With its global headquarters in Amsterdam, Netherlands, KPMG belongs to the ‘Big Four’ professional services giant firms.
KPMG is organized into three service lines employing about 162,000 people. These service lines are Audit, Advisory and Tax. With 42% of the revenue share in 2014 Audit is one of the largest service lines in the organization. Advisory being the second largest has 37% share of the revenues while tax with 21% of the revenue share is the smallest service line.
The origin of the organization traces back to the time when William Barclay Peat took over an accounting firm in London in1891 and named it William Barclay Peat &Co. This company merged with Marwick Mitchell & Co. in 1925 to form Peat Marwick Mitchell & Co. On the other hand Klynveld Kraayenhof & Co. (Netherlands), Deutsche Treuhangesellschaft (Germany) and Mc Lintock Main Lafrentz (United kingdom/United States) came together to form KMG, an international firm- a group of independent national practices. A mega-merger then took place between the two large accounting firms KMG and Peat Marwick in 1987 as a result of which KPMG came into being. KPMG and Ernst & young announced their merger in October 1997. However, this tie up was later on abolished when the merger to form PricewaterhouseCoopers was approved. In 2002 KPMG sold its UK and Dutch consulting entities to Atos Origin. A year later the firm divested itself of Klegal, its legal arm.
The national KPMG firms are independent legal entities each and are members of KPMG International Cooperative. This structure is similar to most of the professional services networks where the Cooperative provides support services only to the member firms and the member firms provide services to the clients. KPMG is also known to lead all the ‘Big Four’ (comprising of Deloitte, Ernst & Young, PwC and KPMG) on the Fortune’s list of ‘Top 100 companies to work for’.