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Prompt payment focus great news for business and for the personal health of small businesses and the

COSBOA today congratulated the people and organisations involved in the recent push on getting small businesses to be paid on time. This comes from the joint announcement from the Victorian Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, and the Business Council of Australia (BCA) the Australian Supplier Payment Code (ASPC) – a voluntary national code of fair payment from businesses to their suppliers that will come into effect on 1 July 2017.

Peter Strong, CEO COSBOA, said today “This should create positive change in the business community. We have over the decades seen the payment times between large and small businesses become longer and longer and we have watched small business people struggle with cash flow and meeting their own money needs. Now we have a focus from government and business on fixing this problem. This is great news.”

Mr Strong added “The announcement is a direct response to the Victorian Government’s voluntary Fair

Payment Code of Practice, officially launched in April this year and set to come into effect on 1 July 2017. It seems that through consultation it became clear that the issues small businesses people face as a result of late payments are not localised to Victoria, but is a national concern.

We must also acknowledge the work of the BCA who have been discussing this with most if not all of their members as well as with state and federal government representatives. This activity shows a willingness and a commitment to achieving change. The fact that there are, as we go to print, already some 32 firms signed up to the code also shows a willingness from their members and others.“

COSBOA also acknowledges the recent work by the ASBFEO Kate Carnell and her team that has helped inform the code. Without the work from ASBFEO there would not be the impetus now achieved. There is also research released last Friday from Curtin University which helps to highlight a problem that is not good for people or the economy.

Business that sign up to the ASPC agree to:

  • Prompt and on-time payment commitments (within 30 days of receiving an invoice)

  • Paying correct invoices from suppliers on time

  • Providing clear guidance to suppliers

  • Working with suppliers to improve efficiencies in payment reconciliation, approval and payment process.

Further detail on the Code and information about how a business can sign up is available online at the Victorian Small Business Commission and the Business Council of Australia.

Peter Strong added “A few may argue that voluntary codes never work but some do; some may argue that this is all window dressing but it is a concrete attempt to achieve behavioural change; some may argue that there is no transparency but COSBOA, the BCA, Kate Carnell the ASBFEO, Judy O’Connell, the Victorian Small Business Commissioner and the other State based small business commissioners will work together to measure and assess the impact of this worthy initiative.”

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