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Chartered Accountants ANZ ensures members can make a difference by ensuring they can navigate disruption and are at the forefront of change.
Our goal is to equip members with the skills, resources and tools to develop throughout their career as trusted advisers for clients and businesses needing expert guidance and to thrive in a fast-changing world.

Capabilities to shape the future

Accounting practices are being disrupted by new technologies. The way accountants do their work and the type of work being done has changed significantly, and this means Chartered Accountants will need new capabilities in future.

To keep pace with the ongoing evolution of the profession, Chartered Accountants ANZ developed a Capability Model to help shape the future direction of our members and to inform and guide their development.

The Model describes the technical and non-technical capabilities of a Chartered Accountant at different stages of their career, from early-career through to executive level, comprising capabilities in four domains – business (business context), leadership (people and future), personal (mindset and intellect) and technical (professional expertise).

"Our findings highlight that future leaders in the profession will be critical thinkers, problem solvers and great communicators and collaborators – and that these capabilities, when complementing technical knowledge, are becoming more and more critical in ensuring career success and sustainability."
– Peter Rupp FCA, President, Chartered Accountants ANZ

Guided by extensive research as part of our strategic review in late 2017, the Model is also based on scientific analysis of 10 recent global accounting and leadership frameworks, a survey of 2,000 members, workshops and focus groups in addition to collaboration with academics and global partners.

The Model responds to what employers are looking for and links the development of these capabilities to the CA Program and our continuing professional development (CPD). It focuses on improving the ability for members and practices to be flexible, innovate, adapt and respond with agility and maintain resilience in the face of challenges.

The Model will inform the creation of a self-assessment diagnostic tool Capability+ to be launched in the first half of FY21 and professional development courses to help members and their organisations to assess, develop and future-proof themselves.

Strengthening our flagship program

At the heart of our trusted reputation are the high standards, rigour and training that a Chartered Accountant must undertake and meet when becoming a member. In 2019/20, there were 24,928 enrolments into CA Program modules.

A review of the CA Program, which was undertaken as part of our broader strategic review, concluded that we needed a future-focused Program that shapes and supports the capabilities that are sought by employers in the increasingly disrupted world of work.

This comes from the understanding that as professions evolve so must the educational programs which are the foundation for professional knowledge and expertise.

The proposed re-design sets out to maximise the existing core strengths of the Program while developing new, high-impact areas as we empower a new wave of Chartered Accountants with work-ready, future-focused skills. The delivery of the Program will also see more personalised digital learning options, broader entry pathways to attract the next generation of talent and increased flexibility in recognition of the different needs of different learners.

The aim is to provide greater relevance and choice while still maintaining the pre-eminence of the CA designation by:

  • weaving professional skills alongside technical skills throughout all subjects.
  • using real-life case studies and simulated challenges which integrate learning across the traditional disciplines.
  • offering electives such as data analytics and insights that allow candidates to specialise in a particular area and introduce emerging areas of practice into the curriculum.
  • running three times as many modules during the calendar year to provide greater scheduling choices.
  • providing more opportunities for real-time interaction and development of collaborative skills through virtual workshops.
  • a progressively integrated experience of topics that build towards a multidisciplinary approach.

A stakeholder survey saw an overall 79 per cent agreeing or strongly agreeing with the Program design specification, 82 per cent agreeing or strongly agreeing with the proposed curriculum and 74 per cent supporting the proposed changes to the mentored practical experience component of the Program.

Following extensive consultation with members, employers, candidates, industry and global partners, the Chartered Accountants ANZ Board approved a high-level design of a refreshed Program in November 2019. The design is moving towards the required regulatory accreditation approvals, with a view to transition to the new CA Program environment from mid-2021.

Pathways into the profession

Launched in 2018, our flexible pathways initiative which broadens the way in which aspiring accountants can complete our CA Program has gone from strength-to-strength. 533 provisional members enrolled in concurrent modules, up from 232 in the previous year, and 572 new provisional members who previously would have been ineligible were approved to begin the CA Program while completing their final bridging studies, an increase from 390 in the previous year.

Around 14 per cent of current provisional members have also registered for the CA Program while out of approved employment, representing an increase from 11 per cent last year.

Forming part of this initiative, we have continued our momentum in embedding the CA Program into the final year of a Master of Professional Accounting degree so that students are able to graduate with an internationally recognised professional qualification in addition to their postgraduate degree.

Following the partnerships with Victoria University of Wellington and Deakin University in the previous year, Chartered Accountants ANZ has partnered with Macquarie University and the University of Western Australia.

Students who complete the new pathway can become provisional members of Chartered Accountants ANZ during their final year of study which will incorporate the CA Program professional study requirements and be eligible to apply for full membership upon successful completion of three years of approved employment.

The International Pathway Program is also available to members of the four chartered accounting bodies in India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Nepal. 142 members from these bodies have completed this pathway of which 117 have become full members, a conversion rate of around 82 per cent.

Due to COVID-19, candidates are registering their interest for future workshops in Auckland, Sydney and Melbourne with the potential to pilot online workshops and assessments.

New provisional members

572

New provisional members who previously would have been ineligible were enrolled into the CA Program using flexible pathways

Equipped during the pandemic

As Chartered Accountants became the frontline of advising and managing businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, never before had it been more important for our members to be fully informed.

In early April, we launched a dedicated COVID-19 Resources Hub to give members ready access to timely and relevant information, insights, webinars, resources and our advocacy work.

The hub is constantly updated to ensure we are responding to member needs as we progress through different stages of the crisis and the government response. It was considered a place for valued information and support through the pandemic, with approximately 42,768 visitors accessing the hub seeking guidance on government assistance, managing cashflow planning and forecasts, practice management, automation, assessing solvency, and wellbeing issues.

Unique visitors

42,768

Our COVID-19 resources hub has been accessed by 42,768 unique visitors

In particular, the CA Catalyst Business unusual: Business continuity playbook was created in response to members seeking advice on how to run their business during COVID-19. The playbook aggregates tools and practical checklists for clients and businesses and was distributed through international membership body partners such as the International Federation of Accountants, Chartered Accountants Worldwide and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

Online event registrations

>46,000

Over 46,000 members registered for over 150 online events

Our advocacy team provided the Government with crucial on-the-ground insights from Chartered Accountants who were the administrators of key legislation including the JobKeeper and JobSeeker schemes in Australia and the wage subsidy scheme in New Zealand. A unique combination of submissions, roundtables and meetings with regulators and Government saw Chartered Accountants ANZ play a vital role in the creation and implementation of business and economic recovery initiatives.

To assist members navigating the impacts on financial reporting and auditing, we convened fortnightly forums with members and government stakeholders on technical and regulatory issues and successfully advocated for appropriate relief. This was bolstered by a detailed guide, a webinar series reaching over 2,000 members and resources on focus areas from standard setters and regulators.

An essential component of keeping our members updated was the introduction of weekly webinar sessions to help them understand the evolving COVID-19 situation and its business impacts in Australia and New Zealand. Each Sharing Knowledge session focused on a relevant and developing topic, giving members the option of presenting queries either in advance or during the session.

In one example, a session for Australian members on the JobKeeper scheme saw 3,000 members sign up and lodge 1,800 questions in advance. The Government passed legislation to enact the scheme just after midnight and the next morning our advocacy experts presented a comprehensive 25-slide presentation to inform and guide members. Similarly, in New Zealand, we ran a session with the Minister for Small Business and Revenue the Hon Stuart Nash on the Government’s economic recovery plan and support initiatives.

We have delivered over 30 Sharing Knowledge sessions for our members across sectors, segments and regional and metropolitan areas, ranging from technical topics such as the application of stimulus packages to capability related topics such as effective client engagement, receiving a positive reception from our members.

Registrations

>20,000

Over 20,000 members registered for over 30 COVID-19 Sharing Knowledge Series

Wellbeing and support

Mental health issues have been at the forefront of our response and support for members, beginning with the Australian bushfires and drought and later through COVID-19. Our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) was made available to Australian and New Zealand members to provide solution-focused counselling support from independent professionals. This enables every member access to up to three mental wellbeing sessions.

This was in addition to the ethical and professional support that is offered by the CA Advisory Group (CAAG) for members who need guidance through ethical challenges or career decisions. They are made up of experienced, senior Chartered Accountants with six groups in Australia and one in New Zealand. Over the year, the groups provided assistance to 78 fellow members.

Dedicated webinars and complimentary CPD sessions were held on how to maintain wellbeing when working from home, career transition, working with clients with mental health problems and financial difficulties. There was also a tailored focus on young Chartered Accountants to assist their stress management, negotiating change, dealing with uncertainty and building resilience.

While these resources and support services were available, Chartered Accountants ANZ also took a proactive approach to ensure members were managing in unprecedented times.

Chartered Accountants ANZ made more than 6,400 outbound calls to members during the pandemic to listen and discuss their wellbeing, raise awareness of the resources and benefits available to them and provide enrolment support for provisional members and candidates. The call was often followed up with an email to help members navigate information they might find valuable. This outreach allowed us to provide useful and relevant information during a challenging time for many, resulting in substantial positive feedback and appreciation from members.

Support calls

>6,400

More than 6,400 proactive outbound wellbeing and enrolment support calls to members

Nurturing career development

The Achiever Programme provides students undertaking tertiary studies in business, commerce or accounting across Australia and New Zealand with an opportunity to gain paid work experience in business and accounting over their summer break.

During the 2019-20 Achiever Programme, 278 students were successfully placed with 131 employers across Australia and New Zealand giving them the opportunity to participate in relevant industry experience over a duration of between 3 to 12 weeks

The Mentor Exchange programme also continued to gain traction, seeing a significant increase in participation in 2020, with numbers up by more than 80 per cent. Since its inception in 2015, 3,530 members have participated in the programme – either as a mentor or mentee – with over 1,100 involved in 2019-20 across Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

There was an enthusiastic uptake of the new mid-career programme stream, making up 60 per cent of the year’s cohort with 345 participants, as well as the introduction of a virtual stream which enabled members to connect remotely and attend program webinars.

This was initially targeted specifically at regional members however it is to be rolled out to small to medium practice members in recognition of the pandemic disruptions being particularly pronounced for this member segment. This will offer peer-to-peer mentoring groups where practitioners can experience a supportive, inclusive and safe space to share and discuss professional issues.

"Overall, being part of the program has changed how I do things. It’s encouraged a lot of self-reflection. Sometimes what we need to do is stop and look at the bigger picture, call a friend just to say, ‘This is how it’s going right now.’ Stephen has really helped me remember to do that."
– Natalie Macdonald CA, speaking of her mentor Stephen Long CA

Impactful thought leadership and branding

Our research, the 21st Century Profession, which interviewed members and the generalpublic, revealed professions make a difference because of their commitment tothe bigger picture of a business’ long-term sustainability, and their ethicalfoundation.

The report showed a code of ethics was one of the most important characteristics of any profession, as they commit members of a profession to a standard of behavior in which adhering to the law is a given, competence is expected and ethical behaviour is demanded. It found Chartered Accountants should be disciplined and accountable, and are also highly trusted.

"If the profession itself maintains a good reputation that is built upon robust requirements for entry and continuing membership, and a sound code of ethics, then trust in that profession will follow."
– A survey respondent for the 21st Century Profession

This sentiment around trust was echoed in a brand campaign run by Chartered Accountants ANZ in 2019 in collaboration with Chartered Accountants Worldwide to demonstrate the importance of trust, a key value that differentiates our members and their work.

The campaign ran from 24 June to 31 August 2019 targeting business decision makers across a broad range of outdoor and online media in Australia and New Zealand, and focused on building public awareness of the difference Chartered Accountants make as trusted partners to businesses and communities.

People reached

>4,979,200

Our brand campaign reached over 4,979,200 Australians and New Zealanders

Chartered Accountants ANZ was also once again the exclusive sponsor of the 2019 Top Accounting Firms feature in the Australian Financial Review and The Sunday Star-Times to highlight the important contribution the accounting profession makes to business and the wider community.

The feature outlines data collected from a survey of participating accounting firms of all kinds on areas such as revenue, pro bono work, sustainability, and technological disruptions and innovations in order to benchmark firms, highlight the diversity of the profession and the unique contribution of accountants as difference makers.

In addition to the consumer brand awareness, our Account Management team support members by engaging with key employers of Chartered Accountants across the corporate, practice and public sector to remain in step with the marketplace and understand the changing needs of employers. For example, 105 community events were delivered across the corporate sector in Australia and New Zealand engaging over 3,500 members and 460 organisations, half of which are listed companies.

People reached

>8.8m

Earned media activity by Chartered Accountants ANZ reached more than 8.8 million Australian and New Zealanders between April-June 2020

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