Our people

Our people

One of the key drivers of quality is ensuring that our professionals have the appropriate skills and experience, passion and purpose, as well as deep expertise and innovative minds to deliver on our vision. This requires recruitment, development, promotion, retention and assignment of professionals, and a robust capacity and resource management process.

Larry Bradley

Global Head of Audit

KPMG International

our people chart

Talent management

Employer of choice

KPMG strives to be an employer of choice by creating an environment where our people can fulfill their potential and feel proud and motivated. We invest in people programs across our member firms and thrive on developing leaders of tomorrow. We focus on performance development, coaching and mentoring, reward and recognition, flexible benefits, visible leadership, and open and honest colleague communications. We aspire to create a culture of learning, collaboration and inclusion, all underpinned by a shared set of values and a common purpose.

Across our member firms, we are regularly recognized as an established and reputable employer in both the early career and experienced hire candidate markets. This recognition reinforces our ability to attract talented individuals who are smart, curious, courageous and relish a challenge; enabling us to provide high quality services to clients. 

Inclusion and diversity programs

We work hard to foster an inclusive culture. Being inclusive enables us to bring together successful teams with the broadest range of skills, experiences and perspectives – teams that then bring the most considered and innovative ideas to clients. We believe that a focus on building an inclusive culture enhances our service delivery.

We understand that our leadership and management teams also need to reflect the diversity of our organization and the diversity of clients. Our Global Inclusion & Diversity strategy provides the framework to drive the actions we believe are necessary to promote inclusive leadership across KPMG’s global network.

We also support a number of innovative programs that research, promote and sustain a more inclusive culture and work environment.

Continuous development and coaching

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 judgments as well as develop insights that enhance audit quality and the value of audit.

KPMG International provides instructor-led and virtual classroom training, performance support tools and just-in-time learning, available at the click of a mouse and aligned with job specific role profiles and learning paths. We have also developed professional judgment tools designed to assist engagement teams to demonstrate professional skepticism. Courses are available to enhance personal effectiveness and develop leadership and business skills.

All client service partners and staff are required to maintain continuing professional development (CPD) in accordance with applicable professional standards, laws and regulations. We test a sample of our audit professionals’ compliance with the CPD requirements in our annual monitoring program.

We further develop our personnel for high performance through coaching and mentoring on the job, stretch assignments and country rotational and global mobility opportunities.

Ongoing mentoring and on-the-job coaching

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 KPMG as part of enabling our people to achieve their full potential and instill that every team member is responsible for building the capacity of the team, coaching and sharing experiences. Coaching Guides are available on judgmental audit topics – these are used by audit teams and are embedded within audit learning solutions. Our structured coaching program and coaching network continues to expand with deployment across 15 additional member firms.

Reward and recognition

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. One of KPMG’s global behaviors is ‘Delivering Quality’. All professionals, including partners, have annual goal-setting and performance reviews. Each professional is evaluated on agreed-upon goals, demonstration of the KPMG global behaviors, technical capabilities and market knowledge.

KPMG International prohibits audit partners from being evaluated on or compensated based on their success in selling non-assurance services to their audit clients. Member firms are required to identify and document criteria that include audit quality and compliance metrics in assessing overall evaluation, promotion and remuneration of partner and certain personnel. These evaluations are conducted by performance managers and partners who are in a position to assess their performance.

All member firms are encouraged to have compensation and promotion policies that are clear, simple and linked to the performance review process. This helps our people know what is expected of them, and what they can expect to receive in return. 

Going beyond performance reviews and compensation, the KPMG global behaviors are designed to extend across all our people processes, including recruitment methodologies, recognition approaches and development planning.

Member firms monitor quality incidents and maintain quality and compliance metrics for the purpose of partner assignments and also for the purposes of partner evaluation, promotion and remuneration.

Retention and promotion

The results of annual performance evaluation directly affect the promotion and remuneration of partners and staff and, in some cases, their continued association with KPMG.

Each member firm is required to have a process for admission to the partnership that is rigorous, thorough and involves appropriate representatives of the member firm’s leadership. Member firms are required to use criteria for admission to the partnership that are consistent with a commitment to professionalism and integrity, quality, and an employer of choice. These are strongly aligned to KPMG’s behavioral capabilities and are based on consistent principles.

Insights from our people

Biennially (and annually for Global Board countries via either a full Global People Survey or a short firm mini survey – the Pulse), all partners and staff, across all functions, are invited to participate in our independent Global People Survey (GPS) which measures our people’s attitudes. The GPS also provides an overall Employee Engagement Index (EEI) and Performance Excellence Index (PEI) as well as insights about what drives engagement across different demographic groups and how we are faring in selected categories.

The results, including those by country and function, provide Global Leadership with information about the drivers of business performance, employee engagement and motivation and help to track progress against strategic priorities. Results also provide warning indicators if there are areas of concern. 

All member firms are required to participate in the GPS and to take appropriate actions to communicate and respond to the findings of the survey. The results of the GPS are presented to the Global Board each year and appropriate follow-up actions agreed.

Right skills and capacity

Member firms have procedures in place to assign both the engagement partners and other professionals to an audit engagement.

Partner assignment

Function heads are responsible for the partner assignment process which includes consideration of key factors relating to competence, workload and experience including quality and compliance incidents. Specifically, sufficient and appropriate experience, accreditation, and capacity – based on an annual partner portfolio review – to perform the engagement in view of the size, complexity and risk profile of the engagement, and the type of support and specialist input to be provided.

Engagement teams

Audit engagement partners are required to be satisfied that their engagement teams have appropriate competencies, capabilities and capacity, and whether they require the use of specialists to perform audit engagements in accordance with International professional standards, KPMG Audit Methodology (KAM), and applicable legal and regulatory requirements. Where 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.

We take great care to assign the right people with the right mix of industry expertise, technical knowledge and specialisms to the right clients. When considering the appropriate competence and capabilities of the engagement team as a whole, the engagement partner’s considerations may include practical experience with audit engagements of a similar nature and complexity and appropriate technical skills, including those related to relevant information technology and specialized areas of accounting or auditing, including any required accreditations.

*Unless the context otherwise requires, throughout this document “KPMG” and “KPMG network” (“we”, “our”, and “us”) generally refers to the member firms of the KPMG network of independent firms affiliated with KPMG International, a Swiss entity that services as a coordinating entity for the KPMG network. KPMG International provides no client services.

Connect with us

Stay up to date with what matters to you

Gain access to personalized content based on your interests by signing up today