CPA Australia has used its annual general meeting in Singapore to address concerns raised by a member rebellion, but not all members are satisfied with the response.
Over recent months, a number of members of CPA Australia have circulated a petition seeking reform of the accounting body, with issues such as director remuneration, marketing spend and the lacklustre performance of its independent advice arm on the list of grievances.
At the AGM in Singapore on Thursday night – the location for which was itself a sticking point among disgruntled members – CPA president and chair Tyrone Carlin defended the association against member accusations, while also announcing a slight decline in the marketing budget.
“The quantum of revenue allocated to marketing is falling as a proportion of revenue, notwithstanding greater levels of impact being achieved,” Mr Carlin said, arguing that the sponsorships of major sporting events such as the Australian Open tennis tournament and National Basketball League were worthwhile for the association.
He also defended efforts to promote chief executive Alex Malley in particular, following acute criticism from members and in the media, including a recent ifa editorial.
“CPA Australia’s television program, In Conversation, and The Naked CEO book and website, are important elements of our overall strategy. They are about reframing how people perceive us about leadership for tomorrow,” said Mr Carlin.
“They are products of the organisation that the chief executive is directed to perform to support the strategy. And while they are key parts of the strategy, these publications account for only 6 per cent of total marketing promotion and publications expenditure.”
A CPA Australia spokesperson told ifa sister title Accountants Daily that the meeting was “very well received” by both international and domestic stakeholders, including a number of AGM attendees who applauded the executive team.
However, some members took to social media to convey their dissatisfaction, including business coach Chris Catto – who formerly worked for CPA according to his LinkedIn profile – who insinuated that these vocally supportive AGM attendees were plants.
“Wow what a waste of CPA dollars that was!” Mr Catto tweeted during the proceedings. “[There were] 10 questions, half were self-congratulatory Dorothy Dixers.”
Meanwhile, Queensland-based member Jeremy Wotton suggested that joint accounting body rival Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ) should be paying attention to the Twitter activity from concerned CPA members.
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