Membership growth and diversity
Two strategic initiatives – sourcing the talent of the future and future membership programs and pathways – focus on building membership growth and diversity. This reporting year was a successful one in this regard with Chartered Accountants ANZ membership growing 2.3% to 131,673 which makes us the largest accounting body in Australia and New Zealand.
“Now is the time to look to the future. We need to complement the significant investment in the new CA Program with new pathways and markets for our education program. Offering programs focused on the skills and capabilities needed for future success. We must also take a lean and efficient approach to how we operate to become a sustainable organisation.”
– Simon Hann, Group Executive, Education & Learning
To continue to draw in the talent a healthy profession needs, we have a number of initiatives to attract new members with diverse backgrounds to the profession. A focal point of this drive was the introduction of a transformed CA Program.
Reimagining our flagship program
The launch of the new CA Program was a milestone in the reimagination of our flagship education program. This was done to better meet the rising industry demand for broader expertise and skill base for future CAs.
Graduating CAs are increasingly expected to be job-ready and equipped to handle our digital world. Our candidates are competing for roles as critical thinkers, innovators and digitally savvy experts who can guide new initiatives to help businesses navigate disruption and unpredictable environments.
To be a leader in this environment, the CA Program was refreshed following extensive consultation with members, candidates, industry and global partners and employers in practices, businesses and other organisations.
The new CA Program commenced in June 2021, setting candidates up with diverse capabilities including:
- being trusted and ethical partners
- the ability to effectively operate in, and lead, digital transformation
- understanding the implications that data and technology have on business
- assessing, navigating and leveraging emerging technologies
- using influence, and collaboration and communication skills to take the lead in changing environments and solving complex problems
The new CA Program provides greater flexibility and choice for both candidates and employers. It includes 13 subjects of which candidates must complete nine (compared to five compulsory modules previously) allowing candidates to start to specialise and ensuring all study is relevant. Targeted content leads to better trained graduates while learner support improves the experience and boosts retention. New subject areas include Risk and Technology, Data Analytics and Insights, Strategy and Performance, and Financial Modelling.
Our flagship program continues to combine rigorous education with mentored practical experience. Chartered Accountants ANZ is the only professional accounting body approved as a Higher Education Provider by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA), Australia’s independent national regulator of the higher education sector.
The subjects are shorter and will be delivered more often with 32 subjects timetabled over four terms in 2022 creating multiple completion routes for candidates. This will allow the flexibility to plan study around work and other commitments providing the opportunity to pause study in busy periods or to elect to complete shorter subjects.
Incorporated in these changes is the commitment to rigorous education and core competencies combined with mentored practical experience. The new CA Program continues to meet the standards required of us as a TEQSA Higher Education Provider.
It has been designed with a digital first mindset creating a significant uplift in the learner experience. This is underpinned with six new technology platforms within the ecosystem supporting candidates throughout their journey from enrolment to assessment.
Paper pages saved
By the CA Program going online.
Our flexible entry requirements open up more options to gain entry to the CA Program. As a result of flexible study initiatives completed in 2020, we saw significant take-up of flexible study pathways by new and existing provisional CA members during the reporting year.
There were increased enrolment numbers in both the CA Program and CA Foundations including:
- 1,750 new provisional CA members who previously would have been ineligible were approved to commence the CA Program while concurrently completing their final CA Foundations studies
- CA Foundations enrolments grew 10% to 3,078 compared with the previous year
Chartered Accountants ANZ has recognised the significant impact that COVID-19 has had on the education sector, in particular our partner universities. We have continued to support this community through our Platinum Sponsorship with the Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand (AFAANZ), which includes representation and participation in their conferences and the AFAANZ “Insight Series” which is a forum focusing on hot topics presented by the academic community and industry.
Chartered Accountants ANZ also supports the Chairs of Accounting and Finance Forum (CAFF) throughout the year by providing timely updates on the profession, accreditation, as well as sourcing subject matter experts. The collective efforts have seen a rise in CA Membership through the Academic Pathway initiative from 309 in June 2019 to 355 as at June 2021.
The Careers Engagement team continue to develop initiatives that support the students whilst promoting accounting education and the profession through a wide range of tailored events and initiatives throughout the year. These are undertaken with the support of academics, career advisors, student societies and students.
The team were awarded the ‘Most Popular Professional Association’ at the 2020 AAGE Graduate Industry Awards, which was a great reflection of their dedication.
In this reporting year Chartered Accountants ANZ membership grew to 131,673 members, up from 128,683 in FY20, continuing a trend of solid growth since formation in 2015.
Difference Makers Class of 2020
In November 2020, we celebrated new members joining as one global cohort of Difference Makers in Chartered Accountants ANZ’s first ever online new members’ ceremony. Around 1,500 new members, joined by an estimated 2,500 family, friends, mentors and colleagues, came together to celebrate the occasion.
New members were treated by walking down the virtual red carpet to enter the Difference Makers Theatre where they were entertained and honoured.
The event highlights package is available on our website.
The resilience and achievement of the Class of 2020 cohort were recognised. Those achieving membership in 2020, as well as other provisional members, undertook their studies while navigating personal and professional upheavals brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic including a rapid transition to online exams.
Young CAs strategy
Young CAs (those within five years of attaining full membership and/or 35 years of age or under) and provisional members are now over 40% of our global membership. During the reporting year we created a strategy for this substantial demographic, supporting the next generation of Difference Makers.
Our focus on inclusion in the profession
Our 2021 Member Remuneration Survey highlighted the continuing gender pay gap in the profession. While progress has been made by many firms and workplaces, the gap in total remuneration is around A$50,000 in Australia and NZ$60,000 in New Zealand.
This gap exists not only on a total remuneration level, but also within the same groups, based on locations, select positions years of experience and hours worked.
The vast majority of members (95%) surveyed said it is important for Chartered Accountants ANZ to address this issue. We are taking an educative approach and have committed to action including providing members with future reporting plus a range of tools and resources.
Membership by gender
We look forward to working with members towards a fairer profession.
Note: The gender data does not include 169 members who have chosen not to provide their gender (125 in 2020).
Chartered Accountants ANZ introduced a Prefer not to say gender option in 2018. By 2020, 125 members had chosen this option and by 2021 89 Affiliate members, 15 full members and 65 provisional members had chosen this option.
First Peoples and Māori strategies
During the reporting year Chartered Accountants ANZ continued to embrace and promote First Peoples and Māori membership and values.
In February 2021, the Board supported a First Peoples’ Strategy to be implemented in conjunction with the development of a Chartered Accountants ANZ Reconciliation Action Plan with a specific focus on supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to become part of, and stay in, the profession. The strategy will focus on influence, advocacy and action.
In New Zealand, our Māori Sector advocacy focused on getting Māori into accounting, member support, and tikanga/te reo competency within Chartered Accountants ANZ. In April 2021, the Chartered Accountants ANZ Board commenced cultural awareness training with an introduction to bi-culturalism, alongside information on te ao Māori and the Treaty of Waitangi.
Each year, Chartered Accountants ANZ and the Ngā Kaitatau Māori o Aotearoa (National Māori Accountants Network or NKMoA) award the Ngā Raumanako Māori Scholarship and Suzanne Spencer Memorial Māori Scholarship to Māori students to support and encourage them on their education journey to become professional accountants.
Aulo Barclay, a student at the University of Auckland, was the 2020 recipient of the Ngā Raumanako Māori Scholarship. Cherie Watene from The Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) was awarded the 2020 Suzanne Spencer Memorial Māori Scholarship.
In Australia we supported two Indigenous Australians with CA Program scholarships. In 2020 Kadeisha Kartinyeri, a Ngarrindjeri woman from South Australia and Briannah Pearson, a Gamilaraay woman from New South Wales, were announced as the recipients of the scholarships.
“To me the scholarship means recognising that there is so much potential in young Māori professionals and removing any inequities or barriers to fulfilling our full potential. The scholarship provides opportunities for those who are capable of achieving great things in the accounting profession.”
– Aulo Barclay, 2020 recipient of the Ngā Raumanako Māori Scholarship
Specialists are CAs recognised for their advanced skills and knowledge in niche areas of our profession.
A new risk specialisation was introduced in November 2020 with CA Risk Specialists recognised for their significant knowledge and experience in a field that includes governance, enterprise risk management, strategic risks, financial risks, operational risks, data governance, risk culture.
In a survey of CA Specialists, the majority confirmed that being a specialist enhanced their personal brand, particularly in the areas of business valuation, forensic accounting and risk.
International growth targeted
The desirability of a career as a CA was brought to the forefront with COVID-19 because of job security including the visibility, importance and need for CA skills.
Our Asia strategy
Our Asia growth strategy is currently focused on Malaysia with the aim of building this market as a future model for growth offshore. We have strong local partnerships in Malaysia with a 10-year partnership with the Malaysia Institute of CPAs (MICPA) to deliver our CA Program.
We are also working on new marketing and media strategies, as well as increased resources to deliver on the strategy.
Our International Pathway Program (IPP) is designed for experienced members of designated overseas CA bodies, living in Australia or New Zealand, and seeking membership of Chartered Accountants ANZ.
In this reporting year we commenced a new partnership with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) bringing the approved number of IPP designated bodies to five. The others are India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal. One hundred and fourteen members successfully completed the program during the year.
Mutual recognition agreements
In May 2021 we re-signed a reciprocal recognition agreement with the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) providing full recognition of all education and learning modules to members of both bodies.
In April 2021, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) announced Indian Cabinet approval for a Memorandum of Understanding, continuing our work with ICAI for the benefit of our members and the broader accounting profession.
We also renewed our five-year-old Strategic Partnership Alliance with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) in April 2021 to continue to deliver and strengthen value to members of both bodies.
In this reporting year, the Chartered Accountants ANZ Board committed to a three-year road map to adopt the Value Reporting Foundation, formerly known as International Integrated Reporting Council’s (IIRC) Integrated Reporting (<IR>) Framework and develop an Integrated Report for Financial Year 2023.
Our <IR> roadmap Strategic Initiative is an opportunity for Chartered Accountants ANZ to demonstrate leadership in sustainable business reporting and set an example for others looking to improve transparency regarding their use of key resources and relationships (‘Capitals’) to create enterprise value in line with the strategy, and in the context of their external environment.
Our 3-year roadmap for <IR>
Embedding <IR> throughout our systems, processes and business practices, with a focus on long-term value creation, will enhance Board oversight, executive execution of strategy and management of risks and opportunities.
For members, our Integrated Report will improve communication of our performance and increase confidence in long-term viability of their member body.
There have been significant moves to establish global sustainability standards and develop a new corporate reporting framework that may impact the roles of many Chartered Accountants ANZ members and firms, as well as training of future accountants.
In November 2021, the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) Foundation will meet to discuss the creation of an International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) which will set sustainability standards. It is proposed the ISSB will also work with the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) to develop a new connected reporting framework allowing organisations to more effectively report on how they have created sustainable enterprise value.
Following Board approval of the roadmap, we looked at what needed to be done to implement a phased approach to meeting our deadline for an Integrated Report by FY23. Activities in 2020–21 included identifying our key Capitals, (being those resources and relationships that are critical to Chartered Accountants ANZ’s ability to create sustainable value for members over time), implementing quick wins and preparing for material changes in FY22.
Our FY22 Annual Report will be based on <IR> principles. The following year the Integrated Report will apply the IIRC’s, or Value Reporting Foundation’s (as IIRC merged with SASB during 2021 to form the VRF), <IR> Framework in full. We will focus on continuous improvement beyond that date. We believe the IIRC’s <IR> Framework best fits our commitment to present a connected picture for our whole organisation.
<IR> Framework aligned capitals
Member and key stakeholders
Effective and trusted relationships with our diverse members, provisional members, student affiliates, partners, suppliers and regulators
Access to and management of financial capital primarily provided by members (subscriptions, fees and services) and future members (CA program fees)
Brand and reputation
The strength of the CA brand, our reputation and social licence to operate in the community
IT infrastructure and digital platforms
The reliability, security and operating efficiency of our internal processes, IT systems and digital platforms
A transformed CA Program that attracts the best talent of today and effectively equips the accounting professionals of tomorrow and CPD learning material (thought leadership, guides and resources) to support members continue their professional development
People and culture
The competencies, experience, behaviours, engagement and wellbeing of our team
Modern Slavery Statement
To demonstrate our commitment to corporate social responsibility, Chartered Accountants ANZ published its first Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement during the reporting year.
The statement, endorsed by the Chartered Accountants ANZ Board, highlights our commitment to partnering with our suppliers to continually improve processes to monitor modern slavery risk in our supply chains.
Chartered Accountants ANZ’s 2020 Modern Slavery Statement was amongst the first 120 statements published on Australian Government’s online register for modern slavery statements in November 2020.
To date 2,452 statements have been published.