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Matthew Addison to replace Mark McKenzie as COSBOA Chairman in routine leadership transition




Current COSBOA Chairman Mark McKenzie will be stepping down from the role on 30 June 2021 as part of a routine leadership transition. The board has elected Matthew Addison, Executive Director of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers, as COSBOA’s new chair.


Mark will now chair the newly formed COSBOA expert panel on industrial relations. He has valuable knowledge and experience in this area, having represented COSBOA in the Government’s IR Reform Working Groups in 2020.


Mark has served as chair since October 2017 and as a COSBOA board director since 2015. As per the organisation’s constitution, COSBOA directors must stand down after 6 consecutive years of service. Mark’s time on the COSBOA Board expires at the next AGM in October 2021. He has made the decision to step down from the role of chair early to allow for a smooth leadership transition but will continue to serve as a director in the first few months of Matthew Addison’s time as chair.


COSBOA CEO Peter Strong said “Mark’s leadership contribution to our organisation has been invaluable. In his time as chairman, COSBOA has taken on six projects and gone from having one full-time staff member to seven. Mark has chaired roundtable discussions on topics including the difference between an employee and a contractor, wage underpayment, energy, and of course the weekly roundtables through the COVID-19 pandemic.”


Mr Strong added “It’s rare to meet someone like Mark McKenzie. He’s incredibly intelligent, knowledgeable on a seemingly infinite number of topics, absurdly articulate, and hard-working. But he’s also fair, kind, and someone who listens carefully to and values the opinions of others. Thank you for being my trusted sidekick in the good fight for small business. Or was I your sidekick?”


Out-going chair Mark McKenzie said “It has been an absolute privilege to serve in the capacity of COSBOA chair and work with COSBOA, Peter Strong, and my fellow directors over the past 6 years. COSBOA’s work through the COVID-19 lockdown was a once-in-a-lifetime experience but also one that I am glad is now largely behind all of us. I have nothing but admiration for the COSBOA team, but particularly the passion, dedication, and professionalism of COSBOA CEO Peter Strong who I now count as a lifelong friend given our shared experiences of recent years. I am pleased to hand the baton to Matthew Addison and I am confident that he will take the organisation to the ‘next level’ in its ongoing efforts to champion the interests of small business in Australia.”


COSBOA chair-elect Matthew Addison is the founder of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) in Australia. As a trained Chartered Accountant, he ran his own small business accounting practice from 1993-2008. He has extensive advocacy experience, representing the ICB as a member of the Commonwealth Business Registry Service Strategic Council, as co-chair of the ATO Tax Practitioners Stewardship Group, and as a member of the ATO Small Business Stewardship Group. He has also played an important role in the development of Single Touch Payroll and the e-invoicing initiative.


Mr Strong said “I have no doubt Matthew will be a strong chairman of COSBOA. I first met him in an advisory group for Standard Business Reporting, which eventually led to STP and e-invoicing. It was clear in that first meeting that he knew his stuff and would tell it like it is.”


Mr Strong added “As head of the bookkeepers, Matthew has a lot of inside knowledge and experience of small business. Bookkeepers and accountants are often the first people small business owners turn to when they have a problem or need business advice - we must never underestimate the knowledge they hold.”


Chair-elect Matthew Addison said “it’s an honour to follow in Mark McKenzie’s footsteps and work with the strength of the COSBOA membership. I look forward to working with the COSBOA Team to advocate for sensible but compassionate policies for small business owners. My aim is to continue the development of an efficient and streamlined small business environment. Such issues as an IR system that is suitable for the employees and owners of small business, and streamlined regulations to empower business rather than all-consuming red tape regulation. Government initiatives such as Modernising Business Registers and Consumer Data Rights have great potential if they consider business efficiency. They also have the potential to unnecessarily create complexity for no benefit.”


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