Hundreds of delegates attending the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) national congress on the Gold Coast this week, have been told that maintaining trust is still a most vital part of their armoury when servicing small business clients.

“We can never lose sight of why we are here, who we represent and the fact that our profession is built on trust,” said IPA chief executive officer, Andrew Conway.

“This year, trust in institutions in Australia has sharply declined and as a profession, we must take ownership and live up to the high standards expected of trusted advisers.

“Our role as stewards has never been more important.  With trust at an all-time low across many professions and in many countries, we need to lift the bar and earn the respect that is awarded to us.

“Trust is maintained through knowledge; which has become a commodity with its value determined by how current it is.

“We encourage our members to make an ongoing investment in their knowledge; it is important for their own competitive advantage; and for the broader community.

“The profession continues to change and members must adapt to that change including embracing ongoing technological advancements.

“To help members stay ahead of the game we have changed our professional program to be a world-class Master of Business Administration through Deakin University.  We see this program as a pivotal way to advance member recognition today to meet the challenges of tomorrow,” said Mr Conway.