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
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Is there a major culture problem at CPA Australia?

Discussion about the proposed resolutions to be put to the AGM in May 2018
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Brett Stevenson
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Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:43 am

Is there a major culture problem at CPA Australia?

Post by Brett Stevenson » Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:51 am

What is wrong with the leadership at CPA Australia?
What is wrong with CPA Australia’s culture?
It seems that full disclosure, openness and transparency are concepts that they just cannot grasp. They have already shown that unaccountability has become the hallmark of governance at CPA but we all thought they could surely reform in this area of openness and transparency.

Membership growth and the breakdown of the membership between full and associate, and by region had been one of a number of major issues with the membership because of the lack of full disclosure by CPA. Much misrepresentation had occurred as a result.
What also resulted when the membership complained about this (and other matters) is that the CEO (Alex Malley) was terminated (on a scandalous $4.9 million payout it should be added) and the entire board of directors replaced (with them also being remunerated at scandalously high levels ‘hidden’ from the membership until they were forced to reveal them).
So now, with a new Board in place you would have thought this was the opportunity to set new and higher standards of disclosure and actions.
Well, it is not looking good.
We have had a few early warning signs.

1. Governance. The Board are proposing a corporate governance model which is the old model with a few bandages applied, and most importantly does not allow the members to directly vote for the board. I think it behoves not only members but also interested persons to read the rationale for this by referring to page 31 in the Independent Review Panels Final Report with its recommendations. It would seem that enfranchising members to elect their directors is not a good thing in the eyes of the new board (nor the Independent Review Panel) for CPA Australia.

2. Strategy. The new President (Peter Wilson) in his first big opportunity after his appointment wrote in our monthly magazine (In The Black) that the new board wants “to ensure CPA Australia is delivering on its vision of being the world’s best member services organisation”. You can read it on page 6 of the Nov 2017 edition. The hubris of this statement in view of what has been exposed over the last year may have missed the new boards attention but I can assure Peter Wilson that for most members and certainly any one looking on from the outside it comes across as a continuation of the delusions of grandeur of the past leadership. I suggest ‘getting the ship in order first’ before you start pontificating about being the ‘worlds best’ would be a good place to start.

3. Remuneration. The new board have suggested that the scandalously high remuneration they were paid before should be reduced. But not by much. For an organisation which has a very very low risk profile (95% of revenue comes from membership fees and education/professional development and a bank balance in excess of our net tangible assets) the new board are still wanting high risk company directors fees out of all kilter with our being a professional membership organisation. Delusions of grandeur in vision are matched by their delusions of grandiose remuneration levels continuing. Think I’m exaggerating. Have a read of Joe Astons telling column in the AFR 12th Feb 2017.

But today they hit us with not just an early warning sign but a great big red flag saying “we couldn’t care less what you members think, we are just going to continue what we have always done”.

4. Membership Numbers and breakdown. They released a ‘full demographic analysis’ of CPA Australia membership as at 31st December 2017. Just the same as what had been revealed for the previous year. And to make sure we got the message clearly enough they said in their covering note it is “consistent with our reporting over time and with our peer-group organisations”.
What they do not disclose is the breakdown of the membership within Australia which has over 71% of the membership. They are happy to disclose that Pakistan has 74 members, or Germany 61, or Ireland 49 but for Australia the best they can disclose is that Australia has 116,909 members. This is despite repeated requests from myself (and I am sure other members).
They also refuse to show the breakdown by associate versus full membership, also despite repeated requests. All they seemingly want to do is stick with minimum disclosure as full disclosure means hard questions will be raised and they don’t want that.
Both of these items have major implications in terms of the governance changes the new Board is pushing (appointments council, members not directly vote for board), and also in terms of the strategy of CPA Australia (worlds best, global reach sort of thing).
But our requests and the obvious need just seems to fall on deaf ears at CPA Australia. It is easy enough data to obtain and disclose from the Members Register.
All we can do is make assumptions, as I have done from the Members Register we members were required to pay over $2300 for in April 2017, to ascertain the Australian state breakdown. See analysis and comments on the attached spreadsheet.

What sort of mentality or culture exists at CPA Australia (both at management and board level) that this sort of behaviour and attitude persists.

That is why I believe we have a major culture problem at CPA Australia that runs deep and needs a resolute and firm leadership to correct. To date that appears to be wishful thinking.

Special Resolutions to sign to raise at the AGM

There are four special resolutions attached in relation to
1. Setting directors remuneration to realistic levels.
2. Restricting directors tenure to six years maximum.
3. Ensuring members can directly vote for the board.
4. Ensuring full disclosure of remuneration.

Have a look and if you agree please sign and return to me asap as 100 signatures are required on each to lodge with CPA well before 21st March 2017.

This I believe is the crunch time if we want change at CPA Australia. We can complain and consult all we like at the Consultation Forums (which I encourage members to do by the way) but once the deadline of 21st March passes the opportunity to force any change on CPA Australia will be much harder. Surely we do not have to go through this sort of process all over again to get a responsible and accountable leadership at CPA Australia.


12th Feb 2018.pdf
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p.31 IRPFR no direct vote.png
p.31 IRPFR no direct vote.png (208.12 KiB) Viewed 903 times
Membership 'Breakdown' at CPA Australia.pdf
(66.24 KiB) Downloaded 56 times

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Brett Stevenson
Posts: 450
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Re: Is there a major culture problem at CPA Australia?

Post by Brett Stevenson » Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:53 am

Four resolutions attached here.
Special Resolution Full Reporting.pdf
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Special Resolution Directors Tenure.pdf
(104.78 KiB) Downloaded 61 times
Special Resolution Directors Fees.pdf
(109.7 KiB) Downloaded 60 times
Special Resol. Members Elect Directors.pdf
(488.56 KiB) Downloaded 64 times

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