KPMG returns to North Queensland with new Townsville office

22 February 2022 2 min. read
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North Queensland is set to welcome back one the world’s leading accounting and consulting firms, with KPMG seeking experienced professionals to staff a new office in Townsville.

KPMG is preparing to return to North Queensland after the best part of a decade, advertising for multiple positions across practices and seniority levels for a planned office in Townsville.

The Big Four professional services firm last had a presence in North Queensland through a sub-licensed Cairns branch, which was bought by Grant Thornton for an estimated $5 million in 2014.

KPMG returns to North Queensland with new Townsville office

While no official opening date has been announced, expression of interest applications for adviser through to senior manager roles close on the 28th of this month, with professionals sought to fill positions across tax, transactions and accounting, Indigenous services, external audit, research & development tax and grants, and business advisory, including tech services and risk consulting.

The positions are within KPMG’s Enterprise division, which caters to the emerging, private and mid-market on tech strategy, growth, and transformation. Stephen Abbott, lead partner of KPMG Enterprise for Queensland, and KPMG Northern Territory managing partner and former North Queensland Crowe chief executive Derek Campbell were recently in Townsville fielding enquiries.

“Due to the growth of our client base and future opportunity in the North Queensland region, KPMG will be opening an office in Townsville,” states the advert, posted on LinkedIn and KPMG’s online careers’ page. “We are looking for experienced practitioners to join KPMG for this exciting new opportunity, where staff in our Townsville office will support our local and national teams.”

Presently, none of KPMG’s Big Four rivals have East Coast offices north of Brisbane (PwC exited Townsville in 2017 after an earlier Moore Stephens acquisition bid was abandoned), with leading international mid-tier accounting and consulting firms BDO and Grant Thornton left to fill the gap. BDO has a presence in both Townsville and Cairns, while Grant Thornton works out of Cairns.

KPMG’s sale of its former independently-owned Cairns practice, which included five partners and around seventy staff crossing to Grant Thornton, was part of divestiture of regional offices outside of the firm’s partnership, with KPMG International seeking to wind back sub-licence agreements globally. At the time, KPMG stated that Queensland remained a key market with significant opportunities.

Once opened, Townsville will become KPMG’s fourteenth active Australian outlet (the firm also has three satellites in Fiji and Papua New Guinea), and its third in Queensland, joining Brisbane and the recently refurbished Gold Coast office.

Both KPMG and Deloitte are currently preparing to relocate their Brisbane headquarters, with the former set to move into the newly-built Heritage Lanes tower.