CPA chief executive Alex Malley believes regulatory changes and evolution of technology are a threat to financial advisers and accountancy professions. “Professions have been this unique, exclusive club of qualified people, but of course as technology opens up information and content, people can quickly circumvent that sort of professional need,” he says.
Malley observes that in the past 20 years, “others came into the profession, into the financial planning area, and as a result, that brought other people into the advice market.”
“People that we’d hate to think of as part of our financial services sector given their behaviours, but effectively the financial services sector is defined today as anyone who’s an agent for insurance at one end and the quadruple degree at CPA at the other, and we are all under this banner of financial services advice,” he continues.
“The financial sector today is the largest circus tent in town.” He believes the accounting profession should take leadership in the sector. To secure the industry’s future “we do need to build the next generation’s interest in our profession and advice,” Malley believes.
In order to do that, he explains their plans; “from next year, we are very keen to go to universities and start targeting kids that are studying financial planning, as well as those who study accounting, and having pathways for both of them to become members of CPA Australia through the appropriate studies, processes and content, so that we reclaim the territory that we once owned.”