KPMG Australia has increased revenue by 13 percent to $1.37 billion for the full year to 30 June 2016. The strong top and bottom line results were driven by growth across all divisions – including out-performance from its Management Consulting, Audit & Assurance and Enterprise businesses – enabling the firm to further invest in new market capabilities, opportunities and jobs.
Announcing the results today, CEO Gary Wingrove said: “We’re extremely pleased with outcomes, which reflect the commitment and contribution of our people and partners. Everyone has worked so hard this year and we can all feel proud of what we have achieved together.”
“In repositioning our strategy 3 years ago, we set out with a greater focus on our clients and reducing costs, which sharpened our focus for investing in the right growth areas. We then focused on accelerating this growth and driving a new culture of innovation. And now in the third year of this strategy, we are increasing momentum, delivering our strongest results in a decade.”
A highly disciplined, market-oriented investment program saw four more acquisitions completed during the year including two technology deals (Hands-On Systems, specialist in Microsoft program implementation; and Markets IT, focused on Murex) – and two deals in the area of well-being/social responsibility (The Performance Clinic and Banarra).
”Our domestic investments are very much aligned with our global strategic growth investments,” said KPMG Australia Chairman, Peter Nash. “Global collaboration when investing provides a number of key benefits for us – ncluding greater speed to market, consistency of methodology and approach, critical mass of deep subject matter experts, shared cost of development and shared commitment to success. It’s a very powerful approach, which is proving highly successful.”
New capabilities were added through strategic hiring of teams and individuals. A record number of 60 new partners were hired – with 38 percent having an innovation, transformation, technology or cyber focus. In addition, KPMG further plans to increase its cognitive capabilities and apply IBM Watson cognitive computing technology to a range of its professional services offerings in Australia, extending the firm’s global network of strategic alliances which include Microsoft and McLaren.
A key differentiator for the firm is its strategic focus on people and culture. As part of a national strategy examining where and how people work, partners and staff moved into new office-free ‘agile working’ premises in Sydney. This follows successful agile working rollouts in Western Sydney and Adelaide offices. Melbourne office will relocate to new agile work premises at Collins Square by the end of the year, and plans are also underway for Perth and Brisbane offices.
Supporting agile working, a new flexible working policy, Everyone Agile, was launched and there was considerable investment in learning and leadership capability across all parts of the firm. KPMG also launched a market-leading Domestic Violence Policy.
Significant progress was made during the year to advance the firm’s goal of driving innovation and cross-firm collaboration. Internal initiatives included the second year of the firm’s crowdsourcing program, Innovation Tiger, generating a 40 percent uptick in the number of staff ideas. The top five innovations received seed funding to further explore their ideas. Fifty staff were given a true entrepreneurial experience with a 3 day startup at Stone & Chalk, of which the firm is a founding partner. KPMG also launched its first Innovation Seed Fund accessible to all staff. Since the official launch in late March more than 80 new ideas were submitted, and 6 concepts have been funded.
A diverse range of new client offerings was launched, including Solution 49x – a fast-growing cognitive and artificial intelligence consulting team. KPMG commenced building its first Innovation Lab and Insights Centre in Sydney, with plans for further pop up Innovation Labs and a second Insight Centre in Melbourne. These will provide new capability enabling the firm to explore disruption in all its forms in collaboration with clients.
KPMG continued to invest in its communities, providing skills and resources to tackle some of the most pressing national issues. The firm’s total contribution to not-for-profit organisations across the country was over $14 million for the year. This included close to 30,000 hours volunteered through pro bono work, secondments, mentoring, tutoring and volunteering programs. In addition, KPMG procured goods and services from Indigenous and Fairtrade suppliers, and exceeded its target of reducing our carbon footprint by 10 percent over a 5 year period.
In 2012, KPMG Australia introduced a 5 year diversity and inclusion strategy. In October 2013, KPMG took a market leading stance to address gender equality in its workplace by publicly announcing targets – to increase the numbers of women partners to 25 percent and women in ‘senior leadership’ to 40 percent by 1 July 2016.
“We recognised that women were under-represented in senior leadership positions and that needed to change. Since then we have made considerable progress towards that target – increasing the number of women partners from 16 percent to 21 percent and the number of women in ‘senior leadership’ roles from 29 percent to 34 percent,” said Gary.
“Targets focus our efforts for change. While we have fallen short of our gender diversity targets, we’ve delivered a real step change in the way that we embed diversity in our business, and learned some invaluable lessons which we believe will serve us well as we renew our commitment to diversity and the targets which we will drive towards achieving.”
The Board of KPMG Australia recently endorsed a revised ambitious gender diversity target of 30 percent women in partnership by December 2020.
For the first time, the firm’s Advisory division grew to represent more than half of firm revenues, contributing 52 percent of revenues, with Audit & Assurance 32 percent and Tax 16 percent.
Advisory performed strongly delivering 20 percent growth across its three service lines (Management Consulting, Risk Consulting, Deal Advisory) – which all grew during the year.
The performance of Management Consulting was exceptional – 33 percent growth – demonstrating the success of the strategy to deepen and expand sector expertise and capabilities focused on disruption, transformation, technology and customer advisory. New services also included Workplace Relations and Corporate Affairs Advisory.
Continuing regulatory reform and complexity saw Risk Consulting deliver its strongest growth for several years, 7 percent. The acquisition of Banarra, a market-leading human rights and social impact consultancy, coupled with technology enhancements in Internal Audit, Bottlenose, Fintech and Regtech saw the practice introduce new and innovative services to meet increasing demand.
Deal Advisory achieved good growth of 6 percent across its core businesses, reflecting an increased focus on leveraging specialist expertise in more active sectors. Growth was driven by inbound acquisition activity, together with merger and demerger activity of major listed companies and ongoing activity in greenfield infrastructure projects. There were good transaction flows (both buying and selling) in real estate, a continuing resilient IPO market, robust M&A activity in the mid-market, and a gradual shift to a flight to quality from banks in the debt markets.
Audit & Assurance again performed strongly with 5 percent growth in a highly competitive market. Both statutory and non-statutory work increased and revenues continued to diversify. New public company audits included some of the year’s biggest IPOs. Investment in Audit & Assurance was significant with new audit quality initiatives including more D&A technologies, D&A-focused non-accounting graduate hires and in a potentially game-changing move, KPMG Australia announced plans to apply IBM Watson cognitive computing technology to audit and assurance services.
Under new leadership, growth in the Tax practice of 5 percent was achieved through transformation of the business which included delivering compliance engagements differently by investing in technology, and launching the first offerings in a series of innovative digital services for clients – R&D Edge and ESS (Employee Share Scheme) Recorder. The division capitalised on a strong transaction market, demand for expertise on tax controversy and audit matters, and increasingly strong demand for transfer pricing and international tax assistance, given the BEPS (base erosion and profit shifting) agenda.
The firm’s specialist practice for entrepreneurs, family businesses and fast-growing companies exceeded budget and delivered strong 10 percent growth, while implementing significant strategic change. Enterprise commenced repositioning itself in the market. Investment was primarily focused on a cloud/digital strategy, and an enhanced Advisory services offering.
KPMG Australia recently updated its strategy to fully reflect its digital aspirations for how it works with clients and how it empowers its people. The firm will accelerate implementation of a refreshed digital strategy, having recently appointed a Chief Digital Officer to drive global, cross-divisional innovation and collaboration for the benefit of the firm and its clients.
"We recognise the impacts of the pace and nature of change and are navigating the challenges of disruption and innovation. While the speed of transformation has intensified around the world we remain optimistic about growth prospects for our organisation, and the opportunities for our clients," said Gary.
“We’ll continue to focus on our key investment areas, including a strong focus on our people-based performance and innovation initiatives aimed at enhancing our ability to think differently, and embracing the disruptive era,” he concluded.
Head of Communications, KPMG
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