News Pulse for November 16, 2016

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

Business Failure Rate Jumped But Small Businesses And Startups Shouldn’t Panic

While there have been reports about the small business sector performing well this year , credit reporting company Dun & Bradsheet sees it differently. According to its latest survey, business failures rose by 11% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2016. The company also saw a decline in the number of startups. But small businesses and startups shouldn’t be too concerned by the figures. Here’s why.

Late payments the ‘silent killer’ of small business

Big business and government could be penalised for delaying paying the invoices of their small-business suppliers in a new push by the Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman to weed out unfair business behaviour.

An international study of 30,000 invoices from 80 countries found Australia is lagging the rest of the world in terms of late payments, described as the “silent killer of modern business”.

Inquiry tackles late payments

A number of big companies are effectively treating small enterprises as banks by delaying payments, small business ombudsman Kate Carnell has warned, as a new inquiry into payment times kicks off.

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman will today announce the inquiry, which will look at the impact long payment times can have on small business and commercial dealings between small operators and big business or governments.

Boost cash flow by selling unpaid invoices in Xero

Cash flow is a perennial headache for many business owners and managers – but getting credit can be an uncertain or costly proposition, especially if you’re a new small business or startup without a long track record.

Enter a fintech platform called Timelio , which allows you to unlock the cash tied up in your receivables by auctioning off your invoices to institutional investors and high net worth individuals.

This startup raised $750,000 on Kickstarter to replace your Fitbit — and your eyeglasses

People with glasses usually wear them every day. Most people would head home instead of going a day without their glasses.

You can’t say the same thing about modern wearables, like Fitbit or Apple Watch.

That’s why Tiantian Zhang, Aaron Rowley, and Jason Gui founded Vue , a startup building a pair of smartglasses that can track your activity and replace your headphones for calls, too.

Better buy? Class Ltd vs Xero FPO NZX

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) businesses are growing in popularity as they offer consumers greater efficiency for an affordable price. Class Ltd (ASX: CL1) and Xero FPO NZX (ASX: XRO) are two in the accounting space.

Automation and efficiency gains are dramatically changing the accounting & bookkeeping world. When a large amount of the menial work can be reduced, it can add a lot to the productivity of each person. This has made Class’s self managed super fund software and Xero’s accounting software very popular.

MYOB business model under a cloud

One of my favourite pools of ideas is among companies with strong recurring revenue models that the market has written off and left for dead.

Enter desktop-centric accounting software stalwart MYOB, which many are quick to dismiss. The short version of the bear case is that the company is being disrupted by the wave of accountants and bookkeepers transitioning to the cloud.

ASIC encouraged to stimulate fintech boom

With Australia at the edge of an emerging fintech boom, more government support is needed to turn the industry into a powerhouse that benefits business and consumers, according to one legal finance expert.

In an opinion piece for The Australian , Liam McLagan, general counsel at commercial lender Bigstone, says a lack of government backing would be a “huge missed opportunity” that could cause local fintechs to be overtaken by global players.

Tips, comments or suggestions? Let me know in the comments, send me an email or tweet me @simeonduncan.

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