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Big4.com interview: KPMG’s New CFO Plans for Proactive Financial Operations
July 21, 2012
David Turner brings wealth of experience from Thomson Reuters
By Rob Starr, Content Manager, Big4.com
Enthusiasm and experience. Those were two words that quickly sprang to mind when Big4.com had the chance to talk with KPMG’s new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) David Turner recently. Having been responsible for corporate accounting, reporting, control and compliance, as well as other key functions as SVP for Finance for the Thomson Corporation, Turner remembers how he immediately saw his wealth of experience could benefit his new employer. He started our talk by sharing the immediate connection he felt to the firm.
“There are so many aspects of what I’ve learned over the years that I can bring to help the management team here as they take the mission of KPMG forward,” he said.
His resume speaks to his enthusiasm, is impressive and includes serving as Executive Vice President and prior to that the CFO and Co-Chair of the Operating Committee for Thomson Reuters Markets Division.
Turner also brings an open-minded quality to his new role, which takes effect August 1. He told us that while he knows that he’s on a self-described learning curve to bring himself up to speed with the issues arising in the difficult economy, he feels the opportunity is also significant.
“Across the audit, advisory and tax world, the landscape is changing so quickly – whether that is because of globalization, regulation or changes in client transformation that are so constant,” Turner said. “These challenges also bring significant opportunity for companies as we all strive for success during a difficult economic state. I hope to develop additional methodologies to help the business determine where to make investments,” he says.
He feels that success lies in choosing the areas where companies can win and focusing on those avenues. Turner’s new duties include advising senior leadership at KPMG on business growth and investment, as well as leading technical, professional and administrative staff.
Turner will be looking to find ways of increasing the efficiency of how KPMG is looking for those areas and what resources need to be allocated to make this shift successful. This “portfolio optimization” approach will allow resources to be targeted to areas of future market and share growth.
“I’m hoping to engage very proactively with the partners in the field on how they’re delivering this model to clients,” he said. “I hope to work closely with management on where the new focus will be.”
Keen On IT Possibilities
Turner is also keen on the possibilities that IT presents for the business model he’s promoting calling it one of the enablers that helps any company accomplish their goals. He mentioned that the key for any successful IT platform is the thoroughness in how information is sorted and presented.
“Nowadays you can get so much information, it can become a fog,” he said, adding that the job of the finance function is to interpret the information to narrow it down to the things that support actions.
Finally, Turner makes it clear that he’s looking forward to working with the people at KPMG, both in management and in the field.
“There’s a lot of talent in the finance organization here and clearly a lot of people who are great at what they do,” he said.