CPA Australia releases independent review plan

3 July 2017

CPA Australia today released the panel and full terms of reference for the Independent Review announced on 16 June.

Board Chair and President Jim Dickson announced the Independent Review panel had been expanded and the Terms of Reference broadened to include a comprehensive assessment of the governance of CPA Australia.

The Board is seizing the opportunity to undertake a fresh look at CPA Australia’s governance regime, empowering the expert panel to engage with the membership to create a model to take CPA Australia into the next decade and beyond.

The Independent Review panel will be chaired by former Auditor-General for Australia Ian McPhee AO PSM, working with Su McCluskey and Maryjane Crabtree as panel members.

Su McCluskey is an experienced non-executive director with extensive review expertise and is a Fellow of CPA Australia. Maryjane Crabtree is a director of the Law Institute of Victoria and chair of its Corporate Governance Committee, who has extensive experience on boards and ethics committees in the government and not-for-profit sectors.

Chairman of the Law Committee of the AICD Professor Bob Baxt AO will act as an expert advisor on governance.

The Independent Review panel has been expanded to secure the highest levels of expertise across accounting, governance and the law.

The Terms of Reference, included below, will enable the panel to consider a range of concerns raised by members, media and other stakeholders. Importantly, the panel will consult directly with members.

Mr Dickson said the review panel would assess a range of claims that had tarnished the reputation of CPA Australia.

“We cannot allow questions of governance to go unanswered. Members, staff and the Board all deserve a robust independent analysis of the questions and assertions that have been raised in recent times and CPA Australia eagerly awaits those findings,” Mr Dickson said.

The review will also allow CPA Australia members to be actively involved in the evolution of the governance framework, so that it meets member expectations and is world class.

“The independent panel has the qualifications and experience to make an honest assessment and, with member input, help CPA Australia become a stronger and more transparent organisation.

“We have listened to members, and we invite everyone who cares about the future of the organisation and the profession to engage in this process to build a better CPA Australia.”

Independent Review panel Chair Ian McPhee is a company director, audit committee member and honorary professor at the Australian National University who has undertaken governance reviews in the public and private sectors. He was the Auditor-General for Australia during the period 2005-15, and prior to that role was a Deputy Secretary in the Department of Finance.

Mr McPhee said: “I can assure CPA Australia members this will be an inclusive review with mechanisms for members to share their perspectives. We want to fully understand the issues and look at ways to move forward.”

Mr McPhee has a long association with the accounting profession. He has been a divisional councillor and president of the ACT Division of CPA Australia, chair of the Australian Public Sector Accounting Standards Board, member of the Australian Auditing and Assurance Standards Board, deputy chair of the Australian Accounting Standards Board, member of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board, and is currently a member of the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants. He is a Fellow and Life Member of CPA Australia.

Mr Dickson announced that, regrettably, Sir Angus Houston has elected to withdraw from the panel given the significantly increased time commitment. His letter of withdrawal is provided here.

A copy of the Terms of Reference is available with further details on individual panel members. The panel and expert advisor are scheduled to meet on Tuesday, 4 July and the panel is due to provide a preliminary report on 15 September. A minimum of eight new board members will join the CPA Australia board by 1 October and the newly constituted board will receive the final report. 

For more information: Karen Hellwig 03 9606 9822, media@cpaaustralia.com.au