IPA CEO vows to work with CPA and CA ANZ to close advice gap
The government is listening to the collective voices of the three professional accounting bodies, who owe it to their 310,000+ members and students to maintain momentum and effect change, said the chief executive of the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) at the body’s annual national congress in Adelaide.
In his opening address to hundreds of accountant delegates, Andrew Conway said that the IPA is currently focused on four key factors to drive the profession forward through the decades to come.
“Firstly, voice and a very public voice at that. We openly set discourse across many policy areas; not just for our members’ interests but that for the public interest and very much for the Australian economy,” said Mr Conway.
“Together, the three professional accounting bodies must have a single message to deliver these outcomes. Australian citizens are facing an advice gap we have not seen before and we must arrest this situation.”
Earlier this month, the three accounting bodies, CPA Australia, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) and the IPA, announced a tripartite lobbying effort to seek a broader and more robust solution that will enable both businesses and individuals to access the advice they need.
Speaking at the IPA congress on Thursday, Mr Conway said that the government is listening to “our collective voices and we need to maintain the momentum to effect change”.
“We must continue to communicate to all stakeholders, which importantly includes the 310,000+ accountants and students who are members of the three bodies,” he said.
Setting out the IPA’s agenda, Mr Conway said the third key factor is to demonstrate leadership within the profession.
“There is no better time to be an accountant, considering the changing landscape and the challenge that presents. We must provide guidance to accountants through the web of challenges ahead: technology, cyber security, regulatory reform, mental health and many more,” he said.
“We look forward to the decade ahead and the evolution of accountants and the profession.”
Regulatory burden stifling productivity
Turning the focus on small business, Mr Conway recognised that the regulatory burden on the nation is stifling productivity and growth.
“We know, we have to unshackle small business from the regulatory burden it faces if we are to address the ongoing productivity decline,” he said.
“The SME sector is looking to accountants to hold that key to unlock that shackle.
“As a result, we are welcoming the whole of the profession to work in arms to support true regulatory reform; to remove the duplications, the costs and the administration burden on small business.”
Mr Conway called for a new and innovative regulatory framework that removes duplication of effort, overlapping of responsibilities and hence creates an efficient and more affordable model for stakeholders.