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.

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?

by Roer Jimenez

Debt is a four-letter word we tend to easily avoid personally or for business. From a business perspective avoiding it may not always be the best way to achieve consistent cash flow.

So, are all debts equal?

Some debt can actually help grow your business. Rather than labelling all debt as “bad,” there are a few simple ways to recognise which debts are good, bad, or ugly.

by Cameron Lee

CPA Australia recently conducted its eighth annual Asia-Pacific Small Business Survey where it found that 50.7% of Australia’s small business experienced growth during 2017, which was the highest rate of growth in the past three years. CPA Australia also established that more businesses expected further growth and business activity within the next year than previously.

With these results, it is a timely reminder to assess your business and consider some factors and precautions to best prepare your business for growth.

by Emily Naumoska

Retail experts and insolvency practitioners alike have announced that even large, well-known local Australian retailers are not above the risk of insolvency.

Recently a number of high profile Australian retailers entered into administration including one of Australia’s most exclusive brands Oroton, in late 2017. Other recent collapses include Dick Smith, Toys R Us, Metalicus, Kangaroo Tent City & BBQs, along with Australia’s plus-size clothing fashion retailer Maggie T in 2018.

by Chris Kindis

In this matter [2018] NSWSC 707, Brereton J has upheld the s588FG(2) ‘Good Faith’ defence run by Bildavoid Concrete Voidforming Systems (“Bildavoid”).

Background on the Matter

by Adam Lysle

In the last two weeks, we have seen an increased focus on the risks associated in dealing with operators in the property sector. In fact, the entire business community seems to be enveloped in interest in the world of various collapses that have taken place over the last few months and years. One larger collapse which has attracted a significant amount of interest is the collapse of Project Group, a Victorian builder.

by Charith Seneviratne

The increasing presence of phoenix operators demonstrates that the individual regulators are inadequately equipped to address illegal phoenix activity. In addition to this, current anti-phoenix measures focus’ too heavily on enforcement and prosecution of existing phoenix operators rather than deterrence of future phoenix operator.

by Frank Farrugia

Voluntary Administration, when used as a tool for a formal restructure can have many advantages, including giving the Company a breathing space from disputing directors or its creditors while trying to ensure the best possible return via a pari passu distribution to eligible creditors. The VA process can also facilitate a rehabilitation of a financially distressed company which has a viable business.

by Adam Lysle

Well, a quick snapshot: The race to the Prime Ministership resembling an episode of the infamous Days of Our Lives soapy with a long drawn out battle over nine undecided seats and the prospect of a volatile senate still looming; we have a damning report in New South Wales over the greyhound racing industry which will see an end to that industry in NSW and the ACT at the very least from 1 July 2017; the American election is an even more interesting evolving situation when considering the world’s stability and of course Brexit is an extraordinary vote result that only time will tell what effect it will have on the world stage. All of these stories have certainly stolen the headlines lately.

by Louise Thomson

It was interesting that the conglomerate US Bank Morgan Stanley is significantly behind the problems of Arrium.

Morgan Stanley, according to the reports, (see SMH April 18 article by Sarah Danckert) has filed action in the Delaware Chancery Court seeking orders that Arrium and its subsidiary companies repay a $US75.4 million ($A97.6 million) credit facility the US bank provided in 2013.

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