KPMG Australia chief executive Gary Wingrove told staff on Wednesday that while the firm’s year-on-year revenue had not yet returned to pre-COVID levels, better-than-expected half-year figures would enable it to repay staff pay cuts introduced during the height of COVID-19 last year.
KPMG then moved to repay half of the July and August 2020 cuts at the end of last year, with this week’s latest round of repayments essentially cancelling any reduction for those two months.
“These strong results also speak to the efforts of our people,” Mr Wingrove said. “We greatly appreciate and acknowledge their dedication, and the effort it has taken to deliver for our clients and our firm over many months, in very difficult circumstances.
“Given our performance, we are now able to make some choices on how we deploy the benefits.
“As I have said before, our priority is returning the salary adjustments to our people that occurred in July and August.”
Mr Wingrove also revealed that the firm would look to make a one-off “thank-you payment” to its staff in June, in recognition of their “contributions and resilience in tough circumstances” over the last 12 months.
The one-off payment will be in addition to its annual year-end performance and review process.
KPMG declined to confirm the value of the payment, noting that it would be decided closer towards the end of the financial year, with the business’s performance for the next four months factoring towards its decision.
“Momentum is building positively, but we all know it remains a very volatile environment, and things change quickly,” the chief executive said. “So, we still need to continue to be balanced in how we manage the business over the next few months.”
KPMG saw a 7 per cent increase in revenue to $1.9 billion last year, with COVID-19 causing it to miss its 12 per cent target.
Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.