KPMG becomes first Big Four accounting firm to remove 700 employees in US amid slowing economy: Report

KPMG is cutting close to 2% of its workforce in the United States, becoming the first of the world’s four biggest accountancy firms to slash jobs in the country, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday citing an internal announcement.

Several financial firms have slashed jobs in recent months including major Wall Street banks, asset managers and fintechs amid a turbulent macroeconomic environment that has pressured consumers and soured demand in several mainstay business units.

The cuts at KPMG will affect close to 700 people, the FT report added. The Big Four went on a hiring spree in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, as demand for IT consulting and deal advisory work surged. While increasing less than its rivals, KPMG’s US headcount rose by more than 2,000 to 35,266 at the end of 2021, according to its most recent public report, reported FT.

“Our business and outlook remain strong. However, we have experienced prolonged uncertainty affecting certain parts of our Advisory business that drove outsized growth in recent years,” a spokesperson for KPMG said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

The Big Four accounting firms comprise of EY, Deloitte, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

EY axed holiday bonuses for its US staff, citing the slowing economy, and firms have sharply slowed hiring. Job postings by the Big Four are 50 per cent lower than a year ago, according to the latest monthly survey by William Blair, an equity research firm.