News Pulse for August 1, 2018

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

Empowering consumers against companies

The ACCCAustralian Competition and Consumer Commission The ACCC is Australia's competition regulator and national consumer law champion. will continue to give a voice to consumers and push companies to live up to their responsibilities, ACCCAustralian Competition and Consumer Commission The ACCC is Australia's competition regulator and national consumer law champion. Chair Rod Sims told the West Australian Australian-Israeli Chamber of Commerce in Perth today.

“Our enforcement team here in Perth, for example, has taken a lead role in important areas in the last few years, including franchising matters and unfair contract terms impacting small business, as well as taking part in a number of high profile investigations,” Mr Sims said.

Fair Work reforms ‘fall short’

Small business is pushing for more substantive reforms after the Fair Work Commission announced it would pursue changes to help employers navigate Australia’s complex industrial relations system.

FWC president Iain Ross yesterday ruled out a push to create a small business division, but he said a planned overhaul over the next 12 months would include a review to ensure people appearing before the commission were provided with better information about its operations and procedures.

Australia’s regulators have tools to crimp power of tech giants

After two days spent hearing how far behind Australia is in many areas of the technology sector, it was nice to find out there’s one very important area where we actually have an advantage.

The Australian Financial Review Innovation Summit has heard there are some real gaps opening up between Australia and the rest of the world in automation, artificial intelligence, research and development spending and the creation of tech companies.

The gig economy is a myth, survey finds

The ‘gig economy’ is a myth, globalisation is killing Australian small business owners, and men have significantly more autonomy in their jobs but feel less secure in their roles.

A survey of 17,000 Australians over almost two decades has found “there is no evidence of any growth in the use of independent workers in Australia,” despite widespread fears of companies such as Uber and AirTasker flipping a century-old industrial relations model.

Small business: Not the jobs engine we think

The Australian Government is, to quote from its own marketing material , “committed to helping small business thrive”.

And all evidence suggests they are genuine in this commitment; after all, they have an entire public service department devoted to “jobs and small business”.

The big superannuation mistake

HUNDREDS of thousands of Australians are not paying themselves super and leaving themselves in a worrying situation once they stop working.

There are more than 2 million small business operators in Australia and new results show one in four feel they are underprepared for retirement.

New analysis from business management firm MYOB found less than one third pay themselves any superannuation, leaving them well short of retirement savings once they stop work.

Workers feel unprepared for digital economy, but won’t invest in new skills

Australians earning under $50,000 a year, that are single, aged 40-49 or did not complete high school are most concerned they’ll be out of a job in the new digital economy, but the majority are not doing anything to learn new skills.

A new study from MYOB, presented at The Australian Financial Review Innovation Summit, indicated that 28 per cent of respondents felt “totally unprepared” for the tech-driven changes to the workforce, while only 16 per cent of people felt completely prepared.

How businesses can pair human and artificial intelligence to drive customer success

A 2015 CEDACEDA - Committee for Economic Development of Australia report suggested 40 per cent of jobs in Australia were highly “susceptible” to computerisation within the coming 15 years, while last year consultancy AlpAustralian Labor Party www.alp.org.auhaBeta reported three million Australian jobs (that’s around a third of all local jobs) were at risk by 2030. Knowing it’s not so much a question of ‘if’ than ‘how’, smart business leaders are considering how AI applications can make a positive impact to their businesses and integrating them as soon as possible.

Business battles to be ready for AI wave

Jobs and Innovation Minister Michaelia Cash says Australia can manage the rise of automation and artificial intelligence without a spike in unemployment, despite concerns the local business sector is well behind foreign competitors in preparing for these trends.

Statistics suggest as many as 3.5 million jobs could be affected by AI by 2030, with research from the IMF suggesting the lowest-skilled workers will be hit hardest.

MYOB CEO Tim Reed says Australia is deeply divided over its AI future

As a chief executive, I am constantly asked about what the future of work looks like, what skills will be needed and how businesses and employees can get prepared.

It’s not news that technology and globalisation are changing the ways businesses are operating.

Ashurst advises Australian fintech on securitisation warehouse

Ashurst has advised fintech firm On Deck Australia on establishing a $75 million securitisation warehouse provided by Credit Suisse and backed by On Deck’s business loan asset portfolio.

Ashurst also advised Perpetual, the trustee, standby servicer, security trustee and manager.

The arrangement reflects On Deck’s growth in the small business loans sector in which it has loaned over $8 billion to over 80,000 businesses in Australia, Canada, and the US.

Making Fair Work system easier for small and family business | Ministers’ Media Centre, Australian Government

Minister Laundyhas officially launched a plan by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) aimed at reducing complexity and improving access to small and family business owners.

“Small and family business owners don’t have the same resources as bigger businesses. Making it easier for them means they can focus on growing their businesses,” Mr Laundy said.

More jobs, less inequality – it’s a fact | Ministers’ Media Centre, Australian Government

The release today of annual data on household income and labour has demolished Labor’s claims of growing inequality in Australia.

The 13th annual Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey by the Melbourne Institute shows relative poverty (household equivalised income less than 50 per cent of the median) is at an all-time low.

The report also shows that inequality of individuals’ equivalised household disposable income has fallen each year since 2013, and is now lower than it ever was under Labor.

ATO no ‘model litigant’, small businesses tell Senate inquiry

Small business people alleging misconduct by the Australian Taxation Office have thrown their support behind proposed changes to the law that would strengthen current rules that require government agencies to behave like model litigants during legal disputes.

In submissions to a Senate inquiry examining whether the laws should be amended to increase rights of taxpayers , they say the ATO Australian Taxation Office fails to fulfil its Model Litigant Obligations.

The taxman goes high tech

As the new financial year gets under way, thousands of us will once again be digging through our gloveboxes, handbags and briefcases for those all-important receipts.

Of course, some among us are a lot more organised than that, meticulously logging and filing every transaction and claim, either in the traditional sense or through one of the many tech apps available for such a task.

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

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