News Pulse for October 24, 2018

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

Victoria’s start-ups on the rise

Victoria’s start-up ecosystem is continuing to grow at a rapid clip, despite the sector in Australia overall experiencing a rare slump.

There are now over 2,700 start-ups in Victoria, according to an annual analysis from the state government’s start-up body LaunchVic, which said the sector is growing at 23 per cent per annum.

Startup Muster report shows ecosystem decline as government continues to let down Australian startups

Last year’s  annual Startup Muster report painted the picture of a thriving Australian ecosystem with nothing but growth to look forward to. But this year’s report, released yesterday, tells a markedly different story.

Significant drops in the number of active startups and new startups in the scene, along with a decline in the number of women founders, has led industry experts to ask the question: what’s missing?

The Aussie start-up sector has shrunk and got blokier in the last year, according to Start-up Muster

Australia’s start-ups have become fewer, older and more male, an annual survey of 3476 founders and their service providers has revealed.

In a sign that the government’s 2015 “ideas boom” has busted, the 2018 Start-Up Muster report estimated the number of ongoing start-ups in Australia has fallen from 1675 to 1465 since 2017, with the number launched between the current survey and the previous one falling to 712 from 1291.

Open banking will fundamentally change our business model, says ANZ 

ANZ expects the impact of open banking on Australia’s financial industry will be profound. So much so that the bank is preparing to fundamentally change its business model. But it had to rely on regulators to get the conversation started.

“From a large bank perspective, I think open banking helps us validate our conclusion, that I think is broadly held amongst financial institutions, that our business model can’t stand still,” said Nigel Dobson, Banking Services Business Domain Lead, ANZ.

ATO to move over 700,000 businesses to single touch payroll as experts warn on compliance costs 

The taxman is workshopping ways to help small firms without digital systems adopt single touch payroll (STP) in an attempt to get ahead of concern micro-businesses may find it difficult to adopt the new system.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO Australian Taxation Office) has approached the market for suggestions on ways to develop a “fit-for-purpose” system to help businesses with less than 19 employees adopt STP reporting, suggesting apps, online solutions and “simple payroll products” may be created.

Government to review extension of unfair contract terms to small business | The Hon Stuart Robert MP

The Government will review the effectiveness of protections for small business against unfair contract terms (UCTs). The UCT protections for small business have been in place since 12 November 2016. Two years on, the Government wants to ensure that the framework is operating effectively and that appropriate levels of protection are afforded to small businesses.

Open banking a Trojan horse for Mulesoft

The Australian arm of Mulesoft, a connector of businesses and applications that was bought by Salesforce for $US6.5 billion in May , is yet to crack a “big four” bank as a client but is working towards next year’s open banking regime changing that.

The company, whose clients include Airbnb and McDonalds and in Australia Foxtel and Service NSW, benefits from any trend that creates the need for more apps, as it should create more demand for its ability to “knit them together” and simplify their use, Mulesoft’s chief executive Greg Schott told The Australian Financial Review during a visit to Sydney from his San Francisco headquarters this week.

Open banking might not be the bank killer everyone thought it would be

The banks are starting with a significant advantage over the fintech disruptors with the introduction of open banking in Australia, a move designed to transform the competitive landscape in financial services.

Bank customers will soon have more ownership of their own transaction histories under the new open banking regime which comes into force next year.

Open Banking is coming to Australia and it’s coming fast

Open Banking is closer than you think. Banks and fintech companies in Australia are about to commence building their new APIs (application programming interfaces) for the start of the new regime. The first of July 2019 is the official date for everything to go live, but with the Data Standards Body due to release draft standards in a couple of months, Open Banking is, in practice, just around the corner.

Things are moving quickly now. Once standards are released, all market participants looking to go live from day one will have around six months to build their APIs and a couple more to test them. From then on ‘business as usual’ in financial services will be forever changed.

The incestuous world of tax and how it may give birth to conflicts of interest

‘My world literally fell apart’: How the ATO Australian Taxation Office sank Kathryn’s business with a call

Look at the Australian Taxation Office’s top ranks and you’ll find many of its senior executives come from private firms.

Tax commissioner Chris Jordan is an ex-cop and former KPMG tax partner.

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

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