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CPA member rebellion gaining traction


A petition seeking to drive change in CPA’s corporate governance has significant traction, as disgruntled members join forces against the major accounting body and take particular aim at chief executive, Alex Malley.

By Lara Bullock and Aleks Vickovich 11 minute read

Several CPA Australia members have taken aim at the association’s corporate governance decisions, including expenditure for purposes such as marketing, board and management remuneration, and decisions such as the recent call to hold its annual general meeting (AGM) in Singapore this year.

NSW-based accountant and CPA Australia member Brett Stevenson is voluntarily leading a group of disgruntled members seeking to drive change.

Mr Stevenson is pioneering a special members resolution to reduce directors' fees by 50 per cent, which he hopes can be put to CPA Australia at the AGM.


Three days after sending the request to 600 people, Mr Stevenson said he had supporting emails from 140 CPA members and 90 signatures from the special members resolution.

“There are four or five issues that myself and a group of concerned members want to see action on. I already have around 100 signatures,” Mr Stevenson told Accountants Daily’s sister publication ifa.

“Some of these issues I think are to do with professional associations in general, but CPA seems to be worse. Their income is safe, made up of membership fees and education and professional development. They pretty much have a monopoly.”

Mr Stevenson said he believes that CPA’s marketing efforts are concentrated too heavily on the promotion of CEO Alex Malley.

“Some of the board members say this is great because it is causing more members to join the association. But having more members is not necessarily a benefit for the existing members, but for the executives. This approach does nothing for members and nothing for the profession,” Mr Stevenson said.

“We want to see much more disclosure around executive pay, and ultimately a reduction in the pay to the leadership team, which is just outrageous at the moment. We also want to see members able to vote for the board more power over corporate governance.”

Mr Stevenson sought confirmation from CPA Australia’s COO and company secretary, Alex Awty, that upon submission, the names of the special members resolution signatories would be kept confidential.

According to Mr Stevenson, Mr Awty simply responded that the resolution would be managed in accordance with the Corporations Law and any other relevant laws.

Due to what Mr Stevenson is calling a “non-answer”, he has declared that the resolution will be submitted only to an independent objective third party, that the list of members who signed the resolution will not be provided to CPA Australia.

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