Setting clear direction for our future
During the week of 8 February, I was pleased to join my fellow board members, the Council of Presidents, the IPA Group executive team and select senior management for a strategic planning workshop.
What I was particularly pleased about was the level of passion from all participants wanting the very best for the organisation. I can assure you it was a few days of very robust and meaningful discussion. While the IPA set out a strategic plan to span 2020 to 2025, like all businesses, the plan must undergo continual review. As a group, we debated and analysed the organisation’s strategic themes that underpin the inputs and outputs of the organisation as measured through the balanced scorecard process.
The strategic themes include:
1. Be recognised as the peak accounting body for public accountants in the SMP segments;
2. Be recognised as providers of the highest quality professional accounting qualification in Australia;
3. Actively promote the Institute to grow membership and revenues;
4. Continually enhance our influence on the profession; and
5. Ensure we have the best people using the right resources.
As a result of our discussions, Strategic Theme 1 has been recalibrated to a much simpler but more meaningful and powerful focus of: Building a professional community for the SME and SMP sectors.
When we consider the efforts of accountants in meeting the demands and issues facing clients and employers in the COVID environment, the significant role of the IPA in the mental health landscape and the ongoing advocacy for small business, then ‘building a professional community’ for these sectors certainly resonates and becomes a core focus.
Technology and digitisation was another key area of focus. We recognise that the profession and therefore all accountants globally must not just be up to date with technology, but be leaders.
As such, we want to build a platform to empower accountants to support superior business advice to clients and employers, so they grow and prosper.
The IPA as an organisation must also stay ahead of the pack and for that reason, we identified the need for direct investment in information and communications technology (ICT) to deliver information and services quickly, efficiently, and effectively to our member base. Another major focus for the IPA going forward is to continually review and enhance our business model and structure, both domestically and internationally. The IPA growth trajectory is important to all members, and globalisation is a key part of this trajectory as we work and compete in a global world, which cannot be ignored. Member growth delivers a sustainable business model that underpins the growth of the IPA Group and subsequent reinvestment into greater efficiencies and member benefits, including recognition.
The last point I would like to touch on is the development of the Australian Small Business White Paper 3.0, which forms the foundation of the IPA’s advocacy platform. This is a significant piece of work, but I will leave it there as I am privy to the fact that IPA CEO Andrew Conway will cover this in his report. We look forward to the launch later this year.