Message from the Chair – September 2020
11 September 2020
As we continue to deal with the dual crises of a pandemic and a recession, organisations are facing issues not dreamt about 12 months ago. Staff working from home for the foreseeable future, staff on extended leave and being subsidised by government funding, schools closed in some areas and universities opening in a limited fashion.
As CFOs and senior finance executives, we have to look at the impacts of the pandemic across our organisations – the impact of the pandemic on company performance, the mental health of staff, doing more with less, not having people available when you need them, finalising budgets, accounts and reports from home and living on ‘Zoom’, ‘Teams’ and ‘Webex.’
We have seen the Federal Government offer assistance in many areas, recently through extending temporary relief for financially distressed businesses, moving to improve unpaid parental leave entitlements and extending JobKeeper payments. But we have also seen recent decisions making things more difficult for members in some areas and we are asking for your input so we can explain the unintended consequences that don’t help members. This is the case in the areas dealing with small business suppliers and outbound interest-free loans.
The Prime Minister has worked to keep the National Cabinet together while the State Premiers seem to make their own way through the pandemic. This is of concern to our Victorian members in particular due the restrictions, but also to members trying to carry out business throughout the federation.
This has been discussed at length in the G100 latest Board meeting. As a result, for much of the rest of the year, the G100 will be focussing our attention on getting answers to the critical issues impacting finance teams and making sure politicians understand our views.
Two important issues we would like your input on is in relation to Small Business Payment Times due for implementation 1 January 2020 and draft guidance from the ATO in relation to outbound interest-free loans between related parties which is overly restrictive. These issues are both outlined in more detail below.
We have a number of events that will be of interest to members in the coming months, and it is hoped you and your teams will be able to attend all or some of them:
- The next event is our Annual Political Engagement Days on 22 and 23 September from 12.30pm-2.30pm. The pandemic has made entry to Parliament House impossible, so rather than abandon this important meeting with key MPs we have locked in an excellent program over two lunchtimes via Zoom. As usual you will have the opportunity to pose questions and put ideas forward, this year to very senior members of the Opposition.
- Following the Budget on 6 October we will be holding our Post-budget webinar on 7 October from 1.00pm-2.15pm, kindly being hosted by Deloitte on our behalf. We will be hearing from Deloitte Access economist Chris Richardson and well known Non-Executive Board Director and Board Chair, Gordon Cairns. They will not only reflect on the budget but will discuss the pandemic – what to expect coming out of the pandemic as well as coping with it if there is no vaccine for some time.
- As you will have seen in the newspaper advertisements, we will hold our annual G100 Congress – CFO Live on 29 October which runs all day. As in the past, we are running this major conference in conjunction with the Australian Financial Review. This is the only function requiring Member payment – PLEASE NOTE – the early bird rate expires on 15 September.
- To finish the year we will hold a webinar, to be hosted by PwC, looking at the Future of the Finance Profession in November – what do we need to do to operate effectively in the future as technology and circumstances keep changing, how do we evolve the finance function to cope with future pandemics, dealing with artificial intelligence and the growing threats of cyber security.
There is an appendix to download below which contains details of the recent Board meeting, further details of the upcoming events, more detail on key issues, details on the working groups and an update on submissions. The two other PDF downloads relate to the work on Payment Times Reporting Scheme.
As always, if you have any issues you would like to discuss, please don’t hesitate to contact our CEO, Stephen Woodhill, at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me, my details are below.
Chair Group of 100
Appendix: Board meeting, events, key issues, working groups and submissions
Download Payment Times Reporting Scheme: