CPRS Panel for CPA Australia

I am a delinquent blogger.  Very, very delinquent.  That isn’t because I haven’t been doing interesting stuff, it is because I have, and although I tweet regularly, I don’t always get around to making another blog post.

So by way of ‘advance notice’, I am just saying’, I am presenting at a panel for CPA Australia next week on the effect of the CPRS (Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme) on business.  Even though it’s been delayed, the reporting imposte is still going to be there.

Here’s a link to the panel I’m speaking on:


I’ll post my notes and slides (it’s only 10 minutes) next week, but it promises to be an interesting event.  Some people still argue about the science – for me, that’s as maybe, given that there IS a reporting scheme coming in :).  Eventually.

ITGI Roundtable Conference article now available

I see that ITGI has posted the transcript of the roundtable we did back in September 2008 or so.  It covers off some of the leading lights in IT Governance in Brisbane – and then I’m there as well:

  • Tony Hayes, FCPA, Queensland Government, Australia
  • Micheal Axelsen, FCPA, Director, Applied Insight Pty Ltd., Australia (that would be me)
  • Ashley Goldsworthy, AO, OBE, FTSE, FCIE, FCPA, Professor, Australia
  • Duncan Martin, CISA, ACA, CIA, CPA, Chief Financial Officer, The Rock Building Society Ltd., Australia
  • Glen McMurtrie, CISA, CBM, CFE, Principal Internal Auditor, Department of Communities, Australia
  • Simon Middap, Group Manager, ICT and Projects, ENERGEX Ltd., Australia
  • John Thorp, CMC, I.S.P., The Thorp Network Inc., Canada

It reads fairly well – I do remember it as an interesting conversation. 

The transcript is available on www.itgi.org and is available as a pdf here.


Bringing online social networking to business – through ‘old media’

Last Friday I had the pleasure of what is probably my first ‘real’ media experience.  I’ve done newspapers and magazines before, of course, and I’ve certainly written plenty of opinion pieces for a great variety of fora (websites, magazines, newspapers, etc), but I’ve never done live radio or live TV before.  I’ve still not done live TV, but I have now done live radio with ABC local radio through Richard Stubbs in Melbourne, Bronwen Wade in the Riverland (South Australia) on Monday, and Paula Tapiolas in Townsville on Tuesday.

It’s an interesting experience – particularly the Melbourne interview, which was on Friday and was the longest session I’ve had (although, the beauty of radio seems to be that you get the luxury of discussing the issue a bit at length – and you don’t have to shave if you’re on the phone).  The Melbourne interview I did from what I do believe was called a Tardis – which is an airless dark box with a microphone and a headset at the Toowong studios here in Queensland.
As a parent and I joked this morning, luckily I wasn’t there to talk about claustrophobia…

Actually, though, I was there to discuss the business impact of social media marketing, which is a topic that’s dear to my heart, particularly since I am putting the finishing touches to the Online Social Networking Guide for CPA Australia (and I might get to do that the instant I stop doing radio interviews and marking assignments).

As you would expect, the questions of all the interviews were fairly basic to anyone who has any exposure to the online world – I did particularly like the Townsville interview, probably because no matter what I do I’m still a parochial Queenslander (and Townsville was the third interview in a row, so perhaps I now know what I want to talk about).  The themes were around the risks to business, although I did try to bring in the benefits of online social networking as much as I could.

Certainly, if I have a mission in these interviews it is that I am trying to get businesses to set up Google alerts, be aware of what’s going on in the social networking space, and let their staff know what is acceptable and what is not when it comes to their business’s brand.

Anyway, anyone who wants to be scarred some more can listen to my interview with Richard Stubbs online here.

Ironically I haven’t heard from ABC 612 here in Brisbane, whose studios are all of three kilometres from my house and would be better for my consulting business than, say for instance, building my LinkedIn network in Melbourne :).

Session Review – AIFRS and beyond: contentious and emerging issues in accounting standards

I had the honour of chairing Richard Wanstall’s session today at the Brisbane Convention Centre on the topic of AIFRS. Richard is the lead partner for the Accounting Advisory Services Group for Deloitte, and addressed the following issues in his presentation today:

The agenda addressed included the following:

  • Current changes in financial reporting
  • Impact of new standards in 2008
  • Lessons learnt from June 2008
  • On the horizon
  • Over the horizon

I liked how Richard distinguished between what’s ‘on’ the horizon and what’s ‘over’ it!

Richard did have a lot of references to standards I haven’t looked at in years, so I was not able to follow all of it (my fault, not his!), but it was interesting to hear that the Australian version of IFRS seems to be moving back towards the IFRS Standard (a little, anyway) and that the Australian version is being modified so that we are really ending up with multiple GAAPs depending on the type of entity (e.g. not-for-profits etc).

I must admit that I am also a little concerned to hear that IASB are thinking of extending IFRS to SME’s in some way. I can’t believe that that’s going to reduce compliance costs for anyone. Not, I am sure, that that was the point.

The ‘lessons learned’ part of the presentation detailing key misunderstandings of IFRS was very valuable, as were the ‘on the horizon’ and ‘over the horizon’ sections. I think these last two sections suffered a little as Richard was running out of time. Also they don’t consider the presenters when they go and have economic crises – Richard’s slides were still referencing interest rate increases (which since about last week we now seem to think are off our agenda). In the current environment it seems your slides will be out of date by morning tea!

As for the over-the-horizon issues, I was stunned to hear of potential modifications to lease agreements (bring operating leases onto the balance sheet? Sacrilege!).

As for the overall session, the facilities are excellent as is to be expected at the Brisbane Convention Centre, and the audience was very good. I thought the Chair was a bit ordinary – seemed to think he was funny and forgot to introduce himself (I can say that, as I was the chair!) :).

Richard’s session was very informative and helpful, and Richard clearly knows his stuff. These days, I think I’m doing pretty well if I remember what IASB stands for.

I think the session was hampered by the fact that slides weren’t provided prior to the session (apparently they’re coming), and I think this is particularly helpful if you have a great deal of technical detail to talk to. Something for me to remember next time my sldies are running late.

I do think there was a great deal of information that was provided as a list of changes; I think that as a result of not having slides provided to the audience Richard was compelled to give us an opportunity to absorb the information presented. As a consequence, we didn’t get to hear as much from Richard as to what the implications of the changes actually were – Richard has a lot to add in that space and I think we simply ran out of time.

I liked how Richard was able to answer the only question I could come up with – whether there was an impact on accounting information systems, and Richard was straight onto that one immediately. I hope that made some members of the audience sit up and think about what these AIFRS changes might mean for their accounting systems.

A good session, well worthwhile attending. Richard’s a good presenter and knowing how much time it takes to put those slides together, I know that a lot of work went into preparing for this presentation. Very much appreciated, and I certainly got something out of this very valuable session.

I have some photos of the venue but this computer in the presenter’s room doesn’t have an SD card reader so I’ll add them later. 

Feedback on ‘Communicating financials to management: Developing effective reporting mechanisms’

Back in August, I gave a presentation for CPA Australia at Royal on the Park, which had as its objectives:

  • How to develop effective reporting mechanisms that ensures data of high integrity and quality
  • Responding to management information needs: how to develop a process that ensures timely response
  • Other key reporting and systems issues that affect how information is presented and used

I note incidentally that I haven’t posted my speaking notes online yet – I must do that.

Anyway, feedback was good, even if I’ve not picked up any clients out of it :).  Here is the feedback the presentation received:

Session Title:    ‘Communicating financials to management: Developing effective reporting mechanisms’
Venue:     Royal on thePark, Brisbane
Date:     26/8/2008

Your overall Rating:    4.35
Technical Content rating:    4.52
Presentation Material rating:    4.43

All comments specific to your presentation

  • Good presenter. Liked the way he asked what people wanted out of session & made sure he covered those points.
  • Very good presenter. Showed a great awareness for presenting on & answering what we wanted to get out of the session. Terrific.

I continue to thank Alan Anderson for showing me his tactic of plain old ‘ask the audience what they want’ for presentations.  The audience, not surprisingly, always seems to appreciate it, and it’s hard to miss the mark if you can at least link back to those dot points.

Of course, if someone comes in for the wrong session it can be very entertaining.

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