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Glossary 

It is the nature of business to shorten names and titles to acronyms, and to have an ever-increasing number of terms that might puzzle the uninitiated. This page offers some definitions.


KPMG established the Audit Committee Institute (ACI) to help audit committee members keep pace with business issues relating to governance, audit, accounting, and financial reporting. Since its inception in 1999, KPMG member firms have launched ACIs in 20 countries.

The Advisory practice assists companies and public sector bodies to mitigate risk, enhance performance, and create value.

Advanced measurement approach

Anti-money laundering

An examination of an organization's accounting records and other supporting evidence in order to express an opinion as to whether the financial statements for a specific period of time are presented fairly, in all material respects, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). The goal is an independent and incisive view attesting the quality of the information provided.

The board is focused on the firm's strategic and business planning, quality control processes, partnership matters, and review of the firm's financial statements.

A KPMG practice providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services to all classes of builders, developers, owners, and operators within the building, construction, and real estate sectors.

Chartered Accountant - an accountant who has met certain academic and experience requirements, and has successfully passed the uniform final examination (UFE) for CAs.

Partners who lead one of the firm's national functions (Audit, Tax, and Advisory services) or the Regions practice.

Capital Adequacy Standard

Chartered Business Valuator.

Central and Eastern Europe

Chief Financial Officer

Certified General Accountant.

The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants - a national professional association to which all chartered accountants belong and to whose code of professional ethics they subscribe.

Chartered Insolvency Practitioner.

An individual or organization that engages the firm to provide a professional service.

A group of KPMG people who serve a particular client by determining the client's service needs and delivering the services.

Certified Management Accountant

KPMG's Consumer Markets practice serves clients within the Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Products, Food and Beverage, Health Care (Private), Restaurants and Food Service, and Retail sectors.

Canadian Public Accountability Board

KPMG's  business goal to work towards an environment of inclusiveness for all our people, regardless of culture, common race, colour, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, family status, age, disability, or faith and religion.

A network of KPMG professionals based in KPMG member firms providing services to clients in the electronics and software sectors.

Europe, Middle East, and Africa region

KPMG's Energy practices serves enterprises within the energy sector, including oil and gas, power and utilities, and energy services industries.

KPMG's Environmental Performance Initiative; launched in 2007, this program focuses on the reduction of paper use, carbon footprint, and waste.

Enterprise Risk Management

This confidential hotline is available to assist in reporting concerns about possible illegal, unethical, or improper conduct at the firm. The toll-free hotline number is 1-866-683-5434 and the hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by an independent third-party service provider.

KPMG's Financial Services practice serves clients in: Alternative Investments, Asset Management, Banking, and Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate sectors.

Fast moving consumer goods

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles - the conventions, rules, and procedures that define accepted accounting practices and provide a standard by which auditors form their professional opinions about financial presentations. GAAP includes not only broad guidelines, but also detailed practices and procedures.

Generally Accepted Auditing Standards - standards governing the conduct of external audits.

Global Engagement Manager; risk management tool and global deals database used by KPMG's Transaction Advisory practice

Part of the Management Committee, the Geographic Leaders oversee all practice areas in their respective geography.

Green house gas

Global RAS Engagement Guide intended to help support KPMG member firms in the management of non-attestation Risk Advisory Service engagements

Global Tax Management System. A KPMG proprietary system.

KPMG's Global Transfer Pricing Services practice. A network of KPMG professionals based in KPMG member firms providing transfer pricing services.

  Human resources

International Accounting Standards Board

International Accounting Standards Committee.

Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process

International Executive Services - a tax service.

International Federation of Accountants - a worldwide professional association to which KPMG belongs.

KPMG International Financial Reporting Group. A single independent unit based in the UK providing international financial reporting services.

International Financial Reporting Standards

An open forum in which companies share knowledge, gain insight, and access thought leadership regarding the evolving global financial reporting environment.

KPMG's International headquarters.

KPMG's Industrial Markets practice serves clients in the Aerospace and Defence, Automotive, Diversified Industrials, and Transportation sectors.

KPMG's Information, Communications, and Entertainment practice serves clients in the Communications, Electronics, Entertainment, Media, and Software sectors.

KPMG web-based transfer pricing platform.

Intellectual property

Integrated regulatory reporting

Information Technology

Evaluation of external IT systems. A service line, IT Audit assesses the value, effectiveness, and risk profile of a client's IT systems.

Information Technology Services - addresses the firm's information technology needs - for local practices, national office, and clients.

Joint venture

A forum where organizations can learn more about the requirements of section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and discuss ways to address the evolution of effective internal controls.

KPMG EnterpriseTM is a network of professionals devoted exclusively to serving the needs of private companies in Canada.

The KPMG Global Energy Conference is held annually in Houston, Texas, USA.

For financial executives in the energy industry to learn about the industry challenges and opportunities, share leading practices, and conduct an ongoing dialogue about emerging energy-industry issues.

KPMG International is a Swiss cooperative that serves as a coordinating entity for a network of independent firms.

The International Board has an overall mandate to review, endorse, and implement the policies and regulations of KPMG International.

A network of KPMG professionals based in KPMG member firms, providing international corporate tax services.

The International Council approves common goals and significant new policies to make sure the network of member firms that comprise KPMG International is developed, governed, and managed effectively. The Council meets at least twice a year.

An eight-member International Management Committee, which meets at least six times a year, is responsible for debating key issues and making recommendations to the main Board.

A network of KPMG professionals based in KPMG member firms providing Tax services to organizations in the Financial Services sector.

Introduced in 2008, this initiative is the global firm's approach to addressing the challenges of climate change.

International climate change accord.

KPMG partner with overall responsibility for managing the KPMG member firm's relationship with the client.

Also referred to as an Operating Office. Individual offices of the firm throughout the country (e.g., Ottawa office, Halifax office).

Mergers and acquisitions

The team responsible for managing the firm as a whole, led by our Chairman and Chief Executive. It sets the overall direction for the firm.

KPMG's Mining practice offers both Audit and non-Audit services to mining clients in Canada and globally.

KPMG has established Mining Centers of Excellence in key regions of the globe. This network of key Centers enables access to industry knowledge, skills, and resources, regardless of geographical location.

National Assurance and Professional Practice  (national department).

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

Original equipment manufacturer(s)

The Oil & Gas Centers of Excellence form part of KPMG's wider Global Energy & Natural Resources practice, which also supports Power, Utilities, Mining, and Forestry sectors.

Owner-Managed Businesses

Office Managing Partner - local office partner who represents KPMG in the community and is responsible for the administration of the office's people and facilities.

Public Company Accounting Oversight Board

Private finance initiatives

KPMG's Global Power & Utilities Centres of Excellence provide our clients with services on a local and global basis.

Public private partnership

KPMG's Private Equity practice that assists clients with attaching venture capital and finding strategic investment options.

The document that describes the services the firm is offering to a client or a prospective client.

Where permitted, assisting clients with the preparation, due diligence, or attestation required as part of a process to obtain financing.

KPMG's Public Sector practice has clients that include local, provincial, and federal governments and their affiliates. We assist the public sector in a wide variety of areas, including, health care, higher education, power and utilities, transportation, infrastructure, social services, and many others.

Policies and guidelines for all professionals to enhance the quality of service to clients.

Risk-weighted capital ratio

US Securities and Exchange Commission

KPMG's social responsibility involves community service and commitment to the environment, making a real difference to the communities in which we live, work, and do business.

Sarbanes-Oxley Act

Scientific Research and Experimental Development

Islamic insurance.

A KPMG practice addressing a broad range of tax services that assist clients and their tax needs.

KPMG proprietary software.

The Foundation is the "catalyst" for all activities in support of the firm's corporate social responsibility initiative and is dedicated to helping in areas such as education, environment, civic and cultural development, the arts, and social welfare.

We operate trade desks staffed by experienced professionals with close ties to major international markets, e.g., KPMG's China Desk.

Uniform Final Examinations - an exam all accountants must write and pass in order to obtain their CA designation.

Known as Basel IA

Value Added Tax

World Trade Organization