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Building a professional community

As we continue to work in an ongoing COVID environment and vaccinations roll out, it is time to take stock of what we have learned from the pandemic and the important work and opportunities that lie ahead.

Building a professional community
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  • Andrew Conway
  • May 13, 2021
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We know the important role that small businesses will play in our economic recovery; as leaders in innovation, entrepreneurialism, with the capacity to employ and grow. For this reason, I am pleased to advise that the IPA Deakin SME Research Centre is bringing to fruition the third Small Business White Paper, which builds on the policy foundation of the 2015 and 2018 editions.

Now more than ever, the need to boost productivity through unleashing small business and SMEs will prove critical for Australia’s future living standards as we strive to recover from the economic setbacks caused by the pandemic.

This upcoming edition, Small Business White Paper 3.0, scheduled for release in the coming months, will contribute to Australia’s policy roadmap, which has been shaped by the changes and lessons imposed by the pandemic. Innovation and trade policy have now taken centre stage as we search for new industries and seek to diversify and protect vulnerable supply chains and exports.

For this edition, we are using BLADE (Business Longitudinal Analysis Data Environment) methodology, which is used to study how businesses fare over time and the factors that drive performance, innovation, job creation, competitiveness, and productivity. This will enhance our evidence-based approach, critical to the credibility and outputs of our White Paper. Education is critical to your ongoing professional status.

The past 12 months have seen increased need for digital delivery and acts as a strong reminder that we live in a digital world that is constantly changing, meaning we must be able to adjust and adapt accordingly. For clients and employers, this provides opportunities for accountants to lead the way to deliver technological solutions.

The sense and presence of community has never been more important, particularly as small businesses recover or transform in a post-COVID environment. The accounting profession is pivotal to this work and the IPA’s focus will continue to be one of building a professional community for the SME and SMP sectors. However, it is true to say that the profession is at the crossroads and must continue to build this professional community.

We must assess all that we do including doing the same things, doing them differently and doing different things altogether.

This is very much about harnessing those challenges and opportunities that COVID has produced. Again, education and ethics play a central role, and the IPA will continue to advance education and ethical standards. This includes the introduction of a Graduate Certificate in Public Accounting as a meaningful pathway for accounting technicians and new entrants; and enhancements to ethics education, which will ultimately prepare accountants for the future.

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