Brief Organizational Behavior Analysis of KPMG|
In 2010, I got involved in an internship program offered by KPMG Shanghai. During the two-month program, I took part in a real audit project with a group of auditors after a one-week intensive training. This was the first time for me to work in an international company, where I got familiar with the working environment and culture of a leading firm. I learned a lot through the experience. KPMG is one of the four largest international accountancy and professional services companies, along with PwC, Deloitte and Ernst & Young. First got its name after a merger of two accounting firms in 1987, KPMG then expanded its business to over 150 countries in the world with more than 138,000 employees. KPMG International Cooperative registered in the Switzerland, including different national KPMG firms as it members, while each national KPMG firm is an independent legal entity in its own country. KPMG China has offices in Beijing, Shanghai and other 11 cities with over 9000 employees. As other offices, KPMG Shanghai office provides professional services of audit, tax and advisory for customers in various fields, including financial services, private equity, industrial markets, government and so on. During my internship, I was in an audit group. Our group’s job at that moment was to do an external mid-term audit for a real-estate company, namely to verify the company’s financial records and to give an expert opinion of its financial condition. It means that we have to study sources provided by the company to find out whether its records present its true financial situation. Most of time, we worked in our customer’s offices to check the company’s daily records of banks, creditors, brokers, etc., under the special KPMG Audit Methodology. After collecting the original data, we continued our work in our own office to analyze and prepare the final report. Another part of my job was to send confirmation letters to banks to get the information of our customer’s bank accounts confirmed. Although I only did some basic jobs in the company, I have got a better understanding of the firm with the help of my kind colleagues and the trainings.
II. An overview of the company structure
As a mature international firm, KPMG enjoys its own successful and stable organization structure. For the KPMG Shanghai office, it uses a multi-divisional structure which is often adapted by very large companies. Audit, tax and advisory all has its own functional structure. Each division plans its own budget, schedule, separation and so on under the general guidelines. Typically, each division is then divided into different departments in terms of industries they are responsible for. For example, KPMG Shanghai has over 30 auditing departments. Further, each department forms several groups to handle different projects. That is to say, all the jobs in the company are group-based. When a new project comes, a manager chooses several qualified and available staff to establish a new group to handle it. And a staff can be put in several groups at the same time according to the real situation. Each group best focuses on the unique needs of the customers. Besides, KPMG Shanghai office has some departments at the whole company level, such as Human resources department, IT department and marketing department. They provide services for all the staff in the firm. And of course, some extra work has to be done to coordinate different groups in the three separate divisions, while Coordination within the group members is quite easy and smooth. To have a further analysis of the audit division, in my understanding, it has a professional bureaucracy structure introduced by Mintzberg. As a firm that mainly provides professional audit services, KPMG relies on the standardization of professional skills more than of outputs and working processes. Professional standards dominate in the...