The Australian wing of Big Four accountancy firm KPMG may soon be holding executive meetings and completing multi-million dollar contracts with customers in the Metaverse. The business is investigating how technological breakthroughs can reshape its business model.
KPMG’s James Mabbott, Partner in Charge at KPMG Futures, stated in a recent interview that the firm sees real potential in technology creating new and more efficient ways for businesses and consumers to interact with each other:
“I think the exciting applications are going to be in the business-to-business context, And I think that I think that’s where the money is going to be even more so than the consumer-driven participation.”
Mabbott also asserted that virtual interactions on Metaverse platforms might not only fundamentally change client engagement and service delivery, but it could also eventually expose new revenue streams for the company.
“What we’re looking to do is explore the opportunity to create new business models and assets with technology that fundamentally transforms the way we deliver our services,” he told Cointelegraph.
According to a recent statement sent to Cointelegraph, the company has just created a brand new role within Australia’s KPMG Futures team, Head of Metaverse Futures. It has just appointed Web3 executive Alyse Sue to the position.
Sue previously worked as a senior consultant on the KPMG Innovate team between 2012 and 2015 before venturing into cryptocurrency, where she co-founded several startups. One of them is Transhuman Coin, a decentralized finance (Defi) project that invests in and supports emerging technologies, according to KPMG Australia.
Sue then worked as the Head of Web3 at the international software development and consulting firm Palo IT before returning to KPMG.
The new position coincides with KPMG’s lofty goal of creating multimillion-dollar business opportunities for the firm by 2025. Mabbott stated that KPMG has been looking into building its Metaverse for the company’s internal business operations and business-to-business services to accomplish this feat.
Sue will also receive assistance from some of the 90 members of KPMG’s Futures unit, which includes a focus on artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum computing in addition to the Metaverse.
KPMG has also launched KPMG Origins, a blockchain-based track-and-trace platform designed to help trading partners codify trust when conducting cross-border business transactions. Mabbott also stated that approximately 30 people are working on the supply chain-focused platform.
However, the firm is also looking into potential opportunities on public Metaverse platforms to see what is available and what they might mean for clients, Said Mabbott.
The KPMG Partner also stated that he was unconcerned about the recent drop in user activity and reported poor user experiences in some of the industry’s largest Metaverses:
“When you look at some of these spaces, patronage, and participation are low. But this is when all the interesting experimentations are happening, and the development of those new business models and ways of creating value is falling out.”
“Off the back of that, I think there will be an explosion actually in terms of uptake and use and applicability of these technologies as well,” he added.
Mabbott also noted that while user activity on several video communications platforms, including Google Meets, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom, increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, users cannot fully immerse themselves in that environment as they can in the Metaverse.
“The bit they don’t solve for is the emotional component. [With the Metaverse], your senses are hijacked, and you feel like you’re in that environment. That’s what’s missing from our current Zoom and [Microsoft] Team’s interactions,” he said.
“It’s that sense of being in the room and able to read [other people’s] body language and feel like you’re there. That’s that next step that I think these technologies will bring,” Mabbott added.
It’s not KPMG’s first foray into the Metaverse. In June 2022, the accounting firm also invested $30 million in Web3 employee training for its teams in the United States and Canada, focusing on education, collaboration, and training across various events and workshops.
According to a June 2022 report from international consulting firm McKinsey, the Metaverse is expected to be worth $5 trillion by 2030. On the other hand, Citi estimates the total addressable market for the Metaverse economy to be as high as $13 trillion over the same timeframe.