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Transparency Report

People and culture

Continuing to strengthen and evolve our culture is key to building a stronger and more sustainable firm for the future.

Our people in numbers

Number of people (onshore) in Audit / 5,647 1 Oct 23
(1 Oct 22: 5,118)
Number of people (offshore) in Audit / 2,060 1 Oct 23
(1 Oct 22: 2,220)
% of women in Audit /
1 Oct 23
(1 Oct 22: 47%)
% of ethnic minority colleagues in Audit / 43% 1 Oct 23
(1 Oct 22: 37%)
% of black heritage colleagues in Audit / 10% 1 Oct 23
(1 Oct 22: 7%)
% of disabled colleagues in Audit / 6% 1 Oct 23
(1 Oct 22: 7%)
% of lesbian, gay & bi colleagues in Audit / 5% 1 Oct 23
(1 Oct 22: 4%)
% of lower socio-economic background colleagues in Audit / 17% 1 Oct 23
(1 Oct 22: 18%)
Total number of promotions in Audit this year / 771 2 Oct 22 to 1 Oct 23
(2 Oct 21 to 1 Oct 22: 970)
Number of Partner promotions in Audit this year / 7 2 Oct 22 to 1 Oct 23
(2 Oct 21 to 1 Oct 22: 38)
81% / of Audit colleagues feel proud to work for KPMG 2023 Global People Survey1
(2022: 80%)

Firm-wide culture

At KPMG we are guided by our values and doing great work that matters.

Our values represent what we believe in and who we aspire to be: Integrity, Excellence, Courage, Together, For Better.

Our values bind us together, across our different backgrounds and cultures, and are common to each of us. They guide our behaviours day-to-day, informing how we act, the decisions we take, and how we work with each other.

We have set a bold ambition to become the most trusted and trustworthy professional services firm. To achieve that, we need to build our culture with trust at the core. Our values are key to this.

We’re building a culture that is open, safe and inclusive, and that operates to the highest ethical and quality standards. A culture and environment that is continually listening, evolving and learning.

Our firm-wide Culture Plan has five pillars to help build the consistent culture we want across the whole of our firm:

  • Values-led organisation
  • Do work that matters
  • Open, safe and inclusive
  • High quality and ethical standards
  • Listen, learn and evolve

You can find out more about our firm’s culture here.

Our risk management principles (see Quality Control and Risk Management Section) help us to ensure we manage risks that we take across the firm and act responsibly in line with our values.

Audit culture

In Audit, we have eight practical goals enabling us to embed our High Challenge, High Support culture. These eight goals are aligned to the five firm-wide Culture Plan pillars:

Firm-wide Culture Plan pillar Audit culture goal
Values-led organisation 1. We lead with integrity
Do work that matters 2. Do work that matters
Open, safe and inclusive 3. We foster an open, safe and inclusive environment
High quality and ethical standards 4. Uphold highest ethical and quality standards
5. Recognition, measurement and reporting
6. Culture of challenge
7. Quality coaching
Listen, learn and evolve 8. We listen, learn and evolve

We recognise that having the right culture drives a professional scepticism mindset and empowers our people to thrive with us and learn for a lifetime. Creating and nurturing the right culture improves audit quality and supports the effective delivery and growth of our business. We provide the right environment to support our people and give them opportunities to develop their skills and gain relevant experience.

Our culture programme activities are foundational to our strategy in Audit. This programme of work has matured, and we have built resources, local networks and mechanisms to constantly embed that culture, with leaders demonstrating with leaders demonstrating the right behaviours.

We continue to be highly encouraged by the extent to which our High Challenge, High Support culture resonates with Audit colleagues. During our 2023 culture focus group sessions, 71% of colleagues told us they felt there was a “High challenge, High support” culture within their engagement teams. Our 2023 Global People Survey1 results also show that 73% of our people see KPMG as taking the right steps to strengthen the culture.

The eight goals of our High Challenge, High Support culture in Audit

Our eight Audit culture goals enable us to have continuity with the whole firm culture approach, while also accommodating the specific needs and dynamics of the Audit environment.

1. We lead with integrity
78% / of Audit colleagues feel our Partners demonstrate our Values in their everyday behaviour and actions. 2023 Global People Survey1
(2022: 82%)

We continue to ensure that our values and cultural mindset are driven from the top, with leadership demonstrating and communicating a commitment to quality, ethics and integrity which can cascade down through the organisation.

Leaders are key in setting the tone and embodying the values we aspire to – and they also need to be accessible and available to colleagues. That is why we have continued to give colleagues the opportunity to share their views with leadership, through a variety of mechanisms such as open forums and informal events.

To help build and deepen understanding of our values and how they translate into our everyday work, we held a week-long celebration across the firm in November 2022 – Values Week – that focused on a different value each day. Activities included:

  • A diverse line-up of guest speaker events to provoke discussion on our values. These were: a panel of England women’s football Lionesses talking about Excellence, World Champion diver Tom Daley talking about Courage, former Deputy Chief Medical Officer Sir Jonathan Van-Tam talking about Integrity, and education activist Vee Kativhu talking about For Better.
  • Colleague-led content reporting on and discussing our values.
  • Regional learning opportunities and creative installations in our offices, to help bring our values to life.
  • The week ended with our second People Awards – focused on Together, aimed at recognising the teams and individuals at KPMG who exemplify our values.

Following the success of Values Week, we ran Values Immersion sessions across the firm – with 205 sessions taking place across Audit (180 face-to-face and 25 virtual) from November 2022 to March 2023. These sessions provided our people with the opportunity to explore and discuss our values, what they mean, where they can be compromised and the powerful impact that living our values has on us as individuals and as a firm. In total, 4,874 people in Audit attended a Values Immersion session, representing 94% of total Audit colleagues during that period.

We held our second Values Week (this time globally) in November 2023 and are currently running the follow-on to the Values Immersion sessions (called Our Values In Action sessions) given the importance of remaining focused on the Firm’s values. The Our Values in Action sessions will explore our values of Integrity and Courage in more depth.

2. Do Work that matters

Our purpose is to support sustainability and resilience in our society by building investor trust. This has never been more vital to ensure a properly functioning audit market, as audit plays a pivotal role in the economy.

We participate in a number of public interest initiatives such as the Spring Report on audit quality, as well as running our Audit Committee Institute (also known as our Board Leadership Centre) and a wider investor engagement programme. For more information see Audit quality (External communication and engagement).

Improving social mobility in our local communities is core to our firm’s values and is at the heart of our communities strategy. Through our Opening Doors to Opportunities programme, we aim to give one million young people the opportunity to develop their skills by 2030. Our work on National Numeracy Day, which we co-founded with charity National Numeracy in 2018, is one of our flagship initiatives supporting this aim – the sixth National Numeracy Day took place on 17 May 2023, with the campaign garnering support from 9,369 individuals and organisations.

In addition, through our strategic philanthropy work, we not only raise vital funds for our national charity partner, Marie Curie, but also bring colleagues together, supporting wellbeing and connection across the Firm. Over 1,200 Audit colleagues (approximately 20% of Audit’s headcount) signed up to take part in KPMG Big Walks over the summer months to raise money for Marie Curie.

In our 2023 Global People Survey1 survey, 73% of Audit colleagues responded that they are encouraged to contribute to their community. This was an increase of 13 percentage points from the GPS in 2022.

3. We foster an open, safe and inclusive environment
Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (IDE)

Our strategy to build trust and grow our firm is underpinned by an inclusive culture. Fostering an open, safe and speak-up culture is crucial to promote diversity, equity, and a sense of belonging. Within Audit we use many culture interventions and activities that promote a psychologically safe environment where colleagues feel confident to speak up and challenge the day-to-day.

Our leaders are committed to driving change and are held accountable with set targets and action plans to 2030 for IDE which they’re measured against regularly. We also remain committed to being transparent about our remuneration and pay gaps. In 2021 we became one of the first UK businesses to publish our socio-economic background pay gaps, and we continue to report on our pay gaps against several under-represented characteristics (our current and historical Pay Gap Reports can be found here).

Examples of our commitment to date include:

  • Inclusive Leadership Board (ILB) – The ILB started in 2016 and is a collection of internal senior stakeholders and a number of external consultants who meet once a quarter to advise KPMG on our Talent strategy, specifically from an inclusion perspective. In 2023, topics discussed included gender equity, the future of work, social mobility, wellbeing and multi-generational inclusion. We have brought this group together with the co-chairs and partner sponsors of our 16 employee networks for a collaboration and mentoring event.
  • Black Lives Action Plan – This has been in place for over three years and has recently been refreshed and updated. This plan includes the launch of our Black Heritage Allyship Programme; our Cross Company Allyship Programme; our Black Lives Matter learning pathway; and our Black Entrepreneurs Awards. We are really proud of the impact seen to date which includes 32% of Black heritage colleagues from the first two cohorts of the Black Heritage Allyship Programme having been promoted within 12 months of joining the programme. KPMG also ranked in the Top 10 of the Investing in Ethnicity Matrix.
  • IDE training – Our mandatory training ‘Enhancing our Vision’ was launched in 2022 to all KPMG UK partners and employees. It is designed to engage colleagues and encourage them to reflect on how their identities influence their experiences and how other people may experience things differently. The module covers the legal and regulatory landscape with specific reference to the Equality Act 2010 and protected characteristics. It outlines colleagues’ roles and responsibilities in helping the Firm meet our obligations under the law and our own policies, including our firm-wide policy on Inclusion, Diversity and Equity. The training includes significant levels of user-generated content to drive engagement.
  • Ask Me Anything sessions – These have been rolled out across 23 engagements in Banking Audit to encourage a breaking down of silos and hierarchy as well as building psychological safety within teams. Many topics have been positively discussed, and our people have really welcomed the opportunity to ask questions about any topics that are important to them. These sessions continue to be rolled out across the whole of Audit through our Culture Ambassador network.
  • Employee networks – In our bid to build an inclusive culture, we have 16 employee networks open to all, providing a sense of community and creating learning experiences for those who want to increase their own diversity awareness or become an ally. They deliver a calendar of events throughout the year to celebrate key moments, where people can voice their own lived experiences and provide vital feedback and insight to leadership.

We are proud to have been recognised externally as a Times Top 50 Employer for Gender Equality; as a Disability Confident Leader; as a top 10 employer in the 2023 Stonewall Workplace Equality Index; and to have ranked in the top five in the Social Mobility Employer Index every year since its inception in 2017.

When considering our talent, we strive to attract people from all backgrounds at every stage of their career and empower them to reach their full potential. To help us access diverse talent pools we have engaged with specialist recruitment agencies such as Auticon who improve the employment prospects of autistic people by helping find high quality careers for skilled neurodiverse adults. We also work with Gap Talent who help us reach and place Black heritage hires. In addition, we continue to invest in programmes such as Access Accountancy where all our KPMG Discovery work experience places are for candidates from low socio-economic backgrounds. We have enrolled our second cohort of colleagues into our Audit Black Heritage Talent programme, which explores numerous themes with internal and external speakers to support people in their career development and maximise their potential.


Our people are what make our firm a success. We recognise the importance of health and wellbeing in enabling our people to be at their best - so we make it a priority. We provide all our colleagues with extensive access to essential services, guidance and support networks, helping them thrive at work and at home. Examples include:

  • We held a Wellbeing Innovation Challenge, with the winning idea, ‘Focus Time Working’, launched in our January 2022 Wellbeing Week alongside sessions on wellbeing in a hybrid world.
  • Our wellbeing ambassadors continue to promote wellbeing at a local level and we have successfully piloted Mental Health First Aiders in Audit.
  • We run a speaker series which brings our Culture Ambition and expected behaviours to life. Through a diverse range of speakers from across industry, the series stimulates thinking and supports our people with practical actions, hints and tips that they can apply to their everyday working lives. This year we have focused on the theme of psychological safety with leaders from the business talking through their own stories and learnings from the past.

Driving quality through fair opportunity

One of the key drivers of quality is making sure we assign people with the right level of skills and experience to the right engagements. Doing this requires a focus on the recruitment, development, promotion and retention of our people, and the development of robust capacity and resource management processes.

Key considerations include experience, accreditation, training and capacity in view of the size, complexity, industry and risk profile of the engagement and the type of support to be provided. This may include involving local specialists or those from other KPMG member firms.

We know that getting this right also has a huge impact on the opportunities and career development of our people from historically under-represented groups. We ensure that engagements and projects are allocated fairly.


All candidates follow a thorough selection process which, depending on the role, includes:

  • Application screening.
  • Competency based interviews.
  • Fit and proper checks.
  • Psychometric and ability testing.
  • Qualification and reference checks.

Upon joining the firm, qualified joiners take part in an induction programme which includes training in areas such as: ethics and independence, quality and risk management, engagement management and people management procedures, with a particular focus on KPMG’s values and culture.

As part of our Audit people strategy, we have recently made a number of significant improvements to the way we onboard and welcome our qualified joiners, helping set them up for success in their new roles. Our induction programme now gives candidates a truly blended experience, learning new skills in a classroom environment and then immediately applying them through on-the-job experience from week one. New joiners receive dedicated support via an online portal and have access to an onboarding experience lead to help them with any early queries. We also recognise that joining from another country brings with it other challenges and have launched a new pre-boarding programme to support international joiners, with buddies assigned from the moment an offer is accepted to provide additional support.

Accelerated Programme

For our Class of 2023 we have developed an Accelerated Programme which focuses on our graduates working towards an ACA qualification. The programme is structured to invest in and boost our graduates’ technical abilities up front, making them ‘work ready’ more quickly. Those on the programme spend the first of three years learning and gaining the majority of their ACA qualification, with around 65% of this learning being delivered face-to-face. This gives our graduates more time and space to get up to speed, whilst also offering greater opportunity for them to build their professional networks and learn together.

Alongside the core curriculum covered as part of the ACA qualification, we also upskill on other soft skills and train the new recruits in the big issues facing business, like ESG and technology.

Hybrid Working

We have continued to embed our hybrid working model – our people tell us that they appreciate having more flexibility about where they work as this provides better work-life balance. Hybrid working allows us to do many of the things we used to do pre-pandemic but in an environment with more variety and where we bring together the best of both worlds – working at home as well as being in the office and at engagement sites, where the full diversity of our people can flourish, empowered by agile working. In our 2023 Global People Survey1, 84% of Audit colleagues said that they feel they can work where they are most effective to meet audited entity, business and team needs.

We have re-introduced in person learning to allow our people to collaborate, knowledge share and build stronger networks. From October 2023, we also began hosting the final stage of our student recruitment process (Launch Pad) in person.

4. Uphold highest ethical and quality standards

Firm-wide Ethics Programme

To help achieve our culture ambition of ensuring that we consistently operate to the highest ethical standards, in 2022 we developed a formal ethics programme, with the assistance of the Institute of Business Ethics (‘the IBE’), which operates across the whole of the firm. The programme is framed around each of the eight elements in the IBE’s Business Ethics Framework and each element is sponsored by a member of our ExCo. The programme, which is rolled forward on a quarterly basis, is overseen by our firm’s Ethics Partner who reports into the Executive and the Board every quarter on both the delivery of the programme and on what the key MI indicates about the firm’s ethical health. In addition, all Capability leadership teams, including the Audit Executive, receive quarterly ethical health reporting for their part of the business. In 2023, we invited the IBE back to provide an independent perspective (one year on) of the execution and impact of the ethics programme.

Ethics and reporting

Where colleagues have any concerns about any ethical or conduct issue, they are encouraged to speak to their manager in the first instance if they feel comfortable to do so – but a number of other routes are available. This includes our whistleblowing hotline, Speak Up, which is overseen by an external ombudsman and is completely confidential. We also have a network of Ethics Champions – colleagues based at each of our UK offices who are available should colleagues wish to discuss any ethical concerns. In the year to 30 September 2023, there were over 100 Ethics Champions (2022: over 100) nationwide who helped colleagues with 202 concerns they wished to raise (2022: 214). We are pleased to see that our colleagues also continue to use the Speak Up hotline where 50 separate matters were reported (2022: 45). Members of our Audit Board also meet with people around the business several times a year as an important part of taking a temperature check on culture.

Putting quality at the core of performance evaluation and remuneration

84% / of Audit colleagues feel the review of their performance place a significant emphasis on thier contribution to audit quality 2023 Global People Survey1
(2022: 81%)

Audit quality is the most important metric for measuring the performance – and by extension, the reward – of Audit partners and professionals. The Quality and Performance Matrix we use to assess an individual’s performance looks at quality and how it interacts with other factors. An individual’s overall rating depends on the interaction of both.

We use a quality monitoring report to collate objective evidence of an auditor’s performance in relation to quality. Evidence includes indicators from reviews and inspections, and feedback on the auditor’s engagement with the quality process.

The Chief Auditor and Audit Risk Management Partner contribute to the assessment of performance in respect of risk and quality matters and this assessment is factored into the remuneration discussions for Audit partners. The governance of this process is overseen by the Audit Board.

Auditors must be independent to do their jobs effectively. As such, everyone in the Audit practice, and staff from other areas of the firm that contribute to audits, are not evaluated, promoted or remunerated for the selling of non-audit services to entities we audit. There are no incentives for auditors to do this.

In 2023, 98% of people between Partner and Manager level were awarded a quality rating consistent with no, or only limited, performance improvements necessary. The remaining 2% of individuals where more significant performance improvements were identified were provided with targeted improvement plans and goals.

Personal development and performance evaluation

We continue to place a strong emphasis on the personal development, performance management and fair reward of all people within the Audit practice.

Our Open Performance Development framework supports our people when thinking about career aspirations, progression and personal development needs via regular performance conversations and ongoing feedback from those they work with. We are further developing a Career Pathways Tool to support people’s understanding of how they can build their skills to facilitate moves into different teams.

There is a clear focus on setting stretching goals and investing in annual performance reviews to help identify high performers who have the potential to take on more senior or complex roles. High performers are further developed through rotation opportunities, internal and global secondments and talent programmes.

We have reward and promotion policies that are clear, simple and linked to performance evaluation processes so that our people know what is expected of them and what they can expect to receive in return.

Partner admissions

Our process for admission to the partnership is rigorous and thorough for both internal promotes and external hires. This includes a business and personal case for the individual candidate as well as an independent psychometric assessment. Our key criteria for admission to partner (both Equity and Salaried) reflect our commitment to professionalism and integrity, delivering high-quality audits and being the best choice for the entities we audit and our people.

Basis of partner and director performance and remuneration

Our remuneration model drives and rewards behaviour consistent with our strategy and values, reflecting an individual’s performance over time as well as current in-year performance against their goals.

For our salaried partners and directors, Audit Quality is the primary indicator of performance and caps are applied to performance ratings where there are quality issues identified. For FY23, bonuses for all staff and salaried partners are based on firm-wide, Capability and individual performance (performance ratings).

The Salaried Partner Pathway profit share bonus is calculated using percentage of salary, a unit value performance modifier and an individual performance zone modifier.

For our equity partners, there are four Partner Bands and a Unit Based remuneration model that has been in place since FY21. The four bands outline the expected impact and scale of sustainable contribution to the firm at different levels of partner, with expectations and complexity increasing with seniority.

Each member’s Unit allocation, including those who are on the Executive Committee, is determined with reference to the descriptors which set out the expectations at each Partner Band:

  • Sustained performance. Audit quality is the primary factor within the Audit practice.
  • Market value of skillset.
  • Individual capability.
  • Leadership qualities and overall contribution to the group.

The LLP Partnership Agreement requires that a minimum of 75% of group profits, excluding the results of certain overseas subsidiaries (adjusted group), must be allocated to members. The Board’s discretion in respect of amounts not allocated is subject to a maximum retention of 25% of the accounting profits of the group for the period. Any proposal of the Board to retain more than 25% of the accounting profits of the group for the period is subject to a member vote.

During the year members receive monthly drawings and further profit distributions. The level and timing of the additional profit distributions are decided by the Executive Committee, considering the partnership’s cash requirements for operating and investing activities. Both the monthly drawings and profit distributions are reclaimable from members until the date on which profits are allocated.

As at 1 October 2023, there were 364 Salaried Partners and 469 Equity Partners in the UK firm. There were 109 Equity Partners in Audit, of which 97 are RIs, the rest do not require RI status.

5. Recognition, measurement and reporting

Recognising our success

Through our revamped Audit Quality and Culture Awards and also our firmwide People Awards, we have seen many excellent examples of individuals and teams living our values and reaching the highest standards of professionalism and quality.

The Audit Quality and Culture Awards, which run twice a year, recognise and celebrate those individuals and teams who champion audit quality and demonstrate our expected behaviours. The winning nominations are judged by an expert panel and gold and silver medallists are chosen for each category, with medallists winning a significant financial reward. In FY23, we had over 1,900 winners and good news stories linked to our culture goals. These stories continue to be used across Audit to further embed our culture ambition and drive good practices.

The People Awards 2022 were our most ambitious and inclusive yet, filmed from five regional locations with senior leadership and Executive Committee members also in attendance. The Awards received over 850 nominations which were narrowed down over two rounds of judging to 30 individual and team finalists in six categories.

As part of these awards this year we also recognised colleagues who went above and beyond in the Sustainability and Social Impact category, and we gave the opportunity for our viewers to vote live for the new ‘People’s Choice’ Award.

6. Culture of challenge

We continue to roll out practices and interventions that promote a culture of challenge. This is essential in upholding the principles of quality, independence, objectivity and ethics while promoting continuous improvement.

Our culture of challenge narrative is shared and reinforced with audit colleagues through our mandatory audit training. For 2023 we have focused content on:

  • Adopting a curious mindset to look for disconfirming evidence and challenging management.
  • What it means to stretch safely and have a growth mindset.
  • Building an effective working environment to enable scepticism and challenge.
  • Bringing to life the importance of understanding the responsibilities between KPMG, the audited entity and the Audit Committee Chair.

The FRC carried out a Thematic Review 'What makes a good environment for auditor scepticism and challenge?’ during the year which included tailored recommendations for each firm. The FRC’s recommendations have been assigned to Audit’s leadership to drive these forward. Demonstrating the importance of a culture of challenge continues to form part of our quarterly mandatory auditor training and was the golden thread through our KPMG Audit University (KAU), an annual residential programme for both auditors and IT auditors that takes place each summer.

Our 194 Culture Ambassadors (FY22: 140) continue to drive positive messaging around demonstrating a culture of challenge and share our Challenge and Support videos at a local level. These videos reinforce the High Challenge, High Support culture for audit teams, what we expect of colleagues, and what they should expect of each other. Our Culture Ambassadors and Wellbeing Ambassadors presented at each KAU event this year to reinforce our messages around Focus Time Working and Productivity.

Audited entities somewhat satisfied or very satisfied with level of challenge on key estimates and judgements / 84% FY23
(FY22: 87%)
91% / of Audit colleagues feel the culture and tone set by leadership promotes the importance of audit quality 2023 Global People Survey1
(2022: 94%)
88% / of Audit colleagues feel our commitment to quality is apparent in what we do on a day-to-day basis 2023 Global People Survey1
(2022: 89%)

I really enjoy these ‘culture of challenge’ training modules that encourage us to challenge our current way of thinking. The materials are well-written and explained, meaning that I can easily buy into the High Challenge, High Support culture.

Nirith Basdow, Assistant Audit Manager
7. Quality coaching

To invest in building the skills and capabilities of our professionals, we continue to adopt a continuous learning environment. We support a coaching culture throughout KPMG as part of enabling colleagues to achieve their full potential.

Our Coaching for Quality programme, which was developed with the support of external behavioural psychologists, gives colleagues the tools they need for productive coaching conversations.

New engagement leaders are also provided with an experienced mentor to support their transition into this critical role.

A Coaching Challenge was rolled out across 23 engagements in Banking Audit during FY23, with further roll-out planned to all audit performance groups. Team feedback confirms that this challenge has made colleagues feel psychologically safe to speak up and ask more questions and has built stronger relationships across engagements.

As part of the Audit Quality Coaching Awards we had 244 winners who demonstrated quality coaching in the spring and autumn 2023 awards cycles. These stories feature individuals who exemplified our culture by investing heavily in coaching their teams and developing junior team members.

Spring 2023 Audit Quality Culture Awards – Delivering Quality winner Vivek Kohli, Audit Director, is a role model in driving audit quality and empowers his teams to focus on optimising the audit approach, challenging management and being professionally sceptical. Vivek supports his teams to focus on complex issues up front and to consult when needed. He is always willing and available to share his knowledge with all team members and provide high-quality coaching on technical areas and development of other skills too. Vivek takes time to coach to a high standard and explain concepts in detail which enables the whole team to develop.
8. We listen, learn and evolve

Practical tools and resources continue to create culture change on the ground

We have been embedding our Culture Ambition by developing practical tools, resources and events that help our colleagues understand and apply our Culture Ambition in practice. Our progress in 2023 has included:

  • Audit-led activities and resources:
    • We’ve conducted over 65 culture focus groups together with the Root Cause Analysis team to understand cultural and behavioural drivers and identify areas that may require improvement.
    • We’ve produced talking points to discuss with audit committees and audited entities about the respective culture and behavioural responsibilities within the ecosystem of KPMG, the audit committee and audited entity management. These talking points have been shared with engagement teams through our mandatory training and technical updates.
    • We’ve also created talking points about our High Challenge, High Support ethos for teams to use in audit tenders.
  • Driving cultural change locally:
    • Our Culture Ambassador network has grown to 194 colleagues helping to embed our Culture Ambition.
    • Using our Curiosity Quarter speaker series podcasts, we have held local teams accountable to drive engagement and apply learnings through the Culture Ambassador network.
    • Our coaching materials continue to be used locally and reinforced in quarterly mandatory training. Coaching training is also delivered to newly promoted managers and experienced hires.

Management information and how we use it

Continuing to measure our progress is key to success. We baseline and measure our culture on a holistic basis, using a variety of sources of management information including our firm-wide Culture Dashboard, our culture assessments, and through consultation with our Audit Evolution Board.

The sources of management information we use include:

  • Our Global People Survey which gives colleagues from KPMG member firms an opportunity to express their views on a range of topics about life at KPMG. We use the responses to gather insight and identify issues that affect colleagues both locally and globally. We regularly update Audit colleagues on the progress we are making against the focus areas in a newsletter called ‘You Said, We Did’.
  • Our bi-annual Pulse surveys which are a temperature check to measure our progress against our firm-wide priority areas.
  • Our Audit Listening Programme which gathers views from the entities we audit.
  • Culture assessments where we provide opportunities to effectively listen to and support audit teams, departments and offices in understanding the level of embeddedness of our values and Culture Ambition.
  • A culture measurement tool, CultureScope, which helps identify our culture strengths, areas of focus and action plans.
  • Reports to our Speak Up hotline.
  • Coaching surveys.
  • Audit leaver feedback.
  • Root Cause Analysis Outcomes
  • In FY24 we will use Culture Amp, a new employee experience platform, which will provide us with more detailed, real-time analysis of colleague sentiment, enabling us to identify areas of focus and take action sooner than we’ve previously been able to.

Working with the Root Cause Analysis team, we also continue to measure our culture through focus groups where we deep dive into the behaviours we need to focus on, to test the vision of what ‘High Challenge, High Support’ looks like and how we get there. We held over 65 focus groups in 2023 which were attended by over 400 Audit colleagues. These inputs are helping us target our actions where they will have the greatest impact.


70% / of Audit colleagues feel their leaders take an active role in their learning and development 2023 Global People Survey1
(2022: 69%)

A comprehensive learning programme is in place for our Audit practice. This covers both technical and non-technical skills and includes a mix of face-to-face, virtual and digitally delivered content. The formal learning programme is complemented with many informal workshops and locally run sessions on a variety of topics. One example is our Milestone programme, which is run firm-wide for newly promoted Managers and Senior Managers. This has just been refreshed for this year and focuses on what their new role entails, what the firm’s culture ambition is and how they can further develop their leadership skills.

Our graduates work through our Audit Foundations programme over a two-year period, covering all elements of a KPMG audit, including our methodology, workflow and technology as well as the business skills required for their role. From their third year onwards, they attend our flagship programme, KPMG Audit University. More information on this programme is included in the Audit Quality section of this report.

As part of the revamp of our onboarding programme for Qualified New Joiners, we have ensured that a significant part of their learning is carried out face-to-face. The learning is also complemented by an on-the-job experience passport, worked through whilst being mentored on their initial engagements, to enable them to apply their learning more effectively and be set up for success in their new roles.

Our Audit Evolution Board

As our audit landscape changes and the role of the auditor transforms, it becomes increasingly important for leadership to listen to the views from those closer to audit delivery and impacted by key decisions made across the Audit practice. For this reason, the Audit Evolution Board (AEB) was formed in 2020.

The Audit Evolution Board's role is to provide challenge, diversity of thought, new insight and recommendations to matters discussed by the Audit Executive and Audit Board and to play a part in improving the culture of trust and quality within the Audit business. There are 12 members, from trainees to Senior Managers across an array of locations within our UK Audit practice, also including one non-Audit member. This diverse group brings a wide range of opinions, experience and perspectives to meetings. Monthly meetings are attended by AEB members, the Chair (who is a member of our Audit Executive team), and presenters.

This year, the Audit Evolution Board has restructured itself into pillars that align with our audit strategy (People, Audit Quality, Delivery and Growth). This allows the AEB to draw focus, drive change effectively and act as a sounding board for leadership proposals.

The Audit Evolution Board participated in two of our judging panels in 2023 including the Audit Quality and Culture Awards and the Audit Innovation Challenge. The AEB will continue to act as a representative on these panels to show our commitment, alongside the Audit Executive, to ensuring individuals are recognised and rewarded for delivering high-quality work and living our values and Culture Ambition.

12023 Global People Survey data is based on 4,055 Audit colleague responses (2022: 3,371 Audit colleague responses)

People and culture priorities for FY24

We’re committed to delivering on our strategic plans through our People and Culture programmes for FY24.


  • Furthering our career development initiatives through digitalised career ‘maps’, creating skills-based learning pathways (technical and non-technical), and providing practical skill application opportunities.
  • Promoting our High Challenge, High Support culture with the revamped pre/onboarding process for our future qualified joiners and providing 'hyper-care' support via a dedicated website and concierge, particularly for international joiners.
  • Developing new learning programmes for future managers and senior managers to engage, develop and prepare them for the transition to management roles, with a focus on motivating, engaging and leading audit teams and engagements.
  • Continuing to enhance our routes to market in terms of sourcing talent across all levels with an ongoing focus on candidate experience.
  • Continuing to support and develop our leaders in Audit, particularly around what behaviours we expect and how we measure against these.
  • We will maintain a focus on leadership skills and how we develop these throughout our people’s careers in Audit.
  • We will remain focused on our Inclusion, Diversity and Equity action plan which has clear and tangible actions to meet our published targets by 2030.
  • We will review our feedback culture to ensure that colleagues are giving and receiving feedback continuously throughout the year aligned with a growth mindset and High Performance culture.
  • We will continue our focus on wellbeing, and ensure that we have suitable support mechanisms in place for our auditors and a high support culture for all.


  • Continuing to drive engagement locally through our Culture Ambassador network, further embedding our High Challenge, High Support culture.
  • Creating further resources to build trust and psychological safety in teams, supporting a culture where people feel able to speak up if necessary.
  • Continuing to source culture and behavioural success stories through our Audit Quality Culture Awards which have been structured to recognise the behaviours that underpin our Audit Quality and Culture strategy and goals.
  • Measuring culture success and delivering insights through existing management information and the use of Culture Amp.
  • We will continue to embed culture learning into the 2024 KPMG Audit University syllabus and our Auditor Update training programme.
  • We will keep bringing different perspectives to broaden horizons and stimulate innovation through our internal and external speaker series.