KPMG Advisory to grow in India

Date: 15-04-2008
Source: The Economic Times

Global consultancy and accountancy major KPMG plans to raise its India employee count to 5,000 by 2010, underscoring the firm's expectations from India, which has recently seen heightened activity in the industry. The Indian unit currently has about 3,000 employees.

"We are the youngest in India among the Big Four and have been growing at 40% every year. We will increase our investments in all our businesses (tax, advisory and audit) including our employee base," KPMG chairman Tim Flynn told ET. The Big Four also includes PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte and Ernst & Young.

The chairman of the Netherlands-based global accounting firm is on a three-day trip to the city in connection with its annual meeting focused on trends that impact global economy.

Recently, Deloitte also announced that it plans to increase its employee headcount to 12,000 people from 7,500, by 2010. The increase in hiring is in line with the growing demand for trained professionals. The trend is also picking up as India gears up to meet the deadline for adopting the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) by 2011.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India-stipulated deadline is for listed entities as India joins 102 countries, which requires use of IFRS. By 2011, the number is expected to reach 150 countries, including China.

KPMG India, which has advised a number of Indian companies on overseas transactions including mergers and acquisitions, sees tax and advisory as major growth drivers. "It isn't as if audit is not growing, but the growth in advisory and tax is significant," said India CEO Russell Parera.

The KPMG Advisory business includes services such as advice and assistance to companies to manage risks and improve performance. Referring to the recent forex derivative losses that some Indian companies suffered, Mr Parera said the volume of such sales has come down sharply. "Everybody today is careful of such transactions, although unwinding previous positions will take some time."

KPMG India has helped local companies go overseas in Chile, the US, Africa, the UK and in China by either assisting in international transactions or also in identifying target companies.

The accounting and advisory major recently also came out with a report that cited passive systems in Indian companies as being "perfect" breeding places for corporate fraud. India is perceived as a fraud haven, according to over 75% respondents in a KPMG survey.