KPMG

The tax and advisory service on what it offers growing businesses


Who are you?

Alun Bowen, head of London Middle Market at KPMG.

What do you do?

We’re an accountancy firm with a range of tax and advisory services. We help growing businesses deal with the issues that typically arise amid change. We have experience on tap and, to paraphrase The AA, if there’s not a specialist in our team we know someone who can help.

Why should I care?

To get to where you want the issues you will face are easier if you deal with them upfront. You could regret it if you let something fester or muddle through until you reach a critical stage of growth. If you’re looking to grow by acquisition, aspire to raise private equity or plan to list on AIM or OFEX you can embed a cost and culture-efficient outlook early. This can only help when you present yourself to lenders and investors. We work best for fast-growing, dynamic companies who know where they want to be in two years’ time; turnover and size are not a major consideration, despite what you might think.

What can you do for me that I can’t do for myself?

You’ve got to concentrate on generating top-line profit and meeting your business plan. A lot of what you go through as your business evolves you only need to know once, such as keeping up with legal, regulatory and tax changes. We can be your eyes and ears and have information that you would have to make an effort to find out. Focus on the depth of what you need to know rather than the breadth of what you could know. By all means don’t get KPMG to do everything. We can operate a collaborative model whereby you divvy up your accountancy needs between us and your local firm or keep some in-house.

What mistakes will you stop me from making?

Owner-managers often don’t look holistically at where their company’s cash goes. You’ve got to continually look at each line of expense, and in our experience there’s a lot of cash that can be liberated. Quite quickly we can generate cash for you in the tens and hundreds of thousands you were needlessly spending. And that’s in reasonably well-run businesses.

Give me an example of one business you’ve worked with this year.

One client, a medical devices manufacturer, who’d already grown his first business to a FTSE 250 company, started again and this time decided to involve us from the outset to ensure he didn’t make the same strategic mistakes. The first time around he spent hundreds of thousands sorting out problems and restructuring the business despite it still posting strong earnings and profits. Because he hadn’t expected the level of growth the company achieved, he hadn’t structured from a commercial, fiscal or reporting basis that would be efficient for a larger business. The administrative burden of his method of tracking goods and materials across borders proved expensive. Costs go up exponentially when you grow.

Why should I trust you?

KPMG might look monolithic, but we’ve increasingly focused on growing companies and I’ve got a group of 300 people in London dedicated to the mid-market. People that service top-500 companies are in a completely different building. Being totally frank, I believe it makes sense if you’re a slightly larger smaller company to get the ‘A’ team from our division rather than less experienced members of a sector specialist team. We know those sector specialists and can access their knowledge when needed. Outside London we have around 4,000 staff focused on the mid-market.

So how much will it cost me?

On average we charge between £110-£120 per hour for all the work we do. This tends to involve a mix of cheaper and expensive people from our mid-market team. There is a perception that we are expensive, but people who have been involved with us before have worked out how to maximise their value and end up saving money down the track.

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: KPMG – middle market

Description: Accountancy and tax advice

Based: Nationwide

Number of clients: 150 in London

Website: www.kpmg.com

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