusive thinking

Our Global Inclusion and Diversity Strategic Framework is driving action around the world — helping to build an inclusive future for people inside and outside of KPMG. Through this framework, we are continuing to challenge ourselves and hold ourselves accountable for building an inclusive and diverse workforce.

Mary Lou Maher's quote
Mary Lou Maher

Driving the conversation

We are privileged in our ability to bring regulators, clients, community groups and business leaders together. We value these conversations because they challenge us to take a broad look at what needs to improve, and to consider the role we can play in driving innovation and positive change. At the 2019 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, for example, our Inclusive Voices campaign enabled business, government and societal leaders to share their aspirations for an inclusive future. This year, KPMG became the knowledge partner of the Women’s Forum for Economy and Society. Jay Nirsimloo, Chairman of the Management Board of KPMG in France, co-signed the Women’s Forum Charter for Women Empowerment and Climate Action which was presented at the Forum’s event in Kyoto during the G20, as well as in Singapore and Paris. And in the US, the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit, which in 2019 celebrated its 5-year anniversary, continues to build the pipeline of women leaders on the path to reach the C-suite. The results from a 72-hour online jam within our Global Life Sciences Practice, meanwhile, have not only helped break down barriers to inclusion internally, we have also shared our results with clients to drive wider change across the industry. 

Breaking down barriers

We are proud of our efforts to drive a more inclusive future for all. In Canada, our Building Inclusive Workplaces for Newcomers sessions support new immigrants and our leaders in creating an environment for successful integration into a new country and workplace culture. In the UK, our continued focus on our IT’s Her Future program is helping women in technology access training, networks and opportunities to advance their careers, and our GROW career-development program that helps talent from historically under-represented groups discover their leadership style has been expanded to include those of Black Heritage and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Alongside companies such as Dow and Microsoft, KPMG in Brazil created the All Colours Alliance to generate internal action and influence industries, businesses and clients on race issues. And in Ireland, our support of the Going for Growth initiative is helping women entrepreneurs achieve their business ambitions.

While we are taking steps in the right direction, we recognize that change is hard and takes time and there remains a huge amount of work to fully realize the power of our diversity and to create an inclusive future for all. But we are committed and determined in equal measure because we believe the #futureisinclusive.

Helping female entrepreneurs realize their ambitions

Jacinta Shinnick
Tax Director
KPMG in Ireland

“As well as being a Tax Director, I also help run KPMG’s support of Going for Growth, a program for female entrepreneurs that’s co-funded by KPMG in Ireland. By advising on taxation, corporate finance, accounting, law, regulation and other practical aspects of building a business, we help women grow and scale their businesses. Being able to bring them the full breadth of our knowledge is what makes being a part of this program so special.”

“I started working with Going for Growth in 2015, delivering Tax advice and bringing budding and established entrepreneurs together in Tax workshops. From there, our team, led by Olivia Lynch, Tax Partner, KPMG in Ireland, identified more areas where KPMG could help and we reached back into our own network to bring more KPMG professionals into the program.”

“It’s very much like an exam case study come to life. There are ‘Starting Strong,’ ‘Going for Growth,’ and ‘Continuing the Momentum’ strands, so you get to help the founders at each stage. Everyone involved from KPMG is passionate about the program — a huge bank of goodwill is built up as you help these innovative and courageous women step away from the day-to-day work so they can rise beyond working in the business to working on the business.”

“It’s genuinely inspirational hearing their stories, challenges and successes and seeing how they build a very open forum where people trust each other and are willing to share and learn from one another. It mitigates some of the loneliness that comes with running your own business and it helps us understand what these founders need at all stages of their journeys.”

“My favorite bit of feedback from participants is when they say ‘I didn’t know KPMG does that.’ It brings to life that while we’re a big organization, we’re not too big for the start-ups and smaller companies with ambition and we can help them in ways that they didn’t know were possible.”


1Throughout this web page, “we”, “KPMG”, “us” and “our” refer to the network of independent member firms operating under the KPMG name and affiliated with KPMG International or to one or more of these firms or to KPMG International. KPMG International provides no client services. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm.

Throughout this web page, references to “Firm”, “KPMG firm”, “member firm” and “KPMG member firm” refer to firms which are either: members of KPMG International as a matter of Swiss law; sublicensee firms of KPMG International; or entities that are owned, managed and controlled by an entity that is a member or a sublicensee. The overall governance structure of KPMG International is provided in the ‘Governance and leadership’ section of the KPMG International Transparency Report.

2Legal services may not be offered to SEC registrant audit clients or where otherwise prohibited by law.

The financial information set forth represents combined information of the separate KPMG member firms that perform professional services for clients. The information is combined here solely for presentation purposes. KPMG International performs no services for clients nor, concomitantly, generates any client revenue.

Headcount figures are expressed as FTE (full-time equivalent) and are based on average headcount for the financial year.