It is sad to see KPMG being in the mess that’s it’s in. A say so because I came through its ranks and it changed my life for the better. The choices made by a few senior people impacting and entire company of good people cannot cause all clients to jump ship, it makes no sense. There are people at the firm that have sacrificed and endured to be part of a global firm where they could learn true values of leadership and go into corporate carrying the flag of the profession.
A few years ago I was in a crisis of ethics. All I could refer to was the SAICA code of conduct but that code did not answer the ethical dilemma I was in. Instead it was the values I learnt from KPMG that made me raise an issue that could potentially have been career limiting and there would have been no SAICA to save me or my family financially. I spoke to one of the KPMG partners who I still have a close relationship with and he told me that in such a dilemma KPMG would go to their values and act accordingly. Obviously this was not the case for the current issues but those incidences are the exception rather than the norm.
It is easy to write the firm off because of a few bad apples but let’s think about the leadership currently in Corporate SA that have come from KPMG. They are the leaders of the profession, they are leaders in the corporate world. Is Corporate South Africa going to turn its back on a firm who has been so successful in producing great leaders.
As a KPMG alumnus it’s sad to see how Corporate SA is choosing to jump ship because of fear of association or because of an opportunity for publicity. I’m sure if you should scratch hard enough you are sure to find some skeletons in their closet. Some skeletons KPMG probably had to force them to fix as it was questionable.
My advice to KPMG is to go back to being the people firm it was in the 90s and early 2000s. That firm put people before profit and thrived. That firm was the firm every article clerk wanted to be part of. That KPMG was chosen over the other big firms because it was people centered.
I’m sure a Strategy around people will allow it to turnaround the mess it’s currently in as well it to thrive in the future. It’s Alumni and clients will want to ensure its success. KPMG, make people the center of your turnaround st