News Pulse for September 12, 2017

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

Broker numbers to swell in SME space

The number of brokers moving into commercial and alternative lending is expected to intensify, according to small business lender OnDeck.

More brokers will diversify into the SME loan space due to increased competition in traditional markets and growing demand from clients, the lender’s head of sales Michael Burke said.

Warning sounded on potential fallout from Labor’s $3000 cap on tax agent deductions

One of the nation’s peak bodies for accountants says the Labor Party’s plan to cap the dollar amount individuals can claim for tax agent services could result in small business owners being put under even more pressure from clients asking for accountancy work to be completed faster.

Bill ShortenHon Bill Shorten MP,  Federal Member for Maribyrnong Leader of the Opposition from 13.10.13 outlined the policy in his budget reply speech earlier this year by referencing 48 taxpayers who earned around $2.5 million in the 2014-15 financial year but were yet to pay income tax.

Real time customer service app AskNicely raises $6m in Blackbird Ventures-led round

Australian technology venture capital firm Blackbird Ventures has led a $NZ6.7 million ($6 million) funding round in a New Zealand based startup, which has built an application to enable businesses to react to online customer feedback in real time.

The company, AskNicely has been around since 2014 when co-founders Aaron Ward and John Ballinger noticed a gap in the market for a system that would take the increasingly popular net-promoter-score (NPS) customer service metrics and enable customers to put them to immediate and practical use.

Cloud security the silver lining for SMEs, says MYOB

MYOB has called for Australian SMEs to consider the impact that a cybersecurity attack could have on their business and consider implementing stronger measures to ensure that an online security breach won’t mean having to close shop.

The call to action comes following findings from MYOB’s SME Snapshot that showed Australia’s SME sector remains unfazed from global security threats affecting big business, with the majority of SMEs (87 per cent) stating they consider themselves safe.

Banks near real-time payment

The $1 billion new payments platform is poised to begin its final round of industry testing, ahead of banks making the real-time payments service available to customers around Australia Day next year.

The testing program has been exhaustive, comprising three phases and a further three cycles within each phase.

Why small businesses are in trouble

The knife edge on which many small businesses sit has been highlighted by research that shows just 50.7 per cent had positive cash flow as of June 2017.

Xero launched its Small Business Insights research on Tuesday which uses anonymised and aggregated data from more than 500,000 small businesses to deliver what Xero says is Australia’s most comprehensive picture of the conditions and health of small businesses.

Australian startups CurrencyVue and Assembly Payments selected to develop global fintech solutions at Singapore competition

Two Australian fintech startups will be showcasing their skills on a global stage in Singapore next week, having been selected among five finalists to take part in a global fintech industry challenge.

CurrencyVue and Assembly Payments beat out nearly 70 entrants from around the world to take part in the SWIFT gpi Industry Challenge, which will take place at the LATTICE80 event in Singapore on September 13 and 14. The competition, run by financial messaging platform SWIFT, will see startups from around the world working with 30 global banks to develop new services for SWIFT’s more than 11,000 members in 200 countries.

Tax cuts will cost how much?

Accountants want the tax office to clearly define which businesses will be eligible for company tax cuts under the Turnbull government’s signature tax policy, but to avoid potential hot water, the tax man is remaining ambiguous.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO Australian Taxation Office) has started processing small business company tax returns at the 27.5 per cent tax rate, but warns that businesses who are still using the higher 30 per cent rate need to seek an amendment themselves as the agency will not automatically do it.

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