CPA Australia’s brand was adversely affected by the general scandal and negativity of the financial advice industry, says CPA member and Deakin University professor Adrian Raftery.
Speaking to ifa sister title Accountants Daily, Dr Raftery said the association’s foray into financial advice is out of step with what its membership wants and is willing to pay for.
The original price and package for prospective licensees was also not in line with market or member expectations, he said, which is consistent with the findings of the ongoing review into CPA Australia’s operations.
“CPA priced themselves out of the market in terms of being a dealer group for accountants,” Dr Raftery said.
The idea of members competing with their own association if they are independently licensed is also problematic, as is throwing the CPA Australia brand into the financial planning realm, which has been marred by high-level controversy and scandal for the last five years.
“There is such a negative undertone in financial planning in general, it had a huge impact on the overall CPA Australia brand,” Dr Raftery said.
“I think a lot of people think there’s a huge opportunity in the financial planning space … but a lot of accountants are moving away from financial planning.”
Dr Raftery said he was “genuinely surprised” to see the CPA Congress in Melbourne last week well-attended and home to a positive tone.
“It was very much business as usual for members,” he said.
“I did notice that in terms of traditional CPD there was a lack of ethics and governance topics, and I did have a bit of a chuckle about that. But other than that, I was suitably impressed.”
The comments follow the independent review into governance issues at CPA Australia, which found a number of conflicts of interest relating to the CPA Australia Advice business.
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