Our material topics

Every year, we carry out an assessment of our business environment to identify our material topics – i.e., those areas where we believe we can create most value for stakeholders and society. These topics provide the basis for our reporting, key performance indicators (new window) and engagement with stakeholders (new window).

This year we carried out an internal review to decide our material topics, using our 2021/2022 results as a starting point. This review decided on six material topics for 2022/2023, approved by KPMG N.V.’s Board of Management. For more details of our assessment, including definitions used, methodology, and a comparison with results from our 2021/2022 analysis, please see our Note on Materiality Assessment (new window).

Managing our material topics

The table below provides details of our six material topics for 2022/2023, and explains our approach to managing the principal risks and opportunities associated with each of these topics:

Material topic

Associated impact, opportunities and risks

Management approach

Ongoing focus on (audit) quality

Impact: providing high-quality assurance and advisory services to clients and society
lower regulatory risk; better- positioned to win new business
Risks: loss of public trust; damage to reputation among clients; possible fines from regulators and/or additional claims from clients

Extensive quality management system, backed up by regular inspections and internal quality reviews

Active participation of partners in Assurance and Advisory engagements

Extensive training, monitoring and compliance programs. These include measures to address shortcomings following the investigation into answer sharing (new window)

Well-being of our workforce

Impact: creating a positive and inspiring working environment where our people can develop their careers to enable them to deliver value to clients and society
higher employee engagement; increased retention rates; greater productivity; better reputation as employer
time lost through absenteeism; increased workload for existing employees; reduced productivity

Health and well-being programs, including psychological safety built into processes and systems

Increased talent attraction, specifically in Assurance

Digital technologies and AI

Impact: increasing the digital savviness of our people; helping clients with their digital transformation
greater efficiency; accelerate internal processes; lower operating costs; greater insights for clients; new digital products and services for clients
possible project delays; increased investment costs; cybersecurity exposure

Continued investment in target operating models for Assurance, Advisory and Business Services

Expansion of Connected (new window), Powered (new window), Trusted (new window) offering to clients

Increase in strategic investments in digital technologies (including roll-out of KPMG Clara (new window))

ESG developments

Impact: sharing knowledge on ESG topics; supporting clients and our own organization in the ESG-transition
contribution to mitigation of climate risk by helping clients in becoming more sustainable, make significant impact as responsible corporate citizen, new ESG-related services and growing demand from clients in supporting them in their ESG-transitions
inability to attract candidates with deep ESG expertise; increased competition from other professional services firms, reduced reputation and possible loss of business

Increased investment in learning & development for professionals and C-level leaders in the Netherlands in ESG knowledge

divided into three sub-topics:
1) ESG – Impact on clients
2) ESG – Impact on environment
3) ESG – Impact on society

Increase in ESG work with clients, both Assurance and Advisory

Extension of ESG talent attraction and training

Continued engagement with regulators and other ESG standard setters

Inclusion, diversity & equity

Impact: creating a safe, diverse and inclusive working environment where our people can be themselves
build fairer, more inclusive workforce; better decision-making; widen potential talent pool; strengthen public trust
failure to meet stated targets at all career levels; loss of reputation as employer; failure to retain diverse talent in workforce

Increased investment in learning & development for professionals and C-level leaders in the Netherlands in ESG knowledge

Eliminate bias in HR processes (including talent attraction, performance reviews, promotions and succession)

Continue work to close gender pay gap

Skills shortages

Impact: building a high-quality learning organization; enabling our people to develop new skills to add value for clients and society
skill up existing workforce; develop new skills in areas such as data, digital and AI; increase diversity of talent attraction and employee base
'capacity crunch' and increased workload for existing employees; loss of business; inability to execute strategy or growth plans

Inclusion, diversity & equity seen as a business priority

Investment in skills development and learning for existing staff

Increased hiring of experienced Assurance staff to reduce workload

Adoption of more flexible talent attraction and ways of working

More diverse approach to talent attraction to broaden available talent pool

How we create value

Through our business activities, we create value for society. Our assurance work helps build trust in financial markets and supports economic growth. Through advisory, we help improve our clients’ management of important ESG issues, strategy challenges and digital transformations – all while guiding them in a fast-changing business environment.

The diagram below shows our value creation model, which consists of four main sections:

  1. The inputs and resources we use to operate our business, ranging from the skills and knowledge of our people to our quality management system

  2. Our main functions – Assurance, Advisory and our Business Services unit

  3. Outputs from our business activities, and how these benefit our clients, our people and other stakeholders

  4. Lastly, outcomes, which show the value we create for society as a whole, as well as the contribution KPMG N.V. makes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (new window) (SDGs)