With the recent issues that have sprung up regarding CPA’s operations, people have begun to further question the legitimacy of the company’s workings. The rest of the accountant insurance, thankfully remains somewhat unaffected by the recent news.
A clear contrast between CPA Australia and other accounting bodies is best seen by juxtaposing CPA Australia’s handling of professional indemnity insurance, with that of another provider, in this instance, Chartered Accountants ANZ.
When looking through accountant insurance options on either, one will be met with the basic information which gives the rundown of the insurance policy. This part is expected, and standard, as it is mandatory for all covered by the Australian government’s professional standards schemes, which reduces the legal liability of the providers.
Where the difference in how both present their options then, lies mostly in the buying guides. CA ANZ has a comprehensive list, which goes so far as to compare 16 different insurance providers, plus an additional shortlist of seven brokers for the small practices. To top it all off, the buying guide contains a full, varied contact list of 26 insurance brokers.
In contrast, CPA has a comparison which only features its scheme, CPA Australia Professional Indemnity Insurance Scheme, compared with one, generic ‘other insurers’ product. The end of the guide then presents the potential customer with only one contact, broker Fenton Green & Co. QBE is in charge of underwriting CPA’s product.
According to CPA’s official website, the company receives its revenue from member generated activity via the CPA Australia PI Insurance Scheme, which it then uses for administrative costs and educating its members.
Spokesman Stuart Dignam made a statement which stands out, saying that CPA Australia does, in fact, have a commercial relationship with QBE, but not with Fenton Green. Additionally, they refused to reveal information regarding the terms of their arrangement.
Mr. Dignam stated that the CPA’s goal was to offer the most appropriate insurance policy for their members and their clients, not necessarily the cheapest, due to that not guaranteeing the greatest coverage. According to him, the average annual cost for insurance for a small practice of $2 M is about $2000m which he says is inclusive of statutory charges.
CA ANZ has already stated that it did not have commercial agreements with any of the insurance companies or brokers, only with the insurer AON, which is a business partner of the CA body.