Insolvency and restructuring

What role can a Chartered Accountant play in insolvency and restructuring?

In Brief

  • Members can support their clients by identifying signs of financial stress early and work with their clients to assess their viability and connect them to an appropriate, trusted specialist to restructure or exit the business
  • To offer formal insolvency or restructuring services, members will need to be appropriately licensed or registered
  • A statutory licensing regime for insolvency practitioners began in New Zealand on 1 September 2020
  • The New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA) is an accredited body under the Insolvency Practitioners Regulation Act 2019 and can issue insolvency practitioner licences
  • In Australia, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) registers practitioners to undertake corporate insolvencies, and the Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA) registers practitioners to undertake insolvencies of sole traders and individuals

Financial distress

Taking action early is the key to having options to manage financial stress. As trusted advisers, members can assist their clients to monitor the financial health of their business and support them to work with their suppliers and customers to manage unexpected disruptions to the business.Critically, members can assist their clients to recognise when they need to connect to a specialist in insolvency to restructure or exit the business.

New Zealand

New Zealand insolvency practitioners are now regulated under the Insolvency Practitioners Regulation Act 2019 (the Act).

Under the Act, insolvency practitioners will have to apply to an accredited body (for example NZICA) to obtain a licence and become a licensed insolvency practitioner. In most circumstances, it would be an offence to undertake an insolvency engagement without a statutory licence.

The statutory scheme replaced the voluntary CAANZ/RITANZ accreditation scheme. Applications to the voluntary scheme have closed.  If you have any queries regarding the previous scheme,  please contact regulation.nzica@charteredaccountantsanz.com.

Practitioners providing services to solvent companies, including a solvent liquidation, must be a licensed insolvency practitioner, lawyer, qualified statutory accountant or a member of a recognised professional body.  A Chartered Accountant who holds a Certificate of Public Practice is a qualified statutory accountant.

Australia

In Australia, corporate and personal insolvencies are regulated by separate agencies. 

For corporate insolvencies, practitioners must be a Registered Liquidator with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). There are two levels of Registered Liquidator; being full or licenced to only conduct small business restructures.

For personal insolvencies, including sole traders and partnerships of individuals, practitioners must be registered with the Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA). There are two levels of registration; being a Registered Trustee (full) or Debt Agreement Administrator (licenced to only conduct Part IX Debt Agreements).

More information

We have formed an Insolvency Management Committee (IMC) of members who provide services across the insolvency sector. The IMC provides expert feedback to CA ANZ on any changes to insolvency regulation, hosts discussions around best practice and facilitates the exchange of knowledge about useful tools and resources. The IMC collaborates with other relevant professional bodies and government agencies to drive positive outcomes for the profession.

The committee members are as follows:

Committee members

  • ANDREW BARDEN FCA (CHAIR)

    Andrew is a Director at Rodgers Reidy and although he is based in the Sydney office, he also heads up the Rural and Agribusiness Division of the firm.

    Andrew began his career in Insolvency and Reconstruction in 1997. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience in Turnaround and Insolvency in both personal and corporate insolvency matters. He is a Registered Liquidator and also a Trustee in Bankruptcy.

    His career includes working on matters ranging from sole traders right through to ASX listed companies, together with multi-national, cross border insolvency matters in Europe and the Asia Pacific. In addition, he regularly acts as an Expert Witness in respect to insolvency related Court proceedings, a Statutory Trustee for Sale and as an Investigating Accountant preparing reports for major financial institutions.  Andrew is an approved Liquidator by Liquor & Gaming NSW in respect to Registered Clubs and also an approved Liquidator under the CATSI Act.

  • ALICE RUHE FCA

    Alice is a Partner at SMB Advisory.

    Alice has 19 years experience as a Registered Trustee in Bankruptcy and a Registered Liquidator. She believes that in most instances early diagnosis and accurate prognosis can foster the best results. All too often, good businesses go by the wayside because the early signs of potential distress have been ignored, or worse, have not been identified at all.  Alice has experience dealing with external administrations involving the building, hospitality, information technology, accounting, legal, medical, retail and various other industries.

  • ANDREW HEARD FCA

    Andrew is a founding partner of Heard Phillips.

    Andrew brings more than 28 years’ business advisory, insolvency and forensic accounting experience. From specialist insolvency practice, to second-tier multi-discipline firms, to an international ‘big 4’ firm, his broad professional experience provides him with exceptional insight into the needs and challenges for all clients at any stage. Andrew is an experienced company director with a long history in providing advisory and restructuring services to companies and banks. 

  • ANNE MEAGHER FCA

    Anne is a Director at SV Partners.

    Anne has been working in the insolvency industry for more than 20 years and has acted as Liquidator, Receiver or Voluntary Administrator. She has also prepared a number of insolvency reports, some of which have been used in Court proceedings regarding the company’s winding up. She has handled the administrations of companies operating across numerous industries, including real estate agencies, property development, labour hire, building and construction, printing, retail, transport and hospitality.

  • BRUCE GLEESON FCA, RITF

    Bruce is a Director and Owner in Jones Partners Insolvency & Restructuring.

    Bruce has in excess of twenty (25) years in corporate insolvency, restructuring, exit planning and bankruptcy experience. He has also held roles in commerce with several Top 100 Companies to further add to his professional skills in areas such as compliance and project management.

    Bruce actively encourages business owners and individuals to seek the right professional assistance rather than trying to work it out themselves. He has observed that stressed people tend to make poor decisions and there is no need for that occur when access to the right professionals is readily available. Seeking the right professional assistance enables the business owner or individual to focus on what they are good at, as opposed to trying to manage everything and thus sets up a framework for success.

  • HAYDEN WHITE CA

    Hayden is a Partner with KPMG.

    Hayden has over 20 years experience as a corporate advisor, with a career focus in the specialist areas of corporate recovery, financial restructuring and turnaround. Having worked across Australia and the UK, Hayden has significant expertise working with all stakeholders in times of financial stress, including corporates, boards of directors, financiers and other stakeholder groups.

  • JASON BETTLES FCA

    Jason has been part of the Worrells family since 2004.

    Jason has worked exclusively in the field of insolvency since 1995 and has experience in all forms of corporate and personal insolvency matters. He has provided recommendations on the most appropriate solutions to deal with insolvency issues to all types of parties. His knowledge and experience allows him to consider informal arrangements to solve insolvency problems, as well as the formal insolvency administrations.

  • MELISSA HUMANN FCA

    Melissa is a Managing Director at PwC Australia. 

    Melissa is a registered liquidator and has 25 years' experience in the restructuring and insolvency industry, working in Perth, Melbourne, Singapore and Sydney. She has been involved with matters ranging from single asset realisations through to large-scale formal appointments and business reviews of ASX-listed companies. In each engagement, Melissa aims to deliver a great result for the client and other stakeholders by working in a way that is consistent with PwC's values. 

  • PETER LUCAS FCA

    Peter is a Principal of P A Lucas & Co, the business he founded1999 then known as Lucas & Co.

    Peter has over 35 years experience as a liquidator and turnaround manager working in a variety of firms including the “Big 4” Accounting Firms and smaller boutique firms.  He has been exposed to a wide range of industries and has worked with individuals, small businesses and large national companies with turnover up to $100M per annum.

  • STEPHEN MITCHELL FCA

    Stephen is a Partner at PCI Partners Pty Ltd.

    Stephen is an experienced insolvency practitioner, registered liquidator and registered trustee in bankruptcy.  He has undertaken a wide range of complex and challenging business reconstruction, turnaround and workout assignments. This has included the detailed and ultimately successful restructure of a multinational manufacturing business to help ensure its ongoing viability. He has developed a strong reputation for working closely with his clients to allow for an orderly wind up of their financial affairs.

Insolvency Engagement standards

Members who carry out insolvency and restructuring engagements must follow additional prescribed standards. 

For New Zealand members, the NZICA Insolvency Engagement Standards.

For Australian members, the Accounting and Ethical Standards Board standard APES330 Insolvency Services.

Recent submissions and articles

Keep up to date with insolvency submissions and articles in Australia, New Zealand and overseas. Submissions and articles have been captured on the Business Reform page under the category Insolvency.

Find out more

Regulators

In New Zealand: 

In Australia:

 

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