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

Fraud & Criminality

Are you a victim of fraud?

Andrew Tragardh

3 Jan 2017

Fraud is an ongoing problem for all business people and their managers. Whether you like it or not, fraud is a normal part or the business world.

Andrew Tragardh provides a number of factors for your consideration when dealing with a fraud and some lead to a better result than others. There are different solutions available for each type of fraud. It would be wise to think about which is an appropriate strategy for any type of fraud encountered when looking for a positive solution in the recovery of your funds.

I suggest that all business people may find useful information strategy may be of value in the event that they become a victim of fraud. Perhaps you may also want to record the reference to this article for future reference.

10 Risk Factors Impacting Cross Border B2B Payments - Post I

Leslie Stroh

26 Oct 2016

It seems nearly every government export department and trade professional are advocating exporting as a way for your business to increase sales and revenue. This may be the case for your business.

One of the core problems you will face if you decide to go down the export path, is risk. Too often the advocates of exporting, highlight the benefits and minimise the risks.

In this brief article by Leslie Stroh, there is a list of 10 risk factors to consider when exporting. You may have to access other sources of information to adequately equip you with an understanding of each factor. However, as a starting point, this article may be worth a read if you are interested in increasing your sales and revenue via exporting.

When Tough Performance Goals Lead to Cheating

Colm Healy and Karen Niven

19 Oct 2016

Colm Healy and Karen Niven discuss a recent research project they conducted which tested the goal setting process for organisations. The ethos behind the goal setting within any business, is of extreme importance. In addition, the part culture plays within the organisation is another essential factor in the success or otherwise of the goal setting process.

The subject and of impact goal setting has on employee behaviour, is especially in today's business environment. All too often we see yet another well-known business or government organisation being caught out due to the unethical behaviour of its employees.

Goal setting is a valid and valuable part of the business process, it completed properly. If you get the process right, you can motivate your employees to achieve their targets which benefits all stakeholders. Get the process wrong, and there are big penalties which come in to that will impact on your business negatively.

If you are unsure of the importance in goal setting within your business, this article could be of value in helping you understand the process.

High-tech vigil aims to deliver safe bet

Patrick Bartley

18 Jul 2016

Irrespective of whether it is in our personal lives or in business, keeping secrets is increasingly difficult. In this article, Patrick Bartley sheds light on how racing stewards in Victoria are using technology to identify potential illegal behaviour.

The use of technology is increasingly of help for the guardians who are in charge of looking after the wellbeing of our society as they track down the perpetrators of illegal and damaging behaviour.

In business, with increasing use of technology and in particular, Cloud based accounting and business systems, keeping business secrets will be increasingly difficult.

The value in reading this article is that is yet another example on how the power of technology can be used to identify unethical and criminal behaviour which may otherwise remain hidden.

Powerful Psychological Forces That Make Good People Do Bad Things

Dr. Travis Bradberry

28 Jun 2016

What makes good people do bad things? We keep asking ourselves the same question when we see how good people are caught up in bad situations and with the wrong people. There are many different reasons why people do the wrong thing, and often, there are no simple answers.

One of the factors on why good people do the wrong thing can be found in understanding the psychological factors involved.  Dr. Bradberry illustrates 14 of Dr. Kaptein’s most compelling findings on how the mind tricks good people into losing their moral compass and going astray.

In either situation, this article may be one source of assistance in helping you work out what influences good people to do bad things.

Vishing and smishing: The rise of social engineering fraud

Marie Keyworth

7 Feb 2016

Marie Keyworth's introduces the unwary to two more fraudster strategies. People are becoming increasingly aware of phishing which is fraud by email. They may be less aware of newer fraudster strategies of vishing and smishing.

"Vishing" is where criminals persuade victims to hand over personal details or transfer money, over the telephone.

"Smishing" is SMS phishing where text messages are sent trying to encourage people to pay money out or click on suspicious links.

The author illustrates a number of strategies used by fraudsters in regards to these two frauds and how you might deal with a suspect contact.

If you are unsure how to act or what to look for when you receive a suspect contact, this article may be a good place to start your investigations. As advised on all occasions, if in doubt seek professional help.

The Secrets To Building A Strong Business Credit Profile

Ty Kiisel

22 Jan 2016

Ty Kiisel from the US explains the importance of keeping a good business credit rating as well as a personal rating. In Australia, the same situation exists for people who also are in business. Even in this day and age, many people do not understand that when in business, your creditors and potential creditors will seek to have the authority to access your consumer and personal business file, as well as that of your business.

When operating a business that relies on the good will and credit of other organisations, maintaining all your credit related files in good order is of critical importance. With a bad record in one file, this record could easily preclude you from credit facilities on the best terms and interest rate for your consumer and business needs.

Ty's article includes a number of valid reasons on why a good business credit rating is so important. If you were unsure on how to maintain a credit rating in all your accounts, this article may be worth reading.

Red Flags Of Potential Collection Problems

Dean Kaplan

11 Jan 2016

Dean Kaplan is an experienced business professional and debt collector from the US. In this article, Dean provides a number of red flag indicators which may indicate future cashflow problems for your customer.

These same indicators are observed and applicable within the business environment of any country. For instance, I suggest other experienced credit professionals, debt collectors and insolvency practitioners from all countries would have seen similar red flag indicators during their careers.

Dean points out there are other indicators which may be useful in specific situations which he has not detailed. Educating yourself to be on the alert for any unique red flag indicators which are applicable for your industry, is just as important.

A useful aspect of this article are the explanations which are included to illustrate the problems behind the red flag indicators.

In the turbulent business world of today, being aware of the indicators of customer cashflow problems is an essential component of business survival and to reduce unnecessary costs and bad debts.

If you are unaware or would like to refresh your knowledge of the red flag indicators of cashflow problems, this article may be of value to you.

Four Important Questions To Ask When Choosing A Recruitment Consultant

Vic Careedy

10 Nov 2015

The task of taking on a new employee is no longer as simple as it once was. Today and into the future, undertaking due diligence on all prospective employees, will be the new norm. One of the parties best placed to assist you in this process will be recruitment agencies or consultants. Again however, you must choose your recruitment agency or consultant with care.

Vic Careedy puts forward a number of issues to be considered when choosing an employment agency or consultant based on his experiences and perspectives.

"Having been a client, a candidate and, for several years now, a consultant in the recruitment industry, I've learned there are some starting issues you need to be clear on."

The four areas worthy of investigation and questions in Vic's opinion are:

1  Who will doing my work?

2  What background experience does my consultant bring?

3  What is the process?

4  What will I pay?

If you have never used a recruitment agency or consultant before, or a dissatisfied with your current service provider, reading Vic Careedy's article may be of assistance. As is always the case, care is required when employing anybody these days and having a professional service provider who understands the issues may well be your best assistant in this process.

 

Future proofing against corruption in Australia

Professor Adam Graycar

7 Oct 2015

Imbedded in Professor Graycar's article is a brief insight in to Australia's history of corruption in Australia. As he mentions, many people do not see any purpose in wasting time talking about corruption "... because it has always been there and always will be."

However, as Professor Graycar points out, the facts demonstrate when corruption is tackled, positive outcomes are possible. The Professor also highlights some of the issues ahead in fighting corruption as a result of today's volatile world.

"While Australia is very highly regarded, it would be foolish indeed to become complacent. In the face of economic turbulence, demographic change, environmental threats, and knowledge and communications revolutions among other things, the public policy challenges will be formidable. Good governance and unimpeachable integrity will have to be the bedrock of our policy and delivery apparatus. We can deal with corruption, maladministration and misconduct at the coal face if we have good principles, good practices and good data."

This statement presents guidelines and principles to help business owners and managers identify and operate their businesses to avoid being caught up in corruption matters.

As a starting point in your own efforts to understand and avoid the pitfalls associated with corruption, this article may be worth reading.

2015: The rise of impersonators

Debbie Fletcher

4 Sep 2015

Debbie Fletcher presents a number of key issues relating to the bots which are visiting your website. Not all of these bots will be visiting with the right intentions. Unfortunately we live in age when the internet is both our window to the world and a wonderful research facility. However the internet also allows unwelcome visitors to visit our site.

These unwelcome visitors are designed to seek advantages for their own business enterprises. The advantages which are sought include, finding out the weaknesses in your security systems, website designs, seeking to over-ride human operating disciplines and stealing your IP and other work.

Any business which is deemed to be profitable, or rich in ideas and IP, will be targeted. It is not about if, it is about when. It would seem therefore to be sensible to build a website which has been designed by professional website designers who understand and use appropriate security measures. Any alternative over the long-term is a recipe for disaster.

In today's world, if you have a website, it would be wise to understand these issues. If you are interested in knowing more about the visitors to your website, this article may be a good place to start.

 

Customer Selling Their Business Beware!

Dean Kaplan

23 Jun 2015

There always seems to be another reason why your account never gets paid. One example, as Dean Kaplan advises, is when your customer decides to sell their business

All too often, when a small business is up for sale, the net result for many of their suppliers is increased costs and a bad debt. If you hear that one of your customers is selling their business, review the situation before doing any further business with that customer.

The four critical questions you need to consider in these situations are:

1  Why are they selling their business?

2  Will the customer have difficulty in selling their business?

3  What will happen to your debt after the business is sold?

4  Have you red-flagged the account and warned all staff to be vigilant in their dealings with this account?

If a customer has never contacted you about selling their business prior to the sale of that business or you have lost funds previously in similar circumstances, Dean Kaplan's article is worth a read. You may still not recover your debt. However you have at least an idea of how to deal with this situation, with the possibility of reducing any loss.

Directors Beware - Company Assets are not your own

Harvey Bowlt

5 May 2015

Directors are not entitled to use the assets of the business as if these assets are their own assets and available for personal use. Directors must remember, they are always to act in the best interests of the company.

This situation was reinforced recently in a Western Australian case of Weaver v Harburn [2014] WASCA 227.

Too often Directors get in to trouble by forgetting the assets of the company are not for their personal use. The causes for Directors overstepping the mark and using the company's assets incorrectly, usually occurs for one of three reasons.

1  The Directors have inflated egos and treat the company's assets as if they own the assets rather than act as the custodian of the assets.

2  The Director(s) are in financial difficulties and believe there is nothing wrong in "borrowing or using" the company's assets to pay their debts.

3  Director(s) often forget their primary duty of care is to the company not to their own well-being.

If you are in any doubt about your duties as a Director, please seek professional assistance. As easy as it is to step over the mark and act illegally, so it is equally easy to be found guilty of acting against the best interests of your company. The risk is just not worth it in the long-run. 

Remember, ASIC is always there looking over your shoulder to ensure you are acting properly as a Director and doing the right thing by the company.

Here is What the Bank of England Thinks of Bitcoin

Alen Mattich

1 Oct 2014

Bitcoin has been with us for some time now. There are people who are really enthusiastic about its use, whilst others are less than impressed. Lately, there have been a number of articles about Bitcoin, almost as though it is the current flavour of the month.

I will not make a comment on whether Bitcoin is an appropriate payment methodology or not. However I suggest, this article is one source of information for you to update yourself on the current status Bitcoin.

Once have read the article you can make your mind up whether to do further research and ascertain whether it is a suitable payment methodology for your business.

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