Date posted: 23/06/2020 3 min read

ACT regional news

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In brief

  • Regional Manager's update
  • Stay in the loop on the CA program

ACT Regional Managers update

As we head towards another month in a COVID-19 world I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank all of you for the contribution you have all made to keep the wheels turning for businesses, governments and community organisations across the region. It has been acknowledged many times, but maybe not often enough during these extraordinary times that accountants play a pivotal role as not only trusted advisors but genuine partners in the endeavours of so many. I was reminded of this fact by James Bartle, Founder and CEO of Outland Denim – one of our panellists at the recent Public Sector Forum focussed on the issue of Modern Slavery. James is a pretty impressive guy, a genuine difference maker – he’s not an accountant nor does he have a financial background, what he does have, however, is a great insight into the power of partnership and the impact you can have on your clients and communities lives. If you didn’t get the chance to attend our Public Sector Forum a recording is now available – it’s a fantastic discussion on such an important topic, so please get in touch if you would like a copy.

CA ANZ continues to focus on the development and delivery of online events, conferences and webinars supported by a myriad of resources, all available to you now. If you haven’t recently checked out the e-store on our website or logged into your MyCA for the latest – I guarantee there will be something there you haven’t seen before. And finally, a huge shout out to those of you who have recently completed your exams and received your results. Thanks for your patience and resilience as we transitioned to online exams. Also, a big thanks to all the exam markers out there who also had a transition of their own with online marking – the feedback has been overwhelming positive and your commitment and support to adapt has been incredible in these unprecedented times of change. The ACT has recorded outstanding results with term 2 enrolment targets exceeded and 4 recent candidates receiving Merits including one of our candidates topping the State for Tax!Our offices remains closed until further notice and like many of you, we are working from home. Contact us anytime on the usual channels.

Field Notes and Observations from Eddie Senatore

Eddie Senatore FCA has over 35 years’ experience with a career working on insolvency matters, business mentoring and advisory services. Eddie has used his knowledge to record business changes during COVID-19 and has provided insight on the current climate.

When authorities mandated the shuttering of non-essential businesses, I suggested a record, a journal if you like, be kept recording experiences.  After all these are historic times.   At a high level my notes revealed four categories.  Some businesses have pivoted, in some cases back to their origins, some have shuttered operations, others cutting costs and simply grinding it out.  Then there are the lucky ones who are BAU.  

Early on there was a mountain of responses on most media platforms with suggestions or recommendations on how to react.  In this post I will highlight some of the main game plays and whether they are still relevant.

  • The creation of a ‘Command Centre’ or ‘Hub’ has been a standing recommendation.  Small business owners will find it difficult to create the ‘Hub’ simply because the small business owner is the ‘Hub’.  Whilst the Hub is about understanding the impact of and coordinating a response to the pandemic, it is really about Leadership and Resilience.  
  • Then, people.  This is the big and difficult one.  Rightly so.  Every business has experienced a change here.  Caring for people; mental health and wellbeing tops the charts and no doubt this will be the lead topic in the next recovery phase.  The boards I’m advising are focused on ensuring people are well equipped to handle what has happened and what is next.  This is about Culture and Purpose.I know of stories where staff have continued working full time despite being paid less.  I know of others simply taking their ‘entitlement’ of the Government’s stimulus package.  That’s okay too.The business community has caught up with tools such as Zoom and Teams.  Some have used this technology used to ‘check in’ others to ‘check on’ people.  Most report an increase in productivity as well as an upsurge in TikTok videos.
  • Following on from people is client engagement.  Some operators are in touch with clients to understand how they have been impacted and to offer support at both a personal and business level, also to understand whether credit and risk profiles have changed and plan for future work.  
  • Business continuity is also a hot topic.  Cries of ‘cash is king’ abound.  True that, no doubt about it.  However, if you’re not profitable, cash and liquidity will erode very quickly. Let’s just say ‘profit is prophet’.  Converting profit to cash is the trick.  Apart from the usual sources of liquidity - clients, banks, lines of credit, access to equity and managing and triaging all the elements making up working capital - the stimulus package has been positive; the Government supported bank loan strategy, not so much.
  • Supply chain, another trend.  This requires deep industry knowledge and keeping abreast of the broader industry and economic impact from the crisis.  It is helpful to know up-stream and down-stream flows - a supply chain flow/diagram - then game any impact based on what you know.
  • Digital capability also rates. The list is long, opportunities everywhere.  Cyber security concerns, questions regarding new work practises, ramped up investment in digital to streamline and automate processes, a shifting to online and fast tracking a move into e-commerce and online platforms seem to capture it.  

Both the traditional press and social media have crashed platforms with suggested actions, conjuring visions of the new world order.  Seems to me we don’t know what the new world will look like if we are experiencing unprecedented times; answers may be hard to find.  CA ANZ has published some highly useful material which is a great start.  In economic terms we are experiencing a demand shock.  In the history of time we have experienced many demand shocks.  We do then, understand the impact of and how to recover from demand shocks.  Let’s start with this.

Upcoming Events

Trans-Tasman YCA Charity Trivia Event

Rally your colleagues and mates and compete against one another in CA ANZ's first online trivia event! With only 15 seconds to answer questions, you'll need to work fast to be on the top of the leader board. For the price of a (good) cup of coffee, register today, with the ticket price being donated to ReachOut.

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CA Program Presentations (for employers)

Invite CA ANZ to join your graduate cohort virtually for a CA Program presentation. If you are looking for assistance to develop and inspire your graduates towards a CA designation please get in touch by emailing Amy Carolan to book in a presentation or tailored development workshop.

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Illuminate next:gen high school challenge (Future members)

Illuminate next:gen is CA ANZ’s high school business challenge which is delivered digitally to classrooms 27 July to 31 July 2020. This immersive week-long challenge is designed to develop strategic thinking and business acumen as they work in groups on their own business ideas. The students will also be able to engage and be mentored by local CA members via virtual lessons on topics such as Financial accounting.

Register here for this free challenge

COVID-19 Tertiary Playbook

Chartered Accountants ANZ has released a guide to thriving during challenging times designed for our tertiary audience. This playbook has been circulated to our student affiliate database, student societies and their members, careers advisors and academics.

View our playbook

Exam Updates

From the ACT we had one candidate from Airservices Australia who not only receives a Merit Cert for the Tax120 module but also Top of State for the same module. We also had a 3 more TAX120 Merit Certificate Award recipient,  1 from a Big 4 Company – EY –  and  2 more from SMP’s Kinsella Partners Pty Ltd, and BellchambersBarrett. In the AAA120 module, there were four candidates who received merits: one from Nexis Accountants and Business Advisors, one from the Department of Agriculture, one from KPMG, and one from PricewaterhouseCoopers who also received Top of State.

Well done to all candidates especially in light of the new format of exams!

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