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NZICA reacts to challenge, strengthens ties with IOD

BUSINESSDESK: The New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants has announced a new alliance with the Institute of Directors hours after rival organisation CPA Australia gained Financial Markets Authority permission today to license auditors here.

The two bodies will pool resources "where relevant", NZICA and the IOD say in a joint statement.

Corporate governance "is an area where there is on-going change and widespread interest in ensuring that boards have the right mix of expertise", with the Financial Markets Conduct Bill currently before the parliament, NZICA chief executive Terry McLaughlin says.

The accreditation of CPA Australia to license auditors who carry out audits in New Zealand means NZICA is no longer the sole operator in its market.

"The licensing regime will improve the standard of auditing, boost confidence in investment markets and ultimately allow businesses to focus on what really matters: achieving sustainable growth," CPA Australia chief executive Alex Malley says in a separate statement.

NZICA has more than 33,000 accounting and business professionals as members, according to its website. CPA Australia is a part of a global group and has previously told BusinessDesk it wants to win a larger share of the New Zealand market.

CPA Australia is one of the world's largest accounting bodies with a membership of more than 139,000 finance, accounting and business professionals across the globe, its website says.

Rules are tightening for directors, and their obligations and liabilities are spelled out in the new bill.

The reputation of directors in New Zealand has been marred by a string of convictions in high-profile cases where finance companies failed. Some are now in jail.

Mr McLaughlin says the NZICA's tie-up with the directors' body is "a tangible way to lift standards of corporate governance and deliver benefits to our members".

Under the Auditor Regulation Act 2011, auditors who carry out issuer audits must be licenced and audit firms must be registered.

CPA Australia's accreditation "establishes an important regulatory relationship between the FMA and CPA Australia," FMA chief executive Sean Hughes says.