Vol 7 Issue 8 May 6 2009

  • Date:06 May 2009
  • Type:Boardroom Report

Concern over draft “golden handshakes” Bill

AICD is concerned that a draft Bill released yesterday by the Government to address community concerns over executive termination payments or “golden handshakes” may have unintended consequences for the economy.

The draft Corporations Amendment (Improving Accountability on Termination Payments) Bill 2009 was released yesterday by Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law, Nick Sherry, to implement the reforms aimed at curbing excessive termination payments announced by the Government in March.

BCTR urges state tax reform

Australia’s state governments should commit to a new round of business tax reforms that are underpinned by a new intergovernmental agreement, says John Stanhope, the chairman of the Business Coalition for Tax Reform (BCTR), of which AICD is a founding member.

In the BCTR’s latest submission to the Australia’s Future Tax System Review Panel, chaired by Secretary to the Treasury Ken Henry, Stanhope adds: “State governments are critically overreliant on inefficient business taxes which jeopardise business growth and hold back the economy.”

Key year-end questions for audit committees

With business risks rising in the wake of the global financial crisis, audit committees should give careful consideration to addressing the going concern and liquidity risk assessments in annual reports. They should also ensure that resources and effective reporting and internal control systems are in place to support and audit difficult year-end judgments.

New concerns about going concerns

Making going concern assessments are not likely to be “business as usual” in the upcoming reporting season.

In its latest bulletin entitled Auditing Considerations in an Uncertain Economic Environment, the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AUASB) notes: “Ordinarily, the management of the entity with a history of profitable operations and ready access to financial resources may make its going concern assessment without a detailed analysis. However, economic uncertainties are likely to make this approach no longer appropriate for many entities.

How to cut that rising interest bill

Despite interest rate cuts, funding is becoming more expensive for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). There are, however, ways to cut your interest bill.

According to East & Partners’ latest SME Banking research, an extraordinary 68.8 per cent of SME companies said they experienced an increase in their loan interest rate over the last six months – double the number that reported a rise 12 months ago.

So what can directors of SMEs do to keep their interest rates in check?

 

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