The power struggle over governance at CPA Australia, one of the country’s biggest accounting bodies, looks like it is in no way slowing down. CPA Australia’s board and senior management can’t keep governance campaigner Brett Stevenson down. Stevenson is leading the charge against the board and CPA boss Alex Malley, using an email list of members. In his 15th such email to members, sent this morning, he calls for heads to roll at CPA Australia with continuing revelations about the way which the largest of Australia’s accounting bodies is engaged in damage control.

Some might call it “stakeholder management”. Yesterday Stevenson revealed to his contact list another email, from CPA chief operating officer of member services Jeff Hughes, in which Hughes encouraged team members liaising with various chairs of committees and other so-called “friendlies” to circulate a 17-page memo written to counter the criticisms levelled by Stevenson at the organisation. Page 17 has a crack at The Australian Financial Review and the manner in which it has covered various issues related to the marketing spend, the heavy focus on chief executive officer Alex Malley in marketing and promotion and the level of remuneration paid to board members and executives. Stevenson has stated in an earlier email that the total aggregated remuneration for those in charge at the bean-counters’ club is $5.5 million and that disclosure should be broken down into amounts paid per relevant office bearer.

The accounting body has also taken steps to curb debate on its LinkedIn forum and shut down its “Find A CPA” search tool on its website to prevent members being able to build a mailing list to communicate with other members about concerns.

Peter Fray

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