News Pulse for July 11, 2018

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

Australian organisations struggling with compliance, security report says

A new report from Gemalto claims Australian organisations may be falling short when it comes to compliance with data security regulations.

The company today released its fifth annual Data Security Confidence Index. The report is based on a global survey of 1050 IT decision makers and 10,500 consumers — including 100 Australian IT decision makers and 1000 Australian consumers.

Aussie litigation fund threatens action over alleged Facebook privacy breach

Litigation funder IMF Bentham is preparing to potentially sue social media giant Facebook in Australia over its sharing of users’ data with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

The world’s largest social network said in April that data of up to 87 million people ended up in the hands of Cambridge Analytica, which was employed by Donald Trump’s 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.

The end of ‘special purpose’ financial statements is coming

The potential end of so-called “special purpose” financial statements has caused an uproar in accounting circles.

At the moment, all companies are required to maintain financial records, and prepare financial reports that should comply with accounting standards.

Uncertainty for small businesses as key tax changes remain in limbo

A back-log of highly-anticipated tax legislation was not passed by the Senate on Thursday, June 28, during its final sitting day ahead of the Winter recess.

This means these measures remain in limbo until Parliament resumes on  Monday, August 13 . This creates uncertainty for taxpayers and tax practitioners as they begin the annual process of advising on and preparing 2018 income tax returns without knowing whether the law will be amended, in some cases retrospectively.

Retail sector keeps lagging as business conditions stay steady: NAB survey

Business conditions stabilised in June after a sharp fall the previous month, but the retail sector remained “noticeably weaker” than other industries.

NAB’s monthly business survey showed conditions edging slightly higher, while confidence declined slightly.

Xero shakes up executive line-up

Cloud accounting firm Xero has appointed a new chief financial officer, with Sankar Narayan departing at the end of the 2018 as part of a broader executive shake-up.

Kirsty Godfrey-Billy, Xero’s current chief accounting officer who has been with Xero since 2016, will take over as CFO from October 1 and said in a statement she will work closely with Mr Narayan to ensure a smooth transition.

Xero raises prices down under

Xero will raise its prices in Australia and New Zealand from September 28 to reflect its software’s additional functions and the rising cost to serve larger customers on a per-employee basis.

The accounting software company says New Zealand subscribers got access to Xero Expenses from this week but will only start paying for it from September 28.

Labor’s tax hit on small and medium businesses

Labor has committed to hit Australian small and medium businesses with higher taxes, in a decision that will undermine economic growth and cost jobs.

In its latest assault on business and the economy, Labor will increase taxes on 1 million small and medium businesses employing 4.8 million Australians by a staggering 10 per cent.

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