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

Easy Techniques to Prevent Being a Victim of Business Fraud

Dean Kaplan

16 Nov 2017

Dean Kaplan's article is a timely reminder that fraud is an ongoing issue for everybody in business. Irrespective of whether we are a business owner, manager, or employee, we must all be vigilant about the possibilities of being ripped off by fraudsters.

I say this article is timely, because although fraud is an ever-present problem throughout the year, it is a major problem at Christmas. Many fraud professionals consider this is the worst time of the year for fraud because people are distracted by an increase in business, the social events associated with Christmas or are tired and looking forward to the year-end holidays.

Dean's article is also accompanied by a second article advising of eight free or low-cost methods for detecting fraud.

Irrespective of whether you are an experienced business person or a business novice looking for insights on how to beat fraudsters, I suggest this article has something of value for everybody.

Growing threat to lenders: Synthetic identities

Hannah Lutz

26 Oct 2017

One of the fastest growing type of identity theft, synthetic identity fraud in the auto finance industry in the US, is on the rise according to Hannah Lutz. In reality, synthetic fraud is occurring in every industry and to some extent, in many professions.

Ms Lutz explains how synthetic identity fraud takes place in the US. However, fraudsters operate similarly in every jurisdiction.

If you wish to know more about synthetic identity in order to improve the identity checks in your industry, Hannah Lutz's article could be worth reading as a starting point.

The Consequences of Inadequate Due Diligence

Austeja Kibildyte

21 Oct 2017

Many business people are encouraged to consider exporting as a way of increasing their sales. This is a fine thought. Unfortunately, whilst being encouraged to consider the positives of exporting, rarely are business people properly cautioned about the associated risks.

Austeja Kibildyte's article introduces a number of risks which a potential exporter would be wise to consider.

If you are interested in exporting, now would be would be a good time to explore both the positive and negative aspects of exporting. It is very easy to spend a lot of time, energy and money and wish you knew what was involved if your exporting ventures turn nasty. This article may be of value to help you come to grips with a number of the issues when exporting and help you minimise any adverse consequences.

 

Many ways that employees steal

Martha Myron

8 Oct 2017

Martha Myron's article is a timely reminder about an issue many business people would rather not consider, the enemy or fraudster within their business. Unfortunately, it is a sad fact, not all your employees will add value to the business. Incidentally, we are talking about all employees within the business, including those in management.

As you read the article and start to think about the implications, it soon becomes obvious, that all businesses can be negatively affected if the wrong employee is employed. How do you try and employ the right type employees to avoid such stealing from happening in your business? That is a question which is for another time, but certainly worth exploring.

If you would rather not think about your employees stealing from your business, sadly this head in the sand concept could well cost you badly. Now is great time to consider this issue if you have been avoiding the issue and reading Martha Myron's article could well be worth reading as a starting point.

Wiping sensitive data from connected devices is imperative: considerations for your business

David Higgins

2 Oct 2017

We live and work in a world that is predominately promoting positive attitudes and thinking about the future. In doing so, we sometimes forget about the lessons of the past and the fact that being risk aware, has its place in business. There are many risks associated with using our technology devices, and with technology in general. All too often, in our enthusiasm to use and adept our business practices to the latest technology, the associated risks are minimised.

David Higgins article therefore, is a timely reminder that our technology and the associated devices must be used and maintained carefully. Irrespective of whether you are risk aware or not, I suggest this article maybe worth a read as a reminder of how technology tools need to be maintained in good working order to protect your business.

What An Experience

Paul McCarthy

26 Sep 2017

Too often, business people only think about marketing their business when selling goods and services. If you only market one part of your business and not the business as a whole, it is similar to somebody dressing professionally from the waist up and if they are on holiday from the waist down. It is not a good image.

The marketing of your credit, accounts receivable and payable management as professionally operated and an asset to your business is worth dollars in the bank. Too many business people however, fail to see the importance of these areas to also reflect a positive holistic image of their business.

Paul MCCarthy's article is worth reading from too perspectives. The first is to create a test to verify the image perceived by suppliers and customers of your business. Every business needs suppliers and customers to survive and grow. Second, if your test suggests your business could do better, this article is a useful guide on how to improve your business's image.

Borrowers be Aware & Beware

Neil Slonim

12 Sep 2017

Neil Slonim's article is based on the Australian banking environment. Many of the themes he writes about in this article however, are applicable to some degree in all countries.

The most important aspect of borrowing is to realise that banks are not your friends. In truth, no finance provider is your friend. These businesses are designed to make a profit for themselves. If they can help you achieve your goals, well and good.

Borrowing money for a home or to grow your business is not necessarily a bad thing if it helps you progress in life. The fact is; the only way forward for some people is to borrow. Borrowing for what you want immediately which is not essential or for an asset which decreases in value and are not prepared to save for, is often deemed to be bad borrowing.

Irrespective of why you borrow, a debt must be repaid. There is no such thing as free money. If you don't pay the debt, you may lose a lot more than just a few dollars. It is wise therefore, to ensure you are aware of all the negative consequences when going in to debt, not just the "feel good" aspects.

Neil has provided Six Tips To Safeguard Your Borrowing Arrangements. Remember, these are only tips, not guarantees. Borrowing always has been, and always will be a risky process if you are unable to complete the loan repayments in terms of the finance agreement. However, there is still value in reading these guidelines which can help if your circumstances should change after the loan is obtained.

Three Tips for Avoiding the Non-Disclosure Defense in Trade Credit Insurance Claims

Peter A. Halprin and Vivian Costandy Michael

28 Aug 2017

Insurance policies were risks have been properly disclosed prior to establishing the policy are an asset to your business. It is when you try and take shortcuts or do not fully expose all potential issues is when issues start to occur. The realities are; insurance companies do look for possible excuses not to pay out on claims as many in the past were found to be fraudulent. Today therefore, insurance companies are trying to ensure all claims are legitimate before making a payment.

In their article, Peter Halprin and Vivian Michael, expose some of the pitfalls which may occur when you do not complete insurance applications properly. The authors also provide helpful hints when taking out insurance policies.

If you are about to take out or renew an insurance policy, reading this article may be of value to avoid having any of your claims disallowed.

Internal crime perpetrating through law firms

Emma Ryan

16 Aug 2017

Internal crime is one of the worst types of crimes because it involves the breaking of trust and a betrayal of the people who have provide the employee who commits these crimes, with a job.

Lawyers Weekly and InfoTrack surveyed 216 Australian legal professionals to better understand the perceived impact of internal crime as well as the processes law firms have put in place to protect their business.

Notwithstanding the report involved the legal fraternity, this article is a useful resource for all business owners and their management teams in helping to combat internal crime. If your business has employees, the chances that one of these employees may commit a crime against the business. This potential for such a situation cannot be dismissed lightly, no matter how difficult that thought maybe.

If you have not thought about the issues associated with internal crime or not reviewed your own organisation's procedures lately, this article is worth a read.

One of my friends asked

Dave Fulk

6 Aug 2017

There will always be people who believe paying the cheapest price is best.  Marketing and salespeople know, many people cannot resist a "bargain" or the idea of getting something at a cheaper price. That is why their sales pitch is often focused on the "bargain price or once in a lifetime opportunity" concept.

However, believing the cheapest price always leads to good value, is a flawed concept over the long term.

In business, the cheapest price rarely provides the best value for money. Your spending decisions should always be based on the actual value received, not the perceived value. Why is this concept so important? A focus on the actual value of your spending is essential because (i) the business is the basis of your immediate and future financial success, (ii) your professional reputation, and (iii) the integrity of your business in the marketplace, are all at risk. 

If you believe cheapest price is the best policy for operating a business, have a read of Dave Fulk's article. When spending money on your business, seeking the best value for the dollars spent is critical as most businesses do not have unlimited funds. Furthermore, spend badly, and your costs increase to rectify the problems caused by focusing on a cheap price rather than the value actually received.

German firms lost millions of euros in 'CEO Fraud' scam: BSI

Andrea Shalal

24 Jul 2017

Dedicated and professional account employees are your business's cashflow guardians. The value these dedicated employees and equipped with the right tools and who are committed to the success of your business, cannot be over emphasised. After all, money lost to fraudulent behaviour can rarely be recovered,

Fraudsters and their use of technology are one of the greatest threats against your business today. One of the best tools for any business in combating fraudsters and their use of technology is with dedicated employees. Dedicated employees backed by strong operational disciplines and procedures are best forms of defence from fraudsters.

In this article, we see just how effectively fraudsters have been in targeting businesses in Germany. Make no mistake, this type of fraud is happening to businesses in every country.

If you have not stress-tested the viability and strength of your business's cash protection systems lately, this article may be of value in helping you understand why you need to test your business defences.

Why 60% of business activity is waste: The 2 types of work

Oisín Grogan

10 Jul 2017

Time is wasted by completing work which does not add value to the business. We could talk about this issue forever and unfortunately, all too often nothing would get done. There are some business people who can always find an excuse to avoid confronting these problems in their business.

There are many different ways, plans and professionals which you access to tackle the problem.

Oisín Grogan has put together his thoughts and a work flowchart to help business people identify and understand what work adds value and which does not. By accessing the article, you can print out a copy of the work flowchart to help you work through the issues affecting the efficiency and profits in your business.

If you are unsure on how to identify the work in your business that do not add value, this article may be of value to you.

 

Australia Leader Sites Corporate Extortion of Small Suppliers

David Gustin

27 Jun 2017

David Gustin has highlighted an article which appeared in the Age newspaper from Australia. We can take two important messages from David's article.

The first is, although David is based in the US, he has thought the value of this article from Australia is important for all businesses, no matter which country they operate.

Secondly, he has reinforced the issue which smaller businesses have when supplying large corporate enterprises. All too often, the smaller business is attracted by the prospect of supplying a corporate client. Once the relationship commences, the smaller business soon finds it can be at a disadvantage when it comes to enforcing their payment terms and conditions if the larger corporate "suddenly" changes those terms and conditions. 

These messages are of importance to all business people and professionals irrespective of what country they operate. I suggest therefore, this article is worth reading if you intend to supply large corporate enterprises.

Anti-Bribery Compliance: How Protected is Your Crystal Castle?

Arghemar Perez

15 Jun 2017

Dealing with bribery is a complexing question for those businesses involved in exporting. What once may have been a normal business practice, although frowned upon, is no longer acceptable.

Arghemar's article is a timely warning that issues surrounding bribery are serious and have long term negative implications if your business is caught out. You may think there is little to worry about if your business stopped the practice of offering bribes and no longer are involved in that behaviour. Unfortunately as many are finding out now, the stigma remains and there is little leniency for those who were involved in offering of bribes in the past.  

No longer can you afford to afford to ignore the issues surrounding bribery. If you are unsure if your business could be caught up in a bribery investigation, Arghemar's article may be of value in understanding the issues involved.

Dealing with Rejection - 5 strategies to help you bounce back

Paul McCarthy

28 May 2017

If you are in business, as Paul McCarthy puts it all too well. "... you are likely to hear NO many more times than you will hear YES." It is essential to handle rejection positively if you are to survive in business. The fact is, not everybody will like you all the time, want your products or be ready to listen to your ideas.

In addition, when we enter in to business, our focus is usually on all the good and positive aspects of business, such as sales, profits, growing a business and being in control of our working lives. Rarely are we introduced to the "dark-side" of business, one of which is; learning to deal with rejection in a positive manner.

Dealing with rejection successfully is a learned art. Paul McCarthy's article provides five (5) strategies which are worthy of consideration if you are not currently handling rejection in a positive manner. Alternatively, you may be going through a negative phase in your business life as we all do from time to time. Again, a review of Paul's article may assist you get through this negative phase and help you to regain your positive attitude and response in the face of rejections.

Compliance Programs and the Butterfly Effect

Alexandre C. Serpa

3 May 2017

Compliance programs are becoming increasingly important these days when issues such as bribery, cartels, the seeking of favours by gift giving and ethical behaviour are at the forefront of good business behaviour. All businesses are affected, and the size of the business being immaterial. It is the behaviour of business woners, managers and employees which is the critical factor.

Creating a program suitable for your business and employees may not be as simple as you imagine. After all, creating a compliance program is one thing. Ensuring your employees understand how the program works in practice, and then adhere to the program, is another issue.

Alexandre Serpa has prepared this article in an effort to explain some of the issues when setting up a compliance program and in overcoming employee concerns.

You may wish to create an effective compliance program, or want to ensure the program you have operates effectively. In either case, this article may be of value in helping you understand the issues involved.

Transparency of tax default data is a win for small business

Colin Porter

21 Apr 2017

Colin Porter of CreditorWatch has provided an article with a timely warning about a new initiative from the Australian Taxation Office and its potential ramifications.

In effect, the ATO will be contributing information to credit reporting bureaus about Australian Businesses with unsettled tax debts exceeding $10,000 that are overdue 90 days.

If you are unfamiliar with this Legislation and the potential benefits and negative consequences, you may find value in starting your understanding of the potential impact on your business from reading this article.

 

All too late?

Kris Macauley

30 Mar 2017

Although this article is from a UK professional, the indicators of why a business may become insolvent are common for any country.

Kris Macauley presents seven common indicators to indicate that a business may about to become insolvent. Of course, there are other insolvency indicators. Nevertheless, a review of the insolvency factors mentioned may help you understand there are visible factors which could indicate a business is heading towards insolvency.

Make no mistake, these factors apply to both your customers and suppliers. Too often we only consider customer insolvency. However, supplier insolvency can cause just as many problems for your business.

If your business is overly dependent on any one or two suppliers therefore, it makes sense to monitor the delivery performance of these suppliers. Should problems start to occur, this may be an indication the suppliers are in financial trouble. In turn, this situation could have negative implications for your business.

All business owners and professionals need to be aware of the indicators of the financial well-being of their stakeholders. Therefore, this article may be a one resource you can use to start to learn about insolvency indicators, or review what you already know.

 

Comply or Explain (to the Judge)

Richard F. Chambers

1 Mar 2017

Richard Chambers discusses a number of factors which should be carefully considered by all directors and senior managers when establishing a compliance program for their business.

Long gone are the days when directors and senior managers could fob off concerns when compliance programs were found wanting. Today, the penalties against directors and senior managers of a business with a failed compliance program are professionally embarrassing, personal and often severe.

As a director or senior manager, if you are unsure of your responsibilities on whether your business's compliance program protects you, reading this article may be of benefit. As always, the material in this article is only a starting point in the evaluation and production of your business's compliance program. If in doubt, it is always wise to use properly qualified professionals when building or evaluating your compliance program.

Why You Should Fire Your Worst Customers

Steve Cartwright

20 Feb 2017

Understanding and managing your costs is essential if you are to make a profit in business. Despite the mantra that the "Customer is King", not all customers act like a good king. There are those customers which do a great detail deal of damage to you and your business.

As Steve Cartwright illustrates in this article, there are always costs to dealing with customers. The cost however, in dealing with unprofitable and difficult customers often grows exponentially above any potential benefit. Furthermore, as Mr Cartwright points out, the costs are just not financial. There are other costs involved including, emotional, respect and lost time which could be better spend on other projects.

If you are having problems with difficult customers, Steve Wright's article may be of value in addressing some of the issues you currently face and help you decide on how best to deal with your worst customers.

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