News Pulse for March 28, 2017

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

Australian SMEs are struggling with cash flow

A record number of firms considering non-bank financing. The latest report analysing business conditions for Australia’s small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) found confidence levels are incredibly fragile, with very few firms content with their cash flow situation and non-traditional lines of credit becoming more prevalent than ever.

The Scottish Pacific SME Growth Index – March 2017 was based on interviews with 1,253 chief financial officers and corporate treasurers across Australia’s SME marketplace.

The engine powering innovation

Not that long ago, building a global company was reserved for large incumbents and heavily capitalised start-ups. In fact, it used to cost an estimated $5 million to launch a start-up and take twice as long to expand internationally. But that’s changing

Instead of needing millions in the bank or being based in the heart of Silicon Valley, the internet — and the tools it enables — are empowering a new generation of economic challengers. Today, start-ups are more quickly becoming scale-ups, propelled by an ecosystem of cloud tools that make the fundamental aspects of going global a lot easier and affordable.

Laws to stop late payments needed to prevent big end of town from hurting SMEs: Ombudsman – SmartCompany

Australia’s small business ombudsman says if the government is committed to jobs and growth it should consider legislating on payment times to fight multinational corporations stalling the economy by taking up to four months to pay smaller businesses.

Kate Carnell’s words come as a study of more than 350 mid-sized businesses by RFI for American Express estimates that one third of mid-sized businesses can’t reconcile all their invoices at least every other month.

Caternow to disrupt event catering sector

Australian start up Caternow believes it has the potential to be the ‘Airbnb’ for the food catering sector and in the process disrupt the $530 million event catering services (corporate events, private events, and weddings) market in Australia.

Caternow allows users to find quality caterers locally by postcode or suburb, view variety of menus, compare prices and order online – saving time, money and energy. It differentiates itself from competitors by being a full-service marketplace, catering to both residential and corporate clients.

What impact will a cashless society have?

Low-income workers, charities and small business owners are set to feel the biggest impact from Australia’s shift towards becoming completely cash free.

Experts argue Australia could be completely cash free by 2020, accelerated by new technology that will be introduced by the Reserve Bank of Australia later this year.

SMBs swamped by $26b in unpaid debts, want government fix-it action

Australian small businesses are owed an estimated $26 billion in unpaid debts by big businesses, according to a new report which says the levels of debt threaten the solvency of SMBs and their ability to pay staff, suppliers and themselves.

The warning comes from accounting software firm Xero which says the “astronomical” levels of debt has brought a call from 86% of SMBs recently surveyed for the federal government to do more to fix the problems of late payments.

Diverted profits tax passes Senate | The Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP

Today the Turnbull Government successfully legislated a new Diverted Profits Tax, which will prevent multinationals shifting profits made in Australia offshore to avoid paying tax.

The Diverted Profits Tax will commence on 1 July 2017, and is expected to raise $100 million in revenue a year from 2018-19. It provides a powerful new tool for the Australian Taxation Office to tackle contrived arrangements and uncooperative taxpayers, and will reinforce Australia’s position as having some of the toughest laws in the world to combat multinational tax avoidance.

Government strengthens NISA tax incentives and tax compliance | The Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP

The Turnbull Government has strengthened tax incentives available to investors in start-ups and simplified information sharing between the Australian Taxation Office (ATO Australian Taxation Office) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASICAustralian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator. asic.gov.au) with the passage of the Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Measures No.1) Bill 2017 through the Parliament today.

The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, said the Turnbull Government is committed to promoting innovation and growing the Australian economy.

Pauline holds up small business tax cuts

ONE Nation leader Pauline Hanson is holding hostage tax cuts for nearly hundreds of thousands of small businesses as she demands the federal government intervene in a Queensland issue that affects just 1500 sugarcane growers.

Ms Hanson said she would refuse to support any government legislation until the dispute between the sugar growers and mill owner Wilmar is sorted. One Nation senators failed to show up to several Senate votes.

Don’t cut company tax like this

Should the Coalition government ditch its 10-year enterprise tax plan? Malcolm TurnbullThe Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, Federal Member for Wentworth Prime Minister from 15.9.15 regards it as his finest achievement even though the government will struggle to have the legislation passed by the Senate. The Treasurer doesn’t seem as keen.

Can I put it out there that I’m not a big fan of the plan? There is an overwhelming case for reducing our rate of company tax, but the plan is too drawn out and wrongly prioritises small business.

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

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