16/11/2016 - 11:45

Inquiry launched into payment times

16/11/2016 - 11:45

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The recently appointed Australian small business and family enterprise ombudsman has launched an inquiry into the payment practices of big businesses and governments across Australia.

Inquiry launched into payment times

The recently appointed Australian small business and family enterprise ombudsman has launched an inquiry into the payment practices of big businesses and governments across Australia.

The inquiry, which will be undertaken in partnership with state-based small business commissioners in Western Australia, NSW and Victoria, seeks to weed out patterns of larger businesses taking too long to pay bills owed to smaller companies.

The inquiry will also seek input from state and federal governments, and is being carried out in association with the Council of Small Business Australia and the Australian Institute of Credit Management.

“Anecdotally, small businesses are reporting that some large businesses are taking longer than ever to pay their bills,” the ombudsman, former Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Kate Carnell said in a statement.

“This inquiry aims to establish an accurate picture of the trends that have emerged in recent years surrounding the commercial arrangements between large and small businesses, as well as governments and small enterprises.”

One of the goals of the inquiry is to assess the impacts those trends have and identify practical solutions.

“The Inquiry will seek input from businesses and other industry stakeholders through submissions, an online survey as well as through public consultations, with the final report expected in March 2017,” Ms Carnell said.

“Cash flow is king to small business; late payments can be the difference between success and insolvency so it’s vital these sorts of unfair payment practices are stamped-out to ensure small businesses can reach their full potential, and in doing so, continue to contribute substantially to the overall health of the national economy.”

The ombudsman was appointed in March to advocate for small business and family enterprises in Australia, to provide access to dispute resolution services without businesses having to resort to expensive litigation.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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