The joint accounting bodies need to step up to re-establish a more authoritative voice to represent the industry, according Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) chief executive, Andrew Conway.
He has told the IPA national congress on the Gold Coast that accountants as a profession also needed to be stepping up “to put public interest ahead of personal interest”.
“Beyond designations, we are all accountants and as a profession, we need to be stepping up to the plate putting public interest ahead of personal interest,” Conway said. “We are a stronger profession and more effective as a profession when we collaborate than when we seek to divide.”
“The joint accounting bodies (JAB) need to re-establish a common focus for a more authoritative voice in the best interests of the public.”
At the same time Conway pointed a finger directly at the Government, claiming Australia was facing “a crisis of leadership where national interest makes way for self-preservation and governance interest”.
“A failure to act on genuine taxation reform is a failure of the present generation to build a stronger future for generations to come,” he claimed. “Australia is not just facing a productivity crisis, we face a crisis of leadership where national interest makes way for self-preservation and government interest.”
“As a profession we need to take stock and challenge the reasons why national interest has been replaced by government self-interest, Conway said. “We also need to hold State governments accountable for not scrapping inefficiencies, such as stamp duty and payroll tax, as they had committed to.”
“This space is best occupied by our profession and we can do more to inject evidence and practical insight to override political stagnation.”