Changes in accounting market – NFPs may have to update their rules

The government has announced the introduction of the Accounting Infrastructure Reform Bill into parliament, which will remove all references to the NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA) and their members from legislation and replace it with references to ‘qualified statutory accountant’.

NZICA will merge with the Australian professional body for Chartered Accountants. The largest professional accounting body in Australia, however, is CPA (Certified Professional Accountants), whose members are now put on an equal footing with Chartered Accountants in New Zealand by the legislation. The two professional bodies are now in direct competition with each other in New Zealand.

Not-for-profits whose rules or deeds state references to ‘Chartered Accountants’ or ‘members of NZICA’ will need to update their rules accordingly, and funders and government departments may likewise have to review their policies about audit requirements for funded organisations.

CCA accountants are not members of either group at the moment, but will likely apply for CPA membership at some time in the future. CCA recommends that, when looking for an accountant or auditor, not-for-profit organisations make it their main criteria that their accountant or auditor is qualified and/or experienced in not-for-profit accounting rather than specify membership in a professional body. Not-for-profit accounting, management and legislation is generally not taught in New Zealand tertiary accounting degrees.

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