No rest for CPA

Having returned from a successful four weeks with the colleagues at WOB UK your scribe is now back onto the thorny matter of CPA Australia.

Firstly and most importantly, all WOB members who are CPAs are encouraged to sign the spill petition (6,000 signatures are needed) to requisition an EGM to debate a board spill and other motions. Well done to Jen Dalitz and other diligent CPA members for getting this underway.
Secondly. the CPA Independent Review has set up a website and is inviting submissions at

The full submission of Ruth Medd FCPA (with thanks to WOB member Deanne Firth FCPA for reviewing it) is available to anyone who would like to email me at:

Here is part of what I had to say in the Governance section:

‘The Governance regime of CPA is not fit for purpose in its current form. The 2007 Constitution has enabled a collapse of good governance. CPA members and the wider business scene have witnessed governance meltdown. Without the AFR and a few initial spokespersons nothing would have changed and the damage to the organisation would have become event greater when finally exposed 

The Constitution of 2007 enshrined arrangements that have enabled the CEO and board to remove themselves from their greatest obligation – to protect the reputation of the CPA / accounting profession and service its members.  

This would seem to have occurred progressively as the influence of the CEO became pre-eminent. What may have been a worthwhile brand development strategy became an ego trip for the CEO.  Board members that I spoke to in 2017 were wedded to the CEO strategy of brand dominance and could not see until it was too late that this approach had adversely impacted the CPA members and reputation….  
Some suggestions for constitutional reform
  • Increase the influence of individual members in governance
  • Provide for the participation of members in board elections. It’s quite clear that the current arrangements have failed CPA members.  For example, some organisations run a regime where candidates must be deemed fit and proper before they are put forward on the slate of candidates available for election. Federal government boards additionally have some geographic requirements. 
  • Reduce the board size from 12 to 10.  Keep the two independents and put less emphasis on representational categories of accountants and more emphasis on candidates with governance skills and director experience. 
The above suggestions will require relatively minor changes to the Constitution.  It may also be wise to add a bit more flavour of values into the wording in the Constitution.’

More to come!

Update - CPA Australia has late today announced CPA funded insurance for public practitioners, independent members of the Nominations Committee and the timetable for current board members to stand down.   
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