PwC will review the business operations of CPA Australia Advice, including its rationale, conduct, business case and competitiveness for the immediate and long term.
This is in line with recommendations from former auditor-general Ian McPhee’s report into the association and its subsidiaries last year.
“Until the review is complete and the report is received and considered, the directors will continue to operate CPA Australia Advice in accordance with the existing operating structure,” CPA Australia said in a statement to members this afternoon.
CPA Advice has struggled from its launch in 2015 to attract members and meet its business projections, and reported a combined trading loss of $7.4 million in November 2017 since its inception.
It’s also an ongoing regulatory impediment, being central to the problems the association had with securing a professional standards scheme last year, which provides liability coverage for members in public practice. The Professional Standards Council authorises the schemes and was, at the time, concerned by a potential conflict of interest the licensing arm posed.
Currently, CPA Australia Advice is raising questions about the association’s eligibility as a monitoring body under incoming education requirements for accountants providing financial advice. Members who provide advice will need to join another approved code monitoring body to be compliant if CPA Australia does not have its recognition status approved.