FeeSynergy will now team up with credit reporting bureau, Equifax, to enable accounting and legal firms to access an Equifax business credit score and credit report as part of their risk assessment process.
Scott Mason, general manager at Equifax, said the partnership comes at a time where having insight into the credit standing of customers is essential to help reduce time spent chasing bad debtors and ensure cash flow remains stable.
“In the current economic climate, managing the credit risk of customers and suppliers is crucial,” said Mr Mason. “Understanding a client’s risk and ability to pay can help better protect cashflows.
“Our partnership with FeeSynergy enables the accounting and legal sector to access a more complete picture of prospective and existing clients so that they can make informed decisions when it comes to credit risk and client engagement.”
FeeSynergy managing director, Malcolm Ebb, said the partnership would now help accountants manage their entire debtor management process, from engagement right through to payment.
“Our partnership with Equifax is ground-breaking,” said Mr Ebb.
“The product we are bringing to market has been over two years in the making and will provide our accounting and legal clients with valuable insights enabling them to better manage risk and enhance client engagement.”
Tax debts and credit reports
Credit reporting bureaus, like Equifax, have been in the spotlight recently, following the ATO’s decision to begin using new powers that allow it to disclose business tax debts of over $100,000 to credit reporting bodies if the business does not make an effort to manage their debt within 28 days of notice.
The ATO’s new powers come after the government passed a law in late 2019 to clamp down on businesses with tax debts of more than $100,000 that are at least 90 days overdue.
The Tax Office told Accountants Daily that the orange-coloured warning letters – sent out in August – were the first time the agency had sought to use its new powers since the law was passed over 18 months ago.
However, ongoing lockdowns in NSW, Victoria, and the ACT have forced the ATO to suspend such drastic debt and compliance work.
The suspended “firmer activities” are expected to include garnishee notices, statutory demands, and the power to disclose business tax debts to credit reporting bureaus.
The ATO, however, has confirmed that it will not implement a universal pause on all compliance work, a departure from its position last year where it halted all debt and lodgement campaigns in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have not halted our debt and lodgement activities,” an ATO spokesperson told Accountants Daily.
“But in our engagement, we are mindful of the environment in which clients are operating, particularly those clients in extended lockdowns and [we will] tailor our enforcement approach for clients who are adversely impacted by these lockdowns.”
Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.