MONEY MATTERS & BUSINESS OVERVIEW

RECENT MONEYTECH SETTLEMENT

$500,000 Confidential Debtor Finance Facility for a food product manufacturer and wholesaler.

This is a strong and well established business that was operating with no lending facilities.

The business realised there were significant savings to be made on the supply side around bulk ordering and automation of packaging. Given the impact the larger quantities required would have on cash flow, the client planned for the change in the business and we implemented a $500,000 confidential debtor finance facility. The cost savings on the supply side will exceed the cost of the facility by around 6 times, so a great financial outcome for the customers. It will also allow a lower cost base, that will allow them to be more price competitive in their market and drive further sales growth.

We will look to grow the facility with the growth of the company.

RECENT MONEYTECH SETTLEMENT

Moneytech welcomed a new $2.5m Confidential Debtor Finance Facility for a third-party logistics company specialising in the management of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG).

Moneytech offered this award winning company an effective advanced rate of 90% against their overall debtor ledger.

The Debtor Finance facility provided, will enable the company to continue its already impressive growth with additional working capital and will ensure that their business operations are comfortably expanded well beyond their current capacity.

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 for the early part of this year as very little looks like affecting our economy in this first quarter. (It has been at 1.5 percent for 30 months.)

INVESTMENT PICKS UP INTO GENERAL ECONOMY 

Deloitte Access Economics’ latest forecast report says while the investment in previously booming mining has slowed the pick-up in the other sectors is improving. The author Stephen Smith said: The backdrop of a solid domestic economy, business profits continuing to grow at healthy rates, low borrowing costs, and record state government infrastructure spending in NSW and Victoria, all suggest that the times are right for a recovery in private sector investment. Much of the good news is concentrated in the non-mining sector, which is seeing an increase in investment.

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A.T.O. TO SPEED UP TAX RETURNS

Interactions between accountants and the Australian Taxation Office could be much faster and taxpayers will see the benefits from an overhaul of the nation's digital tax systems. The ATO has been working on a reboot of the 18 year old tax portal systems. The new online services portal has started its rollout out to the tax community and it will reduce paper use. This should give accountants and tax agents an improved view of their client line. The ATO has long promised a better portal system to businesses and says the new rollout represents a digital-first approach from the ATO that will speed up processes for taxpayers. The portal was developed about 18 years ago. The new systems will also show superannuation reporting as payments are lodged, meaning accountants will be able to let their clients know if super is not flowing through from their employer. (The tax office says just 2.5 percent of tax returns came via paper forms in the last financial year, and while paper and fax based communications still play a role, overall the focus is a digital-first lodging environment.)

THE WORLD’S MOST INNOVATIVE ECONOMIES

This year’s Bloomberg Countries Innovative Index has been announced which identifies what countries are investing the most in education and research; patent activity being very influential on the ratings. While Australia slipped down to 19th, the 20 leaders were: South Korea, Germany, Finland, Switzerland, Israel, Singapore, Sweden, USA, Japan, France, Denmark, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Netherlands, China, Norway, UK, Australia and Canada.

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CREDIT & CASH PAYMENT MOVING OVER

Figures from the Reserve Bank show the number of withdrawals out of the nation's network of ATMs at their lowest level since 2001. The number of credit cards on issue has fallen below 16 million, dropping steadily over the past six months ahead of new rules that started from January 1. As credit card accounts are shut down they are being replaced with debit cards. While the total value of purchases on debit cards has increased, the actual number and value of cash-out transactions on them has actually fallen. Figures from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) show bank lending to households on credit cards has fallen 3.1 percent annually which is the biggest decline since records started 13 years ago. The figures are in line with data from some of the major banks suggesting consumers started to slow their spending into the key Christmas shopping period in the wake of the late November Black Friday sales.

NOT-SO-SUPER SUPER

The Productivity Commission has delivered a wide-ranging final report to the Morrison government that could deliver billions of dollars worth of benefits to Australians. Its findings around account duplication, lack of competition, "zombie" insurance policies that eat account balances and the way many in the superannuation industry concentrate on themselves rather than their customers, are compelling. If implemented in full, the proposals would upend the current system that has failed far too many while giving extra profits to super organisations. It would also put pressure on our regulators which, again, have been found to spend more time focused on protecting the interests of key players rather than most Australians.

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LOW UNEMPLOYMENT WILL KEEP HOUSING GOING – BANK BOSS

While a stricter regulatory environment in the wake of the Royal Commission has impacted lending and house prices across the country, the boss of WA's biggest bank is not predicting a calamity. In the face of fresh analysis of Australian house prices from CoreLogic and Moody's which predict continued falls, Bankwest Managing Director Rowan Munchenberg said he believed that provided employment remained strong the property correction would not become a cliff. (Bankwest has customers throughout Australia including a big contingent of home loan customers on the east coast.) Mr Munchenberg pointed to a relatively strong jobs market as a key factor: "Employment still remains high and while that is the case, despite flat wage growth, employment is going to be the key for economic prosperity and the ability for people to pay off their debt.”

MELBOURNE WILL LEAD SYDNEY UPTURN

Melbourne will lead Sydney out of the property downturn, new research from KPMG suggests, but that is a year away. The report in housing affordability in Australia's two largest cities predicts the Melbourne market will lift again in 2020, Sydney will not rebound until 2021. It also predicts that Labor's proposed changes to property taxes including negative gearing will not have a major impact on the market should it win the federal election. The main factors contributing to the decline, KPMG says, are a decrease in foreign home ownership, as well as a drop in residential property investors. KPMG chief economist Brendan Rynne said: "Our housing update shows that the tougher regulatory actions and taxation measures by both federal and state governments we identified last year have had a significant effect. There has been a falling-away in foreign interest, notably from China, and lending to domestic buyers has got stricter, while housing supply has increased. This is why prices have declined.".

AND FINALLY, THE NEW BUZZ WORDS YOU SHOULD KNOW FOR 2019

Our economy never stands still and with it the trendy descriptions move just as fast. The new buzz words you should be aware of are: FONGO is the Fear Of Not Getting Out, a situation which has the capacity to accelerate the price bust. It is the opposite of FOMO (the Fear Of Missing Out which can fuel house price booms). The next coming word is NAIRU (not to be confused with the small island nation) which is important because we live in an economy where our jobless rate has fallen to the rate below which economists expect wages and prices growth to accelerate as NAIRU means the Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment. The final buzz word is a phrase: NEGATIVE WEALTH EFFECT which is when home values are dropping. Economists debate the degree to which households will respond to falling valuations by curbing their spending. With consumer spending making up almost two-thirds of our economy, that phrase is important and will become popular.