Over the holiday period we will be closed from 5pm Thursday 20 December and will re-open 9am Monday 7 January. We would like to wish you a Merry Christmas, hope that you have a safe holiday season and wish you all the best for 2019.
Scam Alert - Caller Uses Accounting Firm's Phone Number in Caller ID Display
We have been notified of a new take on an old scam. A client of an accounting firm received a phone call from a person claiming to be from that accounting firm. The person told the client that they needed to remit $10,000 to cover a tax debt otherwise they would go to prison. The phone number that showed up on the client's caller ID display showed the accounting firm's actual phone number. However the phone call was not made from anyone in the accounting firm or related to them in any way. If you are in any doubt as to the authenticity of a call we suggest you end the call and call our office to ensure you are dealing with us and not a scammer. Should we call you to discuss a tax debt we will never threaten you with a stint in prison.
Should you receive a call from someone suggesting they are from the ATO feel free to suggest they call us as your tax agent. If it is really someone from the ATO they will then call us to discuss your matter. The Sydney Morning Herald recently published an article in relation to this which can be viewed by clicking here. Scams can be reported to the ATO and published on their Scam Alert webpage.
Personal Property Security Registration 7 Year Expiry
The 7 year anniversary of the Personal Property Security Register is approaching. This means that many 'security interest' registrations will automatically expire on 30 January 2019 if they are not rectified or renewed.
Once a registration has expired, it cannot be extended or renewed. You will lose:
We suggest you renew any expiring registration that you still may need to ensure that you maintain the priority of your registration.
- Your registered security;
- Your enforcement rights under the Personal Property Securities Act; and
- Any priority the registration gave you over other secured parties.
The Australian Business Growth Fund Announced
Being a small business means it is hard to get money from a bank, unless you take it on a secured basis, and usually against real estate and more commonly your own home. This means that people are not able to get into running a small business without some sort of solid financial backing and the consequences of the business not being successful means that a family will lose their home.
Assuming this is not a problem, the next concern is that, if a small business has already borrowed money from a bank, it will be secured against the real estate and no bank will be able to lend money to help a small business grow without additional security, which is not optimal for the small business, employment opportunities for people and the Australian economy in general
There is a new fund currently being established by the Federal government in consultation with large financial institutions that would provide longer term equity funding to small businesses. This fund has one purpose and it is simply to provide longer term equity funding to small businesses.
Why do we have the Australian Business Growth Fund?
Small business can only start or grow its business via internal cashflow (not the easiest task) or borrowing from a bank (which is not easy without real estate security) and it has been nearly impossible for small business to attract equity funding enabling them to grow.
The Australian Business Growth Fund is based on the current United Kingdom's Business Growth Fund (www.bgf.co.uk) which has been operating since 2011 and invested approximately $3 billion into various small businesses based throughout the United Kingdom and the government is stepping in here because nothing similar has emerged in Australia unlike many other parts of the world. This fund has not yet been created, but this is included as part of the Federal government's $2 billion of funding provided to another fund to provide securitisation funding for smaller banks and non-bank lenders to start lending to small businesses.
Thresholds Change for Large Proprietary Companies
This Australian government has announced a change to the thresholds for proprietary companies that have a reporting obligation to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). Under the change announced by the Federal Treasurer companies will be required to submit and lodge a financial report, a director's report and an auditor's report to ASIC, if the company reaches two of the following three thresholds:
• Consolidated Revenue – $50 million (previously $25 million)
• Consolidated Gross Assets – $25 million (previously $12.5 million)
• Employees – 100 (previously 50)
Federal Government Tells Big Business To Pay Promptly
The Prime Minister has indicated that the Federal government will be requiring Australia's 3,000 largest businesses to pay their bills to small and medium enterprises within 20 days, as a condition of future contracts with the Federal government.
As part of future government contracts, these businesses will have to disclose each year the details of how promptly they have paid their bills to small and medium-sized businesses.
The Prime Minister, Mr Scott Morrison, has indicated that "the government is aware that cashflow is crucial to the health of any business, but especially small business".
Under the changes businesses, with turnovers over $100 million per annum, will have to publish each year their record of engagement with small and medium-sized businesses. This new policy will bring the 3,000 largest businesses into line with the Australian government's policy which, from 1 July 2019, requires government departments to pay invoices, to small and medium-sized businesses, within 20 days.
When implemented, this policy should assist in ridding Australia of one of the worst titles ever bestowed on Australia -- having the "longest debtors' days outstanding in the world".
Customer Satisfaction is Vital!
A continuing problem for businesses is how to keep customers satisfied so that you're discouraging them from taking their custom elsewhere. It is generally accepted that today it is harder to retain customers because they have more choices than customers had in the past.
There are a number of contributing factors to the retention of customers including:
• Many customers see businesses as being unethical e.g. banks and the finance industry and because of this customer loyalty can be very fragile.
• Customers are critical that from their perception some businesses that they deal with are not keeping up-to-date with technology, plant and equipment, marketing strategies and the use of social media.
• Businesses probably need to pay more attention to tailoring the offer or product to the needs of individual customers. The concept that "one size fits all" is probably not the right concept for the retention of customer loyalty in 2018/19.
• Some customers also perceive that some of the businesses that they deal with cannot deliver on their marketing promises - items such as delivery times, quality of products, warranty periods, response to a warranty claim etc.
Small and medium-sized business operators need to ensure that their team is closely listening to comments by customers and reporting those comments back to the team so that the business can react quickly to criticisms or suggestions for changes in the way the business promotes products and services and deals with customers.
A recent international study, that surveyed 3,000 people, indicated that 56% of the persons surveyed will only purchase products or services from businesses that are committed to:
• innovation on a continuing ongoing basis
• with that innovation being tailored to the needs of the business' customers
The survey also indicated that businesses that don't innovate will find it very difficult to continue in business in the future. The survey indicated that the businesses that stay the same and don't change and don't innovate, 80% of those businesses will be out of business within 5 years.
All of this creates a leadership issue for small and medium-sized business operations. Leaders need to be continually looking for ways and means to create a better service offering for their customers and in so doing achieve a high level of customer satisfaction.