Merry Christmas to Peter Wilson. When it was suggested that Peter Wilson should be independent of the old board so that we can have a fresh start Peter responded with "That's your issue". Summary of the meeting here: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=594
A good summary of where we are up to by Joe Aston of the AFR, linked to from here: viewtopic.php?f=5&p=4137#p4137
If you are new to this website read the story so far: viewtopic.php?t=321#p1793
Check out some of the AFR articles, too many to list and check out some of the ABC reports: ... 215-h055ej ... 211-h02x1d ... s,/8626662
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Email 5: 2ndMarch2017. Lets open up CPA Australia, and see whats lurking beneath the surface

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Brett Stevenson
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Email 5: 2ndMarch2017. Lets open up CPA Australia, and see whats lurking beneath the surface

Post by Brett Stevenson » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:07 am

Hi all (both members and others interested, as this is now past being just a concern of members),

Areas of investigation and reporting to members over the coming weeks and months

I have written three emails to date, and here is my plan to reveal more of what is going on at CPA Australia.
This will then enable others to do the same if they so desire.
I think this period of Alex Malley’s reign has gone on for long enough and has done almost irreparable harm to CPA Australia, the CPA brand and the accounting profession in general.


Do you think I’m a disgruntled member? Yes, I am.

Do you think I need to pursue the normal more reasonable channels? Have done that, and the result is zip.

Don’t you think all the members are aware of what is going on at CPA Australia? No, I certainly do not, and much is ‘hidden’ from them.

Surely this is for the Board to deal with? Well, I suggest to you that is a major part of the problem (see below).

C’mon surely Henry Winkler lifts our profile as a professional organisation? I’ll let you answer that one.

Surely this is just you as a lone individual and does not represent all the members views? If the avalanche of supportive emails is any indication I would say I am not alone by any stretch of the imagination.

Surely you can raise these matters in the CPA Australia Linkedin Group Discussions? I have tried but have had my access blocked.

It is interesting that one of the CPA staff who administers the Group Discussion is Jillian Bowen - you can read about her in todays AFR Rear Window.
Surprise surprise. I’ll leave members to draw their own conclusions, and perhaps understand more clearly why CPA Australia has problems.

Topics to cover

These are the broad topics I hope to cover over the coming weeks and months.
I’ll keep them brief.
It is also important they are kept objective,even if laced with a bit of emotion at times.
Could I encourage other members to do the same, whether it be within your own areas of influence, or via me. So long as we an expose all of this.
I certainly do not profess expertise in these areas and am only too happy for other members to take up the baton and assist.
But that is up to each one of you. We are all busy but sometimes issues arise that need action.
As for me I am pressing on.

1. Corporate governance at CPA Australia is a joke

Why don’t we walk the talk with our own organisation in relation to corporate governance?
Why can’t the members even vote for the directors?
Let's take a detailed look at the failings and weaknesses.
In effect it will be a closer look at our constitution.
This will include a working summary plus an emphasis on those areas we have perhaps neglected over the last ten years.
Included will be a summary of the constitutional changes over the last ten years and their impact.

2. Excessive remuneration for board members and CPA staff (especially the three senior executives)

I’ve already sent out a detailed analysis of the boards fees.
Lets see how much further we can dig on this one, and draw a few more conclusions that are troubling.
For example, how is it possible for a director to be paid $1.4 million in fees over a 7 year period?
Or how is it possible that three current directors are in breach of the constitution in terms of their years on the board?
Or, how is it possible that the president (currently T Carlin) can be paid over $400,000 pa. in directors fees.
Lets look at why their refusal to disclose board and senior management remuneration on the same basis as listed public companies when they pontificate about openness and transparency.
And I have to include something on the Executive salaries - almost $3 million for three persons in 2015. No wonder no breakdown in the Annual Report.

3. The Alex Malley story

I’ll dig a bit below the surface to see just whether we have the whole story correct.
Perhaps we’ll start with The Naked CEO book which he says he wrote. Who actually wrote the book?
Have a look at the article in the AFR today.
Is it Naked in the sense of being open and transparent, or is it in the sense of the 'emperor with no clothes’ fable?
Lets look a little closer at the Macquarie University connections and history.

4. Does CPA Australia's strategic direction need a revisit?

I will look in detail at our Objects in the constitution, and try to see if we have strayed.
Has CPA Australia has lost its way strategically with focus less on members and the profession, and more on Malley and his fame, growth and public image?
A large focus here will be on the marketing strategy and the colossal quantum of expenditure.
Are we trying to align (the word in our constitution) with other groups or usurp them in our quest for growth?

5. A short historical summary from October 2007.

Here the focus will be on the major change(s) that occurred at CPA Australia with Alex Malley becoming President then CEO.
Lets look in detail at the ‘putsch’ that occurred in October 2007. Was it benign? How has it panned out for the participants?
Lots of questions will hopefully be answered in this section.

6. CPA Australia Advice

Just what is going on here?
Who is on the board of this group and how much are they being paid?
Is it successful to date? What is the strategic purpose? How much is it costing us members?
Who is reviewing this whole process?
Why is the CPA Australia CEO, also the CEO of this group?

7. What can be done by the members in the midst of all this?

This will be to summarise the options in the constitution.
Why has a lid been kept on all this for so long with majority of the membership being kept in the dark?
What can be done to improve/change the situation?

Members get involved

Well I am sure members will have other concerns, or perhaps more information and expertise on the above.
Please feel free to share with me or act independently.
I appreciate that members in public practice will be hesitant to speak too publicly on these matters.
I understand that, and can assure you I totally respect and honour all information with strict confidentiality.
Happy to even sign Disclosure Declarations if you are unsure.
From my perspective it is critical that the emails remain as objective as possible to have credibility with members.


Thanks to all the members who have responded to my emails.
I shall try to reply over time individually but in the meantime take these general emails as my note of thanks.
I haven't provided my mobile in the general email for obvious reasons but am happy to do so individually if that helps.


I’m not promoting the AFR but I am thankful that two of their journalists, Jo Aston and Bryce Corbett, have been prepared to investigate these matters.
If it weren’t for Joe Astons articles early last year I doubt if many of us would have been aware of what has been going on at CPA Australia



Brett Stevenson CPA BComm MDiv

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