CPA Australia Integrated Report 2021

CPA Australia
Integrated Report

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2021

The challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic are like none other, with its simultaneous impact on the community and the economy. CPA Australia members have risen to these challenges to take a leading role in supporting clients and employees, and helping organisations adapt to an ever-changing environment.

About this report

This report covers the activities of CPA Australia Ltd (CPA Australia) and its controlled entities and is inclusive of operations in Australia, Asia, Europe, New Zealand, the Pacific, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the calendar year 1 January to 31 December 2021. This report has been prepared in accordance with the fundamental concepts, guiding principles and content elements of the Value Reporting Foundation’s revised Integrated Reporting (<IR>) Framework.

The Board of Directors acknowledges its responsibility for the Integrated Report and has been involved in its development and direction from its inception. The Board reviewed, considered and provided feedback on the report at its March 2022 meeting. It is the Board’s collective view that the report has been prepared in accordance with the <IR> Framework and it has received Limited Assurance on this basis.

Organisation

Who we are

CPA Australia is one of the world’s largest accounting bodies with a history of more than 135 years. Founded in 1886 with just 160 members, we now have 170,826 members around the globe. Our core services to members include providing education, training, technical support and advocacy. Employees and members work together with local and international bodies to represent the views and concerns of the profession to governments, regulators, standard setters, industries, academia and the general public.

We operate through offices and representative offices in all states and territories of Australia, Mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and Taiwan, Fiji, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, the UK, UAE and Vietnam.

Members

50% Female 50% Male
Countries where members work

Member retention

Member satisfaction

A focus on health and wellbeing combined with a concerted effort to accelerate economic recovery will be integral to our resurgence and collective prosperity. With accountants at the forefront of these efforts, CPA Australia’s focus throughout 2021 was on supporting members and providing targeted advocacy on critical policy matters.

Andrew Hunter, CEO

Our vision

Partnering with members to prepare for today and tomorrow in a globally connected world.

Our purpose

Our purpose is to be partners for progress – to strengthen trusted relationships with members and communities, so we continue to lead the future and develop business professionals with tomorrow’s capabilities.

 

Governance and organisational structure

The Board is the governing body of CPA Australia. The Board independently and objectively assesses the organisation’s decisions and oversees the performance and activities of management.

President’s report

Merran Kelsall FCPA

President and Chairman of the Board

In 2021, CPA Australia celebrated 135 years as a professional accounting body, including 65 years in both Hong Kong and Malaysia, 15 years in Shanghai and 10 years in Indonesia. These milestones highlight our rich history and mark our growing global presence. We commemorate these milestones to recognise the members who laid the foundations of the organisation. Our history also imbues us with a depth and breadth of experience. We draw on this experience to help us meet the challenges of the present and the future.

The challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic are like no other I have experienced, with its simultaneous impact on the community and the economy. It has been most heartening to see CPA Australia members rise to these challenges to take a leading role in supporting clients and employees, and helping organisations adapt to an ever-changing environment.

CEO’s report

Andrew Hunter

CEO

Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic it is clear that the pathway out requires the coordinated efforts of governments, health authorities, business groups and individuals. A focus on health and wellbeing combined with a concerted effort to accelerate economic recovery will be integral to our resurgence and collective prosperity. With accountants at the forefront of these efforts, CPA Australia’s focus throughout 2021 was on supporting members and providing targeted advocacy on critical policy matters.

It is gratifying that members continue to see value in belonging to a strong professional organisation, with CPA Australia’s membership growing to 170,826 members across more than 100 countries, as at 31 December 2021, including a fully qualified member retention rate of 98.3 per cent.

Strategy

In 2021, the organisation focused on a selection of key initiatives that would deliver materially improved services to members, were aligned to our strategic commitment and could be done without significant impact on key services to members. These projects included:

These projects included:

  • Public practice resources and tools
  • CPA Australia Best Practice Program
  • MMF program
  • Website delivery
  • Micro-credentials
  • My Capability Plan.

The most significant developments under the strategy are communicated to members via an update from the President after Board meetings and by the CEO in his communications to members.

We are currently in the early stages of planning for our 2023 onwards strategy. It will continue to be member-focused and will build on the progress made so far.

CPA Australia Strategy

Vision

Partnering with members to prepare for today and tomorrow in a globally connected world

Purpose

We’re partners for progress. Our trusted relationships with members and our communities ensure we continue to lead the future and develop business professionals with tomorrow’s capabilities

Goals

1
Protect, promote and enhance the integrity of the designation
2
Lead the future of the accounting profession
3
Provide members with personalised and engaging experiences
4
Provide relevant learning and development content, resources and tools
5
Attract and develop the next generation of CPAs
6
Impact policy globally and be active in community advocacy
Value for members, support for the community

Performance against strategy

CPA Australia has developed a set of external targets to measure performance against each of the strategic goals, as well as a group target that measures financial performance. Additionally, there are further internal metrics that are used to measure performance that feed into how our people are remunerated.

Interested in more detail?

Further information on our performance can be found in our Integrated Report and our Financial and Governance Report.

External environment

The external environment impacts our business model and strategy and is a source of the risks and opportunities that we are facing. Key external trends that have the potential to impact the organisation and its members and our response to them include:

  • Economic/geopolitical – Changes in the economic/political environment
  • External event – Cyclone/storm, tsunami, earthquake, disease (pandemic, epidemic), bushfire and so on
  • ESG – ESG obligations (regulatory, social licence to operate) and opportunities (member education, advocacy) do not meet stakeholder expectations including action on climate change and modern slavery and the appropriateness of corporate governance frameworks and processes
  • Technology – Improvements in accounting software are changing the way accountants use and interact with technology. New processes and systems are shifting the critical skill sets required by accountants. Organisations are outsourcing and automating manual and repetitive tasks to free up employee time to complete more complex tasks
  • Competition – Competition in key markets.

Business model and UN SDGs

Our business model reflects the environment that both members and the organisation operates in, and the strategy in place to 2022 and beyond. It includes consideration of the six capitals under the <IR> Framework; financial, manufactured, intellectual, human, natural, and social and relationship feed into strategy, operational management and reporting.

Interested in more detail?

For more information on our external environment and business model download our Integrated Report.

Materiality

Our business model reflects the environment that both members and the organisation operates in, and the strategy in place to 2022 and beyond. It includes consideration of the six capitals under the <IR> Framework; financial, manufactured, intellectual, human, natural and social and relationship.

Interested in more detail?

For more information on our materiality process download our supplementary materiality report.

Our performance

1

Protect, promote and enhance the integrity of the designation

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Objectives

  • Continue to invest in building the CPA Australia brand, so that the designation continues to inspire trust, confidence and respect
  • Strengthen internal quality assurance and risk frameworks to ensure integrity and transparency
  • Strengthen CPA Australia’s position as an international designation

Performance

A trustworthy brand 7.46/10

Board communications 6.38/10

Public practitioner satisfaction 6.98/10

Governance

Board focus in 2021

The Board met on 11 occasions during 2021 and together with its committees, considered a wide range of issues across all areas of the business. CPA Australia’s Board governs five committees that assist the Board in their decision-making. The Board committees were restructured in 2021 to ensure that CPA Australia maintains the highest standards of governance and is in the best position to deliver on the strategy.

Risks and risk management

CPA Australia has a Board-approved risk appetite statement that is reviewed and updated annually or when significant events occur. The statement articulates the amount of risk we are prepared to accept or avoid in pursuit of strategy. The risk appetite statement enables the Board and management of CPA Australia to be aligned on risk management and to identify, assess and treat risks related to the achievement of objectives while remaining within the Board’s approved appetite for these risks.

Social

 

The wellbeing of members and our people is of great importance. This continued to be the case in 2021 with the reintroduction of lockdowns and restrictions in many jurisdictions. We offered practical tools and tips for members to deal with the various regulations and restrictions introduced by governments around the world, but also focused on how we could support the mental and physical wellbeing of members.

Environment

 

On 6 October, CPA Australia joined with 13 other professional accounting bodies from around the globe in signing a commitment to achieve Net Zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within each of our organisations and to encourage and support members to do the same. The commitment involves setting a roadmap for how we will achieve Net Zero and reporting against our roadmap. We also committed to supporting members with the tools, resources, policy and advocacy they need to play a role in tackling climate change in their own organisations.

The accountancy profession can play a significant and vital role in achieving both climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Brand and reputation

The value of the CPA Australia designation is generated by the technical expertise and reputation of members. We enhance this reputation by building our brand profile through a range of activities including bringing together members with employer and industry sector groups, building relationships with governments, regulators, standard-setters and international accounting bodies and organisations, engaging with students and educational institutions, and utilising various communication and social media channels to connect with our stakeholders. We continue to evolve our brand strategy to position the designation for the benefit of members and their careers.

Public interest and professional standards

Public practitioner satisfaction

6.98/10

(2020: 6.73/10, 2019: 6.31/10, 2018: 5.85/10, 2017: 5.27/10)

 

CPA Australia members have a responsibility to act in the public interest and are required to comply with the obligations detailed in CPA Australia’s Constitution and By-Laws, Code of Professional Conduct and applicable industry standards and regulations.

We help to develop international and national standards relevant to the profession, and promote their adoption and implementation, through engagement, advocacy and consultation with regulators and industry bodies in all regions where members practice.

2

Lead the future of the accounting profession

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Objectives

  • Understand the emerging changes in the accounting profession and the implications for members in the future
  • Develop strategies, training and tools to support members through the future changes to the accounting profession
  • Provide opportunities and pathways for business professionals wanting to develop their skills and employment options while ensuring high professional standards

Performance

Thought leadership 7.15/10

Lead the future of the accounting profession

Thought leadership

7.15/10

(2020: 7.00/10, 2019: 6.69/10, 2018: 6.29/10, 2017: 5.71/10)

A key to the sustainability of members and CPA Australia lies in meeting the changing expectations of the community and the landscape that organisations operate in. We look to do this by conducting research into issues facing the profession both by ourselves and with partners, supporting the development of the profession in under-represented areas and partnering with other professional accounting bodies to advance the future of the profession. We continue to increase our thought leadership activity, with members rating our activity higher than in previous years.

3

Provide members with personalised and engaging experiences

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Objectives

  • Improve member experience and tailored communications based on individual member needs and feedback, enabled by data, technology and digital solutions
  • Create a more effective local support model for members through divisions, branches and committees
  • Develop a culture that enables a personalised and engaging member experience

Performance

Membership 170,826 members

Member satisfaction 7.07/10

Member retention 98.3%

Member demographics

CPA Australia has a strong and diverse membership representing numerous business and industry sectors in more than 100 countries and regions around the world. The members occupy a broad spectrum of the accounting and finance profession, from public practitioners working with clients, accountants working in small business, members working in not-for-profit organisations, the public sector and large corporate entities.

Members in more than 100 countries

Member type

Member trust and engagement

Member satisfaction

7.07/10

(2020: 6.89/10, 2019: 6.63/10, 2018: 6.23/10, 2017: 5.52/10)

CPA Australia’s vision is to partner with members to help them prepare for today and tomorrow in a globally connected world. We look to build trusted relationships with members by prioritising their needs, providing services to help advance their careers and protecting the reputation of the designation. We use insights from research conducted with members to drive the development of products and services and ensure that the voice of the member is represented in CPA Australia’s activities.

Our people

Roles filled internally

30%

(2020: 24%, 2019: 30%, 2018: 28%, 2017: 25%)

CPA Australia aims to foster an engaged and motivated workforce that is empowered to deliver on our strategy and organisational objectives. To achieve this, we have policies and workplace practices that are centred around attracting, developing and retaining talent. Naturally, our people have continued to be a focus in 2021 as many continued to work from home depending on restrictions in their location.

4

Provide relevant learning and development content, resources and tools

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Objectives

  • Improve value for money, relevance and flexibility of CPD
  • Develop and deliver high-quality products and services to build careers of specific member groups

Performance

Value for money CPD 6.65/10

Participation of eligible members in CPD 31.3%

Professional development and knowledge

Participation of eligible members in CPA Australia CPD

31.3%

(2020: 31.6%, 2019: 27.3%, 2018: 21.8%, 2017: 18.3%)

The value of the CPA designation stems not only from the technical expertise and understanding of business strategy gained through completing the CPA Program, but also through the ongoing learning that members undertake to ensure their knowledge remains relevant.

We have in place an education strategy that covers both the CPA Program and our professional development offer. Throughout 2021, we have focused on maintaining our core professional development offering as well as developing new products for members.

5

Attract and develop the next generation of CPAs

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Objectives

  • Maintain the high standards and relevance of the CPA Program for the global digital future
  • Improve the support model for CPA Program students to attain full membership
  • Attract high-calibre Associates globally through a compelling content offer and experience for prospective members

Performance

Associate satisfaction 7.35/10

Exams delivered >43,500

New members 9918

CPA Program and certification

Exams delivered

>43,500

(2020: >42,000, 2019: >44,000, 2018: >46,000, 2017: >51,000)

The CPA Program is a comprehensive postgraduate education program designed to provide candidates with a thorough grounding in accountancy, finance and business knowledge. In addition to technical accounting skills, it focuses on strategy, leadership, ethics and governance. It aims to develop agile and adaptable accounting professionals who are ready to meet the challenges of a changing business world.

We have in place an education strategy and associated steering group that oversees changes and developments to the CPA Program to ensure its ongoing relevance.

Attract and develop the next generation of CPAs

New members

9918

(2020: 10,052, 2019: 9891, 2018: 10,350, 2017: >11,000)

Attracting new members is key to the sustainability of the organisation as older members retire and leave the profession. New member growth continues to mostly trend downwards as competition from local and global bodies increases and the changing higher education landscape leads to lower numbers of accounting graduates.

6

Impact policy globally and be active in community advocacy

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Objectives

  • Enhance and extend the amount of policy work that CPA Australia undertakes for the benefit of members and the communities they serve, to build recognition of the CPA Australia brand
  • Advocate for member and public interests through local and international policy work

Performance

Media impact score 3.5

Policy and advocacy member rating 6.93/10

Policy and advocacy

Media impact score in Australian media

3.5

(2020: 2.9, 2019: 2.7, 2018: 1.4, 2017: -0.7)

CPA Australia seeks to impact policy globally and be active in community advocacy on issues that matter to members, advance the profession and are in the public interest. We actively engage with governments, regulators, government agencies and standard setters to promote public policies that stimulate sustainable economic growth and have positive business and social outcomes. Our broad membership base allows us to seek a variety of views and provide an array of industry perspectives. We represent the views of members across the spectrum of accounting, finance and business disciplines.

Governance and financials

Board of Directors

Merran Kelsall FCPA

President and Chairman of the Board

Professor Dale Pinto FCPA

Deputy President

Rosemary Sinclair
AM FCPA

Deputy President

Michaela Browning

Director

Louise Cox FCPA

Director

Professor Yew Kee Ho FCPA

Director

Helen Lorigan

Director

Warren McRae FCPA

Director

Bernard Che-Wai Poon FCPA

Director

Peter Wilson AM FCPA

Director

Governance and financial report

This report is a general-purpose financial report that has been prepared in accordance with the Accounting Standards, Interpretations and other authoritative pronouncements of the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) and the Corporations Act 2001. Accounting Standards include Australian equivalents to International Financial Reporting Standards (A-IFRS). Compliance with A-IFRS ensures that financial statements and notes of the Consolidated Entity comply with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

Interested in more detail?

For more information about our performance in this area please download the PDF.

Downloads

Thank you for your interest in CPA Australia. Download the full report for an honest overview of where we are today – how we create value, our performance and how we’ll build on this in the future.