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Public accountants have been told their insights into the industry can have a significant impact on shifting policy direction and creating awareness in the government.
At the IPA’s National Congress last week, a panel of political and business leaders discussed the risk that weak political reform threatens economic growth and in turn, government support for small business.
One member of the panel, former federal small business minister and current chair of the Franchise Council of Australia Bruce Billson, stressed the “very real” impact lobbying from professional industries, such as accounting, can have on public policy.
“If you turn up and have your voice heard and mount your argument, you can bring about an influence and have a capacity for change,” Mr Billson said.
Speaking exclusively to Public Accountant on the matter, IPA chief executive Andrew Conway, said the experiences and opinions of client-facing accountants represents the kind of insight accounting bodies like the IPA need to take to government.
“The accounting profession sometimes resists getting engaged in public discourse,” he said.
“We need to ensure the insight accountants have is being voiced,” he said.
“It’s just too easy to criticise the system and criticise the regulations, but the community put them there. And if we’re not happy with them, we’ve got to tell them we’re not happy and provide alternatives,” he said.
“Our role is to generate that discourse, help our communities and certainly the government play that long game… to what is in the country’s best interests.”