Professional services firm KPMG – one of the ‘big four’ of UK accountancy firms along with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young and Deloitte & Touche – has had a very good year.
The company’s revenues were up 14 per cent to £1,454 million, and operating profits grew by 19 per cent to £373m, across all its business lines.
The firm also announced plans last October to merge KPMG’s UK and German member firms to create Europe’s largest accountancy firm – which should have revenues of more than £2 billion – following a new EU directive allowing mergers between European accounting firms. CEO Colin Cook believes that the merger between the UK firm and the KPMG practice in Germany can only enhance the company as the best career choice for ambitious graduates.
The process will also enable KPMG to operate as a single entity, dovetailing IT systems, speaking with a single voice to government and offering cross-fertilising employment exchange opportunities.
Its long-term plan is for its other European member firms to join the new entity as and when they are ready. The firm provides audit, tax, financial and risk advisory services and in the UK has over 10,000 partners and staff in 22 offices.
In technology terms the merger will build on the internal transformation and infrastructure work that KPMG was carrying out so that its technology was better aligned to the business and provide integration work to make sure the merger runs smoothly.
Cook highlighted the role technology is playing for the firm in its most recent annual report. “Technology has an important role to play. We need to take greater advantage of this, but have made considerable strides already.
“It is significant that we now employ more IT specialists in our tax business – using technology both for compliance purposes and to shape and deliver solutions – than we do in our complete IT back-office.