News Pulse for September 19, 2016

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

Small and medium businesses failing to grasp digital opportunities Sensis boss warns

The proliferation of smart phones and the frequency with which Australians are accessing the web has not been matched by small and medium enterprises adopting digital strategies to meet them, the head of Sensis has warned.

And small business has been urged to join emerging platforms early and take advantage of them before bigger rivals arrive.

Why small business has a winning edge

Small and mid-sized businesses have an “edge” over bigger rivals in being able to react to customers.

According to Facebook and Instagram head of brand Naomi Shepherd, smaller businesses can be closer to their customers — particularly when it comes to online.

Mike Baird’s jobs scheme has boosted big business

Premier Mike Baird’s signature policy to create new jobs in NSW gave hundreds of millions of dollars in payroll tax cuts to big corporates in the Sydney CBD, but was barely used by small business, new data reveals.

Late payments: how businesses can combat the mortal enemy

The small business sector is well aware that big business has little regard for its cash flow problems. It also knows big corporations deliberately delay payments. The facts are in: SMEs are collectively owed $26 billion, according to a late payments study by PayPal and Intuit Australia in November 2015.

Nearly three-quarters of all business invoices are paid late, with payment terms extending to 61-90 days outstanding, rising by 22 per cent, according to the ACCCAustralian Competition and Consumer Commission The ACCC is Australia's competition regulator and national consumer law champion.. The latest trade payments analysis from Dun & Bradstreet shows businesses are waiting an average of 44.9 days for payment.

Businesses Underestimate Costs Of Sending Money Overseas: TransferWise Co-founder

Banks are overcharging and underserving small businesses when it comes to international money transfers, according to Taavet Hinrikus, Skype’s first-ever employee and the co-founder of TransferWise.   “Whether they’re paying freelancers or suppliers overseas, small businesses transferring money abroad have been overcharged and underserved by banks and brokers for decades,” Hinrikus said.

“Every year $100 billion is sent in and out of Australia, meaning Australians are losing an awful lot of money to the banks. Of those who transfer money overseas, over three quarters have done so up to five times in the last year. But on average we underestimate the amount it’s costing us by over 10x.

These shocking statistics on cash flow show how incredibly stressful life can be for Australian small businesses

Hanging out your “shingle”, running your own business, and being master of your domain sounds like a great goal to many Australians. But increasingly it’s looking like being a small business owner comes with a set of challenges and stresses that lead to a big drop in personal wellbeing.

That’s the finding of Commonwealth Bank Small Business Study which summarise the responses of 500 small business owners.

Former Nine chief revenue officer Peter Wiltshire joins startup Echofied

Former Nine Entertainment chief revenue officer Peter Wiltshire has joined the advisory board of business to consumer financial advice startup Echofied.

The B2C business was started in January this year by Paul Ryan, who co-founded Wizard Home Loans with Mark Bouris.

Social media influencer marketplace Hypetap reaches for Asian markets

In the world of start-ups, marketplaces are the pot of gold that never seem to end.

Also known as platform companies, the likes of Fodoora and GoCatch might be household names, but there are thousands of smaller ones in Australia shifting the landscape in their respective industries.

Getting paid is a chief concern for Aussie businesses heading overseas

Australian businesses want to move overseas and the government’s innovation agenda encourages it, but international expansion requires patience and technology if it’s going to add value.

Yesterday US-based payment platform Stripe celebrated its second birthday in Australia by announcing that it will bring the ‘Stripe Connect’ technology to local businesses. Connect allows businesses to set up payment accounts for third parties, like sellers and contractors, so that payments can be processed for users in any of the 20 countries that the Stripe platform operates in, including the US, Ireland, Hong Kong, Italy, France and Brazil.

A big data-like dashboard for Xero users

A Newcastle startup has developed a platform that gives businesses a single view of their accounts and data from services ranging from Facebook to Salesforce.

Big data dashboards and reports, which visually show business managers how a company is performing at a glance, were once the domain of big enterprises. A Newcastle-based startup is looking to change that with a new online service called Wink Reports .

Australian Taxation Office proposes to let off first-time offenders

PEOPLE who make careless mistakes on their tax return or lodge them late will be given a “one chance” reprieve under a new proposal by the Australian Taxation Office.

Rather than dish out penalties costing hundreds of dollars for first-time common errors, the ATO Australian Taxation Office plans to allow individuals and small businesses one slip-up every three or four years.

ATO investigates 35 e-commerce multinationals for sending income offshore

Thirty-five e-commerce companies are under review or audit by the Australian Taxation Office for routing income through low-tax nations such as Singapore to avoid paying tax locally.

The move comes as more companies challenge the ATO Australian Taxation Office’s right to tax their profits by appealing directly to international tax authorities.

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