29 May 2020
CPA Australia’s Board of Directors met this week and would like to provide an update on the following topics.
- Delivery of semester 1 online exams
- Developing a Member Engagement Platform
- INTHEBLACK digital magazine
- CPA Australia COVID-19 update
1. Delivery of semester 1 online exams
CPA Australia this month delivered the first online exams for ASA members studying the CPA program. With the COVID-19 pandemic causing the closure of exam centres, we listened to ASA members who overwhelmingly expressed a desire to sit their semester 1 exams and make the most of the time and effort they had invested in their studies. In a massive undertaking by our Education, Technology and Member Service teams, in conjunction with our partner KnowledgEquity, CPA Australia arranged for ASA members to sit their exams online approximately one month after the original scheduled exam date. Candidates who did not wish to sit their exam in these circumstances were able to defer at no cost.
The Board is delighted to report that between 8-18 May, CPA Australia delivered 17,967 online exams in nine subjects, without any service interruption across 66 countries and 20 different time zones. Candidates can now look forward to the release of results on 26 June.
2. Developing a Member Engagement Platform
As part of our strategy to improve the member experience and facilitate increased member engagement, work is underway in developing a Member Engagement Platform – an online communication channel that will provide members with a way to connect with their professional networks.
The Member Engagement Platform will complement our existing social media channels and enable members to connect with each other and their local Divisional Council and Committees, receive relevant, localised communications and engage directly with CPA Australia subject matter experts. We are currently in the development stage of seeking input from key stakeholders, including members, and we anticipate launching the platform during the third quarter of 2020.
3. INTHEBLACK digital magazine
As announced earlier this month, the July issue of INTHEBLACK will be the last printed edition of the magazine. From the August edition onwards, INTHEBLACK will be moving to an online format for all markets. Adopting a digital-first approach was part of our long-term strategy, but with the postage restrictions and delays associated with COVID-19, the change was brought forward.
INTHEBLACK will continue to deliver engaging stories and high-quality content relevant to members using an enhanced digital flipbook that offers greater flexibility in a more sustainable way. This flipbook will retain the same layout and quality of content as the printed version, but with additional benefits of an interactive experience such as videos, podcasts and webinars, as well as offering digital insights into the content that members value most. The flipbook solution is more sustainable and eco-friendly, reducing our environmental impact by removing the consumption of paper, printing materials and transportation.
4. CPA Australia COVID-19 update
CPA Australia’s online COVID-19 hub is being regularly updated with resources and information to assist members. As businesses begin looking towards the recovery phase, we are adding a suite of recovery resources - including a one page Roadmap to Recovery that contains links to helpful resources as well as a comprehensive Business Recovery guide for Small Business.
CPA Australia is continuing to monitor government advice in the various jurisdictions where we operate and to ensure all appropriate protocols are being followed. Where eligible, CPA Australia will also be applying for business support programs in relevant jurisdictions. In Australia, we are eligible for and will apply for the Federal Government’s JobKeeper program that will help keep people in employment as we continue to provide services to members. This is in the best interests of members and will contribute to the sustainability of the organisation in an uncertain environment.
As a further update and in line with a reduction in some revenue sources during this year, members are advised that CPA Australia has also been reducing and/or deferring operational and capital expenditure so that our financial outlook remains in reasonable balance overall. These actions have also provided some room for additional spending to reflect special needs and requests of members emanating from the current COVID-19 environment. The Board and management continue to maintain an active oversight of all our finances throughout 2020, and we have the flexibility to make further adjustments, if required.
Peter Wilson AM FCPA
President and Chair
On behalf of CPA Australia’s Board of Directors