NSW-based accountant Brett Stevenson is particularly sceptical of the new appointments who have held senior positions within CPA Australia, during the leadership era of former president Tyrone Carlin and former chief executive Alex Malley.
For example, new deputy president Chin Aik Wong, was Malaysian divisional president for 2015 and 2016. He was also a council member for the Malaysia division between January 2010 and December 2016.
In addition, director Robyn Erskine, a CPA fellow and public practitioner, is currently deputy president of CPA Australia’s Victorian divisional council.
Mr Stevenson told Accountants Daily he fears that without a board entirely independent of the previous leadership, the chances of those who were responsible for the corporate governance failures at the association being held to account are limited.
The new board will be responsible for selecting a new chief executive, after Mr Malley’s contract was terminated in late June. Former company secretary Adam Awty is currently holding that position.
It will also be responsible for accepting and implementing recommendations handed down by a review panel, which is assessing CPA Australia’s corporate governance and general operations, including marketing.
The panel handed down a scathing preliminary report earlier this month, showing the association was told to freeze the president's pay in 2016, and revealing a misdirection of funds in relation to marketing.
The report also cast serious doubt over the future of arm CPA Australia Advice, after the panel found the licensee uptake fell short of business case forecasts. This is at odds with persistent public messaging from CPA Australia about the licensing arm’s viability.