Accountants Daily revealed yesterday, and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) confirmed, that 900 students enrolled in the CA program have been impacted by a timetabling restructure from semesters to trimesters, resulting in some having their completion date delayed by seven months.
Several students shared their email correspondence from CA ANZ with Accountants Daily, frustrated by the lack of flexibility from the association.
“I have spoken to three different CA ANZ representatives and was told repeatedly that they knew there was going to be an issue and they are aware of the significant impact it has on some students but there is nothing they can do,” said one student, on condition of anonymity.
“They make it obvious that they will have no solution to this problem I quote ‘No further changes will be made to the timetable and the decision has been finalised.’ This has absolutely outraged me and I believe the CA ANZ should fix this situation,” said another.
However, it appears there is some progress happening behind the scenes. CA ANZ updated Accountants Daily yesterday evening, saying it is assessing possible solutions including deferring existing module commencement dates by a few weeks, providing an exception for student enrolments where exam results have yet to be released, and offering tailored delivery where appropriate.
“We acknowledge the impact that the change in the CA program timetable has had on some of our candidates. We are committed to offering alternative solutions for those affected and will be proactively offering and managing these in the upcoming week,” the spokesperson said.
“There are currently 700 candidates enrolled in the capstone module, and we need to ensure that any changes will not impact them,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson also said it is working to communicate this issue privately with employers through its own dedicated channels.
Managing partner of HLB Mann Judd Sydney, Tony Fittler, confirmed to Accountants Daily that CA ANZ approached the firm’s HR department to raise the issue with them. Two of 24 candidates at the firm are affected by the timetabling issue.
Students are concerned that a deferral of their completion date will result in missed opportunities where they are seeking new work, or salary progression with their current employer.
The CA designation is held in “high regard” with new recruits, said chief executive of Power Tynan, Paul Hilton, which is a member firm of mid-tier Walker Wayland.
“A professional designation as well as the experience of a candidate counts towards the salary level that you’d offer,” Mr Hilton told Accountants Daily.
A professional designation can be the difference between getting a job and not getting a job, “without a doubt,” Mr Hilton said.
However, Mr Hilton believes employers will be reasonable with those accountants already on board, and would unlikely halt their internal progression based on this administrative issue.
Similarly, Mr Fittler said the matter will not be impacting the development of the affected HLB Mann Judd candidates.