Developing new products and features is an ongoing function on any business if it is to remain relevant. Credit Matters is no different and next month, we hope to make available another new product and perhaps a new feature if everything goes to plan before the end of 2018.
This month we are forwarding the following brochures with our newsletter from Enable, ACFE, CreditorWatch, RSM regarding the CFE exam details for 2019 and Investigator Upgrade.
Please note, Investigator Upgrade's brochure has a very attractive offer for members of the AIPI or for those individuals who have been considering joining the AIPI who enrol for either course advertised.
If you would like to advertise and be seen by our Members and the visitors to our website, contact Kim for an affordable advertising package tailored for your needs. Kim can be contact at firstname.lastname@example.org or via telephone for a chat to find out more.
We've learned that automation does not eliminate errors. Rather, it changes the nature of the errors that are made, and it makes possible new kinds of errors. The bottom line is this: Systems that integrate the best of human abilities and technology are the safest for all concerned. –
Captain Sully Sullenberger
The Miracle on The Hudson as it become known, is a famous incident linked to this month’s quote. As the captain in the cockpit that day, Captain Sully Sullenberger said afterwards, “The bottom line is this: Systems that integrate the best of human abilities and technology are the safest for all concerned.”
Captain Sullenberger was talking about aeroplanes on this occasion. The fact is, it is also a wise saying to remember for the business community. The use of technology tools is on the rise. It is wise to remember however, these tools alone do not make a business efficient, nor satisfy the needs of all your business stakeholders.
There is nothing worse than dealing with a business with poorly implemented or inadequate technology tools and where there are few people available to manage stakeholder concerns.
Repeatedly, and unfortunately, we are all too often forced to interact with a business where technology has been used as an excuse to retrench people or to reduce upfront costs of the business.
In many cases, proper due diligence on the effectiveness of the use and quality of the new technology and its effect on existing processes that previously worked, has often not been completed. The reason why due diligence has not been completed is usually to save money or to suit the vested interests of management and others.
The end result in many situations is not pretty, efficient or cost effective. Stakeholders are often left lamenting on the loss of faith in the business and suffering other negative consequences. Meanwhile the people who take advantage of the inefficiencies and enjoy the benefits, will include senior management with vested interests, fraudsters, slow paying customers and disenfranchised employees.
The best business organisations know how to use technology efficiently, are prepared to invest properly in the technology to ensure it does what it says it can do and does what the business requires it to do. They also know the value of employing the best and most professional employees.
To conclude, I have amended Captain Sullenberger’s quote as follows.
As more technology tools are implemented and used in business, the more we are finding that technology does not eliminate errors. Rather, it changes the nature of the errors that are made, and it makes possible new kinds of errors. The bottom line is, systems that integrate the best of human abilities and technology provide the greatest return for all businesses.
There is no one size customer that suits every business. When you target a particular type of customer, this in itself may cause unforeseen problems and a loss of profitable sales. The conundrum for all business people is to work out which are the best customers for their business.
Dealing with smaller sized businesses can mean a lot of work managing all the different types of relationships, delivery of product and/or services and the collection of any unpaid invoices.
The main benefit with proper processes and business disciplines when dealing with a large number of customers is that you are spreading the risk if any of these customers should go broke.
If you target larger businesses you may face many of the same problems as you do with smaller sized customers. Unfortunately, especially for smaller sized suppliers, there may be many unexpected problems and any anticipated profits can soon disappear.
It is also wise to be prepared because if a large business becomes insolvent, you too may become insolvent and lose your own business. As the old saying goes, it is never recommended to put all your eggs in the one basket.
It can be very satisfying and profitable snaring a large business customer, if you get the processes right.
The conundrum for all business owners therefore is understanding their own business’s capabilities verses the type of customer they are targeting.
Smart business is dealing with suppliers and customers that interact with your business in a fair, timely and efficient manner.
The world has changed since any business could treat its suppliers and customers as though your business was doing them a favour. Today we operate in a very different social and business environment.
Customers and legislators are increasingly fighting back against suppliers which do not do the right thing. A supplier needs to be able to show their business operates fairly towards all stakeholders, respects the customer, delivers what they say they can deliver and offers quality customer service.
Customers need to show they too need to be fair. A supplier-friendly customer will pay them in a timely manner, are ready to quickly resolve problems, provide effective communication channels and not raise false claims in an effort to delay payment.
When all parties work together, each party benefits and maximises their business opportunities. Now that is smart business!
Is the spelling learnt or learned?
OK. This is one where I’ll stand corrected. Until writing this article I’d previously researched and found the spelling learnt was the preferred Australian English spelling, except for the usage of learned for a person with much knowledge pronounced “learn-ed”. But today that changes. Our language changes over time and at times that means we need to change as well.
When it comes to the spelling of learnt or learned, in the usage such as “I learnt/learned to drive”, the preferred spelling in Australia is learned.
If you check The Australian Oxford Dictionary and the Macquarie Dictionary for the entry “learn”, you’ll find learned appears before learnt in both. The positioning of the word in the entry indicates the preferred usage in Australia.
To confirm the usage in Australia, a search of Google for sites ending in .au (Australian sites), for a phrase such as “l learned to drive” and “I learnt to drive”, returns over 90% of articles using learned compared to learnt.
24 September 2018
Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), or ‘token offerings’, are cryptocurrency’s equivalent of Initial Public Offerings (IPOs).
In 2017, 873 ICOs raised around USD$6 billion in investment funds.
In just the first half of 2018, around USD$6.7 billion had been raised – 108% of all funds raised in 2017.
ICOs are a means for blockchain companies to raise capital in order to develop their products and services.
ICOs present opportunities for companies not previously available through traditional capital raising methods by creating a global,1 and horizontal rather than vertical, funding model. Investment into the company is made available to any investor (sophisticated and non-sophisticated) with digital or crypto currency, such as Bitcoin, as well as increasingly with fiat currency.
By Tony Conaghan and Claire Slunecko
26 September 2018
We introduced Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in this post.
Unsurprisingly, billions of dollars being poured into ICOs over the past few years, and concerns over scams and consumer protection, have been the impetus for increased government attention and calls for regulation of ICOs and cryptocurrency.
One difficulty with the regulation of ICOs is the unique, hybrid nature of coins or tokens and the uncertainty around whether ICOs constitute securities, and therefore are subject to securities laws.
Generally, where a token entitles the holder to share in the revenue of the company, it is likely to be classed as a financial product (“security” token). Many ICOs may fall within this category.
Comparatively, tokens that are solely redeemable for a good or service offered by the company may not be classed as a financial product and subject to securities laws (“utility” tokens).
By Tony Conaghan and Claire Slunecko
Updates courtesy of www.asic.gov.au
26 September 2018
Mr Allan Ronald Saunders, of Stafford Heights, Queensland has been charged with thirteen counts of breaching his director duties.
ASIC alleges that between 13 April 2015 and 22 September 2015, Mr Saunders, the sole director of Metropolitan Design Pty Ltd ACN 144 816 240 (Metropolitan Design) at this time, redirected debtor payments that were owed to Metropolitan Design to his personal sole trader bank account. In doing so, Mr Saunders used his position dishonestly with the intention of gaining an advantage for himself.
Metropolitan Design was placed into liquidation on 30 September 2015 and owed its sole creditor, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), $235,626. By denying the ATO access to the money transferred to his personal sole trader bank account, Mr Saunders engaged in illegal phoenix activity.
26 September 2018
Mr Gilman Edwin Wong, the former Chief Executive Officer and director of Sirtex Medical Limited, appeared yesterday at the Downing Central Local Court in Sydney charged with one count of insider trading under the Corporations Act.
ASIC alleges that Mr Wong was in possession of inside information, concerning Sirtex’s sales, when he sold 74,698 shares in Sirtex on 26 October 2016.
The matter was adjourned to 20 November 2018.
The maximum penalty for an insider trading offence is 10 years’ imprisonment.
The matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
02 October 2018
Metricon Homes Pty Ltd (Metricon) has paid $50,400 in penalties after ASIC issued four infringement notices for misleading advertising aimed at first home buyers.
Metricon’s '2K on your way' campaign for its 'HomeSolution' house and land packages (HomeSolution) contained misleading representations about eligibility to qualify.
The HomeSolution advertisements created the impression that consumers who qualified for the first home owner grant could obtain a Metricon HomeSolution house and land package with a $2,000 deposit. However, consumers were still required to fund the balance of the prescribed 5% deposit (approximately $30,000 on a typical $600,000 package, but could be as much as $41,000 on a $825,000 package). This additional amount was financed through an unsecured personal loan, typically through one of Metricon’s associated finance brokers.
Any disclaimer in the HomeSolution advertisements was not prominent enough to effectively qualify the dominant message of the advertising. Consumers were also required to navigate through links on Metricon’s website to the HomeSolution landing page where eligibility conditions were listed in small font at the bottom of that page.
04 October 2018
Mrs Shilpa Karandikar and Mr Shrikrishna Karandikar of Clarinda, Victoria have separately appeared in the Moorabbin Magistrates Court on 3 October 2018 having been charged with offences against the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (National Credit Act) following an ASIC investigation. The matters were adjourned for mention on 5 December 2018.
Mrs Karandikar was charged with three counts of engaging in credit activities contrary to a four-year ASIC banning order against her. It is alleged that Mrs Karandikar had prepared and submitted home loan applications for three customers in contravention of the banning order made on 10 July 2014. That order was made on the basis that Mrs Karandikar had submitted false documents to secure a $243,000 home loan for a customer (14-173MR).
Mr Karandikar was charged with three counts of giving false documents to the National Australia Bank, certifying that he had completed customer identification forms in the presence of the home loan applicants, when it is alleged he had not met them. The home loan applications were submitted to the National Australia Bank through Mr Karandikar's former mortgage broking business, Siddhi Vinayak Finance Pty Ltd.
ASIC permanently banned Mr and Mrs Karandikar in December 2017 from engaging in credit activities. The basis for the permanent bannings included the continuation of credit activities and misleading and deceptive conduct (see 17-434MR).
16 October 2018
The Federal Court has ordered Mr Eustace Senese (Eustace Senese), his son Mr Cameron Senese (Cameron Senese) and associated company, Transcomm Global Pty Ltd (Transcomm) to pay penalties totalling $60,000 following findings of contempt of court on an application brought by ASIC.
On 11 October 2018, the Court considered the penalties proposed in an agreed statement of facts between ASIC and the parties and ordered the following:
•Eustace Senese had admitted to 23 charges and was ordered to pay a penalty of $40,000 and to pay $17,500 towards ASIC’s costs;
•Cameron Senese had admitted to 455 charges and was ordered to pay two penalties of $5,000 each and to pay $10,000 towards ASIC’s costs and
•Transcomm had admitted to five charges and was ordered to pay a penalty of $10,000.
18 October 2018
ASIC has assisted employees gain access to the Fair Entitlements Guarantee scheme (FEG) by exercising its wind-up powers and appointing liquidators to 17 abandoned companies in the 12-month period ending 30 September 2018.
Because ASIC appointed the liquidators, employees of these 17 companies can now apply to recover owed unpaid employee entitlements. The 17 abandoned companies owe at least 32 employees more than $570,000 in employee entitlements.
The appointment of liquidators also facilitates a full and proper investigation into the reasons why the companies failed and allows recovery of any voidable or unreasonable director-related transactions that can potentially be returned to creditors.
ASIC made the following nine appointments from a new panel of liquidators who can be appointed to abandoned companies.
18 October 2018
ASIC has released updated regulatory guides to coincide with the extension of the crowd-sourced funding (CSF) framework to eligible proprietary companies. This starts on 19 October 2018.
ASIC has amended its guidance to include proprietary companies and updated requirements for public companies after consulting with those parties that made submissions to Consultation Paper 288 Crowd-sourced funding: Guide for public companies and Consultation Paper 289 Crowd-sourced funding: Guide for intermediaries.
Regulatory Guide 261 Crowd-sourced funding: Guide for companies (RG 261) helps public and eligible proprietary companies to understand and comply with the additional reporting requirements and accountability standards that apply to companies raising funds through the CSF regime. ASIC recognises that this is a new regime for proprietary companies and these companies will not have experience in making public offers of their shares.
Regulatory Guide 262 Crowd-sourced funding: Guide for intermediaries (RG 262) helps intermediaries seeking to provide a crowd-funding service to public and eligible proprietary companies. It explains intermediaries’ unique gatekeeper obligations as operators of platforms for CSF offers and investments.
ASIC’s website has further information on crowd-sourced funding for both intermediaries wanting to be authorised to provide a crowd-funding service and for companies seeking to crowd-fund.
ASIC's MoneySmart website has further information for investors on how to invest through crowd-sourced funding.
19 October 2018
Illegal phoenix activity involves creating a new company to continue the business of an existing company that is deliberately liquidated to avoid paying taxes, creditors and employee entitlements.
27 September 2018
AUSTRAC and its U.S. counterpart, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), have today strengthened their alliance in the fight against serious financial crime and terrorism financing.
AUSTRAC CEO, Nicole Rose PSM and FinCEN Director, Kenneth Blanco, signed a regulatory Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the 25th Egmont Group Plenary international conference of financial intelligence units in Sydney.
05 October 2018
The 25th Egmont Group Plenary took place between 24-27 September 2018 in Sydney, Australia. Ms. Hennie Verbeek-Kusters, Egmont Group Chair/Head of FIU-Netherlands and Ms. Nicole Rose PSM, AUSTRAC CEO, chaired the meeting. 419 delegates (including 23 observers and international partners) gathered to advance work on FIU operational independence and autonomy and to identify the role public-private partnerships (PPPs) can play in the fight against money laundering and the financing of terror.
16 October 2018
AUSTRAC’s annual compliance report for 2018 will be opening for lodgement soon.
The compliance report is a self-assessment of how businesses have met their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) obligations over the year. It helps AUSTRAC understand the risks businesses face and helps us tailor our education and guidance for business.
In 2017, AUSTRAC reviewed what we have been asking reporting entities and how we use the answers. We talked with businesses about their experiences and discussed how we can improve them.
We have refined the questions, which will be in plain English, more focused on current money laundering and terrorism financing (ML/TF) risks and in a modernised format making it easier to access and use. AUSTRAC is continuing to adapt and improve the design of the annual compliance report to better focus on the ML/TF impacts to different business and industries.
Further information and a preview of the new questions is available on AUSTRAC’s AML/CTF compliance reports page.
21 September 2018
Victoria's independent anti-corruption commission commenced 27 investigations and completed 14 investigations (including preliminary inquiries), including two major operations, Tone and Lansdowne, that exposed serious corruption in Victoria's public sector.
IBAC also received and assessed more than 6200 allegations of suspected public sector corruption and police misconduct, a 26 per cent increase on last financial year.
In its 2017/18 annual report tabled before Parliament yesterday, IBAC reported it received 2315 complaints and notifications of alleged corruption and police misconduct, up some 200 on last year. Each complaint or notification may contain multiple allegations.
Two of the major investigations resulted in special reports tabled before Parliament: Operation Tone, concerning drug use and associated corrupt conduct involving Ambulance Victoria paramedics, and; Operation Lansdowne, an investigation into alleged serious corruption in the Victorian vocational education and training and public transport sectors.
05 October 2018
A former client of St Paul's Rehabilitation Prevention was convicted in the County Court of Victoria yesterday and sentenced to two months and fourteen days imprisonment, followed by a two year community corrections order, after an investigation by Victoria’s independent anti-corruption commission, IBAC.
Patricia Martin pleaded guilty to one count of perverting the course of justice and five counts of trafficking.
The charges follow IBAC’s Operation Murano, an ‘own motion’ investigation that centres on the conduct of a rehabilitation coordinator providing misleading information to the court to assist persons before court.
The investigation has resulted in 20 persons being charged with offences including attempting to pervert the course of justice, trafficking in a drug of dependence and fraud-related offences.
Operation Murano is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information about corrupt conduct associated with St Paul’s Prevention Rehabilitation, or related bail and court support services, is encouraged to contact IBAC on www.ibac.vic.gov.au or 1300 735 135.
17 October 2018
Commissioner for Victoria's anti-corruption commission, The Hon Robert Redlich QC said today supporting the welfare of police and other people who attend IBAC to be examined as part of its investigations is a responsibility IBAC takes very seriously.
'As with any investigative agency, IBAC recognises that our operations can place people under pressure. Clearly this is especially so when they are persons of interest in alleged serious corruption or police misconduct who are faced with having to acknowledge wrongdoing,' Mr Redlich said.
'The health and safety of those involved in examinations is always of the utmost priority. IBAC enables witnesses to seek and receive medical, counselling or other support, and over almost six years' of operation, has taken action to strengthen these processes.
'I am confident IBAC's staff work to ensure our policies and practices are consistent with contemporary best practice.
'IBAC is always open to identifying ways to improve our approach to fulfilling our vital function to expose and prevent serious corruption and police misconduct for the people of Victoria.'
19 October 2018
guide to assist the following groups to understand, organise and use product safety testing and test reports for consumer products:
19 October 2018
The purpose of this guide is to provide an overview of the mandatory requirements for the care labelling of clothing and textile products for suppliers.
All suppliers including
must ensure their products comply with the care labelling requirements.
28 September 2018
Oakmoore Pty Ltd, trading as EGR, and its director Mr Rodney Horwill were today ordered to pay $6.35 million in penalties for being knowingly concerned in exclusive dealing conduct with the purpose of substantially lessening competition.
The Federal Court recently imposed penalties of $3.5 million against Palram Australia and $2.1 million against Ampelite Australia and one of its directors in respect to the same matter, bringing the total penalties to $11.95 million.
Palram Australia and Ampelite are two of Australia’s largest distributors of polycarbonate roof sheeting (polycarb) to retail stores such as Bunnings and Mitre 10 under the brands ‘Suntuf’ and ‘Solasafe’. Polycarb is commonly used in commercial and home building projects such as pergolas and verandas.
28 September 2018
Australian Hearing Services has paid penalties totalling $37,800 after the ACCC issued three infringement notices alleging the Australian Government owned corporation engaged in false or misleading conduct in connection with the supply of hearing services to consumers.
The ACCC also accepted a court enforceable undertaking from Australian Hearing, which has admitted that its conduct breached the Australian Consumer Law.
Australian Hearing competes with other hearing clinics to provide hearing services to consumers under the Australian Government Hearing Services Program. It owns and operates Hearing Help, a service that provides hearing advice to consumers by phone or via Facebook.
14 October 2018
Australia’s Franchising Code of Conduct needs strengthening to better protect franchisees, including significantly increased penalties for breaches, and requiring improved and more meaningful information disclosure to franchisees. These changes, in combination with stronger unfair contract terms (UCT) law, would help to improve the operations of franchise businesses in Australia.
ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh called for these changes in a speech delivered today at the National Franchise Convention Legal Symposium in Melbourne.
“Both the Franchising and Oil Codes, which applies to service stations, are not as effective as they could be,” Mr Keogh said.
15 October 2018
ACCC Chair Rod Sims discussed the local and global issues in regulating the data economy in a speech delivered in Sydney today.
Mr Sims examined the difficulty regulators face in determining the competition impacts when dynamic data companies merge, consumer issues and how the ACCC is well placed to take enforcement action in relation to data issues.
“One of the key challenges with merger cases in digital markets is predicting the likelihood of future competition between the target and the acquirer,” Mr Sims said.
“In fast moving markets, this is clearly difficult particularly when the target is a start up or currently only active in a neighbouring market.”
“Such transactions can end up leading to a large reduction in competition but, at the time of merger review, the chance of this occurring may well be considered low or difficult to predict.”
23 October 2018
Scammers are increasingly using fake charities or impersonating real charities to take advantage of people’s generosity and compassion, with losses reported to the ACCC’s Scamwatch increasing steadily over the past four years.
This week is Charity Fraud Awareness Week and Scamwatch is warning people to watch out for fake charities and offering some quick and easy precautions to take to ensure their money goes towards a legitimate charity organisation.
So far in 2018, Scamwatch has received 689 reports of fake charities scams with more than $320,000 in reported losses. This compares to the whole of 2017 where reported losses were $313,563.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for options.