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.
5 Feb 2019
As the author, David Taggart suggests, trying to predict the timing of disruptive events is a fool's errand. Very few people can predict the exact time of a future disruptive event. We can predict what might happen by looking at the causes of historical events and what is happening around us. In such cases, even if our predications do not eventuate in full, those that acted early can gain an advantage.
Mr Taggart offers the following example of people who paid attention in the years leading up to 2008. These people had arrived at the conclusion that bad policies and overly-loose lending standards had resulted in bad situation which would eventually lead to real problems. Did these people know the date of the tipping point? No. But they knew the probability for a major financial crisis was a certainty.
He goes on to suggest, the people who positioned themselves early avoided the losses that everyone else suffered and a few, even made massive profits.
Today we face a similar situation with an expected business down turn in 2019 and 2020. There may even be a recession. Do we know when this downturn or recession will actually be declared? No, but that does not stop the more prudent of our fellow business and social acquaintances starting to take precautions to protect their business and other assets.
Waiting for the exact date of a disruptive event is never wise. Irrespective of whether you believe we are about to have only a downturn or a full-blown recession, it is better to consider a more cautious approach in the coming year. On that basis, reading Mr Taggert's article may be of benefit in helping you decide whether to start taking action before the effects of any downturn impact negatively on your own situation.
14 Jan 2019
Greg Ferret has written an article on the demise of solar companies in the current environment. He also has provided tips on how to try and pick the business which is recognised as a quality and reliable supplier and best suited for your needs.
This article demonstrates when a supplier is selling a product or service which is in demand or a "must have", a bit of due diligence and common sense does not go astray in picking the supplier.
In business, when a product or service becomes so popular it becomes "must have" care is required. Fraudsters, dodgy operators and poor business operators will also not be far away. A good example of what may occur can be been with the issues associated with bitcoin. As many people lost money due to the collapse in price, so did the losses accumulate to fraud and dodgy operators.
Whether you are a consumer or business buyer, it makes sense to choose your supplier wisely. On that basis, I suggest that this article is worth reading as a reminder of the pitfalls of buying the "must have product or service".
13 Dec 2018
The author Patrick Coghlan has prepared a brief introduction on five warning signs that indicate you may be dealing with a potential bad debt.
One of the key issues in business is to understand the signs which indicate a potential or existing customer may leave your business with a bad debt.
If you are unfamiliar with the indicators of a bad debt, or just need a refresher on the indicators of the causes of a bad debt, this article may worth reading.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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