Step IT up: the dangers of over-reliance on...

25 September 2019 | Selina Gerner & Stephanie Lo

It is easy to assume that your outsourced IT provider has all of the bases covered to handle a cyber-attack, after all, they are the IT experts. While their IT expertise is likely value for money, if senior management and your IT...

Advisory Technology Insight 25 September 2019
Corporate streamlining – the low hanging fruit

24 September 2019 | Sean Wiles & Barry Kogan

There is never a bad time for management teams to get the house in order and to look for easy ways to reduce costs. An often untapped area in this pursuit is the corporate structure. McGrathNicol Advisory estimates that, even for...

Advisory Strategy & Business Improvement Insight 24 September 2019
Working from home: blurred boundaries increasing business risk

20 September 2019 | Blare Sutton & Will Bian

Flexible work arrangements have become an ingrained part of the modern workplace, with the time of daily commutes increasing and employees wanting better work-life balance, the traditional nine-to-five routine has changed for...

Advisory Technology Insight 20 September 2019
Phishing for information

19 September 2019 | Michael Gray

Over 60% of cybercrime is the result of human error. Approximately half of this accidental sharing of information is via “phishing” attacks - one of the top concerns listed by the FBI in its 2018 Internet Crime Report....

Advisory Technology Insight 19 September 2019
Digital deadlocks and securing your ‘online home’

18 September 2019 | Chris Tolentino

In the face of relentless hacks, scams and data breaches, the IT Security sector continues to encourage businesses to improve their cyber resilience to protect their bottom line and our private data. However, like many things in...

Advisory Technology Insight 18 September 2019
The risk is bigger than just me

18 September 2019 | Evan Vougdis & Stephanie Lo

Most organisations leverage technology to allow them to remain digitally integrated with their customers, third party service providers and business partners. With the varying levels of maturity around information security across...

Advisory Technology Insight 18 September 2019
Consumer data regimes: and then there were three

17 September 2019 | Caroline Mackinnon

Individuals and organisations now have the right to efficiently and conveniently access specified data in relation to them held by businesses. The Consumer Data Right (CDR) requires data holders to give customers open access to...

Advisory Technology Insight 17 September 2019
Caring about the notifiable data breach: the human impact...

17 September 2019 | Darren Hopkins & Darren Lim

With the Notifiable Data Breach (NDB) scheme under the Privacy Act 1998 in full force, the threat of financial and reputational impacts to organisations often overshadows the human element of the data breaches; in essence, we...

Advisory Technology Insight 17 September 2019
What does Incident Response have in common with driving...

16 September 2019 | Shane Bell

This may seem like an odd question, but hear me out. Having spent the first six years of my career after university driving warships, and the last 14 years of my career managing cyber and forensic incidents, I can tell you that...

Advisory Technology Insight 16 September 2019
Getting smart: Cybersecurity trends relating to AI, Machine Learning,...

16 September 2019 | Darren Lim

Two of the hottest topics within technology circles currently belong to Cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Inevitably, the cross-pollination between Cyber and AI has led to increasing interest around the art of the...

Advisory Technology Insight 16 September 2019
Retail Market Conditions

12 September 2019

Traditional retail sales contracted 0.1% in July, with cumulative sales growth for the calendar year to July now 1.4%. Online sales fell by 2% on the back of a 1.8% contraction in June. This is the first time online sales have...

Insight 12 September 2019
Safe harbour in practice

26 August 2019 | Rob Brauer

The two year anniversary of the safe harbour reforms arrives in September this year. Heralded as a major milestone in Australia’s restructuring and turnaround landscape, it’s clear the reforms are yet to reach their full...

Restructuring Media 26 August 2019
Countering foreign interference in your organisation

20 August 2019 | Matt Fehon, John Garnaut & Caroline Mackinnon

There has been much media coverage regarding the threat of foreign meddling in international democratic processes and, most recently, in attempts to undermine elections. Most strikingly, the report released by US Special Counsel...

Advisory Forensic Media 20 August 2019
Retail Market Conditions

19 August 2019

Consumer confidence returned to a neutral 100.0 in August, which was a 3.6% improvement on July. Reduced pessimism around future economic conditions drove the increase, with improvements across all component indices. Traditional...

Insight 19 August 2019
Clarifying whistleblower protections and the importance of a robust...

9 August 2019 | Dean Newlan

McGrathNicol’s FCX recently hosted an expert panel comprising Corrs Partner Abby Gill, Griffith University’s Professor AJ Brown, ANZ Whistleblower Program Lead Clare Molan and Head of ASIC’s Office of the Whistleblower...

Advisory Financial Crime Exchange Forensic Insight 9 August 2019
Cyber health and safety: Directors’ duties

2 August 2019 | Blare Sutton

Almost every week a new cyber incident hits the media — personal information released on the dark web, Silicon Valley tech giants causing public outrage due to unethical collection or use of data, or accusations of state...

Advisory Technology Media 2 August 2019
NSW Modern Slavery Act hold-up should not impede organisations

24 July 2019 | Caroline Mackinnon & Robin Tarr

Many commercial organisations may have sensed some relief on 1 July 2019 when the reporting period as set out in the draft Modern Slavery Act 2018 (NSW) (the Act) did not commence as anticipated. This was because the legislation...

Forensic Insight 24 July 2019
Managing supply risk – are you prepared for...

23 July 2019 | Mark Holland

Disruptions in a business supply chain are at times unavoidable. However, the true testament to a company’s ‘preparedness’ for a disruption is its ability to respond quickly. In today’s business...

Governance, Risk & Compliance Insight 23 July 2019
Business seminar puts the new whistleblower regime under the...

23 July 2019 | Dean Newlan

McGrathNicol’s FCX (Financial Crime Exchange) hosted a breakfast seminar at the RACV Club, Melbourne last week which put the recently amended whistleblower provisions of the Corporations Act under the microscope. An expert...

Insight 23 July 2019
Retail Market Conditions

18 July 2019

Recent reductions in the cash rate and tax incentives failed to boost consumer confidence, with the index falling 4.2% in July to 96.5, the lowest reported level in two years on the back of concerns around the economy and...

Insight 18 July 2019
McGrathNicol Advisory congratulates new Partner Chris Davey

5 July 2019 | McGrathNicol

McGrathNicol Advisory is delighted to announce the promotion of Chris Davey to the partnership, effective 1 July 2019. His promotion brings the total number of Partners in the Transactions team to six and the total Partner count...

Advisory Transactions News 5 July 2019
Congratulations to our newly promoted team members

28 June 2019 | McGrathNicol

McGrathNicol recognises that the strength of our business is the expertise of our people. We would like to congratulate our recently promoted team members. Director Selina Gerner, Brisbane Deb Stokoe, Canberra Emma Boucher,...

Advisory Restructuring News 28 June 2019
The costs of losing customer data

11 June 2019 | Shane Bell & Robin Tarr

The 2017 data breach of US credit reporting agency Equifax exposed the personal information, including names, birthdays and social security numbers, of nearly 150 million Americans. The information obtained could be used to steal...

Advisory Forensic Technology Media 11 June 2019
All roads lead to working capital

28 May 2019

When assessing the financial performance of a businesses, it is commonplace for management teams to only think about revenue and earnings. Analysts scrutinise and rate companies on their profitability, owners link dividends to...

Advisory Strategy & Business Improvement Media 28 May 2019
Two common privacy questions our clients ask

2 May 2019 | Stephanie Lo & Mariam Shelbourne

Privacy Awareness Week (PAW) is an annual event run by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) that brings awareness and highlights the importance of protecting personal information. Running from 12 to 18...

Advisory Forensic Technology Insight 2 May 2019
Closing the deal

17 April 2019 | Andrew Fressl & Samuel McCombe

You have planned, you are ready and you have gone to market. Offers are in and you have progressed the negotiations to a point where it is now time to ‘get on with it’ and execute. Closing a deal relies on maintaining...

Advisory Transactions Insight 17 April 2019
How retailers can succeed in 2019

11 April 2019 | Damien Pasfield

Following a period of constrained sales growth, we look at what retailers can do to succeed in 2019. Retail continues to be subject to disruption. It is also subject to the whims of changing consumer preferences and buying...

Advisory Transactions Insight 11 April 2019
Focus on the customer, not just the sale

11 April 2019 | Richard Woolf

It is easy to see why repeat customers are good for business – there is no acquisition cost, you have an opportunity to improve customer lifetime value and customers that become brand advocates can generate their own...

Advisory Insight 11 April 2019
Retail Market Conditions

11 April 2019

Retail conditions remain difficult, with traditional retail sales growing only 0.1% and online retail sales suffering a contraction of 0.5% in January 2019 (the second consecutive contraction). Consumer confidence remains...

Insight 11 April 2019
Pre-completion planning – timing is critical

10 April 2019 | Ashley Walton & Christopher Davey

When contemplating an acquisition, divestment or a merger, it is critical to have a robust plan to give effect to its intent once a transaction completes. With respect to an acquisition, management/board members should have a...

Advisory Transactions Insight 10 April 2019
Logic before emotions – the key to successful negotiation

4 April 2019 | Paul Sweeney & Janine Thompson

Negotiation is typically the stage at which parties are worn down, tired and fraught. The due diligence process can cause frustrations for both parties: one wondering why questions are so pedantic; the other wondering why...

Advisory Transactions Insight 4 April 2019
RCR Group – Voluntary Administration

28 March 2019 | McGrathNicol

...

Creditors 28 March 2019
Assessing and refining the deal

27 March 2019 | Andrew Fressl & Courtney Roe

As the deal progresses, issues undoubtedly arise and it is important for each party to reconsider their positions, as well as to understand potential risks and how these risks, if determined material, can be mitigated. As our...

Advisory Transactions Insight 27 March 2019
Transactions Newsletter

27 March 2019 | McGrathNicol

Notwithstanding the RBA’s view that Australia’s economy remains in good shape and is poised to achieve its 3% GDP growth target, a combination of an uncertain election outcome, cooling of the property market, Chinese economy...

Advisory Transactions Transactions Newsletter 27 March 2019
Driving success (and minimising risk) of transactions with focussed...

20 March 2019 | Hugh Monaghan & Nathan Baird

Effective financial due diligence requires an in depth analysis of the assumptions and information supporting a transaction, a commercially-focussed assessment of whether they align with the strategic objectives of the...

Advisory Transactions Insight 20 March 2019
Whistleblower legislation to become law on 1 July 2019

18 March 2019 | Dean Newlan

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing Whistleblower Protections) Act 2019 was passed by the House of Representatives on 20 February 2019 and received Royal Assent last week. On becoming law on 1 July 2019 it will introduce...

Advisory Financial Crime Exchange Forensic Insight 18 March 2019
Assessing synergies – when is a combined business more...

14 March 2019 | David Barnaby & Christopher Davey

Synergy is the concept that combined businesses will be more valuable than the sum of the parts. Synergies are often touted as a key reason for undertaking transactions, with the success of the deal often determined by...

Advisory Transactions Insight 14 March 2019
Assessing the strategy – why transact?

7 March 2019 | Paul Sweeney & Andrew Fressl

A transaction needs to align to an organisation’s strategy and goals – there needs to be reason to do a deal, and it is important that the investment thesis for the transaction (it’s ‘business case’) is clearly...

Insight 7 March 2019
Devotion to promotion?

4 March 2019 | McGrathNicol

Coming to the end of our annual post-Christmas retail sale binge, it is interesting to take a closer look at Australian consumers’ and retailers relationship with promotions. With indications there is increasing ‘pull...

Advisory Restructuring Insight 4 March 2019
Retail Market Conditions

4 March 2019

Both traditional and online retail sales fell in December 2018 (0.4% and 1.4% respectively) following strong November results, providing evidence of ongoing ‘pull forward’ of Christmas sales. Consumer sentiment improved 4.2%...

Insight 4 March 2019
Don’t let a poorly planned transaction destroy value, or...

1 March 2019 | Paul Sweeney & Andrew Fressl

Often, when things go wrong, the writing was on the wall before the deal was inked. The acquirer just didn’t see the warning signs, or chose not to see them. Here are a few examples: The working capital of a mining services...

Advisory Transactions Insight 1 March 2019
New Zealand Working Capital Report 2018

27 February 2019

In 2018 the average working capital cycle of the sampled companies increased to 57.5 days. A breakdown of DWC into its components shows the increase in DIO across five of the eight sampled sectors was compounded by a hastening of...

Advisory Strategy & Business Improvement Report 27 February 2019
Forensic Forecast 2019

21 February 2019 | McGrathNicol

Welcome to the 2019 McGrathNicol Advisory Forensic Forecast. The year ahead presents a number of challenges for organisations, driven by significant legislative and regulatory change. With upcoming state and federal elections, a...

Advisory Forensic Technology Insight 21 February 2019
Impact on Agribusiness – Financial Services Royal Commission

21 February 2019 | Jason Pietzner & Andrew Boys

Of the recommendations made in the Royal Commission report into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services industry (FSRC), four pertain to the management of leveraged agricultural assets by the banking...

Restructuring Insight 21 February 2019
We are Areyonga

20 February 2019 | Grace Chessman & Richard Greig

Teamwork. This was the message of our week spent in Areyonga and a theme prevalent throughout our time spent in the remote Indigenous town. Both in and out of the classroom, teamwork and leadership was prevalent every day. The...

Advisory Insight 20 February 2019
New whistleblower legislation passes through the Australian Parliament today

19 February 2019 | Dean Newlan & Matt Fehon

The long awaited Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing Whistleblower Protections) Act was passed by the House of Representatives today and will now become law. While there are some features of a world’s best practice whistleblower...

Advisory Forensic Governance, Risk & Compliance Insight 19 February 2019
Misconduct in the Banking sector – it’s just not...

8 February 2019 | Dean Newlan

The final report of the ‘Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry’ (universally known as the ‘Banking Royal Commission’) landed with a thud on Monday and will serve...

Advisory Financial Crime Exchange Forensic Governance, Risk & Compliance Insight 8 February 2019
Key recommendations from the Final Report of the ALRC...

31 January 2019 | Mike Hill

On Friday 25 January 2019, the Final Report of the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) inquiry into class action proceedings and third-party litigation funders was tabled in Federal Parliament. The 339 page report made a...

Advisory Forensic Insight 31 January 2019
New modern slavery legislation already impacting corporate Australia

21 January 2019 | Mark Holland & Graham Newton

The impacts of Australia’s new Modern Slavery legislation are already being felt across corporate Australia as organisations come to terms with the new legislation imposed from 1 January 2019. Those impacted by the new...

Advisory Insight 21 January 2019
Managing cash and working capital critical for retailers over...

21 December 2018 | Sean Wiles & Adam Blogg

An interesting article in the AFR, “Retailers counting on bumper weekend to meet Christmas forecasts”, about the trends in consumer spending leading up to Christmas. The article mentions that “retailers who have held off...

Advisory Strategy & Business Improvement Insight 21 December 2018
Congratulations to our promoted team members

18 December 2018 | Jamie Harris

McGrathNicol recognises that the expertise of our people is the strength of our business. We would like to congratulate the following team members on their promotions, effective 1 January 2019. Director Alison Wong, Sydney Senior...

News 18 December 2018
Changes in the legal market via disruptive technologies

12 December 2018 | Darren Hopkins & Brendan Payne

The contribution of digital technologies to the Australian economy is forecast to be $139 billion by 2020, when it will equate to 7% of Australia’s GDP (DAE 2015a). This represents the size of Australia’s digital economy and...

Advisory Technology Insight 12 December 2018
Michael Woodford MBE: a story of loyalty and betrayal...

11 December 2018

In the lead up to International Fraud Awareness Week (12-16 November), McGrathNicol’s Financial Crime Exchange (FCX) hosted over 200 senior executives to hear from Michael Woodford, former Olympus CEO and whistleblower, who...

Advisory Financial Crime Exchange Forensic Insight 11 December 2018
Cash tied up, suppliers squeezed: report

6 December 2018

McGrathNicol Advisory has launched its 2018 Working Capital Report, revealing working capital metrics worsened, on average, across a sample of 146 ASX-listed businesses, in nine sectors. The report shows working capital cycles...

Advisory Strategy & Business Improvement Media 6 December 2018
The taste of modern slavery – part one

4 December 2018 | Robin Tarr & Caroline Mackinnon

Modern slavery legislation passed in parliament Australia’s anti-modern slavery legislation was passed in Federal Parliament last week. This important new legislation is a key step in confirming Australia’s commitment,...

Advisory Forensic Insight 4 December 2018
New research points to more cash tied up in...

29 November 2018

McGrathNicol Advisory launched its 2018 Working Capital Report and revealed that working capital metrics worsened, on average, across a sample of 146 ASX-listed businesses, in nine sectors. But, for the construction and...

Advisory Strategy & Business Improvement Media 29 November 2018
Working Capital Report 2018

19 November 2018 | McGrathNicol

Welcome to the 2018 McGrathNicol Advisory Working Capital Report. For the sixth consecutive year we profiled the working capital performance of a sample of ASX listed companies. This year we sampled 146 companies across nine...

Advisory Strategy & Business Improvement Report 19 November 2018
FCX Panel Discussion | The Façade of Fraud

19 November 2018 | Matt Fehon & Caroline Mackinnon

To mark International Fraud Awareness Week, McGrathNicol’s financial crime collaboration hub FCX hosted a series of expert events in our Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra offices to discuss experiences and challenges for...

Advisory Financial Crime Exchange Forensic Insight 19 November 2018
‘Safe Harbour’ one year on – 4 things we’ve...

19 November 2018 | Rob Brauer

It’s been just over a year since the “Safe Harbour” reforms became available to directors. Heralded as a major milestone in Australia’s restructuring and turnaround landscape, it’s clear the reforms are yet to reach...

Restructuring Insight 19 November 2018
ABC Learning – 10 years on

7 November 2018 | Paul Sweeney

November 2018 marks the tenth anniversary of the collapse of ABC Learning, which at the time was the largest publicly listed provider of childcare services globally. The collapse ABC Learning had centres in the UK, US and New...

Restructuring Insight 7 November 2018
In Retail – FY18 in Review

5 November 2018 | Jason Ireland & Damien Pasfield

SNAPSHOT Despite improvements in consumer confidence, retail sales in FY18 grew at their slowest annual growth rate in the 10 years since the GFC (2.5% compared to the 10 year average of 3.9%). Online sales growth accelerated in...

Advisory Strategy & Business Improvement Report 5 November 2018
In Retail (New Zealand) – FY18 in Review

5 November 2018

SNAPSHOT FY18 retail growth was strong at 3.8%, outpacing the broader economy for the fourth year in a row, with GDP growing 2.7%. However, the rate of growth has declined for the last four years, as has GDP. Retail growth in...

Advisory Report 5 November 2018
The significance of human error in notifiable data breaches

31 October 2018 | Darren Hopkins & David Dempster

On 30 October 2018, the OAIC released its third Quarterly Statistics Report in relation to Notifiable Data Breaches (the report), which relates to the period 1 July 2018 – 30 September 2018. Despite an upward trend in awareness...

Advisory Technology Insight 31 October 2018
Indigenous Asset Management Structures

18 October 2018 | Rob Brauer & Michael Shanahan

There are currently approximately 200 registered native title bodies corporates (RNTBC) in Australia which hold the native title interests and land use agreements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. RNTBCs are then...

Advisory Insight 18 October 2018
Do you know your organisation’s counterparty risk?

8 October 2018 | Mark Holland & Selina Gerner

The failure of a business' critical supplier can have ramifications beyond a stop in supply. In many cases, counterparty failure leads to an internal crisis mode as managers, legal counsel and directors attempt to navigate...

Advisory Governance, Risk & Compliance Insight 8 October 2018
Setting the governance standard: effective guidance from ISO and...

3 October 2018 | Dean Newlan

When it comes to guidance on corporate governance, boards and executives of Australian corporations are well supplied. The Corporations Act 2001 sets out clear requirements as to how Australian corporations are to be governed,...

Advisory Governance, Risk & Compliance Media 3 October 2018
Plan early to increase the odds of a successful...

12 September 2018 | Christopher Davey

A major acquisition can boost optimism in a business and its potential for growth but this can be short lived, and shareholder value can ultimately be eroded. There are two common reasons for this; either the acquisition...

Advisory Transactions Insight 12 September 2018
Transactions Newsletter

4 September 2018 | McGrathNicol

It has been another strong quarter for M&A activity across a number of sectors in Australia. We continue to see activity in the technology, financial services/insurance, food and beverage, and ever-growing ‘wellness’ sectors....

Advisory Transactions Insight 4 September 2018
The issues of working on cross-border transactions and disputes

3 September 2018 | Janine Thompson & Cathy Zhao

Cross-border disputes can present a number of technical and practical challenges for appointed financial or accounting experts engaged to investigate issues, value assets or estimate losses for their clients. This article sets...

Advisory Forensic Media 3 September 2018
Crack the Hack before the Hack Cracks you

31 August 2018 | Bronwenn Durand

In the 1996 blockbuster movie, Independence Day, Jeff Goldblum, the “IT guy” was asked by military personnel how on earth he was able to infiltrate the alien’s spaceship shield. He answered something along the lines of,...

Advisory Technology Insight 31 August 2018
Where do you draw the line on your personal...

30 August 2018 | Leigh Ulpen

The Australian Government’s “My Health Record” digitisation program has been in the spotlight recently with the automatic record creation opt-out deadline approaching in November, and a growing number of politicians,...

Advisory Technology Insight 30 August 2018
Ladies who launch

29 August 2018 | Hemma Acharaya

As a female who has worked in the technology industry for the last 14 years, I am always inspired when I hear of amazing ladies that have made a name for themselves in our male dominated industry. A great example is Sheryl...

Advisory Technology Insight 29 August 2018
More devices, more problems – the IoT era

28 August 2018 | Evan Vougdis

As consumers move deeper into the world of the ‘Internet of Things’, are they creating security problems, or just opening themselves up to more? Ten years ago, our only security concern was protecting our home computers....

Advisory Technology Insight 28 August 2018
I don’t know how that got on my phone?

27 August 2018 | Brendan Payne

As a digital forensic analyst I have heard it all. “I didn’t visit that site, it must have been a virus” or “that photo wasn’t taken on my phone”. These once-viable explanations can be disproven in a matter of...

Advisory Technology Insight 27 August 2018
Australian universities move to strengthen defences against growing cyber...

6 August 2018 | Shane Bell

Intellectual property is one of the hot currencies cyber criminals trade in. So, naturally, research and data-rich universities, with increasing digital education models and often complex organisational structures, are becoming...

Advisory Technology Insight 6 August 2018
Foreign bribery amendments to the Criminal Code: Will your...

2 August 2018 | Dean Newlan

There has been much media attention in recent years surrounding the issue of foreign bribery often involving ‘third world’ countries and ‘first world’ corporations. Reports typically allege money has been...

Advisory Forensic Insight 2 August 2018
The “minimum wage increase dilemma”

31 July 2018 | Mark Holland

From 1 July 2018, a 3.5% increase to the minimum wage came into effect across Australia. For many businesses in the retail and hospitality space, labour expenses make up an average of 25% to 35% of sales revenue. McGrathNicol...

Advisory Strategy & Business Improvement Insight 31 July 2018
Cyber Alert – Tax Time

19 July 2018 | Darren Hopkins & Wade Garrard

Watch out for the “tax man” The recent passing of 30 June, means it is that time again, in which we attempt to gather together our receipts and records in order to complete a tax return. For a lot of us this also means...

Cyber Alert 19 July 2018
Ipswich City Council dissolved in unprecedented move

13 July 2018 | Graham Newton

This week, the Queensland Government announced it would introduce new laws designed specifically to allow it to dissolve Ipswich City Council (ICC) and put an administrator in place until 2020. The unprecedented move follows a...

Advisory Governance, Risk & Compliance Insight 13 July 2018
Purchase Price Allocations Part 2 – Price less NTA...

11 July 2018 | Andrew Fressl & Courtney Roe

Contrary to common belief, consideration paid less net tangible assets acquired does not necessarily equate to goodwill. Goodwill is only one of the many intangible assets that may have been acquired as part of a transaction....

Transactions Insight 11 July 2018
Is your organisation prepared for changes in whistleblower legislation?

10 July 2018 | McGrathNicol

Australia’s law in respect of managing reports of corporate wrongdoing from whistleblowers and the protection afforded to whistleblowers has come under heavy scrutiny since 2014. Recent media reports of public whistleblowing...

Advisory Forensic Insight 10 July 2018
Third-party tech solutions becoming popular target for savvy cyber...

4 July 2018 | Shane Bell & Darren Hopkins

The recent Ticketmaster, PageUp and PEXA data breaches have taught us one important lesson. Cyber criminals aren’t just petty thieves chasing the cash in the till; their targets are being carefully chosen for maximum impact and...

Advisory Technology Insight 4 July 2018
Purchase Price Allocations Part 1 – EPS Impact

4 July 2018 | Andrew Fressl & Courtney Roe

Typically, consideration of the potential intangible assets acquired as part of a transaction is only undertaken post completion as part of a formal purchase price allocation (PPA), which is required for financial reporting...

Transactions Insight 4 July 2018
Congratulations to our promoted team members

4 July 2018 | Jamie Harris

McGrathNicol recognises that the expertise of our people is the strength of our business. We would like to congratulate the following team members on their promotions, effective 1 July 2018. Director Emily Seeckts, Melbourne...

Advisory Restructuring News 4 July 2018
McGrathNicol Restructuring congratulates new Partner Jonathan Henry

1 July 2018 | McGrathNicol

McGrathNicol Restructuring is delighted to announce the admission of Jonathan Henry to the Partnership. Jonathan is a turnaround and restructuring specialist and has led many of Australia’s most high profile and complex...

Restructuring News 1 July 2018
Cotton commodity price risks – haven’t we seen this...

13 June 2018 | Jason Pietzner

Volatility in the international cotton market has resulted in prices trading to new four-year highs ($652/bale 2018 season and $648/bale 2019 season). The recent surge in cotton prices is a result of global weather concerns,...

Advisory Insight 13 June 2018
Making technology a member of your team

12 June 2018 | Janine Thompson

Even in a well-resourced legal team, capacity can be an issue. A significant amount of time can be tied up in tasks that are time consuming and inefficient, stretching the available resources to the limit and away from issues for...

Advisory Forensic Media 12 June 2018
Where to start if you experience a data breach?

12 June 2018 | Darren Hopkins

What is being called the largest data breach since the introduction of the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme has this week shone the spotlight again on risks associated with the security of private information and how this may...

Advisory Technology Cyber Alert 12 June 2018
The importance of probity across all phases of procurement

23 May 2018 | Mark Holland

A recent Northern Territory Auditor General’s report has highlighted the importance of maintaining probity across all stages of a procurement process after questions were raised regarding the Northern Territory Government’s...

Governance, Risk & Compliance Insight 23 May 2018
People – biggest threat or greatest opportunity?

17 May 2018 | Shane Bell & Mariam Shelbourne

The reality is, if you manage or have access to personal and sensitive data, you have the potential to play a role in an information risk event and an annual ‘tick and flick’ eLearning module preaching compliance obligations...

Advisory Technology Insight 17 May 2018
NDB scheme data highlights the importance of information risk...

14 May 2018 | Shane Bell & Mariam Shelbourne

Have you ever accidentally sent an email containing sensitive information to the wrong person? It is easy enough to do with the stroke of a single key and immediately results in that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach....

Advisory Technology Insight 14 May 2018
Strong quarter for M&A activity

1 May 2018 | McGrathNicol

It has been a strong quarter for M&A activity, particularly in the mid-market and we have seen a growth in activity driven by a combination of corporates with strong balance sheets, new private equity funds and a benign...

Transactions Transactions Newsletter 1 May 2018
Cambridge Analytica – the leaky façade of personal data...

17 April 2018 | Jia Du & Ned Loneragan

As the world digests the content of Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony over two days of grilling by the US Senate and the US Congress, many are wondering, what is social media, why do we have our data out in the world and how is...

Advisory Technology Insight 17 April 2018
Safe Harbour reforms – ‘Hope’ is not a strategy

10 April 2018 | McGrathNicol

The ‘Safe Harbour’ reforms were introduced into the Corporations Act in late 2017 and provide directors with protection from personal liability for debts incurred whilst they undertake a course of action that is reasonably...

Restructuring Insight 10 April 2018
A week in Areyonga

30 March 2018 | Frances Cardamone & Jordan Trovato

Inspiring, strong and resilient. These are just some of the many qualities displayed by the children of Areyonga, NT. Our week spent in the remote Indigenous community, three hours’ drive from Alice Springs, was not only an...

News 30 March 2018
Banking Royal Commission highlights cultural issues within Financial Services

28 March 2018 | Dean Newlan

The Banking Royal Commission commenced public hearings in earnest on 13 March 2018 in what the Commissioner, The Hon. Justice Kenneth Hayne has referred to as the Round 1 hearings focusing on “consumer lending practices within...

Advisory Financial Crime Exchange Forensic Insight 28 March 2018
Out-of-the-box financial analysis key to capturing losses in infrastructure...

7 March 2018 | Janine Thompson

The increasing sophistication and prevalence of infrastructure and construction disputes in Australia in coming years will put the quality of financial analysis and evidence provided under the spotlight. Many of these disputes...

Advisory Forensic Media 7 March 2018
Australia slips further in anti-corruption ratings

6 March 2018 | Dean Newlan

International corruption fighting NGO, Transparency International (TI), released its 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) on 27 February 2018. The report revealed some worrying trends for Australian business in the context...

Advisory Financial Crime Exchange Forensic Insight 6 March 2018
Forensic Forecast 2018

28 February 2018 | McGrathNicol

Tighter regulation, increased regulatory scrutiny, significant media attention and expectations for greater transparency are balancing the growth ambitions of Government and the business sector. Ultimately, we are seeing the...

Advisory Financial Crime Exchange Forensic Technology Report 28 February 2018
The NDB Scheme is here, so what next?

19 February 2018 | Shane Bell & Mariam Shelbourne

The Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) Scheme comes into force on 22 February. Organisations who have obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) must notify individuals if they are likely to be at risk of serious harm due...

Advisory Technology Insight 19 February 2018
The future of blockchain – smart contracts and digital...

19 February 2018 | Darren Hopkins

The Bitcoin blockchain is revolutionary in its ability to allow two individuals to transact digitally without a trusted third party. But the scope of blockchain technology extends much further than digital currency. A 19 year old...

Advisory Technology Cyber Alert 19 February 2018
The new “middle men” in retail

13 February 2018 | Ned Loneragan

Despite a trend towards direct sourcing and vertical integration to improve margins by cutting out the middle man in the retail supply chain, new classes of middle men are emerging. These new mediators come in a number of...

Advisory Strategy & Business Improvement Insight 13 February 2018
Inventory – An ongoing battle for major retailers

13 February 2018 | Damien Pasfield

Inventory remains the major, controllable balance sheet item for retailers with average Days Inventory Outstanding (DIO) of 110.5 days in 2017 as reported in McGrathNicol’s Working Capital Report. Retailers that are able to...

Advisory Strategy & Business Improvement Insight 13 February 2018
Products have feelings too

13 February 2018 | Stefan Maricic

In an increasingly crowded and competitive retail and hospitality industry, quality and practical benefit of a product or service alone is no longer enough. Operators able to sell emotional value to customers and entice them to...

Advisory Strategy & Business Improvement Insight 13 February 2018
Understanding Blockchain in 5 minutes

13 February 2018 | Darren Hopkins

Bitcoin’s wildly volatile price swings have dominated recent headlines, but few really understand the inner-workings of cryptocurrency and the blockchain. The first part of the Bitcoin blockchain is the ‘ledger’. This...

Advisory Technology Cyber Alert 13 February 2018
Blockchain 101, Bitcoin, and a history of investment bubbles...

9 February 2018 | Darren Hopkins

Market bubbles Bitcoin’s wildly volatile price swings have dominated recent headlines, and the meteoric rises in price of both Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have led many to declare it as nothing more than a speculative...

Advisory Technology Cyber Alert 9 February 2018
Transactions – Year in Review

15 December 2017 | McGrathNicol

As 2017 comes to an end, we wanted to take this opportunity to update you on our growing team, the transactions we have been involved in and highlight the key themes we see for 2018. Partnership announcement - congratulations...

Transactions Transactions Newsletter 15 December 2017
McGrathNicol congratulates new Partners Hugh Monaghan and Michael Dunnett

14 December 2017 | McGrathNicol

Leading independent advisory firm McGrathNicol is delighted to announce the admission of Hugh Monaghan and Michael Dunnett to the partnership. Hugh specialises in providing financial due diligence and advisory services to clients...

Advisory Governance, Risk & Compliance Transactions News 14 December 2017
Whistleblower compensation is sorely needed

13 December 2017 | Matt Fehon

I was a teenager working at Walton’s department store when, in 1986, one of Walton’s senior managers discovered that the store’s new owners, the Bond Corporation, had embarked on a creative method of recognising revenue. As...

Advisory Financial Crime Exchange Forensic Media 13 December 2017
Understanding the risks and implications of fraudulent underpayment of...

11 December 2017 | Robin Tarr

A growing number of high profile large Australian companies have been on the receiving end of adverse media attention alleging the deliberate underpayment of employee entitlements. The fallout from these allegations has resulted...

Advisory Financial Crime Exchange Forensic Media 11 December 2017
What are my rights as a creditor?

8 December 2017 | Rajiv Goyal

The recent insolvency law changes greatly increase the rights and powers of creditors to receive information about and intervene in the course of external administrations if they are dissatisfied with the incumbent’s conduct....

Restructuring Insight 8 December 2017
What is hiding beneath top line sales?

6 December 2017 | Damien Pasfield

Are top line sales a good proxy for assessing strategy success? What do they tell us and what do they hide? The “noise” There is a tendency to look to top line sales to determine the success or otherwise of tactical and...

Advisory Strategy & Business Improvement Insight 6 December 2017
What is in store for retailers this Christmas?

6 December 2017 | Richard Woolf

Plenty of articles have been written about the long-waited (now here) opening of Amazon. Below is a summary of the most recently released market statistics. Amazon represents a seismic shift in our market so watching the data is...

Advisory Strategy & Business Improvement Insight 6 December 2017
New Zealand Working Capital Report 2017

5 December 2017 | McGrathNicol

Welcome to the 2017 McGrathNicol New Zealand Working Capital Report. This report profiles the working capital performance of a sample of 140 New Zealand companies across the Building Products, Construction & Engineering, Food...

Advisory Strategy & Business Improvement Report 5 December 2017
Why Australia’s strengthening whistleblower protections are good for business

17 November 2017 | Dean Newlan

This year has marked a significant shift in Australia’s approach to the protection of whistleblowers who report corporate wrongdoing within their workplace. Given these changes, businesses need to be thinking not just about how...

Advisory Financial Crime Exchange Forensic Insight 17 November 2017
Australia dragging its heels on public sector corruption in...

16 November 2017 | Graham Newton

Corruption costs the global economy $2.6 trillion a year and has the potential to damage the principles of democracy, justice and the economy. Australia is a relatively clean country, especially when compared to countries such as...

Advisory Financial Crime Exchange Forensic Insight 16 November 2017
FCX Panel Discussion – Gambling: The Hidden Addiction

15 November 2017 | Caroline Mackinnon & Matt Fehon

To mark International Fraud Awareness Week, McGrathNicol’s collaboration hub FCX last night hosted a series of expert panels in each of our offices in Australia and New Zealand to discuss experiences and challenges for...

Advisory Financial Crime Exchange Forensic Insight 15 November 2017
Technology-enabled crime, know where to go for help

14 November 2017 | Shane Bell

Technology-enabled crimes, such as online fraud, identity theft and scams are now an undeniable part of our digital existence. The average number of digital devices connected to the internet in the average Australian household is...

Advisory Technology Insight 14 November 2017
Balancing the risks and opportunities of BYOD (bring your...

13 November 2017 | Darren Hopkins

Many businesses have already moved parts of their technology to the cloud or are in the process of doing so and digital transformation is part of many growth strategies.  BYOD is another common way of providing access to...

Advisory Technology Insight 13 November 2017
Working Capital Report 2017

26 October 2017 | McGrathNicol

Welcome to the 2017 McGrathNicol Advisory Working Capital Report, prepared by our Cash and Working Capital Centre of Excellence. This report profiles the working capital performance of a sample of 160 ASX listed companies across...

Advisory Strategy & Business Improvement Report 26 October 2017
Whistleblower legislation – implications on your business

25 October 2017 | Dean Newlan

The Federal Government released its long-awaited draft whistleblower protection legislation on 23 October 2017. If passed as currently drafted, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Whistleblowers) Bill 2017 will create a single...

Advisory Financial Crime Exchange Forensic Insight 25 October 2017
Worried retailers advised to get online

22 October 2017

Despite a string of recent receiverships and Kiwis continuing to shop overseas, New Zealand retail sales are growing. In the year to June, retail growth was up 3.7 per cent, outpacing economic growth at 2.7 per cent. McGrathNicol...

Advisory Strategy & Business Improvement Media 22 October 2017
Avoid these common Financial Modelling mistakes – Part 3

19 October 2017

Outlined below are some key best practices that will help you save time and build clear, robust and well-structured models. 1. Keep it simple Whilst the project you are modelling might be complex, it is always possible to break...

Advisory Strategy & Business Improvement Insight 19 October 2017
In Retail – FY17 in Review

10 October 2017 | McGrathNicol

SNAPSHOT Retail sales up 2.9% to $307 billion Online sales slowing, but continuing to outpace traditional retail sales Consumer confidence in pessimistic territory and down a further 5.9% As was predicted, retailers faced...

Advisory Strategy & Business Improvement Insight 10 October 2017
In Retail – New Zealand FY17 in Review

10 October 2017 | McGrathNicol

SNAPSHOT FY17 retail growth was strong at 3.7% (nominal 5.5%) and continued to outpace the broader economy, with GDP growing 2.7%. Retail growth in FY17 was spread across the country, with the exception of Canterbury, which had...

Advisory Strategy & Business Improvement Insight 10 October 2017
Cybersecurity is not just a ‘big business’ issue

5 October 2017 | Shane Bell

Cybersecurity risk affects us all, whether we have taken the time to consider it or not, and independent of whether we have had the foresight to develop a plan to deal with it. Every time we use the myriad devices now embedded in...

Advisory Technology Media 5 October 2017
Right funding, right timing – Biotech in focus

21 September 2017 | Barry Kogan & Damien Pasfield

Attracting the right amount of capital, from the right sources, at the right time is perhaps the most critical factor for any early stage tech company or start-up. Now, more than ever, early stage companies have access to depth...

Advisory Strategy & Business Improvement Insight 21 September 2017
Avoid these common Financial Modelling mistakes – Part 2

15 September 2017

Let’s keep decoding some key learning points in financial models. 1. Avoid using VLOOKUP VLOOKUP is one of the most popular functions in Excel. Whilst it is a simple function, it has many limitations including: it cannot lookup...

Advisory Strategy & Business Improvement Insight 15 September 2017
Which directors have access to Safe Harbour?

13 September 2017 | Rob Brauer & Sam Cole

With the Safe Harbour reforms passing through the Senate late Monday night, it’s a timely reminder of what is required of directors to rely on the reforms. The reforms are designed to be accessible to all business however;...

Restructuring Insight 13 September 2017
Congratulations to McGrathNicol Partners Jason Ireland and Robert Smith...

8 September 2017

Boart Longyear Limited (ASX:BLY) – Boart Longyear announces changes to its Board of Directors in conjunction with the implementation of its recapitalisation. Read more......

Advisory Restructuring News 8 September 2017
In-house counsel as trusted business advisor

7 September 2017 | Janine Thompson

It is inevitable that some, perhaps even a good deal of, an in-house counsel’s time can be spent managing disputes. It is a vital role to defend the business against claims from external parties such as suppliers, competitors...

Advisory Forensic Media 7 September 2017
Extension of minimum term

5 September 2017

Late last year we discussed the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (PPSA) and the concept of protecting asset ownership of asset holders. Updates to the definition of PPS leases Amendments to the PPSA earlier this year have...

Restructuring Insight 5 September 2017
Valuation – it’s not all about the numbers

29 August 2017 | Ben Lee

The key financial drivers of ‘value’, being a company’s historical and future revenue, profitability and growth, are no secret. Intriguingly, some companies do not place equal importance on the key non-financial drivers of...

Advisory Transactions Insight 29 August 2017
Gone phishing…

28 August 2017 | Brendan Payne

What do the likes of Yahoo, American Express, PayPal and Target (US) have in common? They were all victims of brutally efficient phishing scams that ended up costing millions of dollars and in some cases tarnished reputations....

Advisory Technology Insight 28 August 2017
Avoid these common Financial Modelling mistakes

22 August 2017

Even small mistakes when building financial models can significantly affect your analysis. According to a recent survey, 70% of financial models contain errors that affect their results. So let’s decode some major mistakes in...

Advisory Strategy & Business Improvement Insight 22 August 2017
Don’t let business integration challenges derail the achievement of...

21 August 2017 | Christopher Davey

Realising the anticipated synergies that underpin an acquisition and successfully managing the integration risks can be a challenge following a merger or acquisition. There are several key steps to successfully integrate newly...

Advisory Transactions Insight 21 August 2017
APES110 – Keep your eyes wide open

18 August 2017 | Ben Cheah & Samuel McCombe

In May 2017, a new section was introduced to APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants. Responding to Non-compliance with Laws and Regulations, “NOCLAR”. This was in response to concerns from regulatory and...

Advisory Governance, Risk & Compliance Insight 18 August 2017
Corporate streamlining – the low hanging fruit

17 August 2017 | Sean Wiles, Barry Kogan & Louise Mann

The start of a new financial year presents the perfect opportunity for management teams to get the house in order, and to look for easy ways to reduce costs. An often untapped area in this pursuit is the corporate structure....

Advisory Strategy & Business Improvement Insight 17 August 2017
What can SMEs do to improve cash flow?

14 August 2017 | Sean Wiles

Cash is vital to any organisation, large or small.  But quite often smaller businesses feel the cash flow squeeze when doing work for larger customers because they lack the commercial leverage or scale to negotiate shorter...

Advisory Strategy & Business Improvement Insight 14 August 2017
True lies – What really is a ‘debt-free’ deal...

8 August 2017 | David Barnaby

Most M&A transactions are structured on a ‘cash-free, debt-free’ basis. Cash is relatively straightforward, with some exceptions, for example unpresented and inbound cheques and cash that may be working capital, e.g. cash...

Advisory Transactions Insight 8 August 2017
The life of a Hacked PC

3 August 2017 | McGrathNicol

A compromised or “Hacked PC” affects more than just that device. It introduces risk to an entire connected ecosystem and can play a critical role in a much larger web of cybercrime. This not only includes theft of an identity...

Advisory Technology Cyber Alert 3 August 2017
Eighteen Australian Universities discuss financial crime research

2 August 2017 | Dean Newlan & Matt Fehon

McGrathNicol’s collaboration hub FCX last week hosted more than 45 representatives from 18 Australian Universities at a roundtable for a presentation on the latest research into financial crime and to share industry experiences...

Advisory Financial Crime Exchange Forensic Insight 2 August 2017
Does EBITDA reflect cash flow?

2 August 2017 | Andrew Fressl

Value in almost all deals is struck on a multiple of reported EBITDA. The basis is sound isn’t it? The logic is that EBITDA does not include tax and interest or non-cash items such as depreciation and amortisation so therefore...

Advisory Transactions Insight 2 August 2017
Retail analytics – More than Marketing

28 July 2017 | Jia Du

Too often in retail, analytics is limited to customer or marketing analytics and is seen as a tool to be used solely by the marketing team. This is like driving a Ferrari at 20km/hr. Analytics is significantly more powerful than...

Advisory Strategy & Business Improvement Insight 28 July 2017
Underinvestment – Is it a burning platform?

28 July 2017 | Damien Pasfield

Retailers must ingrain investment into a future focussed strategy if they want to enjoy ongoing success. Too often investment is cut when money starts getting tight. However this is shortsighted. Zero sum game Market share is a...

Advisory Strategy & Business Improvement Insight 28 July 2017
China’s sharing economy – Mobike takes centre stage

28 July 2017 | Henry Lieu

The concept of bike sharing is not new. Indeed many countries have had a similar service for years. However, arguably no single proprietor has achieved the same level of success as China’s Mobike. In Mobike’s latest...

Advisory Strategy & Business Improvement Insight 28 July 2017
Heightened risk of fraud facing Australian universities

27 July 2017 | Graham Newton

McGrathNicol fraud risk management expert Graham Newton recently spoke with the Australian Financial Review’s education editor about the heightened risk of fraud facing Australia’s Higher Education sector. According to Graham...

Advisory Financial Crime Exchange Forensic Media 27 July 2017
An offer you can refuse – when unsolicited offers...

17 July 2017 | Paul Sweeney & Samuel McCombe

An unsolicited offer is often the catalyst for much soul searching and can develop into unwanted distraction if not managed carefully, and quickly. When first assessing an unexpected proposal, business owners should consider the...

Advisory Transactions Insight 17 July 2017
Growth – a double edged sword?

10 July 2017 | Damien Pasfield

Revenue growth continues to be the key metric reported for retailers (particularly listed retailers). However, revenue growth can often be a double-edged sword. Five key factors to consider, to ensure growth delivers the expected...

Advisory Strategy & Business Improvement Insight 10 July 2017
Implications of the proposed amendments to Australia’s foreign bribery...

30 June 2017 | Matt Fehon & Caroline Mackinnon

Australia has taken recent steps to strengthen its anti-bribery and corruption regime by proposing amendments to the foreign bribery offence in the Criminal Code Act 1995 and proposing to introduce a deferred prosecution...

Media 30 June 2017
Meet Our New Partners

22 June 2017 | McGrathNicol

The Partners at McGrathNicol are delighted to announce the promotion of five new Partners. We congratulate and welcome Darren Hopkins, Shane Bell, Kathy Sozou, Janine Thompson and Rob Brauer to the partnership. They are all...

Advisory Forensic Restructuring Technology News 22 June 2017
Modest moves to amend Australian foreign Bribery laws

5 April 2017 | Matt Fehon, Caroline Mackinnon & Michael Shanahan

The Attorney-General’s Department yesterday released proposed amendments to the existing Australian foreign bribery laws. Though they fall short of creating a new global benchmark for bribery and corruption laws, they are...

Advisory Forensic Insight 5 April 2017
Bribery and Corruption – Deferred Prosecution Agreements

1 December 2013 | Caroline Mackinnon & Matt Fehon

The effectiveness of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) investigating and prosecuting white collar crime has recently been criticised following allegations of...

Advisory Forensic Insight 1 December 2013
Abolishing the Exemption for Facilitation Payments – The New...

1 August 2013 | McGrathNicol

Planning for the removal of Australia’s facilitation payments’ defence may seem a little premature. After all, the Attorney-General’s current review of facilitation payments has been ongoing since November 2011 and is yet...

Advisory Forensic Insight 1 August 2013