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  • 21-Mar-2017 13:30 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    If you missed today’s free webinar, Power Up Your People, brought to you by the WSBC and Great Managers, attendees received 7 Powerful Management Strategies that, if applied well, will guarantee better results from their teams.

    We can’t give away that gold… but here are some of their key takeaways:

    • 75% of employees say their manager is the most stressful part of their job
    • 65% of employees say they would take a new manager over a pay-rise
    • A Great Manager can DOUBLE the capability of their people
    • Top Australian CEO reported, “For every $1 we invested in leadership development, it added $6 to our bottom line.” Rob Birtles, CEO of Super Retail Group (incl. brands Supercheap Auto, Rebel Sport, BCF).
    • A professional services firm identified the huge cost of lack of employee engagement in their business and after reacting to this loss by strategically developing their leaders, successfully recovered over a $1m in unbillable hours to their bottom-line

    On top of this valuable learning, all attendees received a special gift only for those attending live.

    Be sure you don’t miss the next webinar from the WSBC on Friday 26 May titled:

    Building a Great Place to Work- A 6-Step System for Deliberately Creating your Workplace Culture.

    Culture happens – for better or for worse. Every organisation has a culture. Proactively choosing to create your culture in a deliberate and intentional way will deliver financial and emotional benefits and build a high performing workplace – a great place to work - and you will be the envy of your competitors.

    Click here to register for Building a Great Place to Work.




  • 21-Mar-2017 09:00 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    Minister for Western Sydney, The Hon. Stuart Ayres launched the Western Sydney Youth Orchestra (SYO) yesterday at Riverside Theatre in Parramatta. This is a major coup for the west which continues to see growth in the arts and culture sector. It I well known that growth in this sector contributes to the prosperity of the region through its role in influencing perceptions and liveability. The SYO also presents enormous opportunity for the young people in western Sydney by acting as a feeder to some of the words most renowned musical organisations. 

    For close to 45 years, SYO has been a vital part of the cultural life of our nation by training thousands of talented young musicians and inspiring them to pursue their musical dreams and take their place in orchestras throughout Australia and the world. SYO has a strong track record of delivering a consistently outstanding educational and performance program and it has grown to encompass 12 orchestras with the launch of the new Western Sydney Youth Orchestra. SYO fills its unique training role within the sector by functioning as a ‘feeder’ of talented musicians to organisations such as the Australian Youth Orchestra (29% of participants), the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (27% of all participants), the Australian Chamber Orchestra (16% of all participants) and the Australian World Orchestra (32% of all participants).

    SYO’s program not only equips members for a career as a professional musician. The orchestral training program teaches teamwork, discipline, dedication, leadership, and a commitment to excellence. Whatever career path these talented young people follow, they are likely to become leaders in and contributors to the community. In WSYO, young musicians aged 13-24 from across Greater Western Sydney will finally have the opportunity to access the full SYO orchestral training program as part of this unique cultural initiative. Our aim is to reduce the barriers to participation for young people across the West so that they have access to the very best arts and culture programs our State has to offer.

    SYO is keen to work with local businesses in order to enhance their events and public profile, as well as develop avenues for funding so that scholarships can facilitate more young talented musicians being part of this ensemble. Please contact Sydney Youth Orchestras CEO Yarmila Alfonzetti about opportunities for your business with WSYO – yarmila.alfonzetti@syo.com.au


  • 15-Mar-2017 14:59 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    Leasing, as a means of accessing assets, of obtaining finance and of reducing an entity’s exposure to the risks of asset ownership, is becoming more and more important for many entities. As a result, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and the US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) initiated a joint project to develop a new approach to lease accounting.

    On 13 January 2016, IASB issued IFRS 16 Leases. Australia has fully adopted this new standard and introduced AASB 16 Leases.

    Application date

    The new accounting standard will be effective for companies with annual reporting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2019. Early adoption of this standard is permitted. The transition period and comparative balances need to be considered.

    Compliance Requirements – Lessee’s

    Entity  Compliance
    Tier 1 reporting entity Full compliance with the standard.
    Tier 2 reporting entity Compliance with the measurement and recognition requirements. The AASB will determine the disclosure requirements through a separate process.
    Non-reporting entity lodging with ASIC Companies preparing special purpose financial statements and lodging with ASIC must comply with the measurement and recognition requirements of the standard (Refer to RG 85).

    All ACNC registered charities should comply with the ACNC reporting requirements. In general, the ACNC requires reporting entities to submit general purpose financial statements with non-reporting entities permitted to lodge special purpose financials statements.

    Compliance Requirements – Lessor’s

    There are no changes in the requirements for accounting by lessors, which means that the distinction between operating and finance leases still remain.

    Key Changes by the New Standard

    • There is no longer a distinction between finance and operating leases for lessees
    • Lessees record a right-to-use asset and lease liability on the balance sheet for all leases
    • Depreciation and interest charges on leases will impact the profit and loss
    • Impact of lease payments on the cash flow statement include:
      1. payments of principal are recorded in financing activities
      2. payments for short-term leases and low value items expensed in profit or loss are disclosed in operating activities.

    Leases Excluded from the Scope of AASB 16

    The following types of leases (and subleases) are scoped out of the new AASB 16 requirements:

    • Exploration leases for minerals, oil, natural gas and similar non-regenerative resources
    • Biological assets (apply AASB 141Agriculture)
    • Service concession arrangements within the scope of Interpretation 12 Service Concession Arrangements
    • Licences of intellectual property of a lessor (apply AASB 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers)
    • Rights held by a lessee under a licensing agreement (apply AASB 138 Intangible Assets).

    Recognition Exemptions

    A lessee may elect not to apply the new standard for:

    • Short-term leases, typically these are leases with a period of 12 months or less
    • Leases for which the underlying asset is of low value, such as laptops or phones.

    Industries Impacted

    The new standard is expected to have a wide impact across many industries in particular those industries with numerous and/or high value leases. Those industries that use extensive land and buildings and valuable equipment will be strongly impacted. The following industries are particularly likely to be impacted upon:

    • Property and construction;
    • Government and Not-for-Profit sector;
    • Retailers’ with multiple outlets;
    • Education and training;
    • Health and aged care;
    • Mining;
    • Manufacturing; and
    • Real estate

    Need help

    Please feel free to contact us to discuss your situation if you think your business will be affected by the new standard. Our professional team is always willing to be in your shoes and provide tailored advice for your business.

    Radlee Moller

    P: 9683 5999

    W: www.cibaccountants.com.au






  • 14-Mar-2017 12:54 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)


    Boost your business with a simple question

    Why do you do what you do?

    It may sound like a philosophical question, but defining a strong, shared purpose for your organisation is much more than an abstract statement. It can create a key advantage in an increasingly fast-paced world, with tangible bottom line benefits.

    When former P&G global marketing director Jim Stengel collected 10 years of data across 50,000 brands, he found a direct relationship between a brand’s ability to serve a higher purpose and its financial performance.

    Businesses with ‘higher ideals’ – those focused on improving people’s lives – grew three times faster than their competitors. Investing in his resulting ‘Stengel 50’ over that decade would have been 400% more profitable than investing in the S&P 500.

    EY, which recently defined its purpose as 'to build a better working world', conducted a global survey of 474 executives with Harvard Business Review Analytic Services. Its report, The Business Case for Purpose, found that while 90% of respondents believe their company understands the importance of purpose, only 46% use purpose to inform strategic and operational decision-making.

    Purpose, values and strategy

    There is a difference between your ‘universal purpose’ and your mission or strategy. Purpose is your reason for being – and it does not change over time although it may inspire change. Your mission is what you do, your strategy is how you plan to achieve your shorter-term goals – and your values will guide the way that strategy and mission are executed.

    EY defines purpose as "an aspirational reason for being that is grounded in humanity and inspires a call to action." It is big picture and long term – and it allows an organisation to create value beyond financial metrics.

    This is not a new concept – and in more recent years, business leaders have discussed things like triple bottom line, shared value and corporate sustainable responsibility. But the EY survey results highlight we still have some way to go in embedding purpose into strategic decisions.

    For 77% of millennial employees, organisational culture is just as important as base salary and benefits.

    Does purpose really matter?

    According to the results of The Business Case for Purpose, 89% of executives say a strong sense of collective purpose drives employee satisfaction and 80% believe it can help to increase customer loyalty. Importantly, in a time of unprecedented change, 84% say it can affect the ability to transform.

    Employee engagement

    According to the 2015 Virgin Pulse survey, for 77% of millennial employees organisational culture is just as (or even more) important as base salary and benefits.

    Having a strong sense of purpose can define that culture. It gives people a clear sense of what their contribution to the company means, and also how they should do things every day. It makes their work feel more meaningful – a key motivator for staff across all generations, because we all have an innate desire to contribute to something bigger.

    A clearly defined purpose also makes delegating responsibility simpler as the business grows, because expectations are clear and consistent. And it also makes recruitment and retention much more effective. Employees need to believe in their organisation's purpose, and want to work towards it.

    In 2016, LinkedIn named online real estate advertising company REA Group one of the top 25 Australian companies for attracting and keeping top talent, according to its data. In an interview, REA’s executive general manager of People and Culture Barb Hyman said the company’s purpose has evolved to “change the way the world experiences property.”

    This has in turn translated into an open and transparent culture. “People connect with our purpose with their hearts and their minds and we know that the best work happens when people care deeply about what they are doing and why,” she said.

    Customer loyalty

    In 2012, Edelman’s global goodpurpose study found that 89% of consumers are more likely to buy from companies that support solutions to particular social issues. For more than half, purpose is the most important factor influencing brand choice when quality and price are equal.

    For example, Airbnb's purpose is "belong anywhere". It's a refreshing and inspiring purpose with clear benefits for its users, striving to create the kind of warm interpersonal connections that are groundbreaking in its category. Airbnb has grown rapidly and is now valued at $25.5 billion.

    A path to change

    If everyone in the business is aligned to a common purpose, they can understand the need for transformation – and this empowers them to embrace it, rather than fear it.

    As a ‘guiding light’, purpose becomes the key filter for ideas and decisions.

    Google’s purpose has been articulated as “to organise the world’s information, and make it universally accessible and useful” – and this purpose drives its continual innovation in new products, technologies and services.

    It’s a purpose with a greater good – giving more people access to information can make a real difference to inequality in the world. And it aligns with the company’s core mantra, which changed from “don’t be evil” to “do the right thing” when the company renamed itself Alphabet.

    So how do you define your purpose?

    As leadership consultant Simon Sinek informed us in his 2009 TED Talk (now viewed over 29 million times), inspiring leaders ‘start with why’. “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it,” is his mantra, and his golden circle is a useful starting point for defining (or re-defining) purpose.

    Perhaps the shining example of this is Apple. Its “Think different” promise, created in 1997 is still relevant today, highlighting the benefits of buying an Apple product. It’s not just a device, it promises authenticity, and to be a mode of self-expression. It’s no coincidence Apple is one of the most recognised and valuable brands in the world.

    Creating financial value within the business and addressing relevant society challenges are not mutually exclusive ideas – in fact, this is the underlying concept of shared value.

    Once you’ve articulated your purpose, be prepared to walk the talk. If it’s not real or believable, it will inspire cynicism rather than trust. Make sure every person in the organisation is truly committed to it, and align it with performance metrics and rewards.

    Ultimately, a shared purpose should create strategic clarity. It allows you to focus on what really matters – and in the process boost productivity, performance, loyalty and the bottom line.

    If you are interested in hearing more about our business expertise in Western Sydney, please contact Sam McCarthy at Macquarie Bank Parramatta on 0417 518 724.


  • 09-Mar-2017 15:00 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)
    • Struggling to keep your good staff for the long-term?
    • The culture in your business feels like it is out of your control?
    • Tired of unproductive conflict and misunderstandings in your team?
    • Mistakes and errors caused by your staff costing you precious time and money?
    • No matter what you try, your team just don’t seem motivated?
    If you are a business owner, director, manager or simply leading a team of people and you are experiencing one or more of the above problems, you are invited to attend this exclusive webinar to learn what great managers do differently to grow profitable, sustainable businesses and high-performing teams.

    On TUESDAY 21 MARCH at 12:30 PM, Sandra Wood from Great Managers will share with you proven ideas that she has gained from years of insight into high-level business challenges. You will also have an opportunity to interact live with Sandra on the webinar and find out how you can reduce costs, increase productivity and ultimately profit in your business!

    To join the free and exclusive webinar, simply register via this link to attend the live session. There will be no replays so to get the most value out of the session, block out this hour in your calendar on 21 MARCH, bring your lunch and prepare to learn some valuable techniques to get the very best from your staff!




  • 09-Mar-2017 14:55 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    Times are changing with the introduction and advancement of technology every day. This has led to innovations, even in the last bastion of luddites, in the legal industry. Court documents may now be solely filed online; Contracts for Sale of Land may now be signed and exchanged electronically; and electronic signatures may be placed on agreements and guarantees and considered enforceable, in certain circumstances. However, when the lawyers get involved, you know the legal arguments will closely follow. Is an electronic signature enforceable? Against whom? The person whose signature it is? What if the signature was affixed by someone else? When will this bind the person whose signature is involved, and further, the entity they represent (for instance their company)? Most importantly, what can creditor do to protect themselves against disputes about the execution of credit applications and contracts where the signature is an electronic one?

    Electronic Signatures

    First of all, there is now such a breadth of technology available, it is necessary to think about what an 'electronic signature' actually means. Or for that matter, what is a signature? When lawyers get involved even that question is not necessarily as simple as it sounds, and although this is not the focus of this article, it is important to be aware that there have been cases in which "'Signature' in this case, obviously, does not mean the personal signature of the Minister" (Williams v Silver Peak Mines Ltd (1915) 21 CLR 40 at 47–48, in relation to notices published in a Government Gazette purporting to be signed by a minister), and where unsigned documents from an agent of the Official Trustee in bankruptcy, which had her typewritten name at the end of it, was a form of "signature" sufficient for the relevant provision of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Coshott v Coshott [2010] FCA 300).

    In electronic terms, an electronic signature could include typing an individual’s name, placing a copy of a computer file (for instance a jpg file) containing an image of an individual’s signature in an appropriate field, clicking an ‘I Accept’ box, or using a personal identification number.

    A second preliminary issue is a practical one which arises in all matters, electronic or otherwise. When a document is signed electronically, it is vital to ensure that the relevant terms and conditions that are to be agreed upon by the parties are able to be identified from the signed document and have been made available (and remain available) to the customer. Ideally the signature and the terms are held by the relevant company together as one document. This becomes problematic as terms and conditions become documents placed on websites, and are altered from time to time. It can become a large issue to confirm which version of the company’s terms and conditions were in existence at the time the contract was entered into, and also, what evidence there is that these terms were accessible and were agreed by the consumer.

    Electronic Transactions Legislation

    Over the past 2 decades, the Australian government has attempted to provide protection for parties entering into transactions either wholly or partly by electronic means and to progress together with the change in technology. With the introduction in 2000 of the national scheme of Electronic Transactions Acts ("the ETA Scheme") in the Commonwealth and all states and territories (with the initial exception of Western Australia who came on board in 2011), it seemed as though Australia was on track to increase the certainty of electronic transactions. This legislation was introduced as "part of the Government's strategic framework for the development of the information economy in Australia" and set about "ensuring that Australians enjoy the social and economic benefits offered by the growth of the information economy" (Electronic Transactions Bill 1999 Revised Explanatory Memorandum).

    It's a Crocker!

    However, the recent decision in Williams Group Australia Pty Ltd v Crocker [2016] NSWCA 265 (22 September 2016) (“Crocker”) has suggested that there are some significant limits to the usefulness of the ETA Scheme.

    This decision, by the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, raises a number of issues for creditors, especially those who allow electronic signatures to be used on credit applications and accompanying all-moneys guarantees. The creditor set out the stakes which were in issue (at [4]):

    "Williams raises the spectre that, if this appeal is not allowed, the ability of a trade creditor ever to rely on electronic signatures will be in real doubt."

    Crocker involved an appeal by a creditor, seeking to enforce an all-moneys guarantee against a director of a company, now in liquidation. The guarantee and the accompanying credit application had been signed electronically by all three directors of the company, apparently witnessed by the company's administration manager. The signatures had been placed on the documents using a system known as HelloFax, which required a username and login before the signature would be attached to the documents, which was then faxed to the creditor. On the basis of the credit application and guarantees the creditor supplied goods on credit totalling $889,534.35 before the company was wound up.

    Summary judgment was obtained against the 2 co-directors, however Mr Crocker argued that his electronic signature had been placed on the documents without his authority, knowledge or consent by an unidentified individual. As it transpired, Mr Crocker had been provided with a username and password by a member of staff. However he has not changed the password given to him since receiving it, which meant that any of his co-workers with access to his login and password could have gained access to his account and placed his electronic signature on the documents.

    The evidence disclosed that Mr Crocker had used the system to affix his signature to a credit application (and guarantee) for a different supplier, only a few days before the relevant documents were signed, and on a number of occasions subsequently. However Mr Crocker was able to provide evidence of the fact that he had not been the person to place his electronic signature on the document, that it had been affixed in a different office of the debtor company from the one in which he was located at the time.

    The trial judge considered it important that the signature used was different from the one Mr Crocker had himself loaded when setting up his registration in the system. The trial judge was satisfied that Mr Crocker had not provided his authority to any person to affix his signature using the HelloFax system, and that it has been affixed without his knowledge or consent, that he had not seen the email notifications which would have been sent to him that his signature was in fact being used, and nor did his subsequent conduct ratify the use of his signature for the guarantee. The trial judge dismissed the claim and the creditor appealed.

    The Court Of Appeal Judgment

    On appeal, the creditor did not dispute the trial judge's finding that there was no actual authority for Mr Crocker's signature to be used on the guarantee. Rather, it argued:

    • Mr Crocker gave ostensible authority to whoever it was who affixed his signature, given he failed to change his password and ID and uploaded his signature to the system; essentially the creditor was arguing that the establishment of a system for attaching electronic signatures was a representation to trade creditors that the signatures had been authorised;
    • Mr Crocker had ratified the guarantee;
    • Mr Crocker was estopped from denying the guarantee was operative.

    The Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of New South Wales dismissed the appeal.

    Firstly, the Court of Appeal held that in order for the use of his signature by someone else to be binding upon him, Mr Crocker must in some fashion have made a representation to the creditor that his electronic signature had been placed with his authority, and in turn the creditor must have relied on the representation. However:

    • Mr Crocker did not implement the Hellofax system, he merely "participated in its use" (at [67], and his use of such a system could not be a representation by Mr Crocker that others were authorised to use it to affix his signature;
    • Given Mr Crocker did not know the documents had been signed the creditor could not have relied upon his adoption of the system as a representation in any event;
    • Mr Crocker’s failure to change his password for the HelloFax system did not "arm" anyone at the company to use his signature and so did not amount to holding out to the creditor that any person had authority to affix his signature; and
    • The systems used may well have been representations made by the company or by other officers or employees that Mr Crocker was authorised to bind the company, but did not amount to representations by Mr Crocker that someone else could affix his signature to a document.

    Insofar as ratification was concerned, the Court of Appeal found that the mere fact that an email had been sent to Mr Crocker showing his signature had been affixed, did not give him sufficient notice of the guarantee to be bound by it. Nor was the court persuaded that Mr Crocker should be treated as having knowledge of the guarantee because he "shut his eyes to the obvious" (at [128]). The Court wasn’t satisfied that this was the case, as the system would not have shown that his signature would have been affixed to a guarantee, merely to the credit application.

    The Court did not accept the estoppel argument either. The only representation the Court was satisfied had been made was that Mr Crocker’s signature was on the guarantee. Even if the creditor had relied upon it, this was not a representation by Mr Crocker and did not preclude him from denying personal liability on the guarantee.

    In a point which the Court did not need to decide, but which will become relevant in other cases, the Court held that it was not clear whether an electronic signature which was affixed without authority, could amount to a "forgery" in accordance with the case law. This will become important because Mr Crocker argued that if this was the case, then the law is that a forgery cannot be ratified, so that even if the evidence against him had been stronger, he could still not have been held to have ratified the guarantee.

    In the end the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal and ordered the creditor to pay the costs of Mr Crocker.

    What Does this Decision Mean for Electronic Signatures?

    The result in Crocker means that creditors need to be extra cautious when conducting transactions either partly or wholly through an electronic medium. It is perhaps impossible to put the genie back in the bottle, and suggest that creditors should stop using electronic means to conduct business. In the digital age, electronic signatures are ubiquitous. From emails, to letters, to formal legal documents – they are convenient, and allow for documents to be sent whilst the author is unable to place a physical signature on a document, or where a document is being signed on someone’s behalf. But this begs the question - with actual signatures being scanned and sent in an electronic form, it is often impossible to tell whether a signature provided electronically was original or electronic in its initial form. So what use is the ETA scheme?

    The creditor in Crocker appeared to have believed that Mr Crocker’s signature was legitimate, especially as it was provided to them by facsimile. It is not clear what more the creditors could have done to protect without physically attending and witnessing the guarantors each execute the guarantee. Any further protection will to come from the courts. In Crocker, Justice Ward (with whom Simpson and Payne JJA agreed) acknowledged the creditor’s concern about the (lack of) usefulness of electronic signatures, but held that “If it is the case that drastic consequences flow from the application of the principles relating to ostensible authority and ratification in the electronic signing context, that may be a matter for the legislature to address” (Crocker at [4]).

    It is too early to know whether the government will respond to the difficulties with electronic signatures raised in Crocker and whether it will consider further protections and certainty for creditors entering into electronic transactions.

    So where do I sign?

    Until there is any legislative reform it is important for creditors to consider what processes they will adopt to minimise the risk of unenforceable agreements, arising from electronic signatures

    So what steps can creditors take?

    Pursuant to s 187 of Schedule 1 of the National Consumer Credit Act 2009 (Cth) (“the Credit Act”), a contract, mortgage or guarantee may be signed by use of an electronic signature and declared effective in accordance with the Electronic Act.

    Section 10 of the Electronic Act sets out the requirements for use of an electronic signature, being:

    1. A method is used to identify the person and to indicate the person’s intention in respect of the information communicated; and

    2. The method used is reliable or proven in fact to identify the person and the person’s intention; and

    3. The signature is in accordance with any IT requirements of the entity; and

    4. Consent must be given by the person receiving the signature to use of an electronic signature as a method of signing.

    In Crocker, the system maintained by the company included a confirmation email sent to the director/guarantor regarding use of his electronic signature. However:

    • The creditor was not able to prove that Mr Crocker received, opened or read such email; and
    • The creditor was unaware of the existence of such emails until the proceedings had been commenced.

    It would have been open to the creditor to have confirmed Mr Crocker’s identification, sent its own confirmation email, confirming his electronic signature was placed on a contract at the time, and that the contract was now binding. It is possible, that in those circumstances, the end result of the case would have been substantially different. However there remains the difficulty regarding use of an email address for confirmation. Much in the same way the electronic signature was able to accessed by persons other than Mr Crocker, so to could it have been said that the confirming emails were either not received, or if a response was sent to the creditor, that it was sent by someone other than Mr Crocker without his knowledge or permission. Nevertheless, the more communication with the guarantor, regarding provision of the guarantee, the greater the chances of proving the guarantor was aware of the execution of the contract using his or her electronic signature, and the greater chance of success of the estoppel, representation and ratification arguments which failed in Crocker.

    Whatever steps are taken, if an electronic signature is or may be used when entering into a contract, the question needs to be asked – how will I be able to prove the connection between the person whose signature is on the document and their intention to be bound by the document.

    A further issue arises with an electronic signature in regards to the witnessing of such signature. What does a witness of an electronic signature even mean? The whole point of an electronic signature is the lack of formal execution, so in what sense is it even possible for someone to witness an electronic signature? An electronic signature is not required to be witnessed, so long as the entity that is to receive and rely upon the electronic signature consents. If a witness is to be required, the same issue exists whereby identification and intention of the witness will be required to be proved by the creditor company.

    Abandoning the use of electronic signatures in this day and age is just not a possibility. The world will only become more reliant upon technology and avoiding use of such technology will only leave a company falling behind in the industry. This issue also arose and continues to exist on the introduction of websites for order forms, supply arrangements and the establishment and variation of terms and conditions.

    Conclusions

    Should creditors wish to enter into contracts with customers electronically and allow the use of electronic signatures, then at the very least consideration should be given to establishing a process to confirm:

    • Who affixed the electronic signature;
    • the authority of the person to affix the electronic signature (if not affixed by the person whose signature it is);
    • Evidence of the knowledge of the relevant person that his or her signature has been affixed, and to what contract (if both a credit application and a guarantee, for instance).

    Failure to put such process in place may make the enforcement of electronic contracts much harder, and may cause a substantial loss to your company in the future, should the relevant customer default on payment in accordance with the contract. There are also other forms of technology that may mitigate authentication risks (such as public key cryptography) and you should seek both legal advice and IT advice in respect of the effectiveness of the systems in place in your company.

    Article by: 

    Bonnie McMahon & Hayley Hitch, Solicitors & 

    Stephen Mullette, Principal of Matthews Folbigg Lawyers; Insolvency, Restructuring and Debt Recovery Group




  • 09-Mar-2017 14:46 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)


  • 09-Mar-2017 14:34 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    My Westmead Retreats at Hawks Nest Program is a way for seriously ill patients undergoing medical treatment to spend precious time together with their families, to recharge before returning to continue their treatment or simply leave their arduous routine of hospital visits behind as they create new memories with their loved ones.

    Last year, thanks to the generosity of our donors, Westmead Medical Research Foundation helped 16 families get away through our Hawks Nest Program.

    The program has been running for nearly 15 years. It provides patients and their families with the opportunity to take time out and spend a week away at Hawks Nest on the mid-North Coast of NSW, at no cost. Some patients use the time at the retreat to say their goodbyes and others spend the days recharging before coming back to Hospital for further treatment.

    Patients and their families are very thankful when they return from Hawks Nest. This is only an example of one of their thank you messages: “I am writing on behalf of my husband to thank you for the lovely week break at Hawks Nest. This enabled us to spend quality time with all the family. The unit was very comfortable and the weather was perfect. Would you kindly thank the owners on our behalf for this kind donation?”

    This is a fantastic demonstration of community goodwill and ‘give back’, and with the demand for this service growing rapidly, the Foundation needs your support to continue to work closely with referring staff and our partner real estate to best facilitate the program and help as many families as possible.

    “Going through a health crisis often means lower income for families, making difficult – and sometimes impossible – to be able to take a holiday or even a short break. The retreats are an extremely worthwhile service provided to families in their time of greatest need and a program that the Foundation is incredibly proud of,” said Jo Sabbouh, Hawks Nest program coordinator at My Westmead.

    When donors support this program they are helping My Westmead to provide more families with food vouchers, petrol vouchers and even the fee for cleaning and maintaining the properties so more patients and their loved ones can enjoy this valuable time together.

    To learn more or to make a donation towards our Hawks Nest Program call 1800 639 037 or email wmrf@wmrf.org.au




  • 08-Mar-2017 14:19 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    Novotel Sydney Parramatta is taking care of business. Book your 2017 conference by the 30th April 2017 and receive a $65 Day Delegate Package PLUS your choice of FREE upgrade.

    The hotel features 11 versatile event spaces with Western Sydney’s largest pillar-less hotel ballroom which can cater for up to 550 people. Each event space has access to state of the art audio visual equipment. Our professional event planning and catering teams can help make your event successful.

    ENQUIRE TODAY:

    Email h8787-sb4@accor.com or call our friendly reservations team on (02) 9630 4999



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