There were four key figures in the formation of KPMG. They are the founding members of the present organization.
- Piet Klynveld founded the accounting firm Klynveld Kraayenhof & Co in Amsterdam in 1917.
- William Barclay Peat founded the accounting firm Peat & Co in London.
- James Marwick established the accounting firm Marwick, Mitchell & Co in New York City in 1897.
- Dr. Reinhard Goerdeler was the first president of the International Federation of Accountants and a chairman of KPMG. He is credited with laying the foundations of the Klynveld Main Goerdeler merger.
In Canada, the firm's roots go back to 1840. Since that date, more than 115 predecessor firms in communities across the country have joined forces to create what is now KPMG LLP (Canada).