At last, we have our new newsletter format ready. We hope you like this new version.
By the way, do not forget, an audio version of each newsletter is available about a week after the email version.
There are always advertising opportunities for those businesses working in the B2B financial risk management area. We are always focused on helping people become better business people by providing information on business risks. If you are interested in advertising, please contact Kim on firstname.lastname@example.org or via telephone for a no obligation discussion on possibilities.
This month we are featuring brochures from Investor Upgrade, Jan Reeves, CreditorWatch and FinTech Australia/ASBFEO/Bank Doctor, . If you would like to have your advertising brochure attached and mentioned in our newsletter, contact email@example.com for a no obligation chat on possibilities.
Western society would do well to remember the wisdom of Ayn Rand (author of Atlas Shrugged): ‘You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.’
Avoidance of reality is all too often a large part of business failure, or failing to maximise your business opportunities.
Nowhere do we see this situation occur more often than when we review the credit management and accounts receivable functions. A good example is when credit managers complete their due diligence on a new customer and advise against taking on the potential customer.
The credit manager achieves no kudos for rejecting every customer where there are a few potential flaws which may lead to a loss. When the credit manager does see a situation fraught with danger and declines a customer's application for credit, they are often overruled by senior management and salespeople. The fact is, in these situations the credit manager has discovered a number of negative issues with few benefits for doing business on credit with that customer. Meanwhile, senior management and salespeople only see a sale and personal rewards.
Likewise when accounts receivable employees note a reduction in a customer's payments and points out there is also a decline in cooperation from the customer. Again, their observations and concerns can be marginalised or ignored by management and salespeople who are afraid they may offend a customer.
The introduction of the PPSA (Personal Properties Security Act) here in Australia was another perfect example. Senior management in a number of companies refused to accept the benefits of the new legislation. As a result, they would not spend the money to protect their assets, or thought the new legislation was just another passing fad. Unfortunately, many of these senior managers found out all too late that their businesses lost many thousands of dollars unnecessarily when their customers became insolvent.
The same situation occurs when a large-dollar valued customer is slow to pay. Instead of fronting the situation when the payments first slow down, or there are visible signs of ineffective business processes, management and sales actively avoid taking action. At times, they will even avoid picking up the telephone and talking with the customer about these issues. Aa a result, many dollars are lost by these avoidance actions. In the end, much more extra work has to be completed to try and restore the relationship or repair the cashflow deficiencies and expense overruns which could have been avoided if contact had been made.
Risk management and due diligence issues are other areas of the business which are also often overlooked because of management short-sightedness and avoidance of the potential damage. Too often, management is willing to take a risk rather than spend money. A good example is the discovery of fraud and the loss of many dollars because management avoided the possibility of fraud occurring.
At the end of day, avoidance practices in relation to managing risks within the business environment, is one the leading causes of why businesses fail or lose money.
One of the most important aspects of business, is to get paid as quickly as possible. The first part of this process is to deliver your goods and services as ordered by the customer. Secondly, you must raise and forward the invoice, again as advised by the customer.
Having completed these tasks, you need to monitor for the receipt of the payment. If the payment is not received within terms, you must contact the customer as soon as possible.
Some business owners, salespeople and fee earners, are afraid to contact the customer in case the customer is offended. The fact is, it is better to take that risk rather than not pay your own suppliers of finance providers in a timely manner. When your suppliers and finance providers become offended, they can do far more damage to your business than a "precious" customer.
Following up on unpaid invoices is a normal part of business. No sensible customer will be offended if you approach them in a reasonable and professional manner.
Your conundrum is to understand the ramifications of not contacting customers for unpaid invoices versus the potential of being scared of your customer's response.
When in business, you will always make some bad decisions. It is simply unavoidable and comes with the territory of owning or managing a business. The secret in business is to avoid making too many bad decisions and learning from those that are made before they prove fatal for your business. Some of the worst mistakes can easily be avoided simply by listening to experienced businesspeople and in applying a little common sense.
In order to avoid making as many other mistakes as possible, it is wise to take heed of the lessons of history. In addition, you can look to employ risk management professionals which understand the worst mistakes of other businesspeople. A few simple bad decisions for example include, failing to complete due diligence on new customers, employing unqualified employees, failing to make contact for unpaid invoices, etc.
If you can avoid making bad decisions which are known to others and for which there are many examples, this goes a long way towards helping your business survive and grow.
Is the spelling Labor or Labour?
There’s considerable rejection against the use of American spelling in Australia. We’ve caved on some words, but our Australian English is often different to UK and American spelling.
Every few years at election time, one thing that stands out is the incorrect spelling of the Australian Labor Party. Yes our leaders use the incorrect spelling for Australian usage, but most people find little issue in the usage. If a student used the same spelling in a spelling test, they’d be marked wrong.
The reason the Australian Labor Party use the spelling Labor instead of Labour, is, in the early 1900s there was a push towards using American spelling and a remnant of that time, is the spelling of Labor in the Australian Labor Party’s name. Rather than get hung up on spelling that ideally should be changed for consistency, if it makes things easier, it’s perhaps better to think of this as branding. In branding, incorrect spelling variations are often used.
13 March 2018
Summary of the article
Premises used for industrial purposes that previously would not have been considered retail premises may now be subject to the Retail Leases Act 2003 (Vic) (RLA).
13 March 2018
Can you obtain indemnity costs if you settle a claim on more favourable terms than you previously offered to accept in an Offer of Compromise?
01 March 2018
Claire Slunecko -
The future of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies remains controversial. However, their underlying technology – Blockchain – is likely to prove revolutionary.
If you are still trying to distinguish your Bitcoin from your Blockchain, you are not alone. This post provides a no-nonsense guide to Blockchain and its potential impact on intellectual property (IP).
20 February 2018
By Louise Gehrig and Rob Norton
The New South Wales Court of Appeal has refined the meaning of unconscionable conduct pursuant to section 22 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (ACL), and its predecessor provisions of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) (TPA), as it applies to business transactions in its recent decision in the matter of Ipstar Australia Pty Ltd v APS Satellite Pty Ltd  NSWCA 15. The decision provides some valuable insights into the standard of conduct required by businesses to avoid the unconscionable conduct provisions of the ACL.
How to improve your meetings Meetings are extremely important within a business and they almost always suck the life out of us. But what are we doing to make them better? Some simple tips to make them better include:
1. Explicitly express your desired outcome Get straight to the point. This does not mean create an agenda, nor a purpose but by stating straight away in the first 30 seconds of the meeting your desired outcome it creates context and ultimately shapes what you want and creates a focal point. By developing this call to action it will reinforce the main outcome if the meeting goes on a tangent.
2. Do not waffle Lets face it, waffling is bad as is not a good look. Too much detail will not only bore everyone present but will be extremely useless and inefficient. By communicating effectively and prioritising what you want to say, it will ensure that people will understand and retain the information being presented.
3. Be Prepared As Scar once said “be prepared”. Simply put, if you are not prepared – call the meeting off. Preparation is key to being efficient, useful and demonstrates respect for your work, company and your work colleges
We’re here to help! Contact Trace Personnel on 9218 5466 for all your recruiting needs!
Updates courtesy of www.asic.gov.au
28 February 2018
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has required research provider Far East Capital Limited (FEC) to include specific, prominent and meaningful conflicts of interest disclosure in its research reports.
05 March 2018
ASIC today released draft updated Regulatory Guide 139, Oversight of AFCA (updated RG139) for public consultation.
The Bill to establish AFCA passed on 14 February 2018, and Minister for Financial Services, the Hon. Kelly O'Dwyer has announced that AFCA will commence operations no later than 1 November 2018. There are a number of transitional steps that need to take place before AFCA commences, including that:
•the Minister will authorise AFCA; and
•the AFCA Board will consult on the scheme's terms of reference.
'ASIC is issuing draft updated RG 139 now as we believe that clarity about ASIC's policy approach at this stage of the transition will assist all stakeholders,' said ASIC Deputy Chair, Peter Kell. 'It will also enable ASIC to take into account and respond to any emerging issues that arise during the transition period.'
ASIC will finalise this guidance to coincide with AFCA commencement - that is, no later than 1 November 2018.
06 March 2018
ASIC has obtained orders winding up Fast Access Finance Pty Ltd, Fast Access Finance (Beenleigh) Pty Ltd and Fast Access Finance (BurleighHeads) Pty Ltd (the FAF Companies) for their failure to pay fines for breaching consumer credit laws. Mr Anthony Castley of William Buck has been appointed as the liquidator.
In March 2017, the Federal Court fined the FAF Companies a total of $730,000 after finding, in proceedings brought by ASIC, that the FAF Companies breached consumer credit laws by engaging in credit activities without holding an Australian credit licence.
08 March 2018
ASIC has commenced civil penalty proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against Antares Energy Limited ('Antares') and one of its directors, former CEO and Chairman James Cruickshank ('Cruickshank') regarding Antares' announcements made in September 2015 about the proposed sale of its oil and gas interests in the Permian Basin of Texas in the United States of America.
The proceedings relate to the company's ASX announcements on 7 September 2015 and 10 September 2015 on the sale of its Northern Star asset (for US$148,788,560) and Big Star asset (for US$105,069,420).
16 March 2018
Mr Farmouz Farhaad Mohammed, who is also known as Fred Mohammed, of Hope Island, Queensland has been charged with three counts of fraud under the Criminal Code (Queensland).
Mr Mohammed appeared before the Richlands Magistrates Court on 12 March 2018.
ASIC alleges that in August 2015 Mr Mohammed dishonestly caused a detriment to Crane Trucks R Us Pty Ltd ACN 128 496 597 (Crane Trucks R Us) by unlawfully withdrawing funds belonging to the company on three separate occasions and using it for purposes unrelated to the company.
17 September 2017
This information sheet (INFO 225) gives guidance about the potential application of the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act) to businesses that are considering raising funds through an initial coin offering (ICO). This information sheet covers:
What is an ICO and its legal status?
When could an ICO be an offer of a managed investment scheme?
When could an ICO be an offer of a share in a company?
When could an ICO be an offer of a derivative?
When could an ICO be an offer of a non-cash payment facility?
When could a platform for offering ICOs become a financial market or crowd-sourced funding platform regulated by ASIC?
When would laws prohibiting misleading or deceptive conduct apply to an ICO?
How can prospective ICO issuers obtain informal assistance from ASIC?
16 March 2018
Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security
ASEAN-Australia's most innovative solutions to combat cybercrime
The winners of the inaugural ASEAN-Australia Codeathon have been announced today, with Project Iceberg taking out the top prize for the most innovative digital solution to combat terrorism financing and cyber security risks.
23 February 2018
Being a digital currency exchange provider means you are running a business that exchanges digital currency with money or vice versa.
The money you exchange can be received or sent by electronic means such as a funds transfer, held in an account, held on deposit or be cash, and can be Australian or foreign currency. It does not include changing one type of digital currency for another.
New requirements start on 3 April 2018
02 March 2018
AUSTRAC has become aware of a telephone scam from individuals purporting that the victim has won a lottery.
The scammers subsequently tell the victim that a ‘package’ in the victim's name, containing illegal goods, has been intercepted by AUSTRAC. The scammers attempt to extort a payment by telling the victim they will be arrested.
AUSTRAC will never act in the manner described above. If you are contacted in a similar way, do not respond or engage in further communication with the person making the request.
Report the matter directly to local police and advise AUSTRAC on 1300 021 037.
This information is also available on our Fraud and scam warnings page.
20 December 2017
This report provides a summary of IBAC's key activities and achievements during our foundation years, along with highlighting some challenges and future opportunities. It is not intended to constitute a comprehensive performance report, and should be read in conjunction with IBAC's published annual reports.
08 March 2018
A former consultant to the City of Ballarat Council has been convicted at the Melbourne County Court today following an IBAC investigation into allegations of corrupt procurement transactions at the council.
Jasmine Finnigan pleaded guilty and was convicted of obtaining a financial advantage by deception and attempting to commit an indictable offence. She was fined $3000 and ordered to repay $20,500.
In February 2018, Ms Finnigan's husband, Lukas Carey, a former sport and recreation manager at the council, pleaded guilty to obtaining financial advantage by deception, attempting to commit an indictable offence and soliciting secret commission. He was sentenced to three years' imprisonment and ordered to repay $31,200.
02 March 2018
The ACCC has taken action against Woolworths Limited (Woolworths) in the Federal Court, alleging that the environmental representations Woolworths made about its ‘W Select eco’ picnic products were false, misleading or deceptive, in contravention of the Australian Consumer Law.
05 March 2018
Telco provider Australian Private Networks Pty Ltd, trading as Activ8me, has paid a penalty of $12,600 after the ACCC issued an Infringement Notice for alleged false and misleading representations. It’s alleged Activ8me represented that its internet services were endorsed or approved by the ACCC as being superior to those offered by other providers, when this was not the case.
13 March 2018
The Full Federal Court of Australia has today dismissed an appeal by electric cable manufacturer Prysmian Cavi E Sistemi S.R.L. (Prysmian) against a ruling that it engaged in cartel conduct in the supply of high voltage land cables.
16 March 2018
The ACCC has today instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against credit reporting body, Equifax Pty Ltd (formerly Veda Advantage Pty Ltd), alleging breaches of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).
Credit Matters is a financial risk management resource centre for the Australian business community. If you are in business, Credit Matters is your ideal source of financial risk management solutions.
Credit Matters is continuing to grow and provide marketing and knowledge about financial risks to the Australia business community.
Futhermore, we invite marketing and knowledge ideas from our readers and contributors on how we can assist our respective firms grow. If you have any ideas, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in finding new ways to reach your marketplace, why not try Credit Matters. Our prices for advertising are very reasonable and advertising packages are on offer to make any cost, even more affordable. So if you are interested in reaching your customers at the right price, please contact Kim at email@example.com for options.