Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

Kate Carnell and the ASBFEO (Small business and family enterprise ombudsman) report on success and progress for small business during 2018


  • the commitment by the federal government to pay SMEs within 20 calendar days for contracts up to $1 million, by July 2019
  • a new contract clause included in the Commonwealth Contracting Suite that ensures all subcontractors working on a government project have the same terms and conditions as the prime contractor of that project
  • the commitment by the federal government to have a target of 35% of all government contracts up to $20 million to go to SMEs.
  • the federal government committed to ensuring large businesses pay SMEs within 20 days as a condition of future government contracts
  • a requirement that large businesses with $100 million turnover publish payment times in their annual reports
  • in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, the government committed to introducing five-day payment terms between government agencies and small businesses where e-invoicing is in place.
  • Affordable Capital for SME Growth Inquiry, conducted in June this year, are reflected in the:
    • commitment by the federal government to develop an Australian Business Growth Fund
    • introduction of the Australian Business Securitisation Fund
    • review of the Personal Property Securities Register to make it more accessible and workable for SMEs.
  • Our input into the unfair conduct to small businesses by the ATO has resulted in the funding of a Small Business Concierge Service to be established in the ASBFEO office next year, to provide support and advice about applications to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
  • prescribed improvements to services for small businesses by the Fair Work Commission aligned with recommendations in our Workplace Relations Simplifications paper released in April this year. They included small business case management by trained staff and information for small businesses produced in plain language, at the time and in the form they need.


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  • 10 January 2019