This threatening email from someone associated with CPA Australia just landed in my inbox. It was sent via a gmail account (firstname.lastname@example.org) and threatens those members who are disgruntled with the abuse of power at CPA Australia with possible legal action and audits of their CPD hours. There was no sign off, no phone number to call, no attempt to engage in dialogue.
Well Charles Peterson, I don’t think we’ve had the pleasure of meeting (if indeed you are the real person behind the gmail account) but I presume you obtained my email address from this website. Fine, I welcome your contact. I also have a phone number here and would be happy to have a conversation about my views on CPA Australia, of which I’m a long standing member.
Instead I receive this threatening email? Seriously below the belt.
This sort of behaviour is precisely why we members with half a conscience are joining forces in our own group (which can be subscribed to here). Because we want to see the reputation of OUR professional body restored.
For what it’s worth, Charles, and in the interests of transparency, here’s my reply:
I’m not sure that we’ve met? Am I to take this email as a threat against me and my professional standing? Would you be kind enough to telephone me on 0414 647 382 or provide your contact details so that we can discuss this email?
Yes, for the record, I object to OUR board and management using OUR member funds to pay themselves obscene amounts of money. I have no personal agenda, I simply find it revolting that the people managing our professional body think its ok to pay themselves what our financial accounts show to be absolutely scandalous amounts of money. I certainly wouldn’t want my clients or colleagues to associate me with that sort of greed.
From my viewpoint, CPA Australia is an accounting body that represents and advocates for its members working in finance related roles. It’s not a manufacturer, it’s not a commercial business, it’s not a bank. It’s simply a membership association that exists to serve its members.
That this group of greedy power grabbers paid themselves $30 million over the past eight years tells only part of the story.
What we interested members have been able to piece together is that:
– CPA’s 12 directors and three top executives granted themselves a 20 per cent pay rise in 2016 (from $4.6m to $5.5m). And no, I haven’t made a typo. Two-Zero. TWENTY per cent. Did you get a twenty per cent pay rise last year? Do you know anyone else who did?
– The recipients of this pot of gold are refusing to disclose to members exactly how much is paid to whom. In other words, they are refusing our requests for transparency in reporting. A little ironic from the governors of financial reporting in Australia, don’t you think?
– Our Constitution provides that the twelve board members were entitled to a maximum just shy of $1.7m for attending 11 meetings a year, comprising around $400,000 payable to the President/Chair and around $100,000 each for the other 11 directors. Reminder: this is a MEMBERSHIP association, not an ASX listed company.
– That leaves the three key management personnel – being the CEO and his two chief operating officers – to pocket a balance of $3.8m between them. Seriously, is there a single working Australian who thinks an administrative role like this is worth $1-2million dollars per person per year?
Call it greed, or abuse of power, this is scandalous. And no matter how many times the Board and executive team tell members that this remuneration is “not excessive”, it simply is.
Given that CPA Australia promotes itself as “a leading advocate of sound corporate governance”, it’s no wonder that certain members (including this one) are demanding transparency from our leaders.
And still, they refuse, even going to great lengths in member memos (and emails like this one) to substantiate their position against members who dare to demand full and frank financial disclosure.
Bullying members into silence is not the answer; transparency is the only answer now. We deserve to understand who is receiving the proceeds of our subscriptions. The key executives of our association would do well to remember that.
And if the management of our society are so keen to offload this money every year, how about we look for ways to spend it more effectively? Like starting with a board and management spill so we can go to market and replace them with quality with people at market rates (which would be a fraction of what they are currently being paid, judging by disclosures by our comparable bodies); and we could then donate the balance to university scholarships that will provide real support to students who are pursuing our profession across our geographical reach, instead of a book of fables from our Naked CEO.
Now that would be leadership.
Jen Dalitz CPA
Speaker. Coach. Strategist.
Footnote: CPA Australia informed me on twitter that this email is not from CPA Australia and is not endorsed by CPA Australia. That being the case I will await a response from you, Charles.