Impact policy globally and be active in community advocacy
To support this goal, there are four initiatives.
Policy and advocacy member rating overall
2020 actual: 6.80
2021 target: 7.00
6.1 Develop a new approach for policy and advocacy work
Since 2018, we have significantly increased our media presence by focusing our public commentary on issues that matter most to members, the profession and the public.
Throughout 2021, we maintained a prominent position in the media, calling for additional government support for businesses affected by COVID-19 lockdowns.
Independent monitoring of Australian media shows continued improvement in our favourability rating against industry benchmarks.
We received widespread coverage in national, metro and regional media – including print and online newspapers, industry publications and radio – for our commentary on:
- Australian Federal Budget
- policies of the major parties for the 2019 Australian federal election
- end of financial year tax time messaging
- regulatory burden on public practitioners
- ASX Corporate Governance Principles
- government proposals to limit cash transactions
- review into the effectiveness of the Tax Practitioners Board / Tax Agent Services Act 2009 and the Tax Agent Services Regulations 2009
In 2020, major topics included:
- bushfire recovery
- retirement income review
- COVID-19 government stimulus measures including JobKeeper and JobSeeker
- early access to superannuation
- Our Tax tips annual end of financial year guide for employees, investors, small business, students, and tax agents.
We released the findings of the Hong Kong Tax Survey on 17 April 2020. The release attracted 166 examples of media coverage and a webinar on the findings was held for members on 29 May.
The Asia-Pacific small business survey was released across Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia. The media release attracted more than 600 media coverages across those markets. Survey findings and recommendations were also given to the local government as reference.
In 2021, major topics included:
- AASB Financial Reporting Framework Project
- auditor independence (specifically SMSF)
- small business compliance
- response to the Royal Commission into aged care
- a joint Government’s response to the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission (ACNC) review
- a joint submission by CPA Australia and CA ANZ in response to the Review of the Tax Practitioner’s Board
Our Call to avoid hard landing with post lockdown business support strategy media release received widespread coverage:
- ABC TV’s The Business
- The Financial Review
- The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age
- Radio stations Gold 104.3 FM and 3AW
- a lengthy opinion piece published in The Australian.
We took a leading role in the media to advocate for businesses affected by lockdowns.
Received widespread coverage in Australian media for key campaigns including:
6.2 Increase policy and advocacy work
We provide thought leadership and represent members’ views on issues affecting the profession. Submissions are made in response to calls for comment by government, regulators and standard setters. Our submissions are informed by input from members and are made on behalf of members and the profession.
In 2019, we made more than 40 submissions to governments, regulators and industry stakeholders in Australia, Asia, Europe and New Zealand, across a range of disciplines.
In November 2018, CPA Australia represented members at the Australian House of Representatives Economics Committee on the implications of removing refundable franking credits.
In 2021, we contributed our pre-budget submission to government in Australia.
We continued to advocate for economic policies in relation to COVID-19, with media releases addressing the increase in JobSeeker in Australia and a call for federal, state and territory governments in Australia to work together to support businesses impacted by snap lockdowns.
Additionally, we joined forces with four other leading Australian finance industry associations to question an increase in financial adviser licence fees (PDF, 139KB) and call for a review of the ASIC industry funding model.
Read our policy perspectives.
We released the 12th annual Asia-Pacific small business survey in 2021, which examines how small businesses across Australia and the Asia-Pacific region, are responding to the current economic climate.
CPA Australia conducted a survey on Hong Kong’s economic outlook for 2019, the results of which were released in November 2018. The report received widespread coverage on TV, radio, print and online.
A survey of 220 CPA Australia members in Greater China was conducted in year to measure business sentiment.
We provided commentary on major initiatives in Singapore 2019-20 Budget.
Read our policy perspectives.
Expanded our budget coverage in 2021 to provide analysis on the budgets of:
- Hong Kong SAR
- New Zealand
Advocacy and thought leadership activities in international markets include:
- the 12th annual Asia-Pacific small business survey
- the Business Technology report
- the ESG Reporting White Paper 2021
Strengthened relationships and engagement with government agencies in key international markets:
- Hong Kong’s Inland Revenue Department and Financial Reporting Council,
- New Zealand’s Inland Revenue Department and Financial Markets Authority
- Malaysia’s Inland Revenue Board and Royal Malaysian Customs Department.
We developed joint publications with Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) on behalf of the Australian Auditing and Accounting Public Policy Committee (APPC) to improve audit quality.
Held on Thursday 26 September, #AuditorProud day is a day when auditors from across the globe, celebrate the profession in online forums. We ran a social media campaign to encourage auditors to become involved and to post about their experiences on the day.
We conducted comprehensive coverage of the 2021 Australian Federal Budget, including expert commentary and detailed analysis via:
- a media release highlighting the major announcements
- a detailed report on the tac and superannuation measures
- articles in INTHEBLACK, including a summary of winners and losers from the budget
- a podcast and webinar in which CPA Australia’s policy experts discussed the implications of the budget for the profession and the public interest.
In addition to the Australian Federal Budget, in 2021 we provided analysis on the budgets of all Australian states and territories.
In response to Australia’s bushfires, we updated the Disaster Recovery Toolkit (PDF, 877KB). The Toolkit provides guidance to businesses impacted by disaster and can assist members and their clients with the steps to recovery. It includes information and useful links for members to access support from Australian government agencies.
ASEAN Federation of Accountants (AFA)
We collaborated with the AFA to present an online forum to members of CPA Australia and AFA, on Malaysia’s new quality review program.
ICAI panel discussion
At the invitation of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) we participated in its global webinar on the topic "Impact of COVID 19 pandemic on the Reporting and Assurance".
To help members and their clients respond to the impact of COVID-19, we developed a comprehensive COVID-19 hub on our website.
We surveyed nearly 200 members on Australia’s economic business sentiment against the National COVID-19 plan. The results and recommendations were published in a media release on 18 August 2021.
Climate Change Policy Research Report
In January 2020, CPA Australia published comprehensive research on climate change policy and accounting disclosure assumptions.
Read all the documents associated with our climate change and environmental policy.
Call to action on climate change
In February 2020, we were one of 14 of the world’s largest accounting organisations - together representing 2.5 million accountants worldwide - to jointly call for action on climate change.
The call to action acknowledges the significant role that the accountancy profession can play in climate change mitigation, by helping businesses adapt as economies transition to renewable energy and sustainable practices.
Read our April 2021 climate change policy statement.
Net zero committment
CPA Australia is one of 13 accounting bodies worldwide to make a commitment to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions. This initiative is part of The Prince of Wales’ Accounting for Sustainability, Accounting Bodies Network. Read the net zero commitment.
We provided comprehensive tax time coverage to coincide with the end of the financial year. The campaign:
- provided members with the tools, resources, and information they need to support businesses and their clients during tax time
- educated the public about tax time considerations.
The campaign featured:
- tax tips to support public messaging about tac obligations and the benefits of seeing a tax agent
- dedicated edition of our weekly Tax News, to promote key messages and resources
- a series of complimentary webinars and podcasts, tailored towards public practitioners
- widespread media coverage, in a range of online, print, television and radio outlets, on topics of interest such as the gig economy, small business, mum and dad investors, and top tips for employees.
CPA Australia published our first modern slavery statement in June 2021.
The statement is in line with CPA Australia’s support for the reporting requirements under the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth). It sets out the actions we are taking to identify and address any potential risk of involvement that the organisation may have in modern slavery. Our statement is listed in the Australian Border Force online register for modern slavery statements.
6.3 Utilise expert members to communicate policy
Our Centres of Excellence (COEs) – refer 6.4 – provide a forum for expert members to contribute to CPA Australia.
We have reinvigorated our existing four COEs and established two new COEs to help inform our policy positions and benefit from member input.
Members are invited to provide input to submissions we prepare. Details are communicated via the website, CPA Update and CPA Tax News.
6.4 Utilise member feedback when developing policy positions
We renewed and refreshed our Centres of Excellence – structured forums where experienced specialists assist in developing our policy position. The Centres of Excellence are:
- Environmental, Social and Governance
- External Reporting
- Retirement Savings
The Board has also recently approved the establishment of two new centres:
- Ethics and Professional Standards
- Digital Transformation.
Announced as part of the 2019 Australian federal election, were a series of events across Australia where members can provide input on our position on policies, including:
- franking credits
- the cost of managing tax affairs
- negative gearing
- the Hayne Royal Commission.
More than 1,100 members participated in series one.
The Policy Update Roadshow series continued in the second half of 2019, with the Policy and Advocacy team visiting 23 capital and regional centres in Australia and New Zealand to provide members with a broad overview of current topics relevant to the accounting profession, including:
- the Federal Government’s tax and superannuation policy agenda post-election
- financial planning, superannuation, retirement savings and aged care reviews
- parliamentary committee inquiry into the regulation of auditing in Australia
- regulatory burden
- financial reporting
- climate change policy.
2021 - conducted a series of longitudinal surveys with members in August, October & December covering a range of issues:
- Business confidence
- Economic confidence
- Employment outlook
- Business challenges
- Workload and mental stress
Key findings and recommendations published in separate media releases:
18 August 2021 – ‘View from the trenches has accountants worried’
11 October – ‘Business and economic sentiment rises, but so do doubts’
14 December 2021 – ‘Restrictions lift but reality bites accountants’