News Pulse for December 1, 2015

A daily download of SME, startup, fintech and tax news from around Australia.

Big end of town needs to buy start-ups: StartupAUS

Australia’s peak start-up advocacCommunications Access Co-ordinatory body StartupAUS says big business in Australia has a responsibility to acquire more start-ups and help cultivate local talent, to counter large disruptive start-ups from overseas. StartupAUS, led by chief executive Peter Bradd, is today launching a report following a meeting initiated with KPMG that brought together senior officials from the ASX 20. The roundtable, held in August, reached a consensus that Australia would significantly benefit from cultivating a vibrant start-up environment, and that large corporates would benefit from close ties to the start-up community.

ANZ upgrade triggers online banking chaos

ANZ’s pledge to make internet banking “easier and consistent” hit a major snag on Monday, after the bank’s newly launched online systems suffered a meltdown.

SMEs want lower, simpler taxation

A recent small business survey by accounting firm Bentleys gives a strong indication of what the sector wants from the federal government’s tax reform white paper- lower, simpler and fairer taxes. Nearly 90 percent of respondents said further tax cuts for business would help with the running of their operations, with 20 per cent believing it would be ‘extremely helpful’ and 23 per cent ‘very helpful’. The Bentleys survey follows the release of research by PwC last week, which suggested that a reduction of the company tax rate to 25 percent would have a positive impact on the federal budget.

Wyatt Roy: Bankruptcy laws may be eased for start-ups

The federal government is considering new bankruptcy laws that would encourage more entrepreneurship without protecting big companies from failure. It is believed to have ruled out the introduction of an across-the-board US-style Chapter 11 regime that would allow companies in ­financial difficulties to continue trading. “We want to make things easier for genuine entrepreneurs, but we don’t want it to apply to the Commonwealth banks of the world,” one source told The Australian yesterday.

MyState Bank says fintechs will struggle against small lenders

MyState Bank chief Melos Sulicich says fintech upstarts will soon struggle because ever cheaper financial technology means smaller banks that already have banking licences and thousands of customers will copy them or take them over.

Telco Sector Security Reforms the new Data Retention Act?

The Attorney-General’s Department has released new updates Telecommunications Sector Security Reforms draft bill. Internet Australia said it sees it going down the same path as the Data Retention Act by being passed without being adequately justified.

ATO leads Digital by default

The ATO Australian Taxation Office has opened community consultation on its Digital by default initiative, as it continues its push to deliver better products and services for all taxpayers. The proposed change will deliver a simpler, easier, more flexible and adaptable way of interacting digitally with the ATO Australian Taxation Office and puts the taxpayer experience at the forefront of service delivery.

Start-ups told to grow up and respect investors in crowd equity funding row

Prominent tech start-up industry insiders have backed the government’s move to protect investors in crowdsourced equity raisings by forcing the companies to file public accounts, accusing start-ups of overstating the difficulties.

Policy courage needed to back risk-taking start-up founders

A recent PwC report found that the tech start-up sector has the ability to be a key component of Australia’s economy, with the potential to reach $109 billion or 4 per cent of the economy by 2033, and employ more than 540,000 people. To put that in perspective, the National Farmer’s Federation put farm gate agriculture in 2011 at $48.7 billion and employment at 307,000. The car industry, which has been the beneficiary of substantial government largess over the years, is well below that.

The innovation agenda: Remove barriers, then the support programs will work

Innovation is in trouble when big business thinks they know best. Some do but most don’t. In the end productivity, innovation and a high standard of living will be achieved when governments’ identify and remove the barriers to innovation. Government can provide support and should do, but the removal of barriers is the highest priority.

Cash flow is king as technology changes the way SMEs will do their banking

Small business owners, banks and fintechs can all gain valuable insights from a recent survey of SMEs conducted by research company Digital Financial Analytics (DFA). The results reinforce the critical importance of cash flow management and identify a number of telling behavioural and demographic trends within this all-important sector. The DFA Small & Medium Business Survey 2015 of 26,000 businesses with turnover of less than $5 million reveals 57% of all business borrowing is for working capital.

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