Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ) CEO Lee White says accountants should be utilising their position to help ensure Australia’s success this year.
“The competitiveness of Australia with its trading partners and potential future trading partners is going to be quite important [in 2017],” Mr White told Accountants Daily.
“Right at this moment, we’re all trying to understand a couple of the international change.”
One change is the flow-on impact of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, according to Mr White.
“Early signs are that that may very well be more favourable engagement for Australia, the British PM appears to be making strong indications around re-engaging with partners outside of the EU as it withdrawals from the single market,” he said.
“So we need to get our strategy together on how we want to respond or proactively engage further with the United Kingdom.”
Mr White said another change is what will happen under the Trump presidency following his inauguration on 20 January.
“Clearly, there are still a lot of question marks with the Trump presidency and government so we’ll need to understand how that flows through, particularly to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and where that was heading,” he said.
Mr White said accountants can assist in ensuring Australia’s prosperity, in particular, by turning their focus to Asia.
“Given we speak the international language of accounting, we can very well build lots of bridges or reinforce those bridges we might already have with businesses in those countries, with accounting professionals in those countries, so we already have those foundations in place that governments and other businesses can then use,” he said.
“Let’s not wait. I would look to accountants to very much be active in advancing their practices in to those markets.”