The CPA Australia Crisis – ICMA Patrons Show the Way Forward

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

There are many learnings from the implosion at CPA Australia -which in fact damages the reputation indirectly of us all – but the one that strikes one most is the need for the corporate regulations to be relevant and current.

Some time back it was suggested to both CPA Australia and ASIC (with obvious failure to date!) that in the crowded field of Not-For-Profit (NFP) Organisations; Companies Limited By Guarantee; Charitable Trusts, etc., there is a need to differentiate between the larger commercial type organisation, such as CPA Australia, and the myriad of much smaller NFPs who are so important in the community.

The suggestion is for all such larger enterprises – with annual revenue in excess of $50m:

a) That with regard to regulations on directors – their appointment, remuneration and disclosure, removal, etc …the regulations should be as for publicly listed companies and with remuneration of senior executives also disclosed, and

b) That as regard the provision of the register of members to a member/s paying the prescribed fee then the email addresses where available be included, as was not the case recently with CPA Australia! It is understood that Senator Nick Xenaphon is already acting on this with a private members bill drafted.

Clearly if such regulations as recommended were already in place the CPA Australia matter may not have reached such Orwellian dimensions.

So ASIC, so relevant Ministers, please give these suggestions your urgent consideration It is also suggested that ICMA support these recommendations.

John O. Miller and William Dix
Joint Patrons ICMA, Since 1997.

Dr. John Miller AO FCPA FCMA FAICD
President, Australian Society of Accountants (now CPA Australia) 1982-83
President, Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants(CAPA) 1985-87

Mr. William Dix AO FCPA AGIA FCMA
Former CEO Ford Australia and Chairman Qantas
Former Adjunct Professor -Swinburne University