In the Media

Why Ignoring the Unlawful Conduct of Clients is a Bad Idea

Advisors who ignore unlawful conduct of clients may be exposed to penalties.

In a recent case, Fair Work Ombudsman v Blue Impression Pty Ltd & Ors [2017] FCCA 810, it was found that the external accountant knew of, but ignored, the underpayment of wages by their client. Consequently, the advisor was found to be an accessory to breaches of Section 550 of the Fair Work Act and now faces a potential liability of $378,000.

The problem involved a Fair Work audit of a restaurant business that found significant underpayments to employees.

The restaurant sought assistance from its accountant who calculated the correct pay rates, but the client did not update their systems with the correct rates.

A subsequent audit of the same business found the restaurant had not rectified the situation and had actually made further underpayments of wages, loadings, penalty rates, and allowances to its international workers.

As a result, Fair Work commenced legal action against the restaurant and its accountant on the basis that any third party involved in a contravention of the Fair Work Act, can also be taken to have breached the Act.

Naturally, the accountant claimed its role was that of a service provider processing payments in accordance with instructions and further, that it had no knowledge of employee duties or award rates that should be applied.

However, the Court determined that the accountant, with knowledge of the breach from the earlier audit, chose to ignore the underpayment and this was sufficient to be found an accessory to breaches of section 550. Doing nothing when you have knowledge of a client’s unlawful conduct is not a defence.


It’s Too Late! John Adams Hits the Panic Button on Australia’s Economy.

You may think Liquidator’s are a pessimistic lot but a former government guru says there are 7 signs Australia is on the edge of economic Armageddon and it’s too late to change course.

The signs, he says, are:

  1. Tightening monetary policy
  2. Inverted and flattening yield curves
  3. Sovereign and corporate defaults
  4. Falling confidence and credit downgrades
  5. Emerging Chinese Credit Crisis
  6. Significant Growth in Value of Crypto Currencies
  7. Discredited Australian Fiscal and Monetary Policy

Adams says he has for years been publicly and privately urging his erstwhile colleagues in the Coalition to take action but that since nothing has been done, the window has now closed and Australia is completely at the mercy of international forces.

“Unfortunately, the window for taking pre-emptive action with an orderly unwinding of structural macroeconomic imbalances has now closed.”

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In the Media

ASIC warns Investors not to Engage with Skyllex

ASIC is warning the public not to use a website which promotes financial investments offered by ‘Skyllex’, a company incorporated in Australia.

ASIC is concerned that Skyllex’s website contains false, misleading or deceptive statements in relation to financial services.

The website states that ‘Our activity is totally legal and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’.  Although Skyllex has been issued with a Certificate of Registration by ASIC, it does not have an Australian financial services (AFS) licence and it is not authorised by an AFS licensee to provide financial services.

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