Cybercrime is on the increase and Tasmania is not immune. A recent Tasmania Police media release1 has identified the prevalence of sophisticated cyber criminals targeting individuals and organisations across the state. Cyber criminals are using sophisticated methods of online social engineering, including stylised and targeted phishing emails, commonly known as Business Email Compromise (BEC), to de-fraud organisations across Tasmania. In one recent example an organisation suffered a loss in-excess of $200,000 from a single incident.

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In Tasmania alone, Tasmania Police reported fraud offences have increased by 26.4% since 2013 with cyber fraud constituting 25.4% of all fraud offences in Tasmania in 2015-2016.

As part of The Entrepreneurs’ Programme – the Australian Government’s flagship initiative for small business development – SMEs have free, direct access to the pool of Innovation Connections Facilitation. These are highly experienced advisors that help SMEs regarding any knowledge and technology related issues – at no cost to your business. Since 2015, Deloitte Private has been working in partnership with AusIndustry to deliver Entrepreneurs’ Programme services nationally to boost the productivity and competitiveness of the Australian SME market.

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Through Innovation Connections Facilitation, businesses work with an experienced facilitator who can assist them to overcome a particular technical challenge or issue in order to become more competitive, productive and efficient.

Over the last few years, there has been a surge in Australian investors looking to acquire both residential and commercial US property. There seems to be a few key reasons as to why.

At least initially, the appreciation in the Australian dollar against the US dollar and the dramatic reduction in US property values during the Global Financial Crisis made US property look attractively priced for Australian investors.

Since then, other factors have come to the fore. More sophisticated investors are increasingly looking to diversify their portfolio, which has traditionally focused primarily, if not entirely, on Australian assets. Furthermore, US property assets often provide more attractive rental yields, particularly when compared to Australian residential yields.

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Australian investors must closely examine their structuring into US property

There’s no question it’s a really exciting time to be part of our ‘Innovation Nation’. The game-changer for both angel investors and startups came earlier this year when the Turnbull Government, as part of its innovation platform, introduced tax incentives for early stage startup investments.

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Investing in early startups poses inherent risks. So as a first time angel investor, what do you need to consider in order to mitigate these?

In 2011 “The Economist” claimed that Australia could be the next California, “perhaps a more successful version of the Golden State”. Well we certainly won’t build our own Silicon Valley if we keep our heads buried in Australia’s ‘old economy’. Our Prime Minister’s vision of an ‘Innovation Nation’ will be merely that if we do not get enough of the next generation not only trained in the skills of tomorrow, but also seeing the world with an inherent technology lens. Today every company is indeed a technology company, and any ambitious young Australian needs to possess a fundamental understanding of technology’s power and limitless applicability. Our best and brightest will create the most value for themselves and our country through start-ups, either building their own or getting in at the ‘ground floor’ of others, and this needs to shape career conversations that parents and teachers have with children as soon as they start to choose their own subjects.   

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In our first year as an ‘Innovation Nation’ start-ups are finally getting some of the attention that they deserve from the government, big business and the media.

Open up any newspaper these days and the commentary around the property market reads: “housing bubble”, “apartment oversupply” and “housing market collapse”. You may well think that one of the biggest sources of wealth in this country is about to come tumbling down like the proverbial house of cards. Sensationalist or an accurate prediction?

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You may well think that one of the biggest sources of wealth in this country is about to come tumbling down like the proverbial house of cards. Sensationalist or an accurate prediction?

Traditionally criminals have tended to focus on making money. However in this digital age, this is no longer the ultimate goal – sophisticated criminals have realised the value of information that can be stolen through a cyber-attack.

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It is critical for organisations to be aware of how central security is to maintaining consumer trust and loyalty, and including cyber security as an essential part of business planning and risk management.

The tax debate has been a big one in Australia. It was a key topic for fast growing businesses featuring in our Technology Fast 50 in 2015 and has continued to be a topic of discussion over the last year. The 2016/17 Federal Budget honed in on taxes and transparency with cuts to the company tax rate for small and medium sized enterprises and the introduction of a Diverted Profits Tax for significant global entities, amongst other measures.

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For those businesses nominating for Technology Fast 50, the challenge is more about moving beyond the start-up phase where cash is burned and revenue limited. Getting cash into the business is king! Once in growth phase, tax losses are likely to be carried forward to shelter some scaling of revenue and profitability, which is a natural outcome of the tax system.

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Putting digital to work

New technology waves are changing businesses – the way they operate and compete. Digital is one of these technology waves and Australia is in the midst of it.

At a recent Deloitte event, some of our Deloitte Private clients gained insights into the impact of digital from Deloitte Digital Partner Steve Hallam. In his presentation, ‘Putting Digital to Work’, he highlighted how technology has the potential to make a significant difference to their businesses.

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Businesses have been previously set up on economies of scale but are now moving toward economies of scope. In other words, the focus is shifting to the variety of products offered rather than the output level of one product.