As Global Chairman and CEO of KPMG International, the most important job I have is ensuring that we1 deliver work of the highest quality and integrity — to every client and company we audit, every day. 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, effective auditor and a responsible industry leader.
This year, we are pleased to have achieved strong growth during an important transitional year for KPMG. We have seen growth across all KPMG regions and all functions. We continue to make significant collective investments across our entire network as part of our multi-year strategy implementation.
2019 has not been without some challenges. We have faced reputational issues in a few of our member firms and took action immediately, as appropriate, to respond to these. 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 enter our 150th year, 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. We are also investing in a roll-out program across 147 member firms to help bring our values to life and to enable each of our colleagues live them every day.
In today’s interconnected world, consistency is ever more important. This year, I have spent time with member firms across the world who are executing our collective strategy to build trust and growth by collaborating on key priorities.
I am delighted at the progress we are making. 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.
We have also recently announced plans to invest in technology, people and innovation, and expect to spend USD5 billion over the next 5 years. This investment will accelerate the digital transformation of our member firms and our clients who will benefit from the latest technological advancements across Audit, Tax and Advisory. Plans include the move to a common cloud-based platform to enhance consistency, a world-class learning and innovation center in Orlando, Florida, and 29 global Ignition Centers — collaborative, next-generation workspaces to foster innovation.
2019 has been a year of significant volatility — social, political and environmental. We have seen some of the most dramatic climate-related disasters with an unwelcome frequency. It has also been a year in which new generations are stepping forward to make their voices heard and demand changes to our environmental practices. Businesses are taking a lead, innovating in areas including packaging, water stewardship and climate change reduction.
KPMG remains committed to helping each of our clients in addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We are working across the industry to develop best practices in environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting, including our work in the KPMG Survey of Corporate Responsibility Reporting. We are also pleased to act as an advisor to the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) to help ‘develop voluntary, consistent climate-related financial risk disclosures for use by companies in providing information to investors, lenders, insurers, and other stakeholders.’
In addition, KPMG is working towards addressing SDG 4, education and lifelong learning. We believe that quality education and lifelong learning, as an enabler to economic growth, social mobility and well-being, is a good way for KPMG to positively contribute to challenges and opportunities ahead of us. In 2019, we invested more than USD115 million in education and community projects, which included our people giving more than half a million hours in volunteering for important local projects.
In a world of technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, people remain our differentiating asset. I am proud of our more than 219,000 colleagues across 147 countries and territories that represent the KPMG brand daily. We are committed to creating an inclusive and diverse organization and want our culture to be one which represents the diversity of the world and is welcoming to all.
Across all member firms we have programs in place such as ‘Building inclusive workplaces’ in Canada, ‘GROW’ in the UK, and ‘Going for Growth’ in Ireland. I am pleased we are taking steps in the right direction, but also recognize there remains a huge amount of work to do and, personally, I remain committed to continuing our inclusion and diversity journey.
As we enter our 150th year, and the third year of my tenure as Global Chairman and CEO, I am encouraged by the progress we are making on all fronts — focusing on trust and growing the business. I am confident that our investments through our collective strategy will continue to deliver and 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 I and my colleagues around the world are proud to work.
Global Chairman and CEO
You can find more details of our commitment to quality in KPMG International’s Transparency Report 2019.
1 Throughout 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.
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.