2021 was a year filled with extraordinary challenges — and many of these were systemic and long-standing issues. With more than 236,000 people across 145 countries and territories, we recognize our role and responsibility to build a better world and engage our global community of professionals to be agents of positive change.
For FY21, KPMG reported annual aggregated global revenues of US$32.13 billion — a 10 percent growth in US dollar revenue from FY20. Our growth across functions: Advisory grew at 17 percent, Audit at 4 percent and Tax & Legal Services at 8 percent. And as we grow, our ability to strengthen our community support does too.
Read more about our 2021 Corporate Highlights here.
Our new global ESG plan includes a more than US$1.5 billion investment over the next 3 years to focus on our ESG change agenda — designed to support KPMG firms in making a positive difference for clients.
To stay ahead of the digital curve, we continue to make significant investments in our own digital transformation. We’re now entering year three of our multi-year US$5 billion investment focused on technology, people and innovation.
We’re committed to building a better KPMG than the one we inherited. To track and measure this impact, we’re enhancing our reporting to provide transparency in line with the newly established International Sustainability Standards Board. In 2021, we continued to disclose and explain how we’ve applied the World Economic Forum International Business Council Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics, as well as other reporting frameworks, including the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards and the UN Global Compact Principles.
In advancing Our Impact Plan, we continue working with KPMG firms across the globe and our internal ESG specialists to help ensure we apply leading-practice thinking to develop the most relevant commitments and actions to enrich the lives of our people, clients and communities.
Purpose helps an organization articulate its reason for being and creates deeper connections with people and communities. We have a long-standing legacy of building trust and protecting the public interest, and we’re focused on the issues that matter most to our clients and stakeholders. Our ambition is to be the most trusted and trustworthy professional services firm and to use that trust to accelerate our growth.
Embedding ESG throughout our organization
Over the next 3 years — through our more than US$1.5 billion investment — we’ll ensure ESG is the watermark that runs through KPMG; from empowering our people to become agents of positive change, to providing training for all our people and enhanced approaches and services for clients.
Our new global ESG plan focuses on five priority areas:
Supporting developing nations
Collaborations and alliances
Listening and taking action
We’re leveraging our ESG specialists from KPMG IMPACT to not only help clients, but to apply industry best practices throughout our global organization — allowing us to set a baseline of commitments that reflect the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Our ESG plan is designed to support KPMG firms’ clients in making a positive difference. To do this, we’re establishing five dedicated hubs to provide specialized expertise and advice on key ESG issues. We started embedding ESG in our tools and services and into our work with clients and will continue this journey in FY22 across three pillars of opportunity: transformation, reporting and assurance.
- ESG transformation: Advising on ESG strategy, transition and implementation, including specialist areas like climate change and human rights.
- ESG reporting: Helping clients to understand their ESG readiness and prepare for ESG reporting.
- ESG assurance: Providing external assurance on the ESG reporting by a business.
Case study: Building resiliency in the education system, KPMG in India
In February 2021, the Government of India, Government of Nagaland and the World Bank signed a US$68 million project to enhance the governance of schools across the state. Under this project, KPMG in India is helping support the Government of Nagaland improve its public-school education system, reaching 2,000 schools and 150,000 students from kindergarten to year 12, with future generations in mind, too. KPMG is playing a lead role in helping to improve and develop a more resilient education system by bringing in significant teaching-related interventions to enhance the quality of education, drive state-wide and system-wide reform, while focusing on improving overall governance of Nagaland’s schools, teaching practices and learning outcomes.
Case study: Food waste tax incentive, KPMG Australia
Food waste is a significant economic and environmental issue in Australia. When the largest food relief organization in Australia came to us for help, we consulted KPMG professionals in the US, Canada, France, the UK, and the Netherlands about incentives to help reduce food waste. We found that these countries have comprehensive tax and legal structures or frameworks to address these issues. Leveraging our collective insights, led us to develop the National Food Waste Tax Incentive proposal. It introduces a new tax incentive which applies to donations of food as well as food relief services, like transport and logistics. The Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Center and the National Food Waste Strategy implementation roadmap also identified tax reform as the key approach. The goal is to help Australia achieve its food waste reduction target of 50 percent by 2030, help eliminate food insecurity, encourage companies to actively reduce food waste, and provide food relief through the donation of food and services to Australian charities.
Investing in audit quality
Quality and integrity are the foundations that strengthen trust in the clients we serve. Audit quality is fundamental and is the key measure on which our professional reputation stands.
We’re committed to ensuring our approach to audit quality evolves as the audit itself continues to be reshaped with new technologies and methods that create a better experience for clients.
As we prepare for revised global quality standards, we’ve adopted a new Global Quality Framework to better outline how we deliver quality at KPMG and how all KPMG professionals are accountable for its delivery. We’re expanding access and training for leading technology and tools for our engagement teams, such as KPMG Clara, our smart audit platform, to help drive consistency, collaboration and efficiency.
KPMG’s fundamental promise of audit quality
To read about how KPMG delivers on our fundamental promise of audit quality to serve the public interest, download KPMG's Transparency Report 2021.
Driving a responsible tax practice
The work we do to support organizations and their tax responsibilities is critical in supporting the communities in which they operate by helping to reduce debt, drive sustainable economic growth and help tackle the social justice issues that matter.
We believe it is imperative that we offer our voice consistently in the market to provide multinational organizations with a global view on the implications for their businesses — and the impact those choices have on society. KPMG delivers targeted approaches to help tax leaders embrace their role in ESG through resources like our tax impact reporting methodology to help clients assess their existing tax governance, access relevant tax data and prepare transparency reports.
Through our responsible tax program, we provide a global forum that includes a diverse range of stakeholders to engage productively in the ongoing, multifaceted conversation about tax and its role in an increasingly globalized, digitalized and often fragile environment.
Over the past year, we’ve held a series of roundtable and global webinars on issues, including tax transparency, driving the green recovery and the implication of carbon border adjustment mechanisms.
Our leadership in responsible tax also encompasses how we deliver our services to clients, the arrangements of each KPMG firm and their respective Partners’ tax affairs. We’re committed to acting lawfully and with integrity, providing high-quality advice and building mutually trusting relations with tax authorities. This is consistent with our Values and Global Code of Conduct. Read the full KPMG Principles for a Responsible Tax Practice.
Driving business transformation
KPMG’s Advisory capabilities are powered by a suite of digital and business transformation solutions which provide clients with the resources they need to help optimize risk, automate compliance and support the identification of opportunities driven by a rapidly evolving landscape and regulatory change. We continue to be recognized by the global analyst community, and were named a “Leader” by IDC, Forrester and HFS Research for our digital strategy, data analytics and AI services.
Education and communities
KPMG is focused on making significant contributions toward the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) to help ensure inclusive and equitable education for all.
We have developed a new, ambitious strategy to economically empower 10 million disadvantaged young people by 2030 through education, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.
KPMG will deliver on this vision through a framework that will: equip students with the skills to succeed in the labor market; support job transition by providing students with knowledge, mentorship and opportunities to access work; and help transform the education ecosystem by upskilling educators and helping to create more effective education institutions.
Working with KPMG firms around the world, we’ll build on our existing focus on young people — prioritizing youth in secondary and tertiary education — in supporting students to transition into the world of work.
This year we’re strengthening our global collaborations with UNESCO, Junior Achievement and Enactus, and rallying behind an initiative to empower girls and women with technology skills. To scale our reach, we will leverage technology, make donations, expand volunteering and pro bono work.
In collaboration with UNESCO and other non-profits, we’re defining our approach to measure our impact and creating a clear plan for execution in 2023.
Supporting learning opportunities
As part of KPMG’s ongoing commitment to enable young people to possess the skills they need to become future-ready, we support a wide range of education initiatives that provide experiential learning opportunities that can last a lifetime.
Global Cyber Day
For the fifth consecutive year, KPMG held its annual Global Cyber Day — providing cyber literacy training for nearly 100,000 young people in 60 countries and territories — the largest in the program’s history. The initiative aims to educate youth on the importance of cyber security and internet risk and included guidance on safe use of personal data, social media, cyberbullying, online gaming and smartphones.
Cloud Curious Challenge
KPMG’s Cloud Curious Challenge was developed to teach our people and more than 10,000 children what the cloud is and why it’s important. This initiative broke a Guinness World Record for most views of a cloud technology lesson video on YouTube in 24 hours and allowed us to raise funds for Marie Curie, a charitable organization in the UK which provides care and support to people with terminal illnesses and their families. Watch the Cloud Curious Challenge video here.
Youth Empowerment AI Hackathon
Together with Microsoft, UNESCO’s Global Education Coalition and Enactus, KPMG held the global Youth Empowerment AI Hackathon for young people aged 18 to 25. Participants were provided with technical and social understanding of AI and were supported to develop ideas that will economically empower underserved young people. KPMG will now work with the three winning teams from universities in Ireland, Italy and Tanzania to turn their concepts into practical action and all students will be supported with a volunteer KPMG career mentor.
Microsoft Imagine Cup Junior
To further empower future generations, KPMG, Microsoft, UNESCO’s Global Education Coalition and YouthMobile are working together to organize the Imagine Cup Junior Virtual AI Hackathons series for students across Europe, the Middle East and Africa aged 13 to 18, including an event dedicated to girls.
People of KPMG
“Sometimes I pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming that this really is my job at KPMG. I originally joined the firm to work in audit, but a secondment arose to be a development lead to further build ‘IT’s Her Future’, a women in technology program at KPMG in the UK. I have the full support of the senior team to discuss issues, help deal with challenges and remove barriers for women. I also have a great team of volunteers, who truly are the stars of the show. We’ve developed a program that makes a tangible difference not only to women in our own firm, but elsewhere, crossing borders, age groups and on a global scale. We also work in the community to show young girls that it is possible to build a successful career in technology. Since joining the firm, I’ve seen the female headcount across our technology departments rise from 26 percent to 42 percent and our graduate intake stands at 50/50 gender parity. We need to continue to empower all women, that they have a place in technology, and we can only be successful if everyone truly belongs.”
KPMG in the UK
Providing pro bono support to UNESCO
Furthering our commitment to education, we provided UNESCO with critical staff resources to support their Global Education Coalition’s operations and to further its mission. Our people provided pro bono work that helped the development of reporting, communications strategies and project management.
We also supported UNESCO in monitoring education financing, assessing to what extent education has been prioritized in governments’ fiscal responses since the COVID-19 outbreak — using KPMG’s government stimulus tracker, which tracks government aid packages being offered globally to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic.
KPMG has recently joined the Global Skills Academy (GSA) under the umbrella of the Global Education Coalition. UNESCO and KPMG have forged an innovative collaboration to scale up the GSA’s initial target of reaching 1 million learners, to economically empowering 10 million youth by 2030. This strategy is informed by UNESCO research — supported by KPMG — to analyze labor market opportunities, the skills required, successful approaches to addressing the skills gap and supporting students to transition into work.
As part of GSA, KPMG is committed to providing financial and pro bono support, along with volunteer mentors for students and educators.
People of KPMG
“When the global pandemic began, I felt the need to make a more direct impact in some way. Through a secondment opportunity with UNESCO, I was able to support the Global Education Coalition — which aims to address the disruption to education caused by the pandemic and ensure learning never stops.
I joined UNESCO as part of KPMG’s pro bono support to the coalition. With my prior experience working for United Nations’ agencies, and my most recent experience in communications at KPMG, I was able to provide strategic communication support for the team at UNESCO. Getting the chance to develop my skills and grow professionally while supporting UNESCO’s important work was amazing, and I’m grateful to KPMG for the opportunity. My secondment is proof that KPMG lives its Purpose and continues to stand behind its commitment to education and lifelong learning, especially in times when it’s needed most.”
Uplifting our local communities
Our charitable and non-profit support is directed towards organizations and initiatives that meet a compelling community need. We’re focused on areas where we have a significant presence — such as education and lifelong learning — and with programs and initiatives where a meaningful impact can be made.
Community investment value (FY21)
KPMG Partner and employee cash donations
KPMG member firm and Foundation donations
Pro bono engagements
Other (including management costs)
Total community investment value
Number of hours
Pro bono engagements
Total community investment hours
Community investment data based on information received from 38 member firms including the large member firms1.
People of KPMG
“While the refugee situation around the world continued to worsen, KPMG offered me the chance to be a part of something that opened my heart and gave me a sense of purpose. Through the Volunteer Vision program that KPMG in Germany offered employees, I was assigned a mentee from Syria named Nariman. She had a very strong educational background but needed some professional support and career guidance, navigating moving to Europe from Lebanon, where she was stuck with her husband and three children, all under the age of six — living in very difficult conditions. I was able to dedicate time during work hours to connect with my mentee and help her create a professional online profile. After sharing her profile on LinkedIn, within a few weeks Nariman was offered two jobs that enabled her to work remotely. When she received an offer from a British company along with their visas last December, it was the best Christmas present I could have asked for. Now, she works full time in the UK, and we’ve become friends. I’m even hoping to visit her this summer! I have already reapplied for the Volunteer Vision program again. It has honestly given me a purpose.”
KPMG in Germany
People of KPMG
“At KPMG in the US, we introduced Data Citizens with Purpose® to give our KPMG professionals an opportunity to apply their new data and analytics skills through pro bono, data-driven services to non-profits. This program blends the firm’s desire to help the communities we serve with our need to develop and upskill our professionals through applied learning experiences. I have felt tremendous pride in seeing how much people in the firm care and how many want to take action to make a difference. Today, only about a year since we introduced the program, our KPMG professionals volunteered 27,000 Impact hours to help analyze data so that more than 75 non-profit organizations across the country were better equipped to effectively address organizational issues important to them.”
KPMG in the US
People of KPMG
“My mentee and I spent a lot of time during her 4 years in high school, talking about her dreams and different avenues to achieve them. The day she graduated, she told me that our relationship is one of the main reasons she felt empowered to even apply to college, let alone attend. She is the first person in her family to go to college and it was an absolute honor to witness her take a very large step in fulfilling her dream of becoming a doctor. Though it must be noted, I am 100 percent sure I learned more from her in those 4 years than she could ever learn from me.”
KPMG in the US
Providing disaster relief
In the wake of natural disasters around the world — intensified by climate change — vulnerable populations are disproportionately at risk. As a global organization, these issues impact us all and when a crisis hits, we have a responsibility to help where we can.
Helping Bangladesh recover from devastating floods
Bangladesh has faced some of its worst river flooding in recent history, submerging villages and destroying crops and farmland — affecting over 10 million people. With many government schools shut down for months, communities needed school infrastructure improvements, access to clean water and toilet facilities, and livelihood diversification during flood season to prevent the risk of hunger.
With our support, ActionAid successfully achieved its goals of improving school infrastructure, including water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, flood preparedness and alternative livelihood generation — ensuring 1,872 students from eight schools benefited from a safe learning environment.
Helping ensure a safe return to school in Mexico
When Mexico was hit by two major earthquakes, severely affecting the municipality of Miguel Sayaltepec, Oaxaca, it resulted in severe structural damage to schools in the region. Since then, many schools have not had access to water sources to cover the children’s basic sanitation needs. When the pandemic hit, the situation became even more dire as schools needed access to hand washing facilities to prevent the spread of disease. KPMG supported the rehabilitation of the infrastructure damages and assisted with the installation of 43 handwashing stations to help ensure a safe and sanitary return to class.
Providing pandemic relief to India
When India faced its deadly second wave of COVID-19 in 2021, hospitals were overwhelmed and needed vital support. KPMG launched a coordinated global fundraising effort with 12 member firms and raised over US$600,000 — with most donations supporting Red Cross initiatives that included the provision of oxygen, ambulance services, first aid and personal protective equipment.
People of KPMG
“COVID-19 disrupted the entire education system across India in immeasurable ways, particularly schools run by non-profits, which struggled to stay connected with their students. Because of the immediate need for digitizing study material, KPMG volunteers stepped in to help local teachers. We provided IT infrastructure support and hosted sessions to increase awareness on cyber security. Our volunteers hosted learning sessions for students covering diverse areas like academic coaching, mentoring, soft skills and life skills, including extracurricular activities, like virtual museum tours. Virtual volunteering helped us reach students in remote locations and rural communities which were otherwise difficult to access. Since the pandemic began, we’ve organized over 2,200 volunteer sessions, the majority being around skill-based learning. We witnessed a 100 percent increase in the number of our volunteering sessions as compared to before the pandemic. Our volunteers have made a real difference in empowering our communities. We are thankful to our people and their families who invested their time and effort towards citizenship initiatives. Though the pandemic has distanced us, it has brought us closer together as a firm, even if it means virtually.”
Ira Gupta Tuteja
KPMG in India