Credit reporting agency, Veda Advantage is warning small businesses in the lead up to the end of the financial year that the Federal Government’s asset write-off scheme could leave them exposed to higher credit risk.

By Graham Doessel, Founder and CEO of MyCRA Credit Rating Repairs and

In Veda’s media release today, the company warns small businesses risk over-commitment acquiring additional credit to purchase new assets with the asset write-off scheme, saying it will not be robust enough to assist all small businesses in the coming financial year.

The new small business instant asset write-off scheme introduced in the 2012/13 budget allows businesses with a turnover of less than A$2 million to write off each eligible business asset costing under A$6,500.  The purpose of the scheme is to provide an injection of funds for businesses to invest in new ideas.

“It’s obviously very important to closely manage the credit you take on as a small business and there are simple steps you can take to manage risk. First and foremost you need to work out if you can afford to borrow in the first place, plan your budget appropriately to see when you spend your money and how much you can afford in repayments,” says  Veda’s Head of Commercial Credit & Procurement Risk, Moses Samaha.

“Allow for interest rate rises and anything that might affect your future income, ensure you make regular and sufficient repayments to keep the credit debt below the agreed limit and be aware of penalties if you miss a payment.

“It’s crucial to keep your cash flow coming in greater than cash flow going out – staying  on top of this is a key success factor to keeping your business running and driving revenue. These are all simple tips but they seem to be the same traps that SMBs continue to fall for – and they can be easily avoided.”

A recent report from the RBA showed that small businesses were hit harder by the global financial crisis and have found it more difficult to recover than larger businesses in Australia which could drive SME’s to overcommit when trying to benefit from the new scheme.

Here is an excerpt from that report:

“According to business surveys and the Bank’s liaison program, conditions have been weaker for small businesses than their larger counterparts over the past two years. Following the 2008 downturn, there was a less durable recovery for small businesses than for large businesses; small business conditions only briefly returned to average levels in early 2010 before being below average for most of the following two years.

The weak conditions are apparent in small businesses’ main concerns. In the mid 2000s, these entities were becoming increasingly concerned about attracting and retaining quality staff. Following the 2008 downturn, however, this was replaced by concerns about demand for their business’ goods and services, their cash flow/ profitability and broader concerns about the economic climate,” the RBA reports in its Small Business Finance Roundtable Report.

This comes on top of the report’s findings that more small businesses are likely to load the family up with business debt due to a lack of access to credit in many circumstances.

“Households owning businesses are more likely to have debt (including their business debt) than other households, with around 80 per cent of business-owning households having debt in 2010, compared to 66 per cent of other households, and they tend to have higher household debt relative to income,” the report says.

“When the balance sheets of unincorporated small businesses are compared with those of the households that own those businesses, the households are much more likely to have debt than the businesses. This suggests that many small businesses may be financed indirectly by household borrowing rather than through explicit business borrowing.”

The RBA also reports that tighter lending standards have a greater impact on small businesses and the reassessment of risk more generally by banks has also disproportionately affected small companies.

See full post, Small business credit lock down pushes families into more debt.

Small businesses struggling with debt need to know both their consumer and commercial credit files are put at risk if payments go into arrears past 60 days. To find out about repairing a commercial and or consumer credit file, contact our credit repair team at MyCRA Credit Rating Repairs on 1300 667 218.

Image: Arvind Balaraman/