When it comes to firms that are shaping the future of the accounting, auditing and professional services industry, KPMG may be one of the most important companies in the world. Its member firms employ more than 145,000 professionals, including more than 8,000 partners. In addition, its operations span 152 counties.
For people interested in earning accounting degrees, KPMG offers the opportunity to work for an employer who values diversity while also fostering a challenging work environment.
While the name KPMG is relatively young, the company is not. Its U.S. division can trace its roots back to the founding of Marwick, Mitchell & Company in New York City in 1897.
Then, in 1925, the firm went global by merging with the British company W.B. Peat and Company. As a result the business became known as Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Company, a name it would operate under for more than 50 years.
Its name would be simplified in 1978 as the company began doing business as Peat Marwick International, but that was only until 1987 when a merger would rechristen the U.S. division of the company as Peat, Marwick, Main & Company. The KPMG name would appear two years later as the company once again reinvented itself as KPMG Peat Marwick. Finally, in 1999, the name was shortened to the KPMG we know today.
KPMG stands for the initials of the principal founding members of the current organization.
- K is for Piet Klynveld who founded Klynveld Kraayenhof & Co in 1917 in Amsterdam
- P is for William Barclay Peat who founded William Barclay Peat & Co in 1870 in London
- M is for James Marwick who founded Marwick, Mitchell & Company in 1897 in New York City
- G is for Dr. Reinhard Goerdeler who is credited with helping create the foundation for the merger that created KPMG
Global leader in three service areas
KPMG offers accounting and professional services in three areas: advisory, auditing and taxation. It works with businesses in 16 diverse industries including banking, healthcare, technology and high growth markets. According to the company, 70 percent of global Fortune 500 businesses use services from KPMG member firms.
In 2012, KPMG reached record earnings with total combined revenues of $23.03 billion. In local currency, that represented a 4.4 percent increase from the previous year. Business growth was particularly strong in the government and healthcare, financial services and industrial markets and infrastructure segments.
Although its advisory revenues grew by the greatest percentage in 2012 - 8.3 percent - audit work continues to bring KPMG the most revenue. In 2012, audit services were responsible for $10.31 billion in earnings, nearly half of the company's overall revenue.
Rewarding careers for accounting professionals
Named by Fortune as one of the '100 Best Companies to Work For,' KPMG deserves close consideration by students earning accounting degrees.
The company notes individuals working at KPMG may take several different career paths. Some may achieve partner status quickly while others prefer to take assignments in global offices for a dynamic work experience. Remote work options and flextime arrangements are also a possibility for some KPMG employees.
While finance careers can be demanding and competitive, KPMG advocates for a business culture that embraces flexibility, collaboration and diversity. Those earning degrees in accounting or enrolled in similar fields of study may be able to experience this corporate culture firsthand through learning and development programs offered by the business.
It is not only accounting professionals who can work for KPMG, however. The firm notes it also needs qualified workers who specialize in marketing, human resources and IT.
The world headquarters for KPMG is located in Amstelveen, Netherlands. Its U.S. headquarters are located in New York City, and the company maintains nearly 90 U.S. offices employing 23,000 workers across the nation.
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