Revenue at Big Four audit firm KPMG grew nearly 9% to $35bn this year on the back of strong demand for advisory services.

Global revenue rose from $32.1bn for the year to 30 September 2021 to $35bn for the same period this year, according to results released on 13 December.

The firm’s advisory arm jumped 13% from $13.6bn to $15.4bn, outstripping the increases in other parts of the business. KPMG’s audit business grew 3.4% from $11.4bn to $11.8bn, while its tax and legal arm grew 4.7% from $7bn to $7.35bn.

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KPMG chair and chief executive Bill Thomas said 2022 had been a “strong year” for the firm.

Headcount grew 12.4% during 2022, with 29,000 net new roles created.

“This year’s growth will help us continue to invest in our people — which remains critical in a competitive marketplace for talent,” Thomas said.

The firm said nearly 100,000 of its staff had received specialist environmental, social and governance training as part of a $1.5bn investment by the firm in the sector.

Meanwhile, rival EY is on the verge of splitting its audit and consulting arms into separate businesses.

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EY global managing partner Andy Baldwin said earlier this month that fellow Big Four firms were likely to follow it down the break-up path.

“We do believe there is a first mover advantage. We also believe the competition at some point in time will also have to respond,” Baldwin told Reuters.

But KPMG’s Thomas ruled out an EY-style break-up in the 13 December statement, saying that the firm’s performance “validates an unwavering commitment to deliver services of the highest quality through a multi-disciplinary approach”.

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