Big Five partners and IT staff face axe.

Staff redundancies and reports of partner cutbacks have emerged at the UK’s two largest accountancy firms, write Philip Smith and Matthew Gerry.

KPMG admitted this week that it had made 27 IT staff redundant as reports emerged of large-scale partner reductions at PricewaterhouseCoopers, which is restructuring under the leadership of senior partner Kieran Poynter.

The firm, according to reports, is set to axe one in 10 of its partners in the UK – up to 130 across the board. The firm has been losing partners to rivals since it was formed by a merger in 1998, with at least one other Big Five firm claiming its profit levels were proving attractive to PwC partners. The report in The Sunday Times added the shake-up could cost the firm as much as #80m in compensation.

Meanwhile, KPMG made 27 of its IT support staff redundant before Christmas as part of a restructuring programme.

The majority of the job losses were at KPMG’s Watford office, which plays a vital role in running and maintaining the firm’s IT network. KPMG refused to comment.

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