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KPMG and Microsoft have announced an expanded global collaboration aimed at enhancing professional services through workforce modernization, secure development and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions. This new multi-year alliance seeks to streamline KPMG’s client engagement across the audit, tax and advisory sectors.
As part of the initiative, KPMG has pledged a $2 billion investment in Microsoft Cloud and AI services over the next five years. This is anticipated to unlock a potential incremental growth opportunity of over $12 billion for KPMG.
With the extensive capabilities of Microsoft Cloud and Azure OpenAI Service, KPMG said its global workforce of 265,000 professionals will be empowered to explore their creativity, expedite analysis and allocate more time to strategic guidance.
“The Microsoft Cloud and Azure OpenAI Service capabilities will empower our teams to help our clients, including more than 2,500 joint clients, keep pace with the rapidly evolving AI landscape and solve their greatest challenges while ensuring they are well positioned for success in the future world of work,” Cherie Gartner, KPMG’s global lead partner for Microsoft, told VentureBeat.
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KPMG said the global alliance expansion is rooted in the two organizations’ shared core values, i.e., responsibly using cutting-edge cloud and AI technologies.
As an early access partner for Microsoft 365 Copilot and Azure OpenAI Service, KPMG claims its professionals will be at the forefront of implementing these technologies in specific business groups. By integrating these tools with their sector expertise, insights and experience, the company aims to elevate client engagements and expedite the creation of AI-driven digital solutions.
“KPMG is tapping into the opportunity to expand in new markets and sectors; and this collaboration is designed to see the latest AI and innovations used responsibly at scale, helping to unlock sustainable growth for clients, which ultimately can benefit society,” Steve Chase, U.S. consulting leader at KPMG, told VentureBeat.
KPMG’s Gartner said that the collaboration involves a specific allocation of resources for innovation in assets developed on the Microsoft Cloud and Azure OpenAI Service, with wider commitments in Microsoft applications and support, internal technology activation and customer spend.
“We see the total addressable market for this opportunity coming from areas like cyber, cloud and generative AI, [for] which we project incremental revenue growth of $12 billion,” Gartner told VentureBeat. “By 2024, the cloud is expected to surpass on-premises infrastructure, [so] investment in areas where operational data is stored, managed and analyzed combined with generative AI, becomes a game-changer.”
Emphasizing the power of AI across multiple service sectors
KPMG said it will integrate data analytics, AI, and Azure Cognitive Services into its audit process through the KPMG smart audit platform, KPMG Clara. The company asserts that doing so will empower the platform’s 85,000 audit professionals to focus on higher-risk areas and sector-specific risks and challenges.
Microsoft Fabric will also be integrated, enabling KPMG teams to access client data in real time, enhancing audit efficiency.
“AI integrated with KPMG Clara will enable our audit teams to rapidly identify and more effectively respond to risk and make informed decisions in a timely manner on areas requiring more professional judgment,” Thomas Mackenzie, CTO of global audit at KPMG, told VentureBeat. “By further integrating data, automation and AI enablement, our professionals can continue enhancing audit execution and deliver quality audits aligned to the standards while boosting the profession’s attractiveness.”
In the tax services domain, Azure OpenAI Service and Microsoft Fabric will be integrated into the KPMG Digital Gateway, providing clients with comprehensive access to KPMG Tax and Legal technologies. This will give clients more transparent access to their data and engender a holistic management approach to their tax functions.
Collaboration for ESG
A noteworthy outcome of this collaboration is a co-developed AI solution that utilizes Azure OpenAI Service. This solution analyzes ESG data, identifies patterns and swiftly generates ESG tax transparency reports.
Furthermore, KPMG firms will employ a generative AI-powered “virtual assistant” to establish novel client service models.
“KPMG tax professionals already have access to generative AI tools for their day-to-day tasks, including an Azure OpenAI-based virtual assistant that acts as a productivity booster,” Brad Brown, chief technology officer — tax, and global head of tax technology and innovation at KPMG US, told VentureBeat. “The adoption of generative AI tools will significantly improve the speed and efficiency for tax professionals and clients who often must sift through vast amounts of tax data across disparate parts of the organization.”
According to KPMG, its co-developed generative AI tool will aid companies in addressing the growing need for tax transparency by efficiently collecting and inputting data into its cloud-based Digital Gateway platform. Through the use of natural language processing, this tool will assist companies in constructing a narrative for their tax story, specifically in the realm of ESG.
The company also announced plans to create an AI-enabled application development and knowledge platform on Microsoft Azure. This platform will accelerate the development of tailored solutions for its clients in the advisory domain.
KPMG stated that this approach will bolster clients’ competitive advantage and profitability while prioritizing ethics and security.
“Our advisory is building AI into our client delivery platform, which allows us to layer Microsoft’s machine learning models and enhanced analytics onto member firm and client datasets and solutions,” said KPMG’s Chase. “Our teams would now be using our internal Advisory GPT tool for data analysis for a range of clients, which allows them to deliver our assessments to clients faster and more efficiently.”
Focusing on responsible and ethical AI development
KPMG said it prioritizes the integrity of its network and the safety and confidentiality of both its own data and that of its clients. The company has implemented protective measures for using the publicly available ChatGPT to ensure this.
The company currently uses Azure OpenAI Service, which will soon be accessible to member firms so they can establish secure private instances of GPT.
KPMG recently introduced KymChat, an AI accelerator designed for enterprises, as a proof of concept (POC) in Australia. Its purpose is to assist clients in optimizing areas such as sales and marketing, product development, ideation and training. Additionally, it grants access to industry best practices and methodologies.
Due to the success of the POC, the company plans to launch KymChat globally through the remainder of the year.
KPMG’s Chase told VentureBeat that the company will enhance its use of Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service, emphasizing generative AI more and incorporating new E5 components that strengthen security and empower the global workforce through Microsoft 365.
“In addition to the technology that we use today, this will include new offerings like Viva Insights, PowerBI Pro, and Teams Phone and Information Protection,” added Chase. “KPMG will start working with Microsoft under the Early Access Program for [the] Microsoft 365 Copilot offering in Word and PowerPoint to understand how that might change future work.”
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