Date posted: 29/05/2023 5 min read

President’s letter

What do they mean by ‘following the process’?

In Brief

  • This edition of 'Acuity' puts the spotlight on processes. It’s timely because as chartered accountants and decisionmakers around the world are finding out, processes don’t guarantee success, and they must evolve for changing expectations and challenges
  • CA ANZ is undertaking its own framework review to ensure our professional conduct processes remain robust and in line with best practice.
  • Having been involved in the review process, I can assure you that you can have confidence in its breadth, attention to detail and aims, and I’m looking forward to engaging you on this important piece of work.

Winning captains sometimes credit a win to ‘following the process’.

It’s a nice sound bite, but it often leaves me wondering, what is their process? How did they create it? Because to my mind, the challenge is as much creating a process, as following it.

This edition of Acuity puts the spotlight on processes. It’s timely because as chartered accountants and decisionmakers around the world are finding out, processes don’t guarantee success, and they must evolve for changing expectations and challenges. Just look at recent bank failures, economic shakeups, or well-foreseen natural disasters.

In the case of the latter, the floods in both Australia’s Lismore and New Zealand’s Hawke’s Bay are two disasters that have put emergency management and response processes under the microscope. Beyond that initial response, there’s also questions about re-inhabiting these regions. Will they be flooded again? Can we prepare for future events, and at what cost? If not, do we retreat and again, at what cost? They’re tricky questions, and the process is examined in these pages.

Beyond the local and central government processes that determine where we live, the frameworks that affect cost of living are extremely important for chartered accountants and their clients in both Australia and New Zealand. We are all keeping a close eye on the official cash rate (OCR) settings and the work of our respective reserve banks. Among their monetary policy tools are the blunt hammer of the OCR, to the verbal signals they send to the market.

There’s no single or simple solution to tackling complex inflation, which in Australia and New Zealand is exemplified by the disconnect between purported low business confidence and strong year-on-year spending in the economy.

Speaking of inflation, as the southern hemisphere moves into winter, energy costs for Australia and New Zealand are likely to rise further, something our UK members know all too well. As Donal Curtin examines, what should be the government’s role in energy market regulation?

Elsewhere in these pages, decision-making frameworks and processes across immigration and cybersecurity are also under the microscope.

Of course, CA ANZ is undertaking its own framework review to ensure our professional conduct processes remain robust and in line with best practice. The review is founded on strong terms of reference, which sets out a process that seeks improvement.

Our conduct framework serves to maintain the high ethical standing of the CA designation, but we can’t rest on our laurels. Like any other process, it must be reviewed periodically to unearth recommendations that can further secure the objectives of the disciplinary framework, which include fairness, transparency, mechanisms to address systemic issues and protection of the public.

By the time you’re reading this edition of Acuity, the recommendations will likely be with you. The next step in this review process is critical, as it involves you, our members, voting on any by-law changes.

Having been involved in the review process, I can assure you that you can have confidence in its breadth, attention to detail and aims, and I’m looking forward to engaging you on this important piece of work.