PracticeAccounting FirmsJobs axed at KPMG to maintain ‘health’

Jobs axed at KPMG to maintain 'health'

Further evidence of a downturn emerged this week as Big Five firm KPMG axed at least 150 jobs in its tax department.

The firm said the redundancies would be across all areas of the tax practice but a spokesman said most of the losses would be borne by the London office.The cuts will be across a range of staff levels, but will not include partners, he added.

In an email to the whole firm, chief operating officer Alan Reid said: ‘After much consideration, we have now come to the conclusion that there is no alternative but to make a small proportion of the tax practice redundant in the interests of maintaining the health of the whole practice.’

Reid’s message did not rule out further cuts. He said all areas of business were ‘under close review’.

Meanwhile, Robert Half International UK managing director Steve Carter warned that all Big Five firms could suffer recruitment problems because of the Enron fallout – particularly if firms are forced to do more to separate their audit and consulting arms. ‘The consulting arms have always been seen as sexy and will continue to be so,’ he said. ‘But the firms have a long-term problem with training and development.’

Urging institutes to tackle the problem, he added: ‘The whole training system needs reform.’

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