- My CA is a private social network exclusive to full CA ANZ members, which will nurture and strengthen connections between CAs.
- Members can reach out to peers, join conversations and ideas around policy development, new software or a tricky client request.
- My CA also lets members keep track of CPD points and suggest ideas to improve their member organisation.
By Sally Rose
A few months ago, Will Camphin CA and Paul Barnicoat FCA met up to have a coffee and chat about some of the mutual challenges they face in their respective businesses. The two had never met face-to-face, but had been exchanging messages for weeks through My CA, the newly launched online member portal of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ).
The online back-and-forth began when Camphin posed a question in one of the member forums on some of the finer etiquette points around conducting business valuation services.
The pair found the virtual experience of sharing ideas so helpful they decided to catch up and continue the conversation in real life. And that proved such a welcome circuit breaker from the day-to-day reality of running a business they have caught up again a number of times since.
Camphin is the founder and principal of the North Sydney-based business advisory firm WA Camphin & Co, while Barnicoat is a former insurance industry executive who now runs an independent consultancy from the other side of the harbour in Randwick.
Camphin and Barnicoat were part of an early pilot program of My CA, which has moved past its test phase to now be available to all full CA ANZ members. Both men are big fans of the new member portal, having used it to connect with a number of other colleagues.
Upgraded My CA a place for refreshing discussion
Access to a private social network exclusive to CA ANZ members creates opportunities for “helpful and refreshing” discussions, says Camphin.
“As CAs we all have the common ground of being bound by a Code of Ethics and subscribing to self-government. We shouldn’t underestimate the benefit of being able to connect with a bigger community of colleagues who share those values,” he says.
“Building these networks can be very difficult, so to have our membership body provide a platform to help us do that is a tremendous resource. I hope more members embrace it.”
Barnicoat agrees. “I really do encourage any members who may have been frustrated by the old member portal to logon to the new My CA and give it another go. The login is much simpler now and it is really worth taking the five minutes or so to set up your preferences,” he says.
“Upgrading My CA is one of the best things the organisation has done in recent years to improve its service delivery to members, but its potential will only be realised if members get involved.”
“Upgrading My CA is one of the best things the organisation has done... but its potential will only be realised if members get involved.”
Building stronger CA ANZ connections
My CA was born after a September 2017 CA ANZ survey found that chartered accountants wanted their professional body to help them nurture connections with their peers. That aim became part of the member organisation’s strategic review.
“Our members regularly stress the value and importance of developing meaningful connections with their peers. This was heard loud and clear through the strategic review,” says CA ANZ chief executive Rick Ellis.
In early 2018, Ellis tasked the CA ANZ project management office with scoping and delivering an upgrade to the organisation’s online member portal to facilitate this goal. The team has now delivered a solution, powered by Salesforce Community Cloud technology.
“My CA is a key initiative that helps our members tap into the collective intelligence of the CA network across Australia, New Zealand or around the globe to connect on topics of mutual interest, seek advice, work on challenges and help make a difference for their clients,” Ellis says.
It is designed to provide a “safe space” where like-minded professionals with shared values of ethics and professionalism can reach out to ask each other for advice. Only CA ANZ members can access the portal.
The benefits of CA ANZ members swapping advice
The platform is optimised for mobile devices, making it easier for CAs to access member services anywhere with mobile reception. And it’s expected that the platform will continue to evolve over the coming years in response to member needs.
CA ANZ group executive member engagement Mark Rice says it’s been wonderful to see members starting to use My CA to engage with one another.
“We’re joining the dots on a wide range of connections. Since rolling out My CA we’ve seen rural-based CAs talk artificial intelligence with their city-based corporate peers, young members asking for career advice from experienced members, and debates on how tax reforms are impacting everyday practices,” Rice says.
“My CA is a private collaboration space for our members to connect and join the conversation around key ideas, whether it’s the policy developments out of Wellington or Canberra, through to the merit of a new software or a tricky client request. It’s about enabling members so they can get in the driver’s seat.”
Managers of CA ANZ special interest and discussion groups can create private groups in My CA to centralise a group’s communications. It is hoped this will reduce the volume of emails members have to manage and provide a convenient central store of resources, making them easier to find when needed.
How to get started with My CA
1. Customise your account
Login to www.charteredaccountantsanz.com and follow the ‘set-up wizard’ to customise your preferences. Then the articles and discussion threads you see within My CA will be targeted to your interests. If you didn’t get a chance to complete this process on your first visit then it’s worth finding 10 minutes to do so. It’s also a good opportunity to make sure all your personal details are up to date.
2. Keep track of your CPD points
All CA ANZ members need to do the minimum number of continuing professional development (CPD) hours for their designation every three years. It is now easier to plan and track your CPD hours online via your My CA login.
3. Spark a change
Do you have an idea for how your member organisation could improve? Login to My CA and click on the ‘Ideas’ tab to share your suggestion. Other members will be able to comment and give their ‘thumbs up’.
4. Reach out to your peers
Next time you have a question no-one in your office can answer, login to My CA and find a relevant group to ask your peers in the wider CA ANZ community for their help.
Need some help getting started with My CA?Learn More