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Rumor of the Day: KPMG Freezes Hiring of Support Professionals

Earlier this week, we were tipped off about a hiring freeze of Client Service Support (“CSS”) professionals at KPMG. Our tipster also indicated that a “major reorg” was happening but did not elaborate. For those not hip to the House of Klynveld vernacular, this is your HR, Marketing, Ops, IT, Admins, et al. Regardless of their overhead status, they make your lives infinitely better. But for now, it sounds like the doors to any newbies is closed.

This rumor was confirmed by another source who simply “heard there was [a freeze in place]” but had no details. If you’re in the know, please email us. Emails to KPMG’s communications team were not immediately returned, most likely because they were immediately deleted (that is speculation on my part).

SO! Since we don’t have much to go on, we’ll take this opportunity to present some theories:

1. The response to the Early Career Investment Bonus program has been better than anticipated and there is concern that there won’t be enough money to pay these all-of-a-sudden loyal employees. Accordingly, “the help” won’t be getting any additional resources.

2. Settlement negotiations have begun in the sex discrimination lawsuit and things are not looking good.

3. John Veihmeyer is just toying with everyone because “This is Notre Dame’s year,” and plans to lift the freeze after the Irish win their first game.

4. Two words: Omaha Steaks.

5. Your ideas.

Some KPMG Employees Are Asking ‘Where’s the Beef?’

It was brought to my attention earlier today that at this time last year, KPMG had announced their Summer Blast which included everyone’s favorite Klynveld tradition: a package of Omaha Steaks. But in 2011, we’re only a few short days away from the Memorial Day weekend and so far, no such communication has occurred.

If the House of Klynveld has, in fact, down away with spreading the flesh around, there could be a number of reasons for it. One possibility is that Phil Mickelson still isn’t touching the stuff and won’t have any company endorsing him encourage the consumption of meat. The other reason could be that the firm has to save the extra cash for Tim Flynn’s retirement party. Of course it could also be that information coming out of partner exit interviews indicated that they were getting tired of hosting BBQs for employees. Of course, this is all speculation on our part but all seem plausible.

If you have your own theories, are otherwise privy to the meat info, getting antsy for your package or have other ideas for Summer Blast 2011, tell us below.

KPMG Advisory Doubles Down

KPMG’s head of advisory practice in the Americas, Mark Goodburn, recently gave an interview to Consulting Magazine where he predicted that the House of Klynveld would double its advisory revenue by 2015. While this an admirable goal, it certainly causes one to pause and ask the obvious question: “Does this mean we get double the meat?”

But forgetting animal flesh for just a sec, it may cause the more serious-minded of you to ask, “Just how in hell are you going to do that?” Well, MG goes into details about “transformational business,” “the evolving world of risk,” “the myriad of changes in public policy and regulation” and that’s all fine and good but we’re most interested/curious/shaking with anticipation about the acquisitions the firm will make.

Doubling a multi-billion-dollar business in no easy task, for sure, especially when you consider that KPMG advisory will probably have to significantly outpace the market, which most forecasters— including Kennedy Consulting Research & Advisory—expect will experience very modest growth the next several years. Most likely, the firm will have to make a few significant acquisitions along the way.

This probably doesn’t come as a surprise since we’ve seen Deloitte and PwC shopping around to boost their own advisory practices but Goodburn says you won’t see the HofK making a move on every boutique out there:

Goodburn’s quick to point out that any potential acquisitions, would have to meet KPMG’s criteria—the ability to upgrade to a global platform, quality controls that match the firm’s standards and a financially attractive opportunity for clients and employees. “We’re only looking for companies that meet our standards” he says.

Right, then. So for all you consulting boutiques out there sexing yourselves up to get a big pay day, you better be a match or you won’t be getting a blue rose. KPMG is looking for soulmates.

Naturally, all this revenue-doubling and business development talk means headcount will increase. The firm has already put it out there that they plan on hiring people in spades and MG makes no secret about who will be leading the charge:

Goodburn says KPMG has been hiring pretty aggressively since the firm saw its first sustained uptick back in early 2010, but will that be enough to keep pace? “We certainly expect advisory to grow faster than other parts of the KPMG business in the near and possibly longer term,” Goodburn says. “Our brand is very strong right now, clients are demanding our services, our people are outstanding, and our ability to recruit is extremely high.”

So, from the sounds of it, opportunity abounds for KPMG’s advisory business and anyone interested in joining the blue team. Whether this manifests into an extra-beefy future remains to be seen.

Double Time for KPMG [Consulting Magazine]

The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: KPMG #86 (2011)

Wrapping up our review of the mother of all employer lists, is everyone’s favorite four-letter word, KPMG. Since we’ve had about all we can stand of this, let’s get right to it.

KPMG – Previous rank: #88. How does the firms make up for the lack of sherpas? They appeal to employees’ desire to give back, reports Fortune, “Employees of the U.S. branch of the auditing firm get 12 paid hours to volunteer each year and can leave at 3 p.m. Fridays in the summer [Ed. note: while keeping in mind the needs of clients].”

Stats of note:
New Jobs (1 year): -1,043
% Job Growth (1 year): -5%
% Voluntary Turnover: 15%
No. of Job Openings at 1/13/2010: 5,000
Most common salaried job: Senior Associate – $73,300
% Minorities: 27%
% Women: 48%

Compared to last year’s stats, new jobs and percentage job growth have improved while voluntary turnover jumped 3%. Average salary for the most common job was down from $78k last year, number of job openings nearly doubled and percentage of minorities and women were unchanged. So a slight improvement for KPMG this year in the F100BCTWF and nary a mention of the possibility of more free flesh in the future.

Annnnd so, that wraps up the coverage for this year’s Fortune rankings. The biggest takeaways being the ascension of Plante & Moran and Ernst & Young’s massive drop while the other three amigos managed to improve slightly but they all managed to extend their streak of years on the list. Look for a flier boasting this arbitrary victory in an office near you.

The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: Plante & Moran #26 (2011)
The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: Deloitte #63 (2011)
The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: PwC #73 (2011)
The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: Ernst & Young #77 (2011)
The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: KPMG #88

Could KPMG’s Improved Revenue Mean More Omaha Steaks for Employees?

Yes, that’s a question for the group. But first, we should mention that despite the glaring lack of exclamation points, you can’t help but think that T Fly is running around 345 Park (or wherever he puts his feet up these days – is he in A/dam?) high-fiving everyone that crosses his path about the slight uptick in this year’s results:

AMSTERDAM, Dec. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — KPMG, the global network of professional services firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services, today announced member firm combined revenues totaling US$20.63 billion for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, versus US$20.11 billion for the prior fiscal year, representing a 2.6 percent increase in U.S. dollars; a 0.1 percent increase in local currency terms.

“These combined FY10 revenues overall reflect positive and improving business performance across the KPMG network of firms and functional businesses worldwide,” said Timothy P. Flynn, Chairman of KPMG International.

“This improvement underscores the strength of our brand and that, in a significantly changing economic and regulatory environment, clients and stakeholders value how the high-performing people of KPMG are cutting through complexity, delivering informed perspectives and clear solutions to them,” he said.

And if it wasn’t for Google – GOOGLE! – the House of Klynveld would be the idealist employer on the globe!

Flynn added, “KPMG was pleased to be honored by Universum, the global talent consultant, this year for its ability to attract the very best people. Universum announced that students worldwide ranked the KPMG network globally second, behind only Google, as an ‘ideal’ employer. This is strong affirmation of our priority to making KPMG a magnet for talent and a place where people can maximize their potential.

“The caliber of talent is a true differentiator among professional services firms in the global marketplace, and KPMG member firms worldwide will continue to invest in their people in the year ahead, attracting the best and most diverse talent. Our growth plans call for us to recruit approximately 250,000 people over the next five years,” Flynn said.

Whether “recruit approximately 250,000 people over the next five years” actually translates to putting asses in the cubicles, will remain another matter since every firm on Earth claims to ratcheting the hiring up a notch. Anyway, feel free to discuss whatever you like related to the Radio Station revenue results, including the likelihood of more bovine flesh in your future.