by Goran Veljanoski

Voluntary Administrators were appointed to fashion chain Bardot last month on 28 November 2019 as the consumer sector continues to shrink.

Just ten days earlier, well known restaurant chain Crinitis also entered Voluntary Administration as the owners now attempt a restructure of the restaurants.

It looks like 2019 is set to end just as 2018 did, with evidence that even the big names are susceptible to the problems which plague small to medium businesses.

By Renee Zhou

The stories of the US and China trade war have been centred on trading tariffs for the past 16 months. Instead of adding to the repetitive story, recently, this discussion on trade wars shifts the focus onto currency wars and the implication cryptocurrencies will have.

For decades, the US currency has been the world’s major reserve currency. With the economic growth of China, it is believed that China has attempted to dedollarize to reduce its exposure to US sanction in various ways. Dedollarize refers to using domestic currency instead of US dollars for countries other than the US. For example, the introduction of petroyuan in 2017, used Chinese-based currency for oil trading, so countries such as Russia, Venezuela and Iran could avoid pressures of the US currency.

We are saddened to see how Australia has been hurt over the last few weeks due to the catastrophic bushfires. Veritas has made a donation to Red Cross which will help with relief and recovery efforts made possible by the organisation.

The Government has announced grants and low-interest loans for businesses who have lost assets or had an adverse decline in revenue due to the bushfires. We would like to offer our expertise to business owners that may have been affected to help with the potential burden which may arise from the unfortunate turn of events. This offer is completely obligation free and we are happy for you to put us in touch with anyone who may require our guidance.

Speak to us to find out if you're eligible for any of the Government grants, or to find out what other options may be available to you or your business.

by Louise Thomson

At the start of August, Johnny Law and I attended the UNSW Australian Defence Force Academy campus in Canberra for a week to undertake their course in Digital Forensics.

I hear a series of Ho Hums and What??? and see the rolling of many sets of eyes, but not the question What is Digital Forensics?

Yes, I appreciate that was probably an apt response unless you have an interest in Forensic Accounting or Computer Science.

HOWEVER, we (i.e. you, me, all of us who are reading this article) now have access to some investigative tools that was previously available to law enforcement, intelligence agencies, private investigators and corporate security service providers. More importantly, Donald Trump wouldn’t have had to whine about ‘No Collusion, No Obstruction’ for the last two years as he would more than likely not have been thrust upon the naïve, innocent unaware world. Why? Because the Russians would not have made use of those skills to destroy Hillary Clinton and anyone else who was challenging him during 2015-2016.

by Soren Tan

In the post-millennium era, large disruption has been caused by the emergence of digital technology. In recent years, social media has penetrated mainstream media and become an essential part of our daily lives. Some may say that it is a pre-requisite in today’s competitive market and is not something that will disappear anytime soon.

Based on a chart by sproutsocial1, the likelihood of an individual buying from the companies that they follow on social media platforms is 57.5% more likely than companies that they do not follow.

Sproutsocial chart

by Ceclia Do

The Franchising Industry has been highly important in the Australian economy, making up to 9 per cent of the country’s GDP, according to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services (“the Committee”).

The recent string of scandals involving major franchisors such as Domino’s Pizza, 7-Eleven, Caltex and Retail Food Group which owns Michel Pastisserie, Brumby's, Gloria Jeans, Donut King and the Crust Pizza brand, and the financial difficulties faced mostly by Franchisees as a result of the failure of the business they heavily invested in, have triggered the Committee to conduct an inquiry into the franchise industry.

On 14 March 2019, the Committee released a report on Fairness in Franchising inquiry, looking in-depth into the current practices and workings of the industry, particularly into the relationship between Franchisors and their Franchisees.

by Peter Chakty

Anyone who has been fortunate (or cursed) enough to have worked as an accountant, are likely to have been greeted at one time or another by the same response when explaining their profession to their family and friends. It goes something like this, “Oh you’re an accountant?” “How boring” “Don’t you just add up numbers all day?” This couldn’t be further from the truth and is a common and frustrating misconception of what it means to be a ‘modern accountant.’

by Allison Menzies

Following an expose presented by Four Corners, the ATO has been forced to defend itself against allegations of bullying towards small and medium enterprises, which some business owners claim has placed them not only in emotional, but financial distress. The ATO has vehemently denied these claims, insisting that the stories uncovered in the Four Corners investigation are representative of none but a small minority of SME disputes.

Allegations of the ATO’s inappropriate conduct to meet revenue targets include a whistle-blower’s recount of how instructions were given to Tax Office staff to issue garnishee notices over taxpayers who had been assessed as owing the ATO money, without prior assessment of their personal circumstances. These garnishee notices often result in recurring payments from a taxpayer’s bank account, whenever money available. Often these transactions leave businesses without sufficient funds to pay wages or meet other financial obligations.

Fund Options (Australia) Pty Limited
ACN 603 782 903
(In Liquidation) ("the Company")

On 15 May 2015, David Iannuzzi was appointed Liquidator of the Company.

As a result of the investigations undertaken by the Liquidator, it has been discovered that the Company was apparently trading binary options online using a platform called “BancDe Options” from a Hong Kong based website and a platform called “Options Rider” from a New Zealand based website.

These websites served as a global marketplace / platform for “investors” who wished to trade binary options over stocks or currencies.  The business of the Company is suspected to have been a Ponzi scheme.

by Paul Fury

In August 2018, the Federal Government released for public comment draft legislation aimed at combating illegal phoenixing activity. However, even if enacted, it is questionable if the proposed legislation will have a great deal of effect.

A longstanding difficulty with illegal phoenixing is that the term is not defined either in the Corporations Act or by case law. However, it is broadly understood to mean the transfer of the assets of an insolvent company to a new entity with the company being left as just an indebted shell.

The draft legislation does not address this definition issue. Instead, it introduces in proposed section 588FDB of the Corporations Act the new concept of a “creditor-defeating disposition”. This term is central to the proposed legislation.

by Roslyn Cossins

According to figures recently reported by ATO staff at a forum for insolvency practitioners, the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation (“DCT”) has over 52,600 insolvency accounts with a combined debt of over $7.2 billion. It is no surprise, therefore, and especially to those who work within the insolvency industry, that the DCT is arguably Australia’s largest unsecured creditor.

So how does the DCT approach insolvency, and how can insolvency practitioners work with the ATO to achieve the best outcome for all stakeholders?

HootersLogoThe Group’s Administrators advise that Expressions of Interest (EOI) to purchase Hooters has now closed. There are a handful of genuine parties that the Administrators are currently liaising with.

“The EOI process allows for a fair process to consider a potential rescue plan for the Group i.e. a Deed of Company Arrangement proposal from the Director versus engaging with new owners or management in order to continue the Hooters brand in Australia.” said the Group’s Administrator David Iannuzzi of Veritas Advisory.

The Administrators are continuing to work closely with Hooters of America, LLC and are using their best endeavours to ensure that the Hooters brand continues down under.

A meeting of creditors has been scheduled for 29 August 2018 where the future of the brand will be discussed further with creditors in attendance. It is expected this meeting will be adjourned to allow creditors more time to fully consider their options.

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