At KPMG, we recognize that having the right processes means nothing without the right people. In this section, we set out how we recruit, support and train our people to do the best job possible.
One of the key drivers of quality is ensuring that our professionals have the appropriate skills and experience, passion and purpose, to deliver the highest quality in audit. This requires the right recruitment, promotion, retention, development and assignment of professionals. The KPMG performance development approach, linked to our values, is designed to articulate what is required for success — both individually and collectively. Ensuring audit quality is an essential element of the training, planning and development underway to support the KPMG Clara Workflow roll-out and the associated updated audit methodology, with processes embedded in all our learning programs.
Recruiting the right people
KPMG member firms strive to be employers of choice by creating an environment where their people can fulfill their potential and feel proud and motivated to give their best.
We expect all member firms to have recruitment strategies focused on recruiting the right skills for their business today and in the future by recruiting from a diverse talent pool.
We work hard to foster an inclusive culture to retain our diverse talent. For more about Inclusion & Diversity at KPMG, find out more on our website.
KPMG's human resources (HR) policies require member firms to perform candidate application screening that is based on fair and job-related criteria to try to ensure that candidates are suitable and best placed for their roles. KPMG policies also require that recruits undergo rigorous reference and background checks in line with legal and regulatory requirements.
More about our vision on recruiting and retaining people and being an employer of choice is included in the KPMG Global Review.
Motivating through performance and reward
Evaluation process including quality and compliance metrics
KPMG's global behaviors, which are linked to our values, are designed to help articulate to our people what is required for success — both individually and collectively. These global behaviors include 'delivering quality', 'exercising professional judgment' and 'striving for continual improvement'.
KPMG is launching a new approach to performance development, 'Everyone a Leader', where stretching goals should be set and reviewed regularly throughout the year. Leadership competencies will include 'driving quality', 'advancing an ethical environment' and 'making sound decisions'. A goals library is available for colleagues to gain inspiration around what goals they want to set, with one category of goals focused specifically around quality.
"Our new 'Everyone a Leader' competency framework includes three simple principles that are easy to remember — we are asking all our people to 'Inspire Trust, Seek Growth and Deliver Impact'. These principles and the competencies that sit behind them help us develop all our people through quality conversations in our goal setting discussions, performance reviews and everyday conversations." — Susan Ferrier, Global Head of People, KPMG International
A culture of continuous improvement is encouraged to drive feedback, both positive and developmental, from both junior and senior colleagues, as well as peers. In the new performance development approach, feedback can be sought and received through two mechanisms: informal feedback, which should be regular and owned by the individual for their own development and growth, and formal feedback, through an engagement review form. The engagement review form specifically requests feedback on quality and is required quarterly, and is fed into performance evaluations.
Partners and certain professionals are also required to be evaluated on key quality and compliance metrics. Member firms monitor quality incidents and maintain quality and compliance metrics for the purpose of partner assignments as well as for partner evaluation, promotion and remuneration.
Reward and promotion
All KPMG member firms are required to have compensation and promotion policies that are clear, simple and linked to the performance review process. Such policies help our people understand what is expected of them, and what they can expect to receive in return. The connection between performance and reward is achieved through calibration meetings where relative performance across a peer group is discussed and used to inform reward decisions.
The results of performance evaluations directly affect the promotion and remuneration of partners and employees and, in some cases, their continued association with KPMG.
Reward decisions are based on consideration of both individual and member firm performance.
The extent to which our people feel their performance has been reflected in their reward is measured through the Global People Survey (GPS), with action plans developed accordingly.
KPMG member firms are required to identify and document criteria, which include audit quality and compliance metrics, in assessing overall evaluation, promotion and remuneration of partners and certain staff. These evaluations are conducted by performance managers and partners who are in a position to assess performance.
Each member firm is required to have a process for admission to the partnership that is rigorous and thorough and involves appropriate representatives of the member firm's leadership. Member firms must use criteria that are consistent with a commitment to professionalism and integrity, quality and being an employer of choice.
KPMG global independence policies prohibit member firm audit partners from being evaluated on, or compensated based on, their success in selling non-assurance services to their audit clients.
We never stop building our skills
It is important that all our professionals have the necessary business and leadership skills, in addition to technical skills, to be able to perform quality work.
In relation to Audit, we deploy a variety of learning solutions that are designed to reinforce our values, help our professionals get the fundamentals right and develop the necessary skills and attitudes to make sound judgments, enhancing the quality and value of audit. Courses are available to enhance personal effectiveness and develop technical, leadership and business skills. KPMG professionals are developed further for high performance through access to coaching and mentoring on the job, stretch assignments and country rotational and global mobility opportunities.
Lifetime learning strategy
Annual training priorities for development and delivery are identified by audit learning and development steering groups at the global, regional and, where applicable, member firm level. Training is delivered using a blend of classroom, digital learning and performance support to assist auditors on the job — following the 70:20:10 model.
Ongoing mentoring and on-the-job coaching
Learning is not confined to the classroom — rich learning experiences are available when needed through coaching and just-in-time learning, available at the click of a mouse and aligned with job-specific role profiles and learning paths.
Mentoring and on-the-job experience play a key role in developing the personal qualities important for a successful career in auditing, including professional judgment, technical excellence and instinct.
We support a coaching culture throughout the KPMG network as part of enabling KPMG professionals to achieve their full potential and instill that every team member is responsible for building the capacity of the team, coaching other team members and sharing experiences.
Continuing professional development (CPD)
All client service partners and employees are required to maintain CPD in accordance with applicable professional standards, laws and regulations. Compliance with the CPD requirements is tested as part of member firms’ annual monitoring programs.
Gleaning insights from our people — Global People Survey (GPS)
Biennially (and annually for Global Board countries), all KPMG partners and staff, across all functions, are invited to participate in KPMG's global, independent survey to share their perception about their experience working for KPMG. The GPS provides an overall measure of our people's engagement through an employee engagement index (EEI) as well as insights into areas driving engagement that may be strengths or opportunities. Results are available across various teams and demographic groups. Additional insight is provided on how we are faring on categories known to impact employee engagement.
Results also provide warning indicators when reviewed against benchmarks and trends, allowing the tracking of progress and performance with respect to other organizations vying for our talented people.
All KPMG member firms are required to participate in the GPS and to take appropriate actions to communicate and respond to the findings of the survey. This includes monitoring GPS results including those related to audit quality, upholding the values and tone at the top. The GPS results are tracked and appropriate follow-up actions agreed. GPS results and associated action plans are also reviewed as part of the Global Compliance Review Program (refer to the 'Network level monitoring' section).
All KPMG member firms are required to have procedures in place to assign both the most suitable engagement partners and other professionals to an audit engagement on the basis of their skill sets, relevant professional and industry experience, and the nature of the engagement.
Function heads within member firms are responsible for the partner assignment process, which includes consideration of key factors relating to competence, workload and experience, including quality and compliance incidents. Partners are required to have appropriate experience, training and capacity based on an annual partner portfolio review taking into account the size, complexity and risk profile of the engagement, and the type of support and specialist input to be provided (i.e. the engagement team composition and specialist involvement).
Audit engagement partners are required to be satisfied that their engagement teams have appropriate competencies, capabilities and capacity, and to determine whether they require the use of specialists to perform the audit engagement in accordance with professional standards, KPMG's audit methodology, and applicable legal and regulatory requirements. If the right resource is not available within the member firm, access is provided to a network of highly skilled KPMG professionals in other member firms.