KPMG to lay off nearly 2% of its US personnel. Could the other Big 4 firms be the next to follow?

Big 4 firm KPMG to lay off around 2 percent employees in USA

  • KPMG is laying off nearly 2% of its US personnel, slashing close to 700 professionals from its Advisory Practise.
  • KPMG is the first of the Big Four firms to lay off a significant amount of employees in 2023.
  • Could the other Big 4 firms be the next to follow?

KPMG Layoffs 2023

KPMG is laying off nearly 2% (some sources say 3%) of its US personnel, becoming the first of the Big Four firms to do so.

KPMG LLP revealed on 15th February, Wednesday that it will slash close to 700 professionals from its Advisory Practise in the US. However, the layoffs do not include any Partners.  

Despite growing at a slower rate than its competitors, KPMG's US headcount increased by more than 2,000 to 35,266 at the end of 2021, according to the firm's most recent published report.

It is reported that Carl Carande, the Vice-Chair of KPMG's US Advisory Unit, shared the news internally.

“We have experienced prolonged uncertainty affecting certain parts of our advisory business that drove outsized growth in recent years. These actions are incredibly difficult and impact people’s lives. We are supporting our colleagues with a holistic package that includes severance, healthcare, emotional and wellbeing support, career counselling, and learning and development opportunities" a spokesperson for KPMG told Reuters.

But why The layoffs

The Big Four accounting firms, namely EY, Deloitte, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers went on a hiring frenzy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

But why? A direct result of increasing demand in IT consulting and Deal Advising work. The firms thought that the demand for IT consulting and deal advising work would remain constant.

But KPMG, like the other Big Four firms, has been dealing with a drop in Merger and Acquisition (M&A) activity. This has affected its Transaction Advisory business, as well as the demand for IT and strategic consulting services.

KPMG had been attempting to cut spending by postponing the joining date of recruits, reducing travel budgets, and shifting certain advisory workers to the audit and tax sides of the business.

This is certainly not the first time that the firm has laid off a big chunk of employees. 

KPMG Consulting slashed around 350 positions in 2022, due to a drop in demand for IT consulting services. 

Also Read

PCAOB is sanctioning KPMG Colombia, KPMG India and KPMG UK and four of their affiliates with a total of $7.7 Mn fine.  It is taking these measures due to a set of wrongdoings performed by them.


According to many reports, the Big Four's job posts are 50% lower than a year ago.

Gladly, not all of the Big 4 firms are following the same route… at least as of now!  

PwC India, which currently employs over 50,000 people, recently announced its plans to expand the firm’s workforce to 80,000 over the next five years. PwC India and PwC US joined forces to accelerate growth, enhance client relationships, and improve service quality in India.

History of KPMG

KPMG is one of the largest professional services companies in the world, offering a wide range of audit, tax, and advisory services to clients in various industries. 

In 1870, William Barclay Peat and James Marwick founded separate accountancy practices in London and New York, respectively.

In 1891, Peat's firm merged with another London-based accountancy practice to form Peat, Choad & Co. In 1897, Marwick's firm merged with two other New York-based accountancy practices to form Marwick, Mitchell & Co. 

In 1911, Peat, Choad & Co. merged with Marwick, Mitchell & Co. to form Peat Marwick Mitchell & Co. (PMM), which became one of the largest accounting firms in the world.

Over the next few decades, PMM continued to grow and expand its services, opening offices in various parts of the world. 

In 1979, the company changed its name to KPMG Peat Marwick after a merger with another accounting firm, Klynveld Main Goerdeler (KMG

The KPMG network includes member firms in over 150 countries and territories, and it employs over 220,000 people worldwide. 

KPMG has been involved in several high-profile scandals over the years, including the Enron scandal in 2001. Despite these controversies, KPMG continues to be one of the largest and most influential accounting firms in the world, providing a range of services to clients in various industries.

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