Reasonable assurance report of the independent auditor

To: the shareholders and the supervisory board of KPMG N.V.

Reasonable assurance report on the sustainability information 2022/2023

Our opinion

In our opinion the sustainability information included in the integrated report 2022/2023 of KPMG N.V. presents, in all material respects, a reliable and adequate view of:

  • the policy and business operations with regard to sustainability; and  

  • the thereto related events and achievements for the year ended 30 September 2023, 

in accordance with the Sustainability Reporting Standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the applied supplemental reporting criteria as included in the section ‘Reporting criteria’ of our report.

What we have audited

We have audited the sustainability information included in the following sections of the integrated report for 2022/2023 (hereafter: the sustainability information):

  • Message from our CEO;

  • Our business, values and workforce;

  • Our operating environment and strategy;

  • Building public trust;

  • Financial and business performance, limited to the section “Digital & Innovation”;

  • People, culture and learning;

  • Governance, risk management and decision-making, limited to the sections “Our Board of Management”, Letter from the Supervisory Board Chair”, “Members of the Supervisory Board” and “Stakeholder engagement”.

This audit is aimed at obtaining a reasonable level of assurance.

The basis for our opinion

We conducted our audit in accordance with Dutch law, including Dutch Standard 3810N ‘Assuranceopdrachten inzake maatschappelijke verslagen’ (assurance engagements relating to sustainability reports), which is a specific Dutch Standard that is based on the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000 ‘Assurance engagements other than audits or reviews of historical financial information’. Our responsibilities under this standard are further described in the section ‘Our responsibilities for the audit of the sustainability information’ of our report.

We believe that the assurance evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our opinion.

Independence and quality control

We are independent of KPMG N.V. in accordance with the ‘Verordening inzake de onafhankelijkheid van accountants bij assuranceopdrachten’ (ViO – Code of ethics for professional accountants, a regulation with respect to independence). Furthermore, we have complied with the ‘Verordening gedrags- en beroepsregels accountants’ (VGBA – Code of ethics for professional accountants, a regulation with respect to rules of professional conduct).

PwC applies the ‘Nadere voorschriften kwaliteitssystemen’ (NVKS – Regulations for quality systems) and accordingly maintains a comprehensive system of quality control including documented policies and procedures regarding compliance with ethical requirements, professional standards and other relevant legal and regulatory requirements.

Reporting criteria

The reporting criteria used for the preparation of the sustainability information needs are the Sustainability Reporting Standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the applied supplemental reporting criteria, as disclosed in appendix ‘Definitions of key performance indicators (KPIs) and other metrics’ of the integrated report.

The absence of an established practice on which to draw, to evaluate and measure sustainability information allows for different, but acceptable, measurement techniques and can affect comparability between entities, and over time.

Consequently, the sustainability information needs to be read and understood together with the reporting criteria used.

Limitations to the scope of our audit

The sustainability information includes prospective information such as expectations on ambitions, strategy, plans and estimates and risk assessments. Inherent to this prospective information, the actual future results are uncertain, and are likely to differ from these expectations. These differences may be material. We do not provide any assurance on the assumptions and achievability of prospective information.

In the sustainability information references are made to external sources or websites. The information on these external sources or websites is not part of the sustainability information audited by us. We therefore do not provide assurance on this information.

Our opinion is not modified in respect to these matters.

Responsibilities for the sustainability information and the audit thereon

Responsibilities of the board of management and the supervisory board for the sustainability information

The board of management of KPMG N.V. is responsible for the preparation of reliable and adequate sustainability information in accordance with the reporting criteria as included in section ‘Reporting criteria’, including selecting the reporting criteria, the identification of stakeholders and the definition of material matters. The board of management is also responsible for selecting and applying the reporting criteria and for determining that these reporting criteria are suitable for the legitimate information needs of stakeholders, taking into account applicable law and regulations related to reporting. The choices made by the board of management regarding the scope of the sustainability information and the reporting policy are summarized in appendix ‘Basis of preparation’ of the integrated report.

Furthermore, the board of management is responsible for such internal control as the board of management determines is necessary to enable the preparation of the sustainability information that is free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.

The supervisory board is responsible for overseeing the company’s reporting process on the sustainability information.

Our responsibilities for the audit of the sustainability information

Our responsibility is to plan and perform the audit engagement in a manner that allows us to obtain sufficient and appropriate assurance evidence to provide a basis for our opinion.

Our audit has been performed with a high, but not absolute, level of assurance, which means we may not have detected all material errors and fraud.

Procedures performed

We have exercised professional judgement and have maintained professional scepticism throughout the audit, in accordance with the Dutch Standard 3810N, ethical requirements and independence requirements. Our procedures included, amongst other things of the following:

    • Performing an analysis of the external environment and obtaining an understanding of relevant sustainability themes and issues and the characteristics of the company.

    • Evaluating the appropriateness of the reporting criteria used, their consistent application and related disclosures in the sustainability information. This includes the evaluation of the results of the company’s materiality assessment and the reasonableness of estimates made by the board of management.

    • Obtaining an understanding of the systems and reporting processes for the sustainability information, including obtaining an understanding of internal control relevant to our audit, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the company’s internal control.

    • Identifying and assessing the risks if the sustainability information is misleading or unbalanced, or contains material misstatements, whether due to errors or fraud. Designing and performing further audit procedures responsive to those risks and obtaining audit evidence that is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our opinion. The risk that the sustainability information is misleading or unbalanced, or the risk of not detecting a material misstatement resulting from fraud is higher than for one resulting from errors. Fraud may involve collusion, forgery, intentional omissions, misrepresentations, or the override of internal control.

    • Those other audit procedures consisted amongst others of:

      • Obtaining inquiries from management and relevant staff at corporate level responsible for the sustainability strategy, policy and results.

      • Obtaining inquiries from relevant staff responsible for providing the information for, carrying out internal control procedures on, and consolidating the data in the sustainability information.

      • Obtaining assurance evidence that the sustainability information reconciles to underlying records of the company.

      • Evaluating relevant internal and external documentation, on a test basis, to determine the reliability of the information in the sustainability information.

Reconciling the relevant financial information to the financial statements.

    • Reading the information in the integrated report which is not included in the scope of our assurance engagement to identify material inconsistencies, if any, with the sustainability information.

    • Evaluating the overall presentation, structure and content of the sustainability information.

    • Considering whether the sustainability information as a whole, including the disclosures, reflects the purpose of the reporting criteria used.

We communicate with the supervisory board regarding, among other matters, the planned scope and timing of the audit and significant findings that we identify during our audit.

Amsterdam, 24 May 2024 
PricewaterhouseCoopers Accountants N.V.

Original has been signed by M.C. Bond RA