KPMG grew its annual revenue 7.1% year-on-year to $28.96bn in 2018, despite challenges in a number of markets.
The number of people at the network grew 5% to 207,050 over the same period. This included 10,517 partners.
As part of its diversity report, KPMG revealed that almost half of its staff across the globe (47%) were female. The percentage of female partners and directors increased from 22% to 24%.
While 7.1% revenue growth is healthy, it was slower than the 11% growth third placed EY posted earlier this year to reach $34.8bn, meaning KPMG fell further behind the rest of the Big Four.
It was also slower than the 10.7% recorded by fifth placed BDO Global recorded. Though BDO’s $8.99bn and 80,000 people remain some distance behind.
2018 was the year KPMG’s advisory practise grew larger than its audit practise. $11.47bn was recorded from advisory, an increase of 9.9%, which compared to $11.15bn in audit (up 4.4%). Tax increased 6.3% to $6.34bn.
KPMG said advisory experienced double digit growth in Asia Pacific. It added: “Exceptionally strong consulting growth supporting our clients' highest priorities, including transformative business solutions and cyber-security; double-digit growth across Deal Advisory, driven by exceptional Transaction Services growth; and continued high demand for Accounting Advisory Services.”
Growth was reasonably level across the globe –the Asia Pacific (KPMG’s smallest region) grew by 8.7%, the EMA region by 7.3%, while the Americas increased by 6.2%.
The EMA growth is particularly impressive, as the region includes South Africa, where the firm is battling to recover its reputation following the scandals involving its work with the Gupta entities, which has seen it lose a number of clients.
KPMG International chairman Bill Thomas said: "KPMG is continuing with a multi-year global investment program, investing more than US$4bn in innovative new services, technology, and acquisitions over the next four years. This investment program is focused on transformative technologies, such as artificial intelligence and intelligent automation, cyber security, and our intelligent audit and tax platforms."
He added: "Just as we are working with our clients around the world to transform their businesses, we're also harnessing the power of digital transformation to drive our growth and raise the level of efficiency, innovation and quality."