Group Scoop | From the desk of the CEO, Stephen Woodhill

Group Scoop | From the desk of the CEO, Stephen Woodhill


The new financial year began in much the same way we left the last one – we continue to work in a pandemic. Having appeared to almost have it under some control, we Victoria continues to battle COVID-19 on a wide front, and there continue to be breakouts in Sydney.

Many of us continue to work from home, most not travelling, our computers are set up in a study at home, on the dining room table or in a nook somewhere in our houses. For many members this is a challenging time – 2020 will long be remembered as a very difficult and trying year.

Despite the difficulties, the G100 has continued to ensure members are kept up to date with all manner of issues. We have held four webinars so far this year, and we have another four planned. Each webinar is tackling issues important to members ranging from company reporting during the pandemic, what ASIC expects from us, the future of reporting, through to cyber-security. In coming weeks, we will be looking at how we continue to adjust should we have the pandemic with us for a prolonged period, what the marketplace is likely to look like post-pandemic and the future of the profession.

Our annual ‘Federal Political Engagement Day’ will now be held over two days, and it will be done via Zoom. The eight senior politicians that had agreed to meet with us in Canberra have now agreed to meet with us online towards the end of September. Each day will last for two hours so as not take up too much valuable time. Again, these meetings provide an opportunity to hear what leading politicians are doing, what they believe will happen in the near, medium and longer-term, as well as giving us the opportunity to ask questions. Invitations including joining details will be sent in the next few days for CFOs, senior finance executives and their teams.

I am pleased to advise that CFO Live, our now annual CFO Congress held in association with the Australian Financial Review, is going ahead in October. The first advertisements are expected in the Australian Financial Review this week.

An impressive list of speakers has been put together, and sponsors are being locked in. The event will be a hybrid – people able to attend in person can do so in Sydney, for others, not able to travel will be able to join online. The AFR has already held several very successful functions this year online.

Over the last several months we have sent submissions to Parliamentary Inquiries on litigation funding, foreign acquisitions. We will soon be sending a paper for consideration on a state to state/state to federal harmonisation. We are also finalising a paper on further opportunities to cut red tape to improve our competitiveness and a paper for the Fintech Inquiry on using technology to improve Annual General Meetings and to temper the actions of proxy holders.

Last – you will have received an invitation to participate in a survey looking at the work you would like undertaken by your industry association. So far, just over 25% of the membership has responded, I would encourage you to do so if you haven’t already. A link is contained for your convenience below. If you are too busy, I will be in contact in the coming days to discuss responses.

I look forward to the time we are all able to meet again in person, until that time, please all stay safe and if there is anything the G100 can do to assist you, your teams and company, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.