Website Notifications

Get notifications in real-time for staying up to date with content that matters to you.

CPA defends ‘extremely effective’ marketing strategy

CPA Australia’s directors have acknowledged a disconnect between member and board expectations, and been pressed by a Senate committee to produce further proof that its marketing spend and strategies were effective.

Professional Development Katarina Taurian 05 September 2017
— 1 minute read

A Senate hearing in Canberra today, intended to focus on the modernisation of the Corporations Act, saw directors of CPA Australia grilled on decisions to allocate marketing spend to non-accounting sporting events and public figures.


Senator Sam Dastyari relentlessly pushed the board on several specific spend decisions involving astronaut Neil Armstrong, Henry Winkler of Happy Days fame and Dutch violinist Andre Rieu.

Director Graeme Wade explained that the board felt these high-profile figures translated to accounting audiences because of their aspirational leadership experiences.

Senator Nick Xenophon also pushed the board on a core part of CPA Australia’s marketing strategy - the focus on the leadership of former chief executive Alex Malley.

President Jim Dickson defended Mr Malley, saying under his leadership and with this marketing approach, CPA Australia was able to broaden its audience and influence, particularly overseas.

At its annual general meeting (AGM) in June, the board indicated membership gains in key focus markets, including 20 per cent growth in Asia in the last three years.

The board also said expenditure on marketing, promotion and publications as a proportion of revenue remained consistent over the last 10 years.

However, Mr Xenophon told the board to produce further proof that the spike in member numbers correlated with the board-approved marketing strategy.

Moving forward, CPA Australia intends to better explain its marketing strategy to members and consult more comprehensively with national divisions. Mr Dickson acknowledged this has been lacking in recent years.

This fed into a broader disconnect between members and the board, which Mr Dickson also acknowledged.

“It is the board that sets strategy and monitors performance,” he said. “We have acted in accordance with the CPA Australia constitution and the law. But we recognise that there was a dichotomy between what was required and what was expected of us.”

You can read more about today's hearing here. 

For feedback or questions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

CPA defends ‘extremely effective’ marketing strategy
image intro
accountantsdaily logo

The Accountants Daily 30 Under 30 Awards
This prestigious awards ceremony is the benchmark for excellence, recognising the industry’s most distinguished professionals, aged 30 and under across Australia, highlighting their outstanding achievements and dedication within the industry. Register to the waitlist today to be first in line for updates on when tickets to attend become available, visit accountantsdaily30under30.com.au to join the waitlist.

Professional Development