PR professional advocates a second chance for KPMG

25 October 2019 2 min. read
More news on

Top South African brand management and public relations expert Solly Moeng has spoken out to advocate the reintegration of KPMG into the business mainstream in South Africa, particularly in light of the Big Four accounting and advisory firm’s efforts to revamp its profile and practices.

Having been implicated in the Gupta scandal two years ago, KPMG has had a turbulent couple of years to say the least. The scandal let loose a stream of lost business, which persisted well into last year, significantly denting the firm’s reputation and portfolio in South Africa.

Since then, the firm has been in damage control mode. The immediate response was to restructure the entire leadership team and give the firm a new face, while substantial cuts to staff and non-core business activities followed. The firm flew in senior executives from across the globe to help rescue its operations.

PR professional advocates a second chance for KPMG

2019 has marked a year of recovery for the firm. In March this year, the firm released a detailed report unveiling the firm’s new practices and principles, designed to minimise risk and ensure integrity in operations. Changes include increases in the amount of board oversight and a better screening process for clients.

According to Moeng, these efforts merit a second chance for the firm. Moeng, who is a leading PR professional working in an independent capacity, suggests that KPMG is merely the most prominent example of rot that is widespread within the South African professional services community. 

“The broader South African audit profession – especially those members of it who seem to think that remaining "tjoepstil", or quietly tiptoeing around the room, will ensure that we forget its failure to protect public interest when hundreds of billions of rand were stolen from us, must still come forward and tell South Africans how it intends to address the issues raised and to do things differently, going forward,” writes Moeng in fin24.

“KPMG should be progressively reintegrated into the mainstream, provided that it remains true to its word and the laudable steps it has begun to take. But it cannot, alone, be reasonably expected to provide South Africans with answers to the questions raised above,” he added.