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KPMG has jumped into the software business

The view from KPMG’s new Sydney headquarters. Image: Chris Pash

The model of charging clients in six-minute blocks hasn’t lost its edge at professional services firm KPMG, but it will be challenged by new businesses based on software.

KPMG Australia today announced the first live offerings from its new digital services platform: R&D Edge, a tax management solution for claiming research and development benefits; and ESS Reporter, a tool for managing employee share schemes.

“KPMG has officially entered the software business,” says CEO Gary Wingrove. “Each product we design and build locally will soon be available to clients around the world who have, or do, business in Australia.”

Anthony Stevens, KPMG’s chief technology officer, says his team of 50 designers, project managers and technology architects will be releasing new software every eight to 12 weeks. And that doesn’t keep up with demand.

The push is very different from the spreadsheets and Powerpoints wielded by consultants, where charging means counting six minute blocks of time and invoicing accordingly.

“By developing our own software to complement our traditional face-to-face capabilities, we are ensuring our clients can engage with us faster, cheaper and more effectively,” Stevens says.

“R&D Edge and ESS have already demonstrated that digital solutions provide incremental value to our clients — insights that people alone can’t provide.”

He sees the traditional professional services continuing but the software opportunity is growing quickly.

“We see the opportunity to effectively provide subscription access to that software as a service, a solution offering,” he says.

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