Date posted: 22/05/2019 3 min read

View from the Chair: Update from Matthew Ashby

A new report shows that trust in experts and specialists is high – but can’t be taken for granted.

In brief

  • The Future of Trust report show that trust in experts is rising
  • As forensic accounting specialists, trust is essential to our ongoing success
  • Together, we can help uphold trust in our profession and specialist expertise

Matthew Ashby

Matthew Ashby CA, Forensic Accounting Committee Chair

In February, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) released 'The future of trust' report. The report revealed that trust in institutions is declining. At the same time, trust in experts and specialists seems to be on the rise.

Accountants were among the most trusted professionals across Australia and New Zealand, ranking ahead of the both the court system and lawyers. Meanwhile, 77% of survey respondents said they had more trust in an accountant who was a member of a professional accounting body, such as CA ANZ.

That's good news for CAs, particularly those of us who provide expert evidence in court. In fact, the traits identified as essential to build trust – competency, integrity, goodwill and effective communication – align closely with the expectations placed on expert witnesses.

"77% of survey respondents said they had more trust in an accountant who was a member of a professional accounting body, such as CA ANZ."
Matthew Ashby CA

However, the report also says this trust is fragile and vulnerable to negative media. And confusion about the difference between professional accountants (like Chartered Accountants), and those without professional accounting qualifications can also help to undermine trust.

As this is my first newsletter as Chair of the CA ANZ Forensic Accounting Committee, I'd like to reflect on how we can each uphold the trust that's placed in us in our positions as CAs and specialists. The CA Forensic Accounting Specialisation gives clients additional confidence in our expertise and professional standards. The committee also plays an important role in helping represent and promote our specialisation.

Over the past quarter, there have been several changes to the CA ANZ Forensic Accounting Committee, as former members step aside to make way for the new. I'd particularly like to thank outgoing Chair Dawna Wright CA, for her contribution to the committee and specialisation over recent years.

Finally, I am pleased to announce that our next Business Valuation and Forensic Accounting Conference will be held on 12-14 October 2020 in Melbourne. We are in advanced discussions with Professor Damodaran from New York University about attending as our keynote speaker, so please save the date!

As always, if you have any feedback on this newsletter, we’d love to hear from you. You can get in touch at

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