KPMG Southern Africa is the Southern African representative of the well-known international business and advisory firm, KPMG.
KPMG Southern Africa comprises 167 partners, over 2100 employees and 20 offices throughout the country. Its largest office, in Johannesburg, recently moved to its R100 million building, just north of the city centre, a location that has given the firm considerable profile.
The new South Africa has been good for KPMG South Africa. Over the last five years the firm’s fee revenues have grown from R177 million to close on R500 million in 1999. The past year’s revenue growing by some 23 per cent over 1998 and it is expected that this will be in excess of R1 Billion by 2002.
The country, which spans a surface five times that of Great Britain, is seen as the powerhouse of and gateway to Southern Africa.
Old Mutual, Billiton and Anglo American Corporation are some of the worldclass companies that KPMG South Africa is business advisor to. A recent high profile project management assignment was to the Independent Electoral Commission, which was responsible for managing the recent elections in South Africa.
KPMG has also shown its prowess in the mining and financial sectors. More recently some of the larger South African-based companies have looked to broadening their bases and have found that the London Stock Exchange has most suited their needs. Close interaction between KPMG United Kingdom and KPMG South Africa has provided these companies with a world class service.
There has also been exponential growth in assurance services, forensic accounting and consulting, among others. Services in the areas of information, communication and entertainment, healthcare and environmental industries have proven to be full of opportunity. KPMG Leisure and Tourism has been advisor to range of local and international clients who have invested in South Africa and Africa.
So what does this mean? KPMG South Africa, now in its 105th year, is positioned third among the top five. This year, KPMG was rated by a leading management magazine as the highest rated auditing/accounting firm in South Africa. The Consulting practice was rated the best consulting practice (separate division of an accounting or auditing firm) by the same publication in 1999. This was based on the polling of 200 of the country’s respected financial directors, accountants and company secretaries.
The Southern African firm recently underwent a leadership change when the firm elected Tom Grieve as senior partner. In his 36 years with KPMG, Grieve has gained extensive experience in corporate finance, management buyouts, acquisitions, IT consulting, financial management consulting and large group audits.
But probably one of the best coups for the local firm was the alliance signed with a leading black-owned accounting firm, KMMT. The newly formed alliance is seen by the firm’s leadership as bringing further impetus to the firm’s transformation process as they provide strong role models of emerging business.
This was followed by another alliance with former Mpumalanga province premier and an influential member of the African National Congress, Dr Matthews Phosa. The arrangement also aims to help emerging business interface with established business structures, identify opportunities in the emerging markets, assist the foreign business community who want to invest in Southern Africa and help KPMG clients who want to participate in black entrepreneurship or expand into Africa.
One of the biggest challenges that KPMG and the industry faces is ensuring that the firm reflects the society in which it operates. KPMG must be a place in which all South Africans would like to work. The firm believes that it is only through quality people that the firm will be able to add value by understanding its clients’ needs and providing solutions that are innovative, cost-effective and world-class. The firm’s employment equity plan is holistic and focused in three areas – human resource development, economic empowerment and community involvement.
Initiatives in the human resource development area include recruitment, financial support, and a host of development programmes. Black representation in the firm stands at 29 per cent while women make up 42 per cent of the staff complement.
Economic empowerment initiatives range from associations with black professional firms to procurement. Career awareness workshops, the Prince of Wales Business Leadership Forum, a community law centre, university commerce and development programmes for black students, computer assistance and the funding of maths, English and physical science lessons to previously disadvantaged schools are some of the initiatives geared for community involvement.