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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
19 Jan 2017
This article focuses on how Millennials may view compliance differently to what we might expect, especially in regards to the use of social media.
It is true they been raised in times different to the older generation and as a result, been exposed to other lifestyles and experiences. As such, they bring another perspective on how and why they use social media.
The issues of compliance in these circumstances, can be challenging. Your business may have to find interventions that can instruct the younger people on what is and what is not acceptable in a manner they can understand.
This article may be useful in helping you begin the journey on how to incorporate their experiences into your compliance training. At the end of the day, you do need your compliance education to be effective.
16 Nov 2016
Whether we are a business entrepreneur, owner, manager or employee, there are times when in our lives we are under so much stress that our ability to operate effectively is compromised.
In her article, Angelina Zimmerman presents information on six signs that indicate you may have issues which require further consideration. Whilst Ms Zimmerman's article is directed at entrepreneurs, these six signs also apply to other people in the business environment.
If you have been feeling somewhat confused about why you are not managing your affairs at the moment, this article may be a point of reference on your situation. Of course, professional help should always be sought before jumping to any specific conclusion or taking any drastic action.
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.
3 Oct 2016
Andy Molinsky acknowledges a great idea is the place to start to make it a feasible business. The main problem which many entrepreneurs have is taking their idea and making it into a commercially viable business.
Entrepreneurs are mainly thinkers and doers and so acting as a business person often causes them difficulties. It is that side of the business, thinking and acting as a business person which brings many entrepreneurs undone.
Mr Molinsky identifies three start-up problems for entrepreneurs once they have the idea for a business.
First, when building a business, the entrepreneur needs to face up to the fact, they may not be good at all aspects of the business. The key is to understand what you are good at and seek help in your areas of weakness.
Secondly is to commit to your plan and accept there may be areas of the business where you need to operate outside of your comfort zone. Many business people have a fear of talking to investors for instance.
Thirdly, a business person needs to find their own way in business. No one business model fits every business.
As a brief introduction in to some of the issues of creating a new business, this article may be worth reading.
23 Sep 2016
Michael Griffith's article is focused on the value happy customers add to your business, particularly in the area of referrals and in providing positive comments on your business.
When you read Michael's strategies on how to keep your customers happy, you start to realise that these strategies are also important for your business in other ways.
Happy customers don't just refer others to your business. They are also more likely to pay on time, forgive occasional mistakes, and continue to make enquiries which you can utilise to improve your business processes. Equally important, they do not go online to berate your business for inefficiencies which damage your business's reputation.
If you have lost your way or had not realised the value of happy customers to your business, this article may be a good start to reinvigorating how you deal with your customers.
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.
27 May 2016
Kim Niemi writes about one of the major disruptors in business, the customer experience. What are customers really looking for? We know one factor is the cheapest price. However, are there other factors which influence their decision making which you can use to influence their decision making positively?
Kim writes about what she considers to be the five most important factors. By focusing on these issues, she believes you are likely to attract more customers. Furthermore, I respectively suggest, by considering these issues properly with an open mind, you will also have a much better business organisation.
The five same issues which Kim writes about not only attract customers, they are also applicable when it comes to running a profitable business.
If you are failing to attract or keep your customers, this article may be a good place to start in rethinking how you do business.
6 May 2016
Greg Ferrett has written a blog with a timeless message about the issues which we all struggle with from time to time. This blog was originally written in November 2015, however it's message is as applicable now as it was then. After all, as it is now approaching the middle of May, we are at the start of that hectic time with the end of the 2015-2016 financial year in sight.
Managing yourself and your time are critical factors in surviving the frantic pace of business these days. When major deadlines approach, managing these factor is particularly important. The suggestions provided by Greg on managing the tasks ahead within the time available are a useful reference for all business professionals.
You may be a seasoned business professional or a new business professional who is battling time and task issues. If that is the case, this article may be worth a read provide the ideas to help you manage your work and time more effectively.
20 Apr 2016
Dr. Bradberry's article is focused on how you may try to keep good employees working for your business.
Too often it is forgotten, people are the glue which keeps your business running. Employees are the link between your business's procedures and technology tools. Good customers help sell your business products and services to others. One aspect of selling, is having employees which make customers feel wanted and valued by attending to their needs in a fast and efficient manner.
A workplace where people feel safe and properly valued, also attracts other likeminded people which may become employees. Therefore, being aware of what drives good people away from your business, is also really important.
You may not have thought about what motivates your employees and customers lately, or are finding you have a high turnover of employees. This article may therefore be a good starting place to identify the issues which assist you keep good people involved in your business.
6 Apr 2016
Graeme Skinner's blog is based on one of the oldest themes of business, “A sale is not a Sale until it’s paid for”
Your salespeople are often the first of your employees to see what is happening within your customer's business. Graeme provides indicators of the type of evidence which your salespeople might notice and could reveal the customer may be experiencing difficulties.
Any indications that a customer's business may have problems are valuable and are generally the warning signs that they may be struggling financially. It is imperative this information is provided to the credit department in order that can institute actions to reduce the level of any potential debt.
Your salespeople are part of your business's team which need to be trained to look for signs of your customers' well-being. It is of no value however, if the indicators of any problems are not reported to your credit team members.
If you need a starting point or a brief refresher on the importance of sales and credit working together, this article is a suitable source of this information.
24 Oct 2015
We have all read those business stories of success which have suggested, success only became possible after surviving one or more setbacks. Yes, sometimes, the people involved had to take a step back or hold up the development of their idea for a while. Having to take a break or re-evaluate the development of your ideas, is a perfectly normal and acceptable part of the process of success.
Sometimes however, as Vesna suggests, we become overwhelmed by our situation and self-doubt contributes to our eventual giving up on our ideas and objectives.
As individuals, we all have different ways of dealing with stress or managing the issues which affect our determination to last the journey and achieve the success we desire. One of the references which may help you understand and overcome the doubts which test your perseverance, may be this article. After all, it is not that we will not face obstacles which may prevent us achieving our desired objectives, it is how you overcome these obstacles which is the important thing.
7 Jun 2015
Thank you is so easy to say and the effect lingers long after it is expressed in gratitude. However many people forget to say thank you.
We live in a fast paced world, crowded with people, noise, and information. Therefore how do we stand out in such a world so that people want to do business with you? Saying thank you is one of the few actions we can take and costs so little.
Jeffrey Slater provides a nice story on the value of saying thank you through his story.
If you have forgotten how to say thank you, why not read Jeffrey's article and try it yourself?
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  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.
20 Apr 2015
How many times do we receive a poorly framed sales call, which is nothing more than a prospecting contact which annoys the hell out of you? Unfortunately it happens far too often.
The problem in business today, is that sales people are often employed for their willingness to try anything to get a sale, rather than for their sales professionalism.
Regretfully we also see this practice currently occurring in other work professions. However I transgress.
Returning back to Greg's article, regrettably many non-professional salespeople and other salespeople who are desperate for work, no longer seem to understand the difference between the two types of contact. Therefore it may be interesting to ask a salesperson, "Are you prospecting or are you making a noise in the hope of making a sale?" I respectfully suggest, many salespeople would be unable to answer this question with confidence.
You may have salespeople within your firm who can fill one of these roles successfully at the moment, but not both. To add value to your existing salesforce therefore, assisting them to be successful in both roles would seem to be advantageous. If you are looking to review your work practices and to have your salespeople act more professionally, I suggest Greg's article is one source worth reading.
PS: As an example of the difference between a sales prospector and a salesperson, I have a friend who is a fantastic sales and business prospector. Sadly, I would not trust my friend to represent any company as a salesperson.
13 Apr 2015
Colin Porter highlights a number of issues in relation to what you say in your emails.
It is always wise to remember what you put in writing maybe used against you if the email is seem by other parties other than the intended recipient. This possibility is always a possibility if you are involved in any legal action.
We are always surprised when we stories in the media on what was said in emails when they are leaked by disgruntled people or in discovered in the event of any legal action.
Colin also provides additional information in his second blog - Business emails: Legal matters (Part 2)
If you do not have a policy or have taken the time to review how you write emails of late, I suggest these articles are worth reading. However before preparing any policy and procedures, please ensure professional advice is sought to assist in your particular situation. This action will assist in preparing the right policy for your business.
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