Coming off the heels of a better-than-expected 2019 financial year at its U.K. firm (revenues, anyway), puffy-chested KPMG announced today that its global revenue increased 6.2% in local currency terms (or 2.7% using actual mathematics) for the year ended Sept. 30.
The three other Big 4 firms posted global revenue of at least $30 billion in 2019. Did KPMG? That’s a negative, Ghost Rider. Its revenue was $29.75 billion.
So close, Klynveldians. So close.
The $29.75 billion in revenue is a one-year record for KPMG, eclipsing last year’s record-setting revenue of $28.96 billion, which eclipsed 2017’s record-setting revenue of $26.4 billion, which eclipsed 2016’s record-setting revenue of $25.42 billion, etc.
The Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMA) region, which includes India, generated the most revenue at nearly $12.9 billion, but that was less than last year’s $12.98 billion in revenue. The Americas region posted positive revenue, up 5.6% from $11.1 billion last year to $11.7 billion this year. The other region, Asia Pacific, increased revenue by 5.3% over last year.
Of KPMG’s core business lines, advisory was the big winner at $11.95 billion, but tax and legal services grew the most by 4.4% over last year. Here’s the breakdown:
- Advisory: $11.95 billion (4.2%)
- Audit: $11.18 billion (0.3%)
- Tax and legal: $6.62 billion (4.4%)
Looking at just the Americas region, audit drove in the most revenue at $4.46 billion, followed by advisory at $4.24 billion and tax and legal at $3.02 billion.
KPMG hired roughly 12,230 people last year, which pushes its global headcount to 219,281. Most of those Klynveldians can be found in the EMA region, which employs 111,937 people. The Americas employs 61,169 KPMGers, and the Asia Pacific region has 46,175.
Of those 219,281 people who root for Phil Mickelson to actually win a U.S. Open one of these days, 52% are male and 48% are female. KPMG boasted that 25% of partners and directors and 30% of new partners promoted and recruited in 2019 were women.
In the introduction to KPMG’s 2019 Annual Report, Global Chairman and CEO Bill Thomas said “2019 has not been without some challenges. We have faced reputational issues in a few of our member firms [*cough* U.S. and U.K. *cough*].”
So let’s take a look back at some of KPMG’s Greatest Hits for FY 2019:
- KPMG in Oman gets one-year auditing ban.
- PCAOB found deficiencies in 43% of KPMG U.S. audits in 2016 and 50% of KPMG U.S. audits in 2017.
- Former head of ethics at KPMG in Bermuda, Damion Henderson, fined $10,000 by the PCAOB for being unethical.
- KPMG U.K. fined £6 million by the Financial Reporting Council for misconduct related to audits of Lloyd’s Syndicate 218. Partner Mark Taylor was fined £100,000 and former partner Anthony Hulse was fined £100,000.
- KPMG U.K. fined £5 million by the FRC for the shoddy auditing of Co-operative Bank. Partner Andrew Walker was fined £125,000.
- Two female partners at KPMG U.K. quit and ended up forming their own consulting firm after an investigation into bullying by a male partner concluded that he wasn’t being a bully, even though several complaints were made against him. The male partner, Sanjay Thakkar, quit his role and took a leave of absence.
- A longtime tax partner at KPMG in Australia was arrested for using a corkscrew to stab a man putting up election campaign banners near a school. The partner, Stavros Economides, was convicted of two counts of common assault but won’t serve any time in jail.
- KPMG U.S. fined $50 million by the SEC for not only KPMG executives’ involvement in the PCAOB cheating scandal but also for rampant cheating by auditors on internal training courses.
- Ex-KPMG U.S. partner Thomas Avent to pay a $125,000 civil penalty to the SEC for his involvement in an insider trading scheme.
- Former KPMG executive director Cynthia Holder was sentenced to eight months in jail and former audit partner David Middendorf was sentenced to a year and a day in prison for their roles in the PCAOB cheating scandal.
- KPMG U.K. fined £5.05 million by an FRC disciplinary tribunal for failings related to compliance reports the firm created and submitted on behalf of Bank of New York Mellon entities. Partner Richard Hinton was fined £75,000 by the FRC.
- KPMG U.K. partner Tim Howarth was relieved of his duties after an investigation into his conduct involving messages sent on WhatsApp.
- KPMG U.S. Chairman and CEO Lynne Doughtie announced she wouldn’t be seeking a second term.
- KPMG U.K. laid off a third of its 630 administrative assistants in a cost-cutting wave the firm is calling Project Zebra [lol].
- KPMG U.K. told hundreds of its employees to hand over their work-issued cellphones as part of PZ.
This year has been an eventful one for KPMG, to say the least.