Monday 21 October 2019 5:08 pm

KPMG launches £100m cost-cutting programme

KPMG has launched a £100m cost cutting exercise called Project Zebra.

The accountancy firm has launched the efficiency drive amid a £200m investment in its audit practice.

The investment in its audit practice followed a scathing audit quality report from watchdog the Financial Reporting Council in 2018 in addition to its role as auditor to collapsed outsourcer Carillion.

KPMG said it was “resetting our cost base across the firm” and said it expects to remove circa £100m of cost as a result”.

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Cost-cutting measures include recalling hundreds of corporate mobile phones and slashing the number of its personal assistants up about a third.

The cost cutting programme, which was first reported by the Financial Times, is taking place amid a large expansion of the number of staff in the firm’s audit practice.

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KPMG said it had hired 800 additional auditors and 1,000 graduates in 2019, which it described as “the single biggest recruitment drive our audit practice has ever seen”.

“Overall our audit quality transformation programme will see more than £200m invested in people and technology by the end of 2020,” it said.

“As you would expect, as we undertake a project involving this magnitude of investment, we have analysed every aspect of our firm to look for efficiencies. It is normal for that to result in a range of potential measures for consideration. It would not be appropriate to comment further on the detail,” the firm said.