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CPA Australia board director resigns following $11k deal

A CPA Australia board director has resigned from her position following revelations of an $11,000 transaction between her firm and the professional accounting body.

Business Jotham Lian 05 March 2021
— 1 minute read

CPA Australia board director Robyn Erskine resigned on Thursday after she became aware of a related-party transaction for the sum of $11,000 between CPA Australia and Brooke Bird — a specialist restructuring insolvency and turnaround firm — where she is one of two partners.

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In an email to members on Friday, CPA Australia president and chair Merran Kelsall said the $11,000 was paid in relation to the updating of education manuals and materials as part of a contracted service, and that Ms Erksine was not personally involved in the procurement of the work by CPA Australia nor in the completion of the work.

She also noted that while the transaction was on arm’s length commercial terms, it ultimately involved a related party and had “inadvertently not been disclosed to the board”.

Ms Erskine has confirmed that she will repay the full $11,000 to CPA Australia, with the full details of the related-party transaction to be disclosed in its 2020 Integrated Annual Report in April.

“Ms Erskine supports the governance requirements of CPA Australia and takes her responsibilities as a director extremely seriously,” Ms Kelsall said.

“Consequently, to ensure the highest standards and accountability, she offered her resignation to the board.

“The board accepts and supports Ms Erskine’s decision. CPA Australia has strengthened its processes to enhance identification of related-party transactions.”

Ms Erskine was first appointed to the board of directors in October 2017, and had been reappointed in October 2019 for an additional three-year term.

She had previously served as deputy president of CPA Australia’s Victorian Divisional Council, and on its Victorian Public Practice Committee and its Insurance Committee.

Ms Erskine also served a five-year term on the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) Small and Medium Practices Advisory Group (SMPAG) on the nomination of CPA Australia and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, where she held the positions as deputy chair and chair of its Ethics Task Force.

The resignation leaves CPA Australia with nine members on its board of directors, with Ms Kelsall noting that the director vacancy will be discussed with the body’s appointments council shortly. The CPA Australia board consists of a maximum of 10 directors, including two non-member directors.

CPA Australia’s board of directors’ charter notes that the independence of individual directors is assessed on an annual basis, with declarations of interest and compliance with its code of conduct monitored.

CPA Australia board director resigns following $11k deal
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Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.

Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.

You can email Jotham at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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