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What’s Happening to Small Business Loans in Australia?

 

Will 2020 Crisis Continue in 2021?  2020 was hard on small businesses worldwide.

 

       

Australia fared better than many countries. However, the damage to SMEs was huge and many of them closed with many more at risk of doing so in 2021. The biggest problem for small businesses that came from the COVID-19 pandemic are cash flow issues. Those could have been mitigated by loans, but those are in short supply as well now. Therefore, it’s very hard to say how the economic recovery of Australia will progress in 2021. There are some promising developments, but the situation is highly complex.

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Australian Small Business in 2020.

The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 is a global crisis that is almost unprecedented. The impact of this global economic crisis is compared to that of the Great Depression and recession after World War 2. However, the truth is that the world is quite different today and we have yet to see the full impact of this situation.

However, now in 2021 we can see, after all the trials of 2020, that the Australian small business sector didn’t break under the challenge. Small businesses are the most affected group in this crisis because they already experience frequently cash flow issues. In fact, the majority of small businesses run “paycheck-to-paycheck”. Therefore, lock downs and a forced halt on international trade should have devastated the sector.

The only reason why this hasn’t happened is the government’s relief and financial support programs. These programs offered different types of assistance, which allowed many small businesses to get through the lockdown periods.

Moreover, many SMEs were able to adjust to the situation somewhat by modifying their business models. The most common of these changes were the mode of offering products/services, operating hours, staff duties, and range of offered products/services. These changes helped SMEs to keep working even in this difficult time. However, neither the adjustment nort financial support from the government is able to erase the negative impact of the pandemic.

The simple truth of the matter is that small businesses require constant cash flow in order to function. If they are unable to get it from doing business, they need financing to tide them over until profitable trade is restored. However, financing is currently in very short supply due to the same pandemic. Even alternative lenders have mostly stopped loan origination due to the lack of funds or extreme risks.

Shortage of Business Financing and Other Consequences of the Global Economic Recession

The consequences of this crisis are not yet fully realized. But already it’s clear that the number of SME closures will keep climbing. There is no avoiding it because the crisis triggered several debilitating changes in consumer behaviour.

  • Increased payment times.
    Whereas the average payment time after it’s due in October 2019 was 13.4 days, in 2020 this number turned into 30.1 days. In some industries, like the transportation, it’s reaching over 90 days.
     
  • Reduced purchases.
    The overall rate of purchases in every industry has decreased and it’s not clear when it will get back to the pre-pandemic level. Experts state that this economic recession will last for a long time. Therefore, this situation isn’t going to improve soon.
     
  • Unemployment.
    Recent reports state that the unemployment rate in Australia hasn’t dipped too low and many people regained their jobs after the lock downs were lifted. However, this situation is still precarious and with the rising number of SME closures the unemployment rate will continue to climb. This will further reduce the consumers’ purchasing ability.
     
  • Reduction in business financing.
    One of the biggest problems triggered by the crisis is a severe reduction in financing opportunities. Small businesses always have a harder time getting loans from banks. However, now it’s almost completely impossible for SMEs to get traditional financing. Unfortunately, alternative lenders are no help because the majority of them are also deeply affected by the crisis. Therefore, they stopped loan origination almost completely. The result is that small businesses have no solution that could help them with cash flow issues. This is why a great many SMEs will have to close in the near future.

Government Grants and Financing Programs for Small Business Support

Small business grants and a variety of debt relief and financing support programs are essential for the survival of Australian SMEs in the current crisis.  The government of Australia, along with the governments of each individual territory are doing their best to provide financial relief where it is most needed. This is helping the small business situation a great deal. The results of these programs have improved further when online lenders joined them.

This was a turning point for the industry as a whole because alternative lenders were close to out of business due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions it brought. They remained active, especially in big cities. Therefore, one could still find small business loans in Sydney and Melbourne with relative ease.

However, the situation changed rapidly as fintech lenders started to run out of money. Without the capital, they were literally unable to offer loans. This is where government funding programs became a solution. These lenders are oriented to work with small businesses and sole traders as a matter of priority. Therefore, they were able to deliver government-backed financing to these recipients more effectively than large banks. Leading online lenders in Australia, including Capify, Prospa, and GetCapital all offer financing under the SME Loan Guarantee Scheme.

That said, small business owners and sole traders need to remember that government assistance is greatly varied. Therefore, you should research all options of financial assistance available within your region. You might be eligible for several types of aid that will help strengthen your business in 2021.

These grants and assistance programs can make a big difference for the Australian economy. That’s why improving their accessibility is essential. Dispersing this financing through alternative business lenders is one of the most promising strategies.

COVID-19 Pandemic Repercussions for Online Lenders in 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic was hard not only on enterprises but also financing providers. Alternative lenders, in particular, suffered a great hit from the pandemic. Some of them, like 255 Finance, are not able to recover from this crisis. However, there are some companies that fared admirably and were able to maintain loan origination through lock downs.

It’s important to note that the coronavirus crisis of 2020 was the first true global challenge that the online lending industry faced. These businesses have been around for a while but they made the real breakthrough after the recession of 2008. At that time, banks and other traditional lenders were very reluctant to offer loans to small businesses and entrepreneurs. Therefore, online lenders filled out the niche.

Due to the specifics of their business, these financing providers have a greater number of high-risk borrowers. And that’s exactly why the entire industry is now facing a reckoning. With so many borrowers defaulting on their loans and not enough cash, loan origination from online lenders has been cut entirely.

Small Business Recovery Forecasts for 2021

For now, there are not many optimistic forecasts for Australian small businesses. The situation isn’t desperate yet as technology helps many SMEs adjust to the new reality. However, the recovery after this pandemic crisis will take a lot of time and not everyone will make it through.

In fact, it might be a more expedient route for many current business owners to close up their companies and create something new. It’s also a good idea to establish new partnerships that will have a better chance of success.

The economic forecast might be grim, but the 2020 crisis has also become an opportunity. It forced the technological revolution that has been brewing for a while. It’s true that in 2021 many more businesses will fail. However, it’s also true that they will leave space for others to take.

The change in consumer demand may prompt the need to evolve your business. However, it’s already clear that business owners oriented toward innovation and those who use cutting edge data analytics will have the best chance of success.

Bottom Line: Global Economic Recession Will Keep Claiming More Victims

The recession happening now has only started and it’s clear that it will last for a while yet. This means that many small businesses will struggle in 2021 and possibly beyond.  A situation made worse by the fact those who can lend to small business are themselves finding recovery slower than hoped.

 

As reported in accountantsdaily.com.U
Galyna Bulatseskul 
01 March 2021 

 

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Accounting & Bookkeeping

Modern business demands up to date accurate financial information.

We can take care of all your bookkeeping and accounting needs, including the preparation of your annual accounts and periodic management accounts for tax, business appraisal and planning purposes.

We can also assist with meeting your reporting requirements including Business Activity Statements, PAYG Withholding and Instalment Activity Statements.

We will discuss your requirements with you and provide you with tailored information and constructive advice on a regular basis.

If you would like further information you can contact us on 02 9300 3000 or info@wybengagroup.com.au

Acquisitions & Mergers

Whether you are considering buying or selling a business, we are able to assist you in this transaction by providing experienced advice.

Each transaction is different and needs to be assessed on its individual merits. There are a number of accounting and taxation opportunities with these transactions and our experience can ensure you are maximising your benefits.

If you would like further information you can contact us on 02 9300 3000 or info@wybengagroup.com.au

Budgeting

A good budget is a necessity in a good business plan. It is one of the best business tools we have, allowing us to set financial targets and measure our performance.

In addition to goal setting value, budgets will often improve your chances of acquiring funding. Financers often require budgets as a prerequisite for funding approval.

We have extensive experience with assisting clients in the budgeting process.

If you would like further information you can contact us on 02 9300 3000 or info@wybengagroup.com.au

Business Start-Ups

Before commencing a new business, the following are some of the key items that need to be considered:

  • Decide on the most suitable structure for your business – sole trader, partnership, trust or company
  • Prepare a business plan, cashflow projections, budgets, and trading forecasts
  • Assess your finance requirements, advise on the best sources of finance, and draw up the necessary proposals
  • Establish a good working relationship with your bank
  • Register for a Tax File Number and an Australian Business Number with the ATO
  • Complete registration procedures with Australian Securities and Investments Commission
  • Deal with company secretarial issues
  • Set up a recording system for your internal use and for complying with statutory requirements

Each new business is different and needs to be considered in relation to your individual circumstances and our experience can ensure you are maximising your opportunities.

If you would like further information you can contact us on 02 9300 3000 or info@wybengagroup.com.au

Charitable Institutions

Charitable institutions are set up to hold money or assets and carry out activities for the benefit of the community. In Australia, a variety of charitable institutions exist including:

  • Various forms of charitable trusts
  • Companies limited by guarantee
  • Unincorporated associations
  • Deductible gift recipients
  • Prescribed private fund

Each type of charitable institution brings with it different requirements and benefits. We know the practicalities of these institutions and are able to assist you by:

  • Co-ordinating the preparation of constituent documents
  • Applying to the ATO for an Australian Business Number and Tax File Number
  • Organising tax exemptions where applicable
  • Attending to all compliance and statutory filings

If you would like further information you can contact us on 02 9300 3000 or info@wybengagroup.com.au

Company Secretary

Company legislation requires businesses to perform many administration tasks which take up a lot of valuable company time.

We are able to assist you in the following areas:

  • General advice on company law
  • Company formations
  • Filing of annual returns on your behalf
  • Preparation of all documentation related to minutes and resolutions
  • Maintenance of statutory books
  • Assistance in changes of directors, shareholders, addresses, and office details
  • Bonus Issues
  • Share transfers
  • Registered Office Facility

If you would like further information you can contact us on 02 9300 3000 or info@wybengagroup.com.au

Financial Structures

Having the right financial structure in place for your business or your family means looking at your individual circumstances and ensuring that your assets are being maximised whilst being adequately protected.

We have extensive experience in ensuring our clients have the best financial structure for their needs both now and in the future. We can provide advice on and assist with:

  • Effective structures for asset protection
  • Effective structures for tax minimisation
  • The optimal structure through which to operate your business
  • Structures to assist in succession planning and providing for future generations

If you would like further information you can contact us on 02 9300 3000 or info@wybengagroup.com.au

GST

Every transaction has GST implications. We have experience with these issues and are able to offer expert advice on the implications of GST for your business. The GST related services we offer include:

  • Assistance with registering for GST
  • Filing and adjusting GST returns
  • ATO audit assistance
  • Advice on GST related issues

If you would like further information you can contact us on 02 9300 3000 or info@wybengagroup.com.au

Management Consulting

We are practiced in acting as a sounding board for management, bringing to the relationship years of experience in business growth and analysis.

We are able to check that your business is as competitive, focused, and profitable as it can be and we will work with you to address any issues.

If you would like further information you can contact us on 02 9300 3000 or info@wybengagroup.com.au

Payroll Services

We can provide a comprehensive and confidential payroll service including:

  • Administration of PAYG Withholding, statutory sick pay, annual leave etc
  • Australian Taxation Office filing
  • Summaries and analyses of staff costs
  • Administration of incentive schemes, bonuses and termination payments
  • Assistance with payroll tax and workers compensation obligations

If you would like further information you can contact us on 02 9300 3000 or info@wybengagroup.com.au

Rental Properties

We can assist in a variety of areas in relation to residential and commercial property including:

  • Advice on funding
  • Cash flow analysis of property investment
  • Guidance in tax related areas including negative gearing and capital gains tax
  • Advice on ownership structure
  • Preparation of initial land tax returns and land tax variation returns

If you would like further information you can contact us on 02 9300 3000 or info@wybengagroup.com.au

Strategic Planning & Advice

Our Strategic Planning Service is designed to assist our clients to develop financially towards the achievement of their lifetime objectives. Our experience and proven results provide our clients with the security that their financial goals will be met.

Wybenga Financial Pty Ltd is an organisation providing wealth creation and management services to private clients.

If you would like further information you can contact us on 02 9300 3000 or info@wybengagroup.com.au

Superannuation

Self-managed superannuation is a flexible means of saving for retirement. It allows you to take control of your superannuation, adopt a customized investment strategy and control fund administration costs.

Superannution law is a delicate area and personalised planning is required for each individual. We have extensive experience in all areas relating to superannuation and can assist in establishing a superannuation fund that will effectively allow you to reach your financial retirement goals.

Services we offer include:

  • Establishment of Self Managed Superannuation Funds
  • Advice concerning Compliance Matters
  • Advice concerning Taxation Benefits
  • Advice on Employer obligations

If you would like further information you can contact us on 02 9300 3000 or info@wybengagroup.com.au

Taxation

We offer a complete range of taxation services and advice based on proven knowledge and experience. Our proactive approach ensures we deliver a consistent service and build solid relationships.

We will work with you to help reduce your tax exposure and provide services including:

  • Advice on all areas of direct and indirect taxation
  • Preparation and lodgement of annual income tax returns for all types of entities
  • Preparation of PAYG withholding variation applications
  • Preparation of activity statements and advice on payment of tax
  • Assistance with GST/FBT obligations including preparation and lodgement of relevant forms
  • Advice on and implementation of tax effective trust structures for asset protection and tax minimisation
  • Management of any ATO audits or disputes

If you would like further information you can contact us on 02 9300 3000 or info@wybengagroup.com.au

Trusts

A trust provides a valuable way of protecting the assets you have accumulated for the benefit of yourself and others.  A trust can also be an effective structure for running your business.

We have extensive experience with trusts and are able to offer specialist advice on establishment and compliance, ensuring that all statutory requirements are met.

Wybenga & Partners are able to organise for the preparation and execution of documentation involved in Trust formation.

Our Trust administration service includes:

  • Minute keeping service
  • Annual accounts
  • Taxation
  • Maintenance of CGT register
  • Income distribution

If you would like further information you can contact us on 02 9300 3000 or info@wybengagroup.com.au

Secure File Transfer

Secure File Transfer is a facility that allows the safe and secure exchange of confidential files or documents between you and us.

Email is very convenient in our business world, there is no doubting that. However email messages and attachments can be intercepted by third parties, putting your privacy and identity at risk if used to send confidential files or documents. Secure File Transfer eliminates this risk.

Login to Secure File Transfer, or contact us if you require a username and password.

General Calculators

Please enjoy the links to these free tools supplied by MoneySmart – a great resource for general financial information. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss any questions that you may have as a result of using these calculators.

Accounting Videos

 

Chris Wybenga

B.Bus, CA

Chris is the Managing Director of the Firm who established the practice in August 1994 and has been responsible for its growth and development since that time.

Chris has over 35-years experience in the Chartered Accountancy profession, predominantly spent in small to medium sized firms, advising both small business and individuals in areas such as taxation and accounting as well as business restructuring and superannuation advice.

Chris is active in the development of young accountants both in mentoring cadets at the Firm and lecturing in taxation for the CA Program for the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

  • 1980 – Commenced employment and part time university studies
  • 1985 – Graduated Bachelor of Business from University of Technology, Sydney
  • 1986 – Admitted as an Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia
  • 1988 – Registered as a Registered Company Auditor
  • 1994 – Established Wybenga & Partners (formerly known as Farrar & Wybenga)

Dianne Bechara

B.Bus, CA

Dianne is responsible for the day-to-day operations and administration of the practice.

Dianne has over 25-years Chartered Accountancy experience and has significant expertise in providing advice and solutions to high-net-worth individuals and their associated entities. Dianne also has considerable knowledge in the areas of taxation, business services, superannuation, and compliance.

Dianne is active in promoting gender equality in the industry through various programs and mentoring opportunities. Dianne is also committed to the development of young accountants and donates considerable time to sharing her expertise.

  • 1992 – Graduated Bachelor of Business from University of Technology, Sydney
  • 1993 – Commenced employment in acounting profession
  • 1996 – Commenced career with Wybenga & Partners
  • 1997 – Admitted as an Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia
  • 2002 – Appointed as Director of Wybenga & Partners

Roger Potter

B.Bus, CA

Roger is responsible for the HR aspect of the Firm, cultivating the culture, and maintaining the highly social environment we pride ourselves on.

Roger has over 30-years in the Chartered Accountancy profession and significant expertise in providing advice and solutions to small businesses and high-net-worth individuals. He also has extensive experience in the areas of Self-Managed Superannuation Funds and retirement strategies.

Roger is active in the development of young accountants both in mentoring cadets at the firm and lecturing in taxation for the CA Program for the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

  • 1985 – Commenced employment and part time university studies
  • 1990 – Graduated Bachelor of Business from University of Technology, Sydney
  • 1992 – Admitted as an Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia
  • 1998 – Commenced career with Wybenga & Partners
  • 2002 – Appointed as Director of Wybenga & Partners

Tess Uncle

B.Sc, M.Com, CA

Tess has over 15-years experience in Chartered Firms and in this time has had a broad range of experience in superannuation, taxation, and business services. In particular, Tess has had significant experience in MYOB and assisting clients in day-to-day bookkeeping activities and periodic reporting.

Tess is responsible for the Firm’s training and development needs.

Tess is active in promoting gender equality in the industry through various programs and mentoring opportunities. Tess is also committed to the development of young accountants and donates considerable time to sharing her expertise.

  • 2001 – Commenced employment with Wybenga & Partners and part-time accountancy studies
  • 2004 – Graduated Masters of Commerce from the University of New South Wales
  • 2005 – Admitted as an Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia
  • 2007 – Promoted to Manager at Wybenga & Partners
  • 2012 – Appointed as Associate Director
  • 2016 – Appointed as Director of Wybenga & Partners

Adam Roberts

B.Bus, B.Sc, CA

Adam has over 13-years experience in Chartered Firms and in this time has had a broad range of experience in superannuation, taxation, and business services. In particular, Adam has had significant experience in MYOB and assisting clients with periodic management reporting.

Adam is responsible for the implementation of technology in the Firm and sourcing new areas of innovation and efficiency.

Adam is active in the development of young accountants and donates considerable time to sharing his expertise.

  • 2005 – Commenced employment with Wybenga & Partners and part-time Accountancy Studies
  • 2005 – Graduated Bachelor of Science from the University of Western Sydney
  • 2007 – Graduated Bachelor of Business from the University of Western Sydney
  • 2010 – Admitted as an Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia
  • 2010 – Promoted to Manager at Wybenga & Partners
  • 2012 – Appointed as Associate Director
  • 2016 – Appointed as Director of Wybenga & Partners

Accounting Cadetships

Each year we offer several school leavers or undergraduates the opportunity of beginning their career with us via an Accounting Cadetship. If you are interested in pursuing a career in accounting please read the information below.

What is an Accounting Cadetship?
An Accounting Cadetship enables you to commence your career whilst attaining the necessary university qualifications by studying part-time.

How does it work?
Generally, our cadets complete a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) or Bachelor of Business (BBus) degree at the University of New South Wales, the University of Technology Sydney, Macquarie University, or the University of Western Sydney.

The firm provides 3 hours paid study leave per week to attend University. This can either be taken at the one time or broken between days depending on the individual’s requirements. In addition, the Firm provides paid study leave for both mid-semester and end-of-year exams.

We take the work life balance very seriously at Wybenga & Partners and our cadets are encouraged to have a fulfilling life outside the office. A typical day will have you arriving at the office at around 8.30am with most days concluding at 5.30pm.

What are the benefits of an Accounting Cadetship with Wybenga & Partners?
Our cadets benefit from the following:

  • Career path – on completion of their degree our cadets have significant practical experience which will assist them in advancing their careers
  • Work helps your studies – by working full-time our cadets are able to apply their practical knowledge in the university subjects
  • Camaraderie with other cadets – the Firm has a number of cadets at various stages of their career
  • Mentoring – cadets are paired with a senior staff member who oversees their progress and training both at work and with their studies
  • Communication and feedback – the Firm has an open door policy which enables all cadets to interact with all members of staff including Directors
  • Culture – the Firm promotes a friendly social culture with a number of functions throughout the year
  • Modern environment – including ‘socialising’ areas such as pool table and break out area
  • Training – ongoing support and technical training. We also provide internal and external training on a monthly basis
  • Remuneration – working full-time provides a market salary and independence with salaries being reviewed every 6-months

What happens when I complete my degree?
The completion of your degree is the first step of what we hope to be a long and successful career with us. The next step is the commencement of your CA Program with the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand whilst at the same time continuing your employment with us.

A number of cadets have progressed to Seniors, Managers, and Directors within the firm.

Who should apply?
Current Year 12 students or first/second year University Students who:

  • want to commence their career in accountancy;
  • are due to commence or are currently completing a part-time business or commerce degree at university with an accounting major;
  • want to gain valuable hands-on experience while completing their qualifications;
  • are looking for a friendly working environment;
  • are team players who display initiative;
  • have a commitment to self-development;
  • possess excellent personal presentation and communication skills; and
  • are motivated and mature minded.

How do I apply for an Accounting Cadetship?
To apply for a Cadetship position at Wybenga & Partners send us your details. Please also include in your covering letter why you wish to do a cadetship, include relevant qualities you possess, main interests / achievements, and any previous employment.

Interested candidates should initially forward a resume/covering letter of no more than 3-pages. Please provide full details of contact information (telephone or e-mail).

What if I have more questions?
For further information about our Cadetship program, please send your enquiry to info@wybengagroup.com.au

Skilled Accountants

Wybenga & Partners offers a stimulating work environment giving you the opportunity to develop your future success.

Wybenga & Partners recognises and promotes that there is more to life than work. We know that your needs change and we provide support to balance your work, academic and lifestyle pursuits.

We welcome enquires from trained accountants regarding a career with Wybenga & Partners. Please email us your details to info@wybengagroup.com.au