Date posted: 5/05/2021 5 min read

Advocating for the public good

Good public policy is vital for a sustainable, prosperous and resilient future, and CA ANZ will be at the table. Brought to you by CA ANZ.

As the damage inflicted by COVID-19 continues to reverberate through economies in Australia and New Zealand, good public policy will play a critical role in building a more sustainable, prosperous and resilient future.

Simon Grant FCA, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand’s group executive, advocacy and international, says, “We work closely with our members to identify and advocate boldly in the public good on matters that impact them, their clients and the communities they serve.

“We’ve refreshed our policy priorities for 2021, with input from our membership, to help guide our approach for the year ahead.”

Simon Grant FCAPicture: Simon Grant FCA.

“We’ve refreshed our policy priorities for 2021, with input from our membership, to help guide our approach for the year ahead.”
Simon Grant FCA, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand

Recovery and recruitment

In New Zealand, CA ANZ will continue its support of small and medium businesses through COVID-19 recovery while also keeping an eye on potential recruitment issues resulting from border closures.

Non-citizens located outside of New Zealand have been unable to apply for temporary visas since August 2020. Historically, audit firms relied on a mixture of international recruitment and secondments to meet their staffing needs.

CA ANZ foresaw this as an issue and has established connections with Immigration New Zealand and is gathering data to potentially advocate to the New Zealand government on behalf of the audit profession.

Financial advice

In Australia, Grant explains that the hit to businesses from the pandemic means that sound financial advice from trusted advisers is more important than ever.

“It’s time to ditch the unworkable regulatory and licensing settings burdening the financial advice industry and preventing consumers from accessing affordable advice,” Grant says.

As an advocate for chartered accountants, CA ANZ – with four other professional bodies – has developed a strategic advice model for the financial advice industry to ensure businesses and individuals can access appropriate advice.

“We fear that if interim and longer-term solutions are not implemented, many of our members will leave financial advice, which would significantly reduce the overall level of training and expertise in the industry,” says Grant.

Tax

Following a turbulent 2020, major tax reforms and tax increases are unlikely to be on the table this year.

CA ANZ’s senior tax advocate in Australia, Susan Franks, is focused on Australia’s upcoming federal budget. “This year’s budget is likely to feature small reforms and some additional support,” she explains.

As the COVID vaccine is rolled out and government assistance is being wound back, small businesses will be evaluating their viability and structure. CA ANZ says the existing small business capital gains tax (CGT) concessions are notoriously complex.

CA ANZ supports Board of Taxation recommendations to replace the 15-year exemption, active asset reduction and retirement CGT rollovers for small business with one capped small business CGT rollover; increasing the aggregated turnover threshold and repealing the maximum net asset value test.

Such a change would make the small business tax concessions fairer and more sustainable, says Franks.

Read more:

CA ANZ 2021 Policy Priorities

CA ANZ has updated its policy priorities for advocacy with input from our members to guide our approach for the year ahead.

Read about CA ANZ’s 2021 Policy Priorities

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