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ICNZB regularly advocate across government and industry on behalf of our members and the bookkeeping community.
By definition, advocacy is a method used by groups to influence Government policies and practise, and shift public opinion in hopes of advancing a particular cause.
Effective advocacy includes building a public image, educating officials on the issues facing the profession, leveraging the media, and building relationships with a range of stakeholders in the private sector.
What does the Association aim to achieve through its advocacy?
- influence policy decisions and be part of policy discussions
- position ourselves as industry leaders
- have a say on proposed regulatory changes
- provide feedback and educate officials on current challenges faced by the profession
In a practical sense, this means we advocate to:
- minimise the impact of proposed regulatory change
- improve the implementation of the proposed change
- strengthen the proposed regulatory change
- widen the scope of those captured by the proposed change
Why are Associations like ICNZB important for advocacy?
Recognised Professional Bodies like ICNZB, allow a collective voice to be heard by Government on key issues surround the industry/profession. This is something an individual is likely to achieve on their own.
Our goal is to keep our seat at the table where decisions that impact the bookkeeping profession are being made so we can keep our members voices heard.
On 29 June 2022, we became the 4th organisation in New Zealand to be granted Approved Advisor Group status with Inland Revenue.
After many years lobbying for increased recognition, in 2019 a new intermediary status was introduced with IR for bookkeepers.
ICNZB has the most influential, trusted and respected non-governmental voice on bookkeeping issues in New Zealand
Due to the nature of work Bookkeepers perform, our focus has always been on building strong relationships with the following Government Departments:
As the tax authority for New Zealand it makes sense that the Inland Revenue are the closest Government Department we hold a relationship with.
The Association was, in part, founded in 2010 on a suggestion by Inland Revenue (read more about this here), and we have continued to grow and build upon that initial relationship since then.
Our biggest successes to date have been:
- Gaining Intermediary Status for Bookkeepers (Registered Bookkeeper) with Inland Revenue in 2019;
- Access to the Agents 0800 line in 2021; and
- The Association being granted Approved Advisor Group status in 2022.
As well as these significant achievements, we also:
- Attend monthly meetings with our External Relationship Manager.
- Quarterly meetings with the National Leader of Community Compliance at Inland Revenue.
- Attend Quarterly Policy Update and Consultation meetings.
- Are fortunate to receive the Commissioner of Inland Revenue at our annual conference, Bookkeepcon.
We have also been involved in the following projects:
- Engagement with Inland Revenue and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment on the NZIIS proposals on behalf of Bookkeepers and small business (February 2022)
- Engagement with Policy and Regulatory Stewardship on tax sector reviews and improvement (April 2022)
Department of Internal Affairs
As the Statutory Supervisor for Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) in New Zealand, we have a close working relationship with the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA).
ICNZB is part of the DIA Industry Advisory Group (IAG). The DIA has established this forum as a communication pathway with representatives of the sectors it supervises under the AML/CFT regime.
The IAG meets quarterly and was established in August 2019. Members of the IAG include representatives of peak industry bodies who come together to share knowledge and discuss common AML/CFT compliance challenges facing their sectors. The intention is to develop understanding between DIA and the supervised sectors and to work together to find constructive solutions. The forum also provides co-design opportunities on engagement and guidance programmes. Peak industry bodies are able to share general information and updates from the forum with their supervised sectors.
We look forward to continued engagement in the IAG and the opportunity it provides to assist accountants with meeting their AML/CFT obligations.
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) have a key focus on "growing New Zealand for all", which naturally leads itself to Small to Medium Enterprises.
MBIE is a large Government Department and is broken down into 7 groups. Our key relationship with MBIE sits within the eInvoicing branch, within the Finance and Performance Group.
eInvoicing is the direct exchange of data between any two accounting systems, that makes doing business smoother, faster and safer. With less manual handling and processing, it can reduce admin, errors and delays – and help speed up processing and payment, to improve business cash flow. All things a Bookkeeper would be heavily involved in!
We have also been involved in the Digital Boost programme, and were part of their initial pilot in Hawkes Bay.
Inland Revenue Work Programmes
Towards the end of each financial year, Inland Revenue prepare draft programmes of priority work for the following year. The criteria for inclusion in the programmes includes the importance of the issues involved, the level of uncertainty/ambiguity, the number of taxpayers potentially affected, the need to resolve existing issues, and the potential revenue implications.
The draft programmes are consulted on with key stakeholders, of which ICNZB is a party.
These work programmes are publicly available to view on the Inland Revenue website here.