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CPA Crisis? Poll results

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by Mark Smith

4 months ago

image cpa

It’s not often that the CPA’s make front page news in Australia but in recent weeks the turmoil within the Certified Practising Accountants in Australia has made the media in a big way. Numerous board resignations, leaked executive remuneration and public spats between qualified Accountants! Certainly not what you would expect from what is normally a conservative institution which prides itself on its untarnished reputation.

As a CPA, I have been following events closely and on Friday I was keen to hear the President of the Board and the embattled CEO, describe how they were going to handle the crisis over the CEO’s $1.8 million reported remuneration and an investigation of its corporate governance by the regulator. Given the imminent announcements, I thought I would check Twitter to see what the ‘twitterverse’ was saying. Interestingly, one punter asked how people would react to the announcements. Great question! So I thought I would instigate a Twitter poll to see what the response would be.

We compiled an audience of CPA’s from the people2people database and those people who clearly identify as a CPA on Twitter and sponsored the poll, presented to these CPA’s. Here are the results;

11,738 impressions
1159 tweet engagements
591 votes
17 retweets, 8 likes and 7 comments. More activity than I have seen on my tweets in a while! There is certainly some interest about these recent events.

Look at the results on Twitter 

A remarkable 58% of respondents are not happy with the way the CPA has handled the crisis. This is a terrible result, not only for the current (and remaining) Board and Executive but also for the membership. I was chatting with my business partner Simon Gressier today about the crisis and he reminded me of a story where he interviewed a very proud CPA a few years ago, who wore his lapel pin every day whilst he contracted for one of our clients. This is not something we would encourage but it demonstrates the loyalty the CPA brand has gained and has been enjoyed.

With the current crisis, this brand loyalty is in jeopardy.  

This has tremendous repercussions for the membership, both on a personal corporate level. Will business owners looking for accounting services make a different decision because the brand has been tarnished? I really don’t know. What I do know, as a 24 year accounting recruitment veteran, is that the market currently views CPA’s and CA’s as equally qualified. I would be extraordinarily disappointed, as a fully paid up CPA and on a professional level as an accounting recruiter, if I started to hear hiring managers request a CA as a first choice. Common sense would say this will not happen, but the current ‘shenanigans’ at the CPA is clearly angering a majority of the membership and only 5% believe they are handling the crisis well. 

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