News Pulse for March 14, 2018

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

Australia can’t afford to forget small businesses when negotiating trade deals

Politicians often cite the large market value of exports as justification for free trade agreements. But this misses a fundamental point about trade — we benefit most when we focus on exporting the goods and services we are the most efficient at producing, rather than simply increasing the absolute value of our exports.

It is a firm’s productivity, not the market value of its exports, that signals success in international trade. In this regard, Australian small and medium-sized businesses have demonstrated considerable longevity and importance.

Does accepting cryptocurrency payments make business sense?

Merchants say the benefits are obvious and immediate, but there are some caveats to consider.

A lot of small businesses, and online retailers in particular, are asking themselves whether they should start accepting cryptocurrency as payment. Crypto payments have found a practical niche in grey market real estate sales, but other industries might have more trouble getting concrete benefits from it.

How popular budgeting apps could cost you

They’re marketed as innovative solutions to help people manage money, but the big four banks warn popular budgeting apps that ask users to provide online banking credentials could become very expensive if something goes wrong.

The use of budgeting apps has become popular in recent years as new technology has allowed users to synchronise transactions in near real-time. This allows for better tracking and analysis of spending habits, and lets people know when they’re spending too much.

As Bill Shorten wages war on shareholder tax credits, small businesses urged to employ big-picture planning

Opposition leader Bill ShortenHon Bill Shorten MP,  Federal Member for Maribyrnong Leader of the Opposition from 13.10.13 will today unveil plans to wind back cash refunds associated with dividend imputation credits, but while this policy could hit some small businesses planning for retirement, one accounting expert says it’s important SME owners take a big picture view of their financial planning regardless of individual tax policies.

On Twitter this morning, Shorten told followers “we are closing down unaffordable tax concessions to pay for schools, hospitals and lower taxes for working Australians”.

FinTech Australia’s CEO steps down but will continue to help Aussie fintechs from Asia

In the wake of announcing her resignation as CEO of industry association FinTech Australia, Danielle Szetho has flagged her intentions to continue supporting and championing Australian fintech companies from Asia.

Sarah Worboys, formerly of the Startup Victoria Female Founders committee, will step in as interim CEO for FinTech Australia, whose chair Stuart Stoyan thanked Szetho for her “outstanding and dedicated efforts”. He added: “For the last 20 months, Danielle has been the heart and soul of Australia’s fintech community. Danielle’s energy and passion has been central to Australia developing into one of the world’s leading fintech ecosystems.

Deductions ‘real driver of jobs’

Bill ShortenHon Bill Shorten MP,  Federal Member for Maribyrnong Leader of the Opposition from 13.10.13 has pledged that his plan to give tax deductions to businesses when they buy assets worth more than $20,000 will deliver more investment and jobs than company tax cuts would.

The Opposition Leader said Donald Trump had influenced his “Australian investment guarantee policy”, which would enable any business to receive a 20 per cent tax deduction on assets worth more than $20,000.

MYOB AI Push Ups The Stake In Accounting Software Battle 

Accounting software company MYOB this week plans to launch a new artificial intelligence powered tool as it ups the stakes in its marketplace battle with NZ-based Xero, now being run by Australian Steve Vamos, a former Microsoft Australia chief.

MYOB claims its new AI tool, dubbed Advisor, outstrips rival AI products from Xero and Intuit. It does this, says CEO Tim Reed, pictured, by making it both quick and easy to mine hidden data in a company’s books, using machine learning and natural language generation technologies.

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