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FRIDAY 21ST OCTOBER 2011
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Levels of optimism among Chief Financial Officers
(CFOs) dipped a further net 14% this quarter
according to the Deloitte CFO Survey, with the
lowest number since the survey commenced in
2009 indicating they were more confident about the
financial prospects of their business than they were
three months ago.
Managing Partner of Deloitte South Australia, Mr
Rob DiMonte, said this fall in optimism tallied with
the fact that more than three quarters (77%) of CFOs
believe we are facing a higher than normal level of
uncertainty (up from 68% last quarter).
“CFOs said there were a number of issues affecting
their levels of business optimism; however the ones
identified as having the largest impact were global
economic uncertainty (35%), government policy
uncertainty (36%) and global sovereign risk (23%).”
“Surprisingly, these factors seem to weigh far more
heavily on CFOs than the issues that have attracted
the most attention in recent months, such as carbon
pricing (19%), interest rates (7%) or the strength of
the Australian dollar (15%),” he said.
However, Mr DiMonte said that despite the apparent
glum outlook of many CFOs there were clear signs
that they expect the economic storm clouds to clear.
“While CFOs appear to be nervous about the short term
conditions, they are also confident in the Australian
economy, with 77% saying there was less than a 50%
chance of a contraction in the next two years.”
“Businesses appear to be in a solid position but
current conditions play out,” Mr Skinner said. “ They
have strong cash reserves and two thirds (65%) said
they expect their operating cash flows to increase in
the next twelve months.”
“ That seems to be supported by the fact that around
half the CFOs surveyed (49%) believe Australian
corporates are currently under-geared, suggesting
they’re in good shape and are simply waiting for
conditions to stabilise before investing in growth and
committing to more debt,” he said.
According to Deloitte a recent Full Federal
Court decision may have opened the way
for businesses to claim GST refunds in
situations where their customers have pre-
paid for services which they don’t end up
receiving or utilising.
The landmark decision in Qantas Airways
Limited v FCT1 (Qantas Decision) concerned
the question of whether GST was payable by
Qantas where a passenger booked and paid
for airline travel, but subsequently cancelled
the booking or did not turn up for the flight
(and did not receive a refund).
The Full Federal Court held that GST was not
payable in such situations, i.e. even though
full payment has been received from the
passenger. This represents a significant
change to the current position where
the Commissioner effectively considers
taxpayers are liable for GST on pre-paid
services where consideration has been
received / payment made.
The decision could pave the way for many
businesses to lodge GST refund claims
particularly if the same principles apply to
other categories of pre-paid (goods and)
Information sourced from Deloitte
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GST refunds? Yes, please!
CFOs batten down the hatches
but hope for fair weather
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Business Outlook, September 2011: Will Europe blow?
Rob DiMonte, Managing Partner
According to the Deloitte Access Economics Business Outlook for the September 2011
quarter, the self-inflicted wounds of Europe and the United States continue to hurt global
growth which peaked in 2010. While a re-run of the global financial crisis is not expected,
growth may be well below trend in 2011 and 2012.
Chris Richardson, Partner at Deloitte Access Economics, said that, against this backdrop, it
may surprise some that the outlook for the Australian economy has not actually changed
significantly in recent months,
“ While families save rather than spend, government stimulus winds down, the still strong
$A has boosted imports and eaten into exports and, outside of mining, corporate capital
expenditure plans are modest, Australia has two big aces up its sleeve – there is still a lot of
recovery to come from the floods and cyclones of early 2011 and, more importantly, coal
exports will jump through to early 2012, providing a large one-off boost to growth,” he said.
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