KPMG, Microsoft sign cloud and AI alliance mega deal

KPMG and Microsoft have announced what they described as a “significant expansion of their global relationship that will reshape professional services across a number of business-critical areas including workforce modernization, safe and secure development, and use of artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives for clients, industries and society more broadly.”

The collaboration between the two includes KPMG making a “multibillion dollar commitment in Microsoft Cloud and AI services over the next five years that will help to unlock potential incremental growth opportunity for KPMG of over US$12 billion,” the announcement said.

Bill Thomas, global chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of KPMG International said the firm is “embracing the future, and we believe that AI is key to unlocking sustainable growth in a way that will build a better future for our people, our clients and society.”

Meanwhile, Elio Luongo, CEO and senior partner of KPMG in Canada, said that “growing our alliance with Microsoft allows (the firm) to help clients accelerate their digital transformation journeys.”

He added that it comes at a “time when it is crucial that Canadian companies receive trusted and informed professional advice and support to responsibly implement cutting-edge cloud and AI technologies. It is a win-win for both organizations and our clients.”

According to a release, the Microsoft Cloud and Azure OpenAI Service capabilities will “empower the KPMG global workforce of 265,000 to unleash their creativity, provide faster analysis and spend more time on strategic advice.

“This will enable them to help clients, including more than 2,500 KPMG and Microsoft joint clients, keep pace with the rapidly evolving AI landscape and solve their greatest business challenges while positioning them for success in the future world of work.

“As an early access partner for Microsoft 365 Copilot and Azure OpenAI Service, KPMG professionals will pilot the technologies with select business groups across the global organization, bringing together the increased capabilities of these tools with their experience, insights and sector expertise to enhance client engagements and accelerate digital solution development.”

KPMG said the collaboration will benefit core business areas in the following ways:

Audit: By infusing data analytics, AI, and Azure Cognitive Services into the audit process through the KPMG smart audit platform, KPMG Clara, 85,000 audit professionals “who collectively work on hundreds of thousands of audits a year will be empowered to focus more closely on higher-risk areas of the audit, sector-specific risks and challenges – to the benefit of both stakeholders and capital markets.”

Tax: Integrating Azure OpenAI Service and Microsoft Fabric into KPMG Digital Gateway, a KPMG single platform offering, will give clients access to the “suite of KPMG tax & Legal technologies, and allow them to gain more integrated and transparent access to their data and take a more holistic management approach to their tax functions.”

Advisory: Developing an AI-enabled application development and knowledge platform on Microsoft Azure “will expedite the creation of specialized solutions for clients, helping to enhance their competitive advantage and profitability while putting ethics and security at the very core of the offerings.”

ESG: KPMG professionals will work together with Microsoft to help support businesses with their environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) agendas. “Joint teams will continue to help clients to unify their data sources, leverage the required inputs to help make real-time value-add decisions, and help them to deliver on their sustainability commitments,” a release stated.

Stephanie Terrill, partner and business unit leader, management consulting at KPMG in Canada, said that “we know from speaking with our clients and through our annual CEO Outlook surveys that Canadian organizations are concerned about the impacts of disruptive technologies on their business and are turning to new business models that enable agility, resiliency and minimize risk.

“When done right, these technologies, and AI in particular, will separate digital leaders from the laggards and help grow Canada’s economy.”

This article has been updated with comments from KPMG In Canada.

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Paul Barker
Paul Barker
Paul Barker is the founder of PBC Communications, an independent writing firm that specializes in freelance journalism. He has extensive experience as a reporter, feature writer and editor and has been covering technology-related issues for more than 30 years.

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