Credit Matters

Invaluable Reading From Australia and Around The World

Contributing to our position as Australia’s premium Financial Risk Management resource, our management globally explores and surveys relevant and valuable articles published by respected professionals, academics and organisation. The articles offered here are suggested reading for any Business Owner and Financial Risk Management professional.

Invaluable Reading From Australia and Around The World

What Do You Want Your Code of Conduct to Do? Three Things to Think About

Jim Walton

5 Dec 2018

The author Jim Walton puts forward the proposition; to create an effective Code of Conduct you need to start with what you want the code to do.

He says when creating a Code of Conduct your aim is to affect behaviour by reinforcing good behaviour and discouraging bad behaviour. But HOW to do that? Mr Walton suggests there are three key words which answer that question – inspire, guide, and enable.

If you do not have a Code of Conduct for your organisation or wish to review your existing Code, this article may be of value.

The Best Payment Reminder: Top 10 Strategies

Jan Reeves

14 Nov 2018

Jan Reeves is a proven credit management professional. She has prepared a list of 10 strategies that have worked for her over the years when following up on unpaid invoices to improve cashflow.

Like Jan and myself, we never stop learning. We are therefore always on the lookout for new strategies on how to deal with our customers regarding unpaid invoices.

 If you are looking for new strategies to use with your customers and improve your business's cashflow, reading this article maybe of value.

Does Your Sales Team Work With You or Against You?

Nancy Seiverd

9 Nov 2018

Nancy Seivers is an experienced debt collector from the US who has written an article focused on helping business people understand the importance of sales and credit people working together. Irrespective of which country you operate in, building a business team that works together is essential. Building a business team, is like building a sporting team where everybody understands their role in helping the organisation achieve its maximum potential and "win the game."

Equally important, as Ms Seivers points out, is the role of management in developing cooperation between different groups within the business. Likewise, effective credit management and sales cooperation starts with support from senior management. Without such support and endorsement, a team-like relationship is unlikely to develop. 

This article may be of value for those managers and team leaders wishing to create cooperation between credit and sales employees to assist their business to maximise sales, cashlfow and profits. After all, that is the end game of operating and managing a business.

Why People Engage in White-Collar Crime

Robin Singh

30 Oct 2018

The author Robin Singh has provided useful insights on why people engage in white-collar crimes.

As you read through this article, you will note there are many complex issues which make white-collar crime a fascinating subject in its own right. This is notwithstanding its horrendous cost to the community, organisations and to individuals who might be both victims and perpetrators.

As the article covers a number of topics with appropriate stories, I suggest this may be a valuable read for those interested in the concept of white-collar crime and coming to grips with its complexity.

Organisational culture and leadership is at the heart of any defence against corruption

Cheryl Batagol

9 Oct 2018

Cheryl Batgol has written on the value of a positive culture in the public sector and how a positive culture helps in its fight against fraud. The author also believes a positive culture assists to reduce decisions which could reflect badly on the public sector organisation and lead to negative consequences for the organisation in the future.

In addition, the author has put forward the proposition that organisations with positive organisational cultures are more focussed on long term thinking and strategy. In these environments, not only is innovation valued, people and relationships are also seen as vital elements in the success of the organisation.

The issues raised in this article for a positive organisation culture, are focused on the public sector organisation. The fact is, a positive culture also applies for a business. As is well documented, one of the key aspects of why fraud is possible in a business, is because of poor organisational culture.

Therefore, this article may be of value to those business people who wish to work towards creating a positive culture in their business to reduce fraud and poor decision making.

 

Contracts must be built on ethics, because they can even confuse lawyers like me

Clare Payne

30 Sep 2018

Claire Payne's article about contracts appears to be based on those prepared for the banking and finance industries. Notwithstanding this focus, many of the issues raised by the author also apply in the B2C (business to consumer) and B2B (business to business) environments when extending credit or completing customer projects.

There have been many changes to Legislation and a focus on unfair contracts in recent times. The author's article is a timely warning that your business contracts need to be both relevant and ethically fair. To rely on old contracts which contain unrealistic rights and penalties, are poorly constructed, with terms which you don't understand or are basically unfair, is a waste of time and money.

Therefore, reading this article may be of value in helping you understand the importance of having up to date and professionally prepared contracts for your business.

This 'old-fashioned' identity theft is just as dangerous as the cyber kind

Kelli B Grant

4 Sep 2018

We are regularly advised to take care of the information we post on the internet or when we deal with others via email as cyber-crime is one of the leading forms of criminal behaviour today. As a result, we can tend to forget the more traditional forms of information where sensitive information can be accessed.

The theme of this article is to remind us that our personal (and business) information can be accessed from many sources and we need to take care of this information.

We can obtain an idea of the information contained in this article from the article's summary points, which also includes the perspective of one victim. 

  • 53 percent of thefts of consumers' identity data are "non-digital," meaning they don't involve — or at least, don't start with — the thief exploiting some cyber vulnerability.
  • That includes physical theft like a stolen laptop or mail, and insider theft, where family members and employees at companies where you do business exploit their access.
  • "Somebody, somewhere, has all this information," says identity theft victim Amy Wang. "We don't know when they're going to pull the trigger and use it."

If you have not thought about the protection of your personal information and business information lately, this article may be of value in helping you review how this information may be protected from being used for fraudulent purposes.

 

 

Avoiding Friendly Fire: Working with Sales People

29 Aug 2018

The author of this article is unknown, however the message advocating credit and salespeople working together is as important today as it has always been.

There is considerable evidence, when the two departments work together, sales increase and additional benefits accrue to the business.

There will be always a level conflict at times between the two departments. It is encumbered on management to ensure that these conflicts do not develop in to adversarial exchanges. It is in such circumstances, which creates a toxic culture which causes negative consequences for the business as a whole.

To assist in avoiding the development of a toxic culture, nine (9) strategies are suggested which can assist in reducing adversarial contacts between the two departments.

If you wish to create a more collegial working environment in your business, this article maybe of value in helping you to achieve this objective in your business.

HSBC and ING complete world’s first trade finance transaction using blockchain

Spandan Sharma

12 Jul 2018

Blockchain technology is so much more than about cryptocurrencies. The fact is, the full potential for blockchain technology to be of value in other industries and functions, is still unknown at this time. For instance, one such use of blockchain technology was in its use in a recent financial transaction.

Spandan Sharma's article provides information on how HSBC Holdings Plc and Dutch bank ING completed a financial transaction for food and agricultural group Cargill and was completed in only 24 hours instead of the usual 5-10 working days.

If you are interested in the development of blockchain technology for purposes beyond cryptocurrencies, this article may be worth reading.

Accountants say elder abuse spike as mortgage stress sets in

Miranda Brownlee

26 Jun 2018

Miranda Brownlee advises that service providers are starting to see a greater number of elder abuse cases.

Of course, the fleecing of elderly people by children, family, carers and friends has always occurred, and regrettably always will. The difference is today. many more people are aware of what elder abuse looks like and its effects on the welfare of the elderly.

The causes of elder abuse exposed appear to be mortgage stress, to cover business costs or where the perpetrators of elder abuse suggest there are better investment opportunities. If you look beyond these factors, other problems may become more obvious. For instance, the economy may not be in as good shape as some commentators maintain, financial pressures are building up for consumers and finance for business and consumers alike, is increasingly difficult to obtain.

These factors should also be noted by business people as their business is not isolated from what goes on around them. When times are tough, the business's customers and their customers may have limited finances, customers may be willing to increase slow payments and employees subject to financial difficulties fraud may be tempted to commit fraud and theft from their employers. It is suggested therefore the reading of this article may be of value as you plan your future business strategies.

Norm Grill: How to make accounts receivable pay off

Norman Grill

12 Jun 2018

If you sell goods and services on credit, you must ensure your customers pay your invoices within agreed terms. Unfortunately, not all customers pay promptly within agreed terms.

No longer can a business afford to have invoices which should have been paid, sitting in the Debtors Ledger waiting until the customer decides to pay. A proactive mind-set and proven strategies are required to ensure you get paid in a timely manner. As cash is the lifeblood of your business, it does not help to have your cash sitting in your customer's bank account.

Norm Grill's article provides information about developing the right mindset and strategies to assist with getting unpaid invoices paid more quickly. If you need help in developing the mindset and strategies to get your outstanding invoices paid, this article may be of value.

Compliance Programs vs. Compliance

Roy Snell

26 May 2018

Roy Snell discusses the actions of ethicists who advocate that compliance programs are not worth the effort when it comes to managing bad and unethical behaviour.

He suggests the critics of compliance programs are doing a great deal of damage with their criticism of organisations which are developing a culture of compliance and avoidance of bad behaviour. Roy Snell believes their argument about compliance programs is patently false. Whilst he does understand their thoughts about the importance of ethics, he does not believe their efforts to discredit compliance programs is helpful in the fight against bad behaviour.

It would seem Mr Snell believes that ethicists are putting their vested interests ahead of the common good by advancing the theory that compliance programs are not worth the effort and a focus solely on ethics would be more beneficial.

You may find value in reading this article from several perspectives, one of which is; compliance programs do have a valid place in the fight against bad and unethical behaviour.

ASIC v Godfrey: another cautionary tale about the financial literacy required of directors

Geoff Hoffman and Cecile Bester

17 May 2018

This article focuses on one aspect of being a Director, the need to be financially literate.

As ASIC has reinforced, Directors need to ensure they are financially literate and do not rely solely on management or external auditors to ensure that the company meets its financial reporting requirements.

Another feature of the reported case was, even if you did not intend to act dishonestly, this does not excuse you from being held responsible for any issues which conflict with the duties of a Director.

If you are an inexperienced Director or intending to become a Director of a company, you may find value in reading this article.

 

Contract Terms that Stop Payment Problems

Dean Kaplan

26 Apr 2018

Ask any credit management professional, debt collector or lawyer collecting a debt or trying to manage a dispute, what are the most important aspects of success?

Without doubt, their answer will include a properly prepared and signed credit or trading contract, plus supporting documentation.

Dean Kaplan, an experienced debt collector from the US has written a blog on these aspects.

Another important aspect is that properly prepared contracts and good paper trails also provide excellent evidence for purchase and sales fraud investigations.

If you are starting up a new business, reviewing your credit or trading contracts, or need to be convinced on the importance of good contracts and documentation trails, this blog may be of value.

World's largest asset manager says get ready to 'stomach complete losses' in cryptocurrencies

Evelyn Cheng

3 Apr 2018

Evelyn Chen's article presents information on whether cryptocurrencies could be purchased as an investment. Based on the evidence to date, it is suggested currently, cryptocurrencies are best suited to those investors who understand the risks and are prepared to lose their entire investment.

The information suggests on the evidence to date, it is probably not a good investment currently for the average investor.

The article covers a number of risks associated with cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology currently which limit the potential of cryptocurrencies ability to offer a degree of security. These risks may be overcome in time has regulators create a regulatory framework and the blockchain technology improves.

Although the information is based on US data and circumstances, the information is still valuable. The date and experience by most investors in other countries are bound to be similar.

If you have thought of investing in cryptocurrencies as an investment, this article may be of value in helping you understand the risks and when the circumstances may make it a suitable investment for you.

28 Days Without a Bunnings Sausage: The Impact of a Cashless Society on People and Business

Dave Deveny

13 Mar 2018

Dave Deveny tried an experiment on living without cash. One of the key aspects of this short term experience was it was conducted by a convert to the digital world.

There were many useful insights on what it means to go without cash in this article. If there was aspect which was not covered properly is the question which Dave does not propose or answer. "How would I survive in the long term without complete access to cash?"

As Dave rightly points out, although he managed satisfactorily for the 28 days, he pointed out there are a number of costs and disadvantages in cashless environment. One of the most striking aspects was to note how many simple pleasures he was denied in his "cashless world".

I suggest this article raises more questions about the negatives of a "cashless world" than perhaps was intended. On that basis, perhaps there is much more to gain from this article than simply accepting the story as told at face level. For instance, at the end of 28 days, Dave could go back his normal world with a mixture of cash and digital access. In the future, we may not be so lucky.

The 7 signs that your company is in serious trouble

Tim Miller

2 Mar 2018

We have seen a number of announcements lately about major businesses which have entered in to insolvency administration. Tim White's article is a timely reminder therefore, not every one of your customers or suppliers could be in a good operational state. If your customer or supplier is no longer operating effectively, there is likely to be negative consequences for the well-being of your own business.

Mr White provides seven indicators which help to identify whether your customer or supplier is in good operational health. On sighting any indicators of poor health, it would be wise to consider further due diligence or to re-evaluate your business dealings with that business.

If you have noticed that your trading relationship with any customer or supplier has recently become troublesome, this article could be of value in helping you understand why this has happened. Once you have identified the issues, you can proceed to take action and to protect your business.

To weather reputational storms, get caught doing the right thing

Julian Friedland

9 Feb 2018

Julian Friedland's article is a timely reminder that maintaining your personal and business reputation is always important. In fact, it is worth dollars in the bank. Maintaining your good reputation in today's hectic business environment requires strong discipline and vigilance on what you do and say.

This article also a good follow up on a previous article highlighted recently on Credit Matters on why arrogance is a corporate sin. The link to this article is https://www.creditmatters.com.au/invaluable-reading-risk-management/#112

The loss of reputation affects the individual or their business across a whole range of different aspects, including cashflow, access to finance, sales, customer respect and referrals etc.

I suggest there are a number of useful reminders in this article of how easy it is to lose your reputation. As such, it may be of value in helping you protect your reputation.

Why arrogance is a corporate sin

CPA Carerer Mentor

27 Jan 2018

There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. This article is focused on arrogant people within the organisation and why an arrogant attitude causes so much damage. The truth is everybody needs a certain level of confidence and self-assertiveness to survive and succeed.

Likewise, the owners and managers a business also need a positive business culture of confidence and self-esteem to survive in business over the long term. However, just as it is for the individual, nothing is as destructive for the business as the development of an arrogant attitude towards its stakeholders.

The factors of why arrogance is so dangerous for either an individual or a business are briefly explained in this article. Accordingly, I suggest there may be a benefit in reading this article for those in business, which may not understand the difference between confidence and arrogance.

The hacking community is evolving but the security basics still apply for businesses

Jim Cook

9 Jan 2018

Jim Cook's article is a timely reminder of one of the main issues facing all business people and their management teams today, cybercrime. With the increasing use of technology in the business environment, it is an issue that will not go away.

Mr Cook's article provides a snapshot of how hackers learn their trade, how they look for targets and on what you can do the help protect your business.

This article could be of value to those people who wish to know more or are yet to adequately understand the issues involved with cybercrime. As always, you should consult a suitably qualified professional if further assistance is sought.

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