I am proud to announce that I, Paul Meissner, have been elected to the Institute of Chartered Accountants Victorian Regional Council. The VIC Regional Council is the representative Board for the ICAA in Victoria. My role on the council will be to represent small-medium public practitioners.
The council represents Victoria’s 14,000 CA’s (23% of the membership) as well as helping to set the agenda for the future of the ICAA. It is an exciting time for the ICAA as we merge with the NZ Institute and form a 90,000+ member Accounting body. This amalgamated body with give CA’s greater influence while not compromising on the quality of the designation or adding to our membership cost.
I am extremely excited about serving on the council and believe that I have a lot to offer. Currently the Accounting industry is in a real state of change. ICAA President Tim Gullifer talks about digital disruption and this isn’t just a factor at Big 4, it goes right through the whole industry.
In preparing for my role I reviewed the membership demographic and found some interesting trends. One was that 50% of the membership base is aged under 40 and the second is that Big 4 represents only 9% of the membership. Big4 do contribute 35% to the CA program though. Of the board representation nation-wide, little (or no) board members are under 40 and a most board representation are current/recent Big 4. It was once explained to me that age is needed to be able to better serve members and also that only Big 4 experience can give you the rounded views needed to guide the ICAA. Clearly I don’t believe that to be true and will be contributing my views and helping guide the ICAA.
Here are the 5 ways that the ICAA could look to represent the public practice members I serve:
– Cut business and personal taxation red tape;
The SME sector is a very large part of the Australian Economy and is also representative of the industry where over 50% of CA’s currently engage. Reducing red tape and providing real savings is a great way to show the membership what the ICAA is achieving and it is at the core of the role of a CA to best represent their clients.
– Improve the communication with members (quality over quantity);
On the back of the strong member engagement around the One Institute vote, member communication should focus on being 2 way and also increasing the social media presence of the ICAA.
– Engage with members in practice to better assist them;
The ICAA needs to show where the additional value is that goes with the additional membership cost to be in practice.
– Provide better, more relevant and more cost effective education to members;
The ever changing nature of tax legislation is an issue for practitioners and can we explore how the additional membership fee can generate more effective training.
– Reduce the impression among members that the ICAA is there only to serve Big 4;
Big 4 only represents 9% of the membership base (38% of CA program). A lot of member engagement is big 4 related and this doesn’t translate to the rest of the membership base.
I look forward to representing CA’s in practice and contributing to the continuing strength of the institute.
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Paul Meissner – Director