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KPMG’s Global Head of Transfer Pricing shares his personal insights into the increasing importance of Transfer Pricing around the world, and the corresponding career and growth opportunities for tax professionals at KPMG member firms.
Transfer pricing is the main focus for tax authorities around the world. We now have transfer pricing legislation in 40 countries — Russia, Nigeria are coming on line this year with transfer pricing rules; we have a new advance pricing agreement program in India; we have very aggressive tax audits happening in Canada, in Mexico; just everywhere around the world we’re seeing the focus on transfer pricing, and what does that mean for KPMG? What does that mean for people who are looking for opportunity or for advancements and careers?
That means this is a place where you have growth. We have double digit growth around the world in our transfer pricing practice; China 25 percent; Indian over 25 percent; Mexico 25 percent; double digit growth in the United States, all across Europe. That means that we are looking for staff — we’re looking for managers, we’re looking for directors and partners. I put four partners into into very specific key locations around the world this past year and for those who are in KPMG, this means opportunity to advance.
When I think about KPMG’s network and I think about what makes us particularly strong, I think of two things: the first thing I think of is the fact that we know each other. This is a network that comes together once a year, we just had a global conference in Miami, we have regional road shows, we have video conferences, we have telephone conferences and calls. These are people that know each other and when when you know each other, when you can pick up the phone and send an email to somebody who you actually have met, that makes that person more responsive. It means that the issue that you’re wrestling with is going to be more coordinated. It makes you more effective and I think that’s a very key part of what brings the network together and makes us strong.
But the other part of this is that the global firm and the individual member firms around the world have decided that transfer pricing is one of the building blocks of the future of the firm. We’re one of three business lines that have been singled out for special investment and what does that mean? That means that we have the ear of global leadership and we have the the support of each of the country tax heads and that really helps the network to prosper and to be strong
Something that’s special about KPMG is that we strongly believe in mobility and in particular, in the transfer pricing network we have a special programme that allows for secondments around the world. I think currently we have something like 35 secondees from one country going to the other, usually for one to two years at a time and this is an opportunity for us to, first of all, of course, have a very interesting career experience, but for us long term, it helps us build our network because many of the people who have started young and then have grown into the partner and director positions around the world, actually at one point or another in their career sat with their colleagues in another country and really learned how that other business, how that other tax authority and other set of folks in the KPMG network, work together.
Another aspect of the KPMG network that I think is particularly interesting is that this is an organization that doesn’t just include accountants and attorneys, but actually is also full of folks who’ve come from government, people who’ve worked in transfer pricing inside the tax authorities. I, for one, actually came from the IRS where I was the APA Director, the Director of the Advance Pricing Agreement programme and obviously got the particular experience of APAs, but I’m not unique in the KPMG network. There are over 60 people who have come from tax authorities and so when you join KPMG, you’re joining a network of real experts and people who have spent time in the trenches, in the governments and will be at your side both for helping you answer particular questions with a particular client, but also to learn and to train, and I think that’s a particularly important part of what we bring to a new hire.
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KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Member firms of the KPMG network of independent firms are affiliated with KPMG International. KPMG International provides no client services. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm. All rights reserved.