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What's New At Credit Matters?

What's New At Credit Matters?

This month hasn't gone to plan and so I ran out of time to complete the normal Essential Readings and our monthly blog. I have however substituted two excellent references in the Special Topics segment which I believe are worth a read. They are titled, "The Future of Non-Bank SME Lending" and "Would a conversation work better?"

There are only two brochures this month which are particularly relevant in today's business environment. The first is from RSM about its upcoming course relating to purchase fraud and the second from Credit Matters on understanding that fraudsters can look just like any other person.

As always, there are other opportunities to promote your business, so contact Kim at kim@creditmatters.com.au and see what is possible, all at a very affordable price.

 

 

 

Quote Of The Month

Quote Of The Month

“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” – Steve Jobs

Monthly Business Observation

Monthly Business Observation

We have all heard the words before, “A business without cash, is not a business!” One of the most interesting aspects about business today, is how so many businesses treat the protection of their cash with so little respect.

It is the CFO who manages the overall payments subject to cashflow and the wishes of senior management. However, whether cash is always available or management’s wishes are always right, is another thing.

The fact is, the Accounts Payable Manager is the person in charge of ensuring all cash is spent correctly and is not being sent incorrectly, or to the wrong parties such as fraudsters for example. Meanwhile, the Credit Manager and/or the Accounts Receivable Manager are the ones who oversee the granting of credit and the collection of cash from sales.

Interestingly enough, the importance of protecting the business’s cash via these managers is often overlooked by management. Here are a few examples of how management devalues the importance of protecting the businesses cash with one of these three strategies.

One strategy is to employ the cheapest possible managers and employees, or those with little experience, to work in these areas. Management is also likely to deny training which may make these managers and employees more professional or more efficient.

If any employees are absent for holidays or sick leave, management is happy to leave the other employees overworked or the work left undone, in the belief they are saving money.

Another strategy is to seek the best possible managers and employees, providing them with good but not special wages and few resources to operate efficiently. Management is content with their thoughts, that all the managers and employees will be happy because they have a good wage.

Unfortunately, management will also try to overrule their requests for additional resources, suggestions and decisions about when to put customers on stop supply, or pay suppliers early to rectify payment problems.

The third strategy is to outsource both operations to overseas organisations because they believe saving money upfront is better than protecting the business’s cash. As many businesses have found over the years, this strategy has inevitably not saved the business money at all. Rather, it has led to other negative repercussions which included reputations and money lost through increased fraud and operational shortcomings.

Cash is the life blood of the business. Too many businesses lose cash because its value to the business is forgotten as a result of management thinking. One of the key tactics to protect your business’s cash is to employee the best people and respect their suggestions on how best to operate. As Steve jobs says, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do.”   

Monthly Business Conundrum

A current problem for many business owners and managers concerns making meaningful contact with difficult customers. Too often the default method is to send emails. It seems that many people are now afraid to pick up a telephone or visit their difficult customers.

If this situation should reach the stage of insolvency of either your customer, or business, then you will have to deal with an insolvency administrator.

You can often negotiate with a difficult customer and achieve a positive outcome in private. There is often no escaping the questions and embarrassment of dealing with an insolvency administrator in a public creditors meeting. This does not mean all insolvency administrators are nasty or unsympathetic. They have a job to do and that means, they will ask difficult questions, and in public if required.

When answering insolvency administrators’ questions, there will be times when you will come to realise the truth of your actions or inaction. Such truths can be very confronting, just as a number of people found at Australia’s Royal Banking Commission. This was not an insolvency administration, however it was conducted in public. The reactions of some of witnesses when they started answering questions and came to understand the truth of their actions in their answers, was telling. The same thing may happen to you in a public creditors meeting for your business if it becomes insolvent.

I suggest it is always best to confront difficult customers to sort out problems in private, rather than have to answer the questions of insolvency administrators in public.

Monthly Business Conundrum
Business Red Flags

Business Red Flags

Today, knowing everything about your customer is essential. After all, it is not just the size of their order which is key to a successful trading relationship. You need also to know whether they will pay you in a timely manner, and the manner in which they conduct their business.

In addition, with the advent of technology and social media, nothing is secret and if you intend to maximise the opportunities to sell, you also need to be aware of your customer’s management team and their attitude to social and environmental issues.

It is no good dealing with a socially aware business which are well respected by their customers, if they don’t pay you. There is also the other side of the coin where they might pay according to arrangements, however their customers hate them.

Due diligence is an indispensable component of the business process now. It should not be viewed just as an expense. Rather, by completing due diligence you are protecting your business’s reputation and building the strong foundations essential for a sound business.

Word Of The Month

Is the spelling nightime, nighttime, night time, or night-time?

A common issue with spelling is whether two words should be put together without a space (known as a compound word), include a space, or the words hyphenated. Sometimes words evolve over time starting as separated, then hyphenated and finally joined together.

A check of Google for Australian sites ending in .au, returns 1.76 million results for nighttime, 3.88 million results for night time (which includes night-time) and 101,000 for nightime.

Nightime should be considered a spelling error, but it is used for Codral Nightime Cold and Flu tablets, where misspelling a word is common in branding and marketing situations.

The compound word nighttime is a US spelling. In Australia the spelling is not listed in either the Macquarie dictionary or the Australian Oxford dictionary, so nighttime should be considered a spelling error in Australia.

The Macquarie dictionary lists night-time as a noun, with no reference to night time. The Australian Oxford dictionary also only lists night-time, again with no reference to night time.

I have to say I didn’t see that coming. The correct spelling for Australian usage is night-time with the hyphen.

A quick review of the first 100 sites for “night-time” shows only 30% of sites use the correct spelling, many using both night time and night-time in the one article which is considered an error. Given the number of people using the spelling nighttime, nightime and night time, it is conceivable that 80% or more of writers are using the incorrect spelling for Australia, according to the Macquarie and Australian Oxford dictionaries.

With Microsoft Word, if you enter nighttime Microsoft Word will mark nighttime as an error, but suggest both night time and night-time, which could easily lead writers to use the wrong spelling for Australia, depending on what they mean to write.

Word Of The Month

Updates courtesy of www.asic.gov.au

Media Updates


Speeches and Articles

Media Updates


News Updates

Publications & Resources


Media Releases

Publications & Resources


Media Releases

The two special topics this month are provided by The Bank Doctor and Peter Maguire of Ridgeline HR

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.

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Future Opportunities & Possibilities

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 info@creditmatters.com.au.

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 info@creditmatters.com.au for options.