MONEY MATTERS & BUSINESS OVERVIEW
RECENT MONEYTECH SETTLEMENT
$950,000 Debtor & Trade Finance Facility for a wholesale manufacturer & distributor of high-value solid timber mouldings for the Australian market.
Moneytech was able to provide a facility which provided an effective 90% advance rate against the overall debtor ledger. The facility provided vital working capital for this growing business. The availability of an unsecured Trade Finance Facility to assist with stock purchases & an FX Facility to help with overseas payments was also a crucial reason the client came to Moneytech.
RECENT MONEYTECH SETTLEMENT
$300,000 Trade Finance Facility for an importer and shoe wholesaler.
The business is recently established and is a new venture off the back of two experienced operators continuing to run their own businesses. Moneytech was able to provide a facility which allowed 100% funding of supplier invoices for the initial order as well as meeting their FX needs. The facility better suited their cash flow cycle, on day 1, there was no debtor ledger to leverage against.
As the business continues to grow, we will look at a debtor finance facility to complement the trade facility. By understanding the clients’ needs and providing the solution that met their immediate cash flow need, as well as providing an FX Facility to help with paying in other currencies, the client came to Moneytech.
RBA RETAINS 1.5 PERCENT
The Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has announced the basic cash rate remains at 1.5 percent. Nearly every analyst is tipping this rate will now remain the same for this calendar year as very little looks like it will affect our economy. (It has been at 1.5 percent for 28 months.)
WAGE GROWTH HIGHEST IN 3 YEARS
Hourly pay rates across Australia increased 2.3 percent over the past 12 months for the highest annual growth rate in 3 years. Public sector hourly rates of pay lifted 2.5 percent over the year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Private sector workers received a 0.5 percent increase in the quarter and 2.1 percent over the year. ABS chief economist Bruce Hockman said: “There was a higher rate of wage growth recorded across the majority of industries in comparison to this time last year, reflecting the influence of improved labour market conditions.” (For individual industries, the annual growth ranged from 1.8 percent for the mining and retail trade industries to 2.8 percent for the healthcare and social assistance industry.)
GLOBAL RETAIL GIANT ARRIVES
A new player has arrived in Australia’s retail fuel market following supermarket giant Woolworths selling its 540 service stations to the British company EG Group for $1.72 billion. Woolworths said it had entered a 15 year agreement with EG that will maintain its 4¢ a litre fuel discount shopper dockets across the network, and enable Woolworths Rewards points to be earned on fuel transactions across its network. The supermarket giant will also sell wholesale food and groceries to the chain of service stations under the agreement.
The proceeds of the sale could provide valuable ammunition for Woolworths to either cut grocery prices or invest more in its supermarkets. Woolworths said it would consider a “range of options” for what to do with the $1.7 billion windfall, including paying it as dividends to shareholders. The deal needs approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board, and is expected to be completed early next year. (EG operates more than 4700 service stations in Europe and North America.)
GIG ECONOMY FORCED TO IMPROVE?
Fancy a bit of part-time work delivering food? Well, you might think again with the recent industrial ruling to reshape the actions of a specialist like Uber Eats and Deliveroo. Industrial experts say the recent ruling by the Fair Work Commission in favour of a delivery operator has put such business models under increased scrutiny. Respected Professor Forsyth said: “One of the bases of their operations is the way they claim their deliveries are done by subbies but this ruling says there is a new level of control normally found in conventional employment. This decision says to these companies you can’t have it both ways.
Competitors such as Uber Eats and Deliveroo are likely to have to revisit the amount of control they have, including star-rating systems whereby workers can be dropped from the service if they get a poor rating. The gig economy businesses would also have to look at requirements for wearing branded clothing and carrying branded delivery boxes. Those are the main things that will turn this on its head from here on. I think this opens the door to more cases.”
AMAZON’S CURIOUS DECISION
The move by Amazon to reverse its earlier decision and reopen its USA site to Aussie shoppers has got this massive industry perplexed. Amazon stopped delivering goods bought from Amazon.com and other sites to Australian addresses in July, restricting local customers to its Amazon Australia site, which stocked about 10 percent of the products. The global e-commerce giant instituted the ban after the government brought in a so-called “Amazon tax” which applied the 10 percent GST to all online purchases being shipped to Australia from overseas to be collected by the retailer.
Amazon now says in response to “customer feedback”, it would reopen its American and other international sites to Australian shoppers. However, it will apply only to products that Amazon stocks and sells itself. Products from third-party sellers using Amazon’s marketplace, estimated to account for about half of Amazon.com’s total sales, will remain blocked while the company works out how to apply GST to those sales. (Amazon.com.au now lists about 80 million products, compared with about 500 million on Amazon’s US site. Analysts estimated before the launch of Amazon’s local site late last year that Australians spent up to $700 million on Amazon annually.
A.I. COULD BE ACCOUNTANTS’ BEST ASSET
Research by the international Association of Chartered Certified Accountants highlights three areas of major change by 2025 with artificial intelligence (A.I.) being the most prominent. The findings identify: evolving digital technology, continued globalisation of reporting/disclosure standards and new forms of regulation. Its report states: The spread of digital technologies and their impact on business will transform the practice of accounting and the competencies that professional accountants require. In fact, from the 2000 accountants interviewed, 55 percent believed that the highest external factor to have impact in the next three to five years will be the development of intelligent automated accounting systems.
Nikolas Hatzistergos, of William Buck Chartered Accountants who was involved with the report says “With any type of disruption, there will always be winners and losers and there’s always opportunity. It’s really up to accountants to seize the moment, look at the opportunities and undertake the necessary initiatives. Artificial intelligence will play a key role requiring accountants to upskill and at the same time bring in alternative streams of revenue.”
SMALL BUSINESSES HIT AGAIN THIS XMAS
There is little cheer for small businesses this Christmas as they try to contain parcel delivery costs. Online businesses selling all manner of gifts insist the national postal service keeps getting more expensive to the extent that it is hitting their sales. Australia Post announced an annual increase in parcel delivery costs at the start of October, as well as changes to the ‘Send and Save’ discounts for business customers last month. These changes increased the discount that business customers could get on sending parcels to the ‘same metro area’, meaning they can get up to a 35 percent discount for sending mail in large volumes. However, many smaller businesses were frustrated this policy did not include any price relief for sending orders to regional areas across Australia, which they say puts on increased cost pressure.