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As of today, ezyCollect has committed to setting up businesses with its online accounts receivable platform for free for two months.
At ezyCollect, we have watched in awe as businesses do everything in their power to move online and keep working. Digging deep. Innovating. Powering on. ezyCollect has a suite of online tools to help businesses recover the cash that’s owed to them faster, whilst also supporting their customers through the credit crunch. That’s why we want to support your online efforts, too.
The next few months are critical as we all move to a remote way of working. And it’s essential that where possible, your business remains open to collect cash and support your staff and customers.
Even if your physical office is closed, your accounts team can keep working. Our platform is designed for team sharing, to give high visibility to your debtor ledger, and to keep communication flowing between you and your customers.
Payment communications that you used to generate manually can be automated, giving you more time to think about innovating other parts of your business that will keep the money coming in. There are simple things every business can do to make it easier for customers to pay so they can keep trading, too.
Our tools can help with:
Some of your small business customers will want to keep buying from you, even though it’s tough. They might rely more on credit facilities to keep their shelves stocked and their doors open. Accepting their credit card payments online means they can reserve their cash, keep up their trade relationship, and pay you even if your admin office is closed. Some banks are temporarily pausing business credit card repayments. All banks are offering other finance facilities to keep the credit flowing to businesses on the frontline.
Your big business customers have more of a responsibility now to pay on time. For too long, big business has made their small and medium-sized suppliers bear the credit burden. Many big businesses like Woolworths and Coles have already committed to paying their suppliers faster. Government agencies have previously made their prompt payment commitments off the back of the 2017 Late Payments Inquiry.
This is the time to make sure your big business customers know that you need to get paid on time.
We hope you’ll leverage every advantage you can right now. Our hope for your business is that you never miss an opportunity to get paid, you can support your customers with tools to make their life easier, and your staff can keep doing their best work.
We’ve made it super easy to get started on our platform:
To get set up today, please head to www.ezyCollect.com.au/business_support
The financial contagion of the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to reach every business and every household. No one will be immune. Business banking units across all major banks have pivoted to engineer their own COVID-19 economic response to help businesses stay open or re-open in time.
No doubt it’s an ever-changing landscape and packages could change. Here’s what we can gather so far:
The Australian Banking Association advises people or businesses in distress to contact their bank’s financial hardship team.
Banks are providing assistance in relation to the following:
The Australian Banking Association has provided the following contact details for banks:
|AMP||1300 130 191||Experiencing financial hardship|
|ANZ||1800 252 845||Customer Connect|
|Arab Bank||1800 64 64 84||Hardship Assistance|
|Bank Australia||132 888||Contact Us|
|Bank of Sydney||13 95 00||Financial Hardship|
|BOQ||1800 079 866||Financial Hardship Assistance|
|BankSA||1800 679 461||BankSA Assist|
|Bankwest||1300 769 173||Experiencing financial hardship|
|Bendigo and Adelaide Bank||1300 652 146||Financial difficulty assistance|
|Citibank||1800 722 879||Hardship assistance|
|Commonwealth Bank||1300 720 814||Emergency assistance|
|HSBC||1300 555 988||Financial difficulty|
|ING||1300 349 166||Financial Hardship|
|Macquarie Bank||1300 363 330||Financial Hardship|
|ME Bank||1300 500 520||ME Bank financial hardship|
|MyState||13 800 1||MyState financial hardship|
|NAB||1800 701 599||Financial Hardship|
|Rabobank||1800 025 484||Financial Hardship|
|Rural Bank||1800 660 115||Financial Hardship|
|St. George Bank||1800 629 795||St. George Assist|
|Suncorp Bank||1800 225 223||Suncorp Customer Assist|
|Westpac||132 142||Westpac assist|
On 20 March 2020, Australian Banking Association CEO Anna Bligh announced a small business relief package on behalf of Australia’s banks.
Describing it as “a lifeline for small businesses when they need it most”, Ms Bligh urged small businesses to contact their bank to apply.
The big four banks have all announced their current COVID-19 response support for business customers.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia has also committed to paying its Australian suppliers faster.
Eligibility criteria apply.
The Australian Government recently announced the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme to support the flow of credit in the Australian economy, especially for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
The Scheme is designed to help SMEs access additional working capital funding from lenders.The Government will provide eligible lenders a guarantee of 50 percent on new unsecured loans made by SMEs. The following criteria apply:
Lenders are currently assessing their facilities and are expected to announce further details soon on how business customers can apply for a new unsecured business loan.
The Scheme will commence by early April 2020 and be available for new loans made by participating lenders until 30 September 2020.
ezycollect’s Business Support Program is helping SMEs survive this critical COVID-19 period.
Updated 22 March 2020:
The staged total economic relief package so far from the Australian Government and the Reserve Bank of Australia is valued at $189 billion.
Assistance to business to keep people in jobs include:
1. Wage subsidies of up to $100,000 (minimum payment of $20,000) for eligible SMEs and NFPs that have an annual turnover under $50 million and employ workers.
Read the Fact Sheet: Cash flow assistance for businesses
2. Temporary flexibility in the Corporations Act 2001 allowing debtors and company directors more time to respond to statutory demands from creditors. Extended thresholds and response times will apply for 6 months.
Read the Fact Sheet: Temporary relief for financially distresses businesses
3. Until 30 June 2020, the instant asset write-off threshold for businesses with an annual turnover of up to $500 million increases from $30,000 to $150,000.
Read the Fact Sheet: Delivering support for business investment
4. Small businesses employing fewer than 20 full-time employees who retain an apprentice or trainee as at 1 March 2020 can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 percent of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage paid during 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. (Maximum of $7,000 per quarter per individual.)
Read the Fact Sheet: Cash flow assistance for businesses
5. Coronavirus-affected regions and sectors, including the airline sector, will benefit from recovery plans valued at $1 billion.
Read the Fact Sheet: Assistance for severely affected regions and sectors
6. The new Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme will support SMEs to get access to working capital loans. The Government will guarantee 50 percent of new loans issued by eligible lenders to SMEs.
A third economic stimulus package may be released in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.
On 12 March 2020, the Morrison Government announced its $17.6 billion economic response to the Coronavirus to keep the Australian economy out of recession in the wake of the pandemic.
The Prime Minister’s message: Keep businesses in business and people in jobs.
A large part of the economic stimulus package is intended to support small and medium businesses to keep the doors open even as businesses experience “a cashflow crunch”.
A summary of benefits available from the Australian Government:
The message to Australian businesses and workers from the Prime Minister:
On releasing the economic response package, Scott Morrisson was quick to establish his confidence that the Australian economy is solid enough to withstand the economic impact of the Coronavirus. By keeping the engine room of business running with people in jobs, he’s assured the public that Australia will “bounce back strongly on the other side.”
Earlier, in anticipation of the economic stimulus package, Tim Reed, President of the Business Council of Australia, said on morning television show Sunrise, that the economic boost needed to “go big and go early.” He pre-empted that if the economy needed further stimulus down the track, “the government would have capacity to come back and do more later on.”
The Economic Response package will go before the Parliament in the final Autumn sitting week in March 2020. Following that, the Government will announce any supporting instruments for businesses to access the stimulus package.
In times of cashflow stress, businesses should focus on measures that build business resilience now and for the future.
Every business wants cash to keep flowing through the coffers. Everything becomes negotiable. Whether you’re buying or selling, be prepared to negotiate on price, service and payment terms.
Your current customers could be hurting, too. Reward loyalty through tough times with a one-off discount, deals on stock or service, or extended payment terms (within reason and your own budget).
Your customers will remember your kindness, empathy and flexibility and that’s what you want as you emerge from the downturn and get back to business as usual.
Your business should always be monitoring stock levels. Now more than ever, your chances of selling slow-moving stock could decrease. Look at innovative ways to clear this stock: bundle with other items, bulk discounts, or giveaways with purchase.
Your staff may be absent from the office during a virus pandemic. Consider how you will still get the job done as people work from home or take sick leave. Technology could be a saviour here, particularly automation technology and online services that keep working whether your office is open or closed.
With ezyCollect, for example, all your accounts receivable communications to customers will still be generated, and you can still accept payments via an online payment portal.
Spend more time on your budget and cashflow forecasts. Do more financial modelling. Think about the worst case and the best case scenarios so you can clearly understand your financial parameters and work within them.
For more strategies, read our blog 10 Strategies to Protect Your Business In an Economic Downturn
For more information on the Australian Government Economic Response to the Coronavirus:
Click here for a Fact Sheet on the Economic Response to the Coronavirus.
For more information on the Australian Government’s response to the Coronavirus:
To get your business started with ezyCollect today:
We are currently looking for a customer success specialist that wants to be a part and be involved in growing a successful SaaS business. The CS specialist will delight customers with a superb customer experience and will work with a close knit team based in the Philippines as well as the head office in Sydney. You will be the trusted advisor and advocate for the customer, leading them on the pathway to success.
This is a full time role, based in the Philippines (office in Alabang) and you will be working during Australian business hours.
At its first meeting in 2020, on March 3rd the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) cut interest rates to a record low of 0.5 per cent. This marks the fourth time that Australia’s central bank has cut interest rates in the past year; the coronovirus threat to the economy is the latest impetus.
The interest rate cuts are an attempt to stimulate economic growth in the face of economic risks brought on by an unprecedented summer of bushfires, a real estate downturn and now global pandemic fears. The premise: low financing costs stimulate business and consumer borrowing and buying.
The grim outlook surely has businesses shaking. Australia’s education and travel sectors are already counting losses from the coronavirus spread overseas. On March 3rd, RBA governor Philip Lowe warned about the impending knock-on effect domestically: “The uncertainty that it [the coronovirus outbreak overseas] is creating is also likely to affect domestic spending. As a result, GDP growth in the March quarter is likely to be noticeably weaker than earlier expected.”
Of course not.
Economic activity cycles around a long-term growth trend. Ups then downs, boom then bust, with an upward trajectory over time.
Business owners who have been around for decades know how to ride the roller coaster. In fact, they’ve turned the troughs into opportunities to steady the ship for the next storm on the horizon.
They know that after the storm comes the rainbow.
Here are 10 actionable strategies that focus on customers, reputation and credit risk management:
1. Recover your cash
2. Pay your suppliers on time
3. Offer credit card payments
4. Don’t rely on one big customer
5. Diversify suppliers
6. Monitor your debtors’ credit activity
7. Sell more to current customers
8. Credit check new customers
9. Focus on operational efficiency
10. Take advantage of government stimulus packages
Now is the time to usher in those outstanding invoices. It’s cash you’ve already earned, so it should be the easy win for a boost to your cash reserves.
Businesses using ezyCollect prove that one of the most effective precursors to collecting invoices in bulk is to send a collections email to customers. Every outstanding debtor receives an email reminding them of the agreed payment terms and all overdue amounts.
You don’t want your business credit status to deteriorate during an economic downturn. Your own suppliers will likely be monitoring the market for bad payers and will adjust their trade credit agreements to mitigate credit risks. (This is a good practice for your business, too. See point 6).
Should you use the opportunity of low interest rates to borrow money, lending institutions will access your business credit report to determine your credit worthiness.
Regardless of the state of the economy, your business should always be improving its service offer to customers and that extends to your payment services.
Credit card payments offer your customers convenience and flexibility. Your customers can continue to buy from you and pay on time, using their credit card service to hang on to their cash for longer.
The old adage ‘Don’t put all your eggs in one basket’ rings true here. Relying on one major source of revenue is risky during times of economic downturn. If that business falters, so do you.
Diversify your customers. If you’re a manufacturer, review your product distribution strategy. If you’re a service provider, can you reinvigorate your service bundle so that you appeal to a wider range of clients?
Where is the weak link in your supply chain? The irony is, the weakest link might be your biggest supplier.
Even behemoth Apple is not immune. Following the coronavirus outbreak in China, Apple announced a temporary worldwide shortage of iPhones due to factory closures in China.
With a credit monitoring service, you are alerted in real-time when your debtor registers a significant credit event in the wider marketplace. This means that you’ll be among the first to know if they register a default payment or there are court actions lodged against them.
Businesses that don’t use a credit monitoring service have been blindsided when their customers quietly slip into insolvency. With credit alerts coming in daily, your business can act immediately to recover debts before the administrators move in.
Anecdotally, we know that it’s easier to upsell to current customers than it is to attract new customers. Some statistics show that existing customers are up to six times more likely to buy than a new prospect.
During an economic downturn when others go quiet, be the company that lets your customers know that you are as excited about your offers as ever.
While it’s tempting to crowd more customers onto the ledger during times of economic uncertainty, more customers can mean more risk if you offer trade credit.
Cashed-up customers buoyed by stimulus packages or low financing costs may be hiding a history of late or default payments. Order a credit check report before you issue your trade credit terms. You’ll have more assurity that new customers are assets not liabilities.
Wasted effort, wasted time, and wasted materials are unnecessary costs to carry in the digital age. The right enterprise technology can help businesses identify downtimes and high input costs. Automation technology can help businesses achieve more in less time.
ezyCollect’s automated communications, for example, allow businesses to send more payment reminders, collect more money and close the books faster — no extra headcount needed. In times of economic downturn, do more with less.
When the economy dips, governments may provide some form of cash injection or cash relief to small-to-medium businesses. SMBs are the engine room of the economy; it’s in everyone’s interests that business as usual powers on.
Following the 2019 summer of devastating bushfires, the Queensland government announced a six-month payroll tax relief measure for impacted businesses. Deferring tax liabilities will allow businesses getting back on their feet to focus on paying staff wages and suppliers.
The Australian Government is expected to release a stimulus package following the Reserve Bank of Australia’s latest interest rate cut.
Your strategies to protect your business during an economic downturn can be permanent improvements. They’re activities that will prepare your business long-term to ride the waves as they come. The best protection now is the best protection always: strong relationships with your customers, an excellent reputation and an uncompromising focus on risk management.
Don’t be left unprotected.
“Only when the tide goes out do you discover who has been swimming naked.”Warren Buffet
Get started with ezyCollect and protect your business from late payments and credit risks