KPMG to Add 500 Jobs in Chicago

The headcount in Chicago for Big 4 firm KPMG has hit 2,331. Now the firm says it will add 500 more to bring its staff to 2,800 by 2020, according to Crain’s Chicago Business.

Despite the expansion, the firm’s growth in the Chicago market has lagged behind that of competitors PwC and EY, Crain’s data reveals. The number of local professionals has increased 27% at both KPMG and Deloitte since 2012. At PwC and EY, the spike is nearly double: 50% and 52%, respectively.

Professional services has been a rapidly growing business sector in Chicago for five years, Crains says. Accounting firms have been using their brand recognition to move aggressively into consulting and advisory services, says Todd Shapiro, CEO of the Illinois CPA Society. “They’re growing dramatically, especially in non-audit and tax areas, and that’s driving a lot of the hiring,” he says. “Some firms actually have more non-CPAs working for them than CPAs.”

Advising on M&A, data analytics and cybersecurity has driven the hiring at KPMG’s Chicago office, MP Patrick Canning said in a statement.

The firm has 44% more consultants in Chicago than it did in 2012, compared to a 17% increase in tax professionals and a 5% drop in auditors. Nevertheless, the combination of audit, assurance and tax services still generates more than half the revenue for all Big 4 firms.

Shapiro said he expects hiring to continue as accounting firms scramble to advise clients on Blockchain, the technology that underpins Bitcoin, and changes President Donald Trump may make to the tax code.