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Having worked closely with over 20 universities in the last 15 years, I understand the complexity of the structure and culture, the ever-changing regulatory environment, and diversity of operational processes of a university. This enables me to bring to the table insights about how other higher education providers and universities tackle similar sector risks and issues – sharing what works and what doesn’t – which is key to helping clients take the right steps in better managing risks.

Director – Risk Consulting 

Max is a risk and internal audit professional with over 22 years’ experience in helping complex and large organisations improve governance, risk and control systems. Max specialises in higher education and has developed a passion for the sector after dedicating the last 15 years of his career to working with education providers. Max works closely with Chief Risk Officers and Chief Audit Executives to support effective risk management, meet compliance obligations, improve controls systems, and enabling effective governance. 

In recent years, Max was also heavily involved in assisting several universities in tackling wage compliance issues prevalent across the sector, supporting the quantification of underpayments, improving payroll governance oversight, and designing future-proof internal controls systems to mitigate the risk of underpayments recurring into the future. 

Max is also a thought leader, developing and sharing his point of view around sector hot topics and emerging trends. He has also facilitated risk workshops to University Senates and Councils, and the Executive Leadership groups across many universities.

Experience 

  • Internal audit and regulatory compliance – Max led large university client portfolios in his previous firms, overseeing the delivery of assurance and compliance reviews across key operations of higher education institutions such as research, learning and teaching, international education, student experience and administration life cycles, as well as compliance with TEQSA and ESOS standards.
  • Wage-compliance assessments and remediation – Over the past 2 years, Max has assisted 7 universities in diagnosing and quantifying, and/or remediating wage-compliance issues which are highly sensitive, time constrained, and thoroughly scrutinised by external bodies such as the Fair Work Ombudsman and external auditors.
  • Business process advisory and improvement – Max is experienced in reviewing and redesigning business processes to achieve greater efficiency and performance outcomes for clients. Examples include:
    • Assessing university current state processes, technology and governance structures against key higher education legislation and standards (e.g., TEQSA HES Framework and ESOS National Code), and recommending better practice changes.
    • Reviewing and redesigning delegations of authority frameworks to increase productivity and operational performance.
    • Advising on governance and compliance structures to manage risks associated with third party arrangements such as pathway education, transnational education (TNE) partnerships and research collaborations.
    • Recommending better practice academic quality and integrity frameworks to better protect and respond to academic risks.
  • Risk management advisory – Max has experience in reviewing and redesigning risk management frameworks including assurance mapping, risk appetite and reporting dashboards for a number of universities.
Qualifications
  • Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)
  • CPA Australia
  • Bachelor of Business and Commerce (Accounting & Finance)
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