KPMG Australia transitions towards consulting from accounting

20 August 2015 3 min. read

KPMG Australia consists of both a robust accounting and advisory practice and will attempt to transform its image from accounting to consulting. The firm now generates 49% of its revenue from advisory practices and by next year, consulting will become its main source of revenue. The firm’s new slogan appears to be: “Don’t call us accountants”.

In Australia, KPMG has seen its sales growing at a higher rate than the national GDP growth rate from 8% to $1.21 billion. In the recent past, the firm’s advisory practices have become increasingly important in generating revenue as opposed it its traditional source of accounting practice. Whilst KPMG attempts to shake the the mundanity often associated accountants, the firms PR management understand the obvious flaw in being define by just one practice.

“Those who would pigeon-hole us as an accounting firm [do so] to avoid competition, not recognising the broader threat we pose to the professional services industry because of the scope available to us,” comments Peter Nash, Chairman of KPMG Australia. “We need to move on from referring to us as an accounting firm.”

Revenue of Big Four in Australia ($)

In comparison to the rest of the Big Four firms who are all experiencing double digit growth, KPMG’s 8% growth rate is marginally lower than its competitors. Deloitte’s revenue in Australia increased 15% to $1.3 billion, EY revenue reached 1.29 billion, an increase of 14% and PwC is hit $1.7 billion, up 10% on last year.

Although the professional services firm is reporting a lower result than its Big Four rivals, KPMG is shifting its focus to more lucrative advisory services. Gary Wingrove, KPMG’s Chief Executive believes that its annual results represent a “sustainable trajectory” and a “significant increase on where we were a year ago. Linking our trajectory with our investments in new innovation and alliances, we're well positioned moving into next year."

Technology-led projects added 14% to KPMG’s management consulting practice and were the major drivers for the firms growth. A further 13% increase in sales by the firm’s transaction team was due to a number of infrastructure deals, inbound foreign investment, demergers, and an active initial public listing sector.

Within the firm’s accounting practices, auditing saw 7% increase thanks to successfully landing a multiple big deals which were originally intended for their rivals. Tax practices at KPMG saw an incremental 2% increase.

KPMG’s efforts to rebrand itself are more important than ever. Lost sales across a number of services are perhaps due to Australian Tax Office, among other clients integrating increasingly automation and digitalisation systems. The transformation of the firms image into an professional services firm is one way to remain competitiveness especially in the face of further decreases in accounting sales.

Worldwide, KPMG's Advisory practices now rake in $9.1 billion which up from $5.3 billion in 2006, accounting for a 36% share of total income.