Summer 2013

Changes to Australia’s Privacy Policy

After March 12, the new legislation allows providers to share your credit history.

What are the changes?
The new changes to the Australian Privacy Laws will allow information additional to default and failed lending applications to be included in the credit report for applicants.  This information will now include 24 months of repayment history for loans, credit cards and other credit.  This is deemed to be ‘positive’ reporting.
Before the legislation was passed, Australia was termed a ‘negative’ data reporting country.

What is the new data?
The changes allow credit providers to collect and disseminate repayment history information from other licensed credit providers.
This means that your repayment history for your telephone, mobile, internet, utilities, etc will not go on your record.

Credit Report
All the information collected forms part of your ‘credit report’.  Although this has always been available to you, it will now include the extra data.  Organisations such as Veda, Dunn & Bradstreet and Experian Australia provide credit reports and scores.
You are entitled to obtain one free credit report from each credit reporting agency per year.
The best reason to obtain a copy of your credit report is to ascertain if there are any outstanding issues against your report and then work out the best way to fix it.  This is crucial if you are having problems obtaining credit or finance approvals.
For more information on credit reporting, visit www.creditsmart.org.au or contact your finance manager and request assistance.

Disclaimer: Information subject to change

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Economy has turned a corner.

(Source: Australian Financial Review, Sydney Morning Herald – March 5, 2014)

Reserve Bank of Australia member John Edwards says the latest GDP data shows Australia’s economy had shaken off the threat of a serious downturn and appears to have turned a corner.

Mr Edwards believes the upbeat growth figures are an encouraging sign that Australia is successfully shifting from being driven by mining investment to other sources of demand, such as home construction.

Figures from the Australian Bureau of statistics showed the Australian Economy expanded faster than expected in the December quarter, but remains well below the long term trend.

[Read more …]

Talk Around Town

Well the election that spanned 2013 has finally come and gone and I don’t think that there were too many surprises with the result – we now begin a new term of parliament and a new government steering the country.

This new government will need to do just that, steer the country back on the road to growth and to do that the State governments need to play their part and look at infrastructure projects that are viable and can be jointly funded with Federal assistance or from the private sector under a JV arrangement.

[Read more …]

Plan Ahead to Get Ahead

You’ve probably all heard of the 6 ‘Ps’Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance, but this is never been truer than when we sit down to plan ahead for a new year.

Whether your business turnover is $100,000, $1,000,000 or $30,000,000 p.a., the New Year is a perfect time to take stock and review your operation. At this time of the year your 2012/2013 Financials should now be finalised so take the time to review each line of expenses. Understand what makes up each expense item, why is it at this level and can I do anything to reduce some of these costs moving forward.

Your business budget forecast should be done around April/May each year ahead of the start of a New Financial Year. When budgets are done, they should reflect the number of weeks in each month and the income adjusted accordingly. Public holidays, Easter, Xmas, annual leave, etc should also be taken in to account as these times of the year can affect income for the business.

You should also review your list of assets within the business, what equipment is coming up for another birthday, which items are due to be upgraded, can I be more efficient by trading in older more expensive gear and replacing it with new equipment which is under warranty.

Once you have reviewed your business and planned ahead for the next 12 months, use your review on a monthly basis to compare actual trading results against your projected figures to ensure that the business is tracking well and that your expenses are not getting away from you.

Consumer Confidence Up

Low interest rates and rising house and share prices have boosting consumer confidence in November, something the retailers association will be happy with as we head into the Xmas spending period.

The further prospect of having the Carbon Tax repealed next year and household bills reducing as a result should add confidence to the consumer sector. The signs are there that 2014 should be a better year and we should start to see growth across the board.

The increase in consumer confidence is not just in Australia, China’s big 4 cities which account for 44% of their population recorded an increase of 9% year on year for consumer goods. USA consumer confidence rose 7% on the same period from last year – meanwhile consumers in India and Brazil remain the most confident in the world.