Pulse Alert – News Pulse for September 6, 2019

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

SMEs unsure of borrowing capacity and loan documentation

Nearly half of SMEs want to borrow money in the next year but are uncertain of their borrowing capacity and correct loan documentation and have falling levels of trust in banks, new research from Judo Bank has found.

The findings come from Judo Bank’s second annual SME Banking Insights Annual Report, which saw researchers East & Partners interview 1,751 small- to medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners and managers.

Tough new rules on prompt payment come into force

Tough new rules designed to make sure government suppliers pay their bills on time have come into force.

The rules, which came in on September 1, mean all government suppliers must pay 95 per cent of their invoices within 60 days or run the risk of losing out on major government contracts.

ATO’s treatment of whistleblowers is ‘scandalous’, says submission to federal inquiry

Australia’s tax watchdog should be given powers to protect whistleblowers who make public interest disclosures, according to submissions to a federal inquiry.

The call comes as former Australian Taxation Office (ATO Australian Taxation Office) public servant Richard Boyle faces the threat of life in prison for blowing the whistle on disturbing debt collection practices at the ATO Australian Taxation Office.

ATO should interact more with accountants and less with small business, says Assistant Treasurer

Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar wants the tax office to improve its relationship with accountants and small businesses, by engaging more with the former, and less with the latter.

Speaking at an Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) conference on Wednesday, Sukkar said the Australian Tax Office (ATO Australian Taxation Office), which reports to the Treasurer, has done “a lot of good work”, but needs to shake up its interactions with business owners.

Ombudsman urges prospective franchisees to do their homework

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell is urging prospective franchisees to do their homework before investing, after the ACCCAustralian Competition and Consumer Commission The ACCC is Australia's competition regulator and national consumer law champion. found some franchisors were failing to provide adequate information to buyers.

The regulator found one-in-three franchisors in the food services sector had failed to disclose useful contact details of former franchisees to allow prospective buyers to conduct due diligence.

Larger firms targeted as Xero announces new partnership

Accounting software provider Xero has announced a partnership with a cloud practice management software company as it looks to target the mid and large-sized accounting practice market.

Announced at Xerocon 2019, South African cloud practice management software GreatSoft will now integrate with Xero, with the accounting software provider hoping it will fill a market gap for larger firms.

Insurers, telcos warned on small business contracts after ASIC action

The major banks avoided litigation with the corporate regulator over small business contracts after removing offending terms before the royal commission kicked off, and the small business ombudsman has warned companies in the insurance, telecommunications and media sectors to do likewise to avoid being sued like Bank of Queensland and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank were on Wednesday .

After reviewing the unfair contract term (UCT) laws after they were introduced three years ago, Treasury is preparing to issue a regulatory impact statement this month, as the government considers whether to beef up the laws to make including the terms illegal and backing them up with penalty provisions.

Want to earn thousands more each year? Get a tech job, report says

Australian workers could end up thousands of dollars richer each year by quitting their jobs and reskilling to enter the technology industry, new research has revealed.

The nation is to poised to undergo a tech jobs boom over the next five years, a report launched by Treasurer Josh FrydenbergThe Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP, Federal Member for Kooyong Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia from 21.9.15 on Thursday claimed.

Disruptive Aussie fintech startup Douugh expands in the U.S.

Disruptive consumer fintech Douugh announced that it is expanding in the United States, with the rollout of its ‘Freemium’ smart bank account and Mastercard debit card proposition to its growing waitlist.

On a mission to democratise banking and build the autonomous future of money management, Douugh is a consumer technology company that offers an AI powered financial wellness banking platform, delivered through a SaaS subscription model.

‘Accommodate the profession’: Assistant Treasurer sends warning to the ATO

The Assistant Treasurer has sent a strong message to the Tax Office to be more accommodating with the accounting profession and to recognise the heavy lifting that they do on behalf of their clients.

Speaking at the Institute of Public Accountants and IPA Deakin SME Research Centre’s Small Business: Big Vision conference, Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar said that while the ATO Australian Taxation Office has done “a lot of good work”, he would like to see greater recognition of the tax profession.

“As accountants are predominantly doing all the heavy lifting, I want the ATO Australian Taxation Office to be more engaging with the accounting profession and do whatever it takes to better accommodate all their interactions with this government agency,” Mr Sukkar said.

ATO should interact more with accountants and less with small business, says Assistant Treasurer

Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar wants the tax office to improve its relationship with accountants and small businesses, by engaging more with the former, and less with the latter.

Speaking at an Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) conference on Wednesday, Sukkar said the Australian Tax Office (ATO Australian Taxation Office), which reports to the Treasurer, has done “a lot of good work”, but needs to shake up its interactions with business owners.

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