In addition member discounts on qualification courses, training and events will help you expand your knowledge and connect with fellow credit professionals so you can do your job better.
DEVELOPMENT: CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
A range of CPD events, including the annual National Conference, national seminars, and division seminars and workshops, keep AICM members abreast of regulatory updates and help to maintain their high professional standards. These are also valuable opportunities to network and share ideas with other credit management professionals.
EDUCATION: NATIONALLY RECOGNISED QUALIFICATIONS
As Australia’s only credit industry-specific Registered Training Organisation, AICM Learning offers nationally recognised qualifications including Certificate III Mercantile Agents, Certificate IV Credit Management and the Diploma of Financial Services, all delivered in student-centred intensives either face-to-face or online.
AICM Learning is also able to recognise current skills and prior training, and offers bespoke corporate training packages for member organisations.
In combination with the CPD program, AICM Learning offers a clear development path for credit managers, from the Credit Toolboxes that provide an introduction at entry level or a refresher to more experienced credit professionals, the Certificates and Diplomas that testify to a credit professional’s technical and practical competence, and the CPD events that keep members abreast of regulatory changes and hone their practical skills and knowledge.
Find out more:
- Certificate III in Mercantile Agents
- Certificate IV Credit Management
- Diploma of Financial Services
- Corporate training
- AICM Learning
RECOGNITION: SHOWCASING MEMBER PROFESSIONALISM
AICM members are entitled to use the post-nominals MICM, signifying their commitment to professional excellence and attainment of high professional standards. Members who have distinguished themselves through service to AICM and the industry may be awarded life membership or fellowship of the association, entitling them to use the post-nominals LICM or FICM, respectively.
AICM also offers long-standing members who complete a training and assessment series the senior credit management qualification Certified Credit Executive, which is unique to AICM members.
To earn the CCE designation, members must hold the MICM designation for a minimum of one year, complete 100 hours of training, study or CPD approved by the AICM board, pass an online exam, and submit an essay on a set topic.
The achievements of AICM members are also recognised can celebrated through annual awards including Young Credit Professional Award and Credit Team of the Year.
CONNECTION: MAKING YOUR JOB EASIER
AICM exists for members, and one of the central goals is to make it easier to be a better credit manager and build a successful career. Alongside training and CPD, AICM offers valuable networking opportunities through which members share their expertise and learn from their peers, lobbies on behalf of the industry to keep check on the regulatory burden, provides resources including an online journal and a monthly enewsletter to keep members informed of best practice and industry updates, and aggregates credit management employment opportunities on the AICM jobs board. AICM is also a sponsor of the Credit Network Forum, where credit managers can connect with their peers for advice and ideas.
Find out more:
REPRESENTATION: LOBBYING FOR MEMBERS’ INTERESTS
AICM works to reduce the impact to members of an ever-increasing regulatory burden. Current and ongoing focus is on Insolvency related topics including:
The AICM lobbied for a change of ATO policy to allow business tax defaults to be disclosed, for several years. In December 2016 the Treasurer announced it will allow the ATO to disclose debt information to credit reporting bureaus of taxpayers, not effectively engaged with the ATO to manage their debts. This is a significant step forward for all credit providers providing transparency on businesses in default with the country’s largest creditor.
While, the announcement committed to commencement in mid 2017, draft legislation was only released on 11 January 2018. The AICM is concerned that the legislation will not achieve its aims as it calls for the information to be cleared on subsequent engagment (payment, arrangement to pay or entering a dispute).
The AICM has engaged extensively with the ATO, Treasury and ministers to encourage the legislation be amended to meet industry and international practice i.e. updating listings on engagement and only removing if the listing was in error.
A joint submission is currently being prepared with the Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association (ARTIA) and the Australian Finance Industry Association (AFIA).
Preferential Payment legislation
It is an ongoing focus to lobby for change to the current legislation that causes unfair outcomes for credit professionals such as:
- Inflated claims
- No increase in return to creditors
- Three year period for claims to be made
Recent discussions with government indicate that this issue is now understood and we continue to push for action.
ASIC statistics indicate insolvent trading is on the rise with the 63% of external administrators reports identifying criminal or civil breaches in 2016/17 (61% in 2015/16), this is almost 5,000 instances every 12 months.
The AICM is concerned that while directors are personally liable for these debts, there is very little enforcement by ASIC or insolvency professionals. The AICM has made several submissions to ASIC, Treasury and a Senate Inquiry that this need to be addressed to limit the losses faced by creditors.
The AICM is concerned that Australian payment times are poor in comparison to our major trading partners and played a driving role in the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman’s inquiry into payment times.
The inquiry resulted in numerous recommendations being submitted to government and almost immediate responses including numerous notoriously poor payers announcing improved payment practices and the commencement of a Supplier Payment Code by the Business Council of Australia.
The governments response to the inquiry included adopting 15 day payment times for all contracts up to $1 million, which will benefit government suppliers of all sizes.
More work remains to be done to put Australian payment times on par with other leading economies and future proof our economy to future economic shocks.
Safe Harbour and Ipso facto initiatives
Prior to a bill amending the corporations act being passed in September 2017 the AICM made several submissions during the consultation phase and senate inquiry. The amendments allow a safe harbor defense to insolvent trading and declaring Ipso Facto Clauses void (clauses that allow for termination solely due to the commencement of an insolvency process).
The AICM continues to lobby for amendment to the Safe Harbour defense to ensure issues associated with insolvent trading are not amplified.
Director Identification Numbers
The AICM has lobbied extensively to encourage this improvement to company registrations.
We continue to lobby to ensure this does not stagnate.
Illegal phoenix Activity reform proposals
In October 2017, the AICM consulted with Treasury officials and provided a substantive submission in relation to a raft of proposals under consideration by the Turnbull Government.
The AICM is pleased to see this issue to continue to gain momentum with the reforms targeted at disrupting and discouraging this activity which is estimated to cost the Australian economy up to $3.2bn annually. However, the AICM along with ARITA and other industry bodies actively encourage significant increase in ASIC’s enforcement actions.
The AICM has made several submissions in relation to the proposal to amendments that will see the default bankruptcy period reduced from 3 years to 1 year as part of the governments drive to encourage entrepreneurship and reduce the stigma of bankruptcy.
Many AICM members have advised that the legislation may infact increase the stigma of bankruptcy and the risk profile of start-up businesses.
On 31 January the AICM provided a submission to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry into the draft bill, urging the amendments to retain the 3 year period for income contributions, duty to disclose assets and other information as well as the duty to retain books and records in order to ensure the bill achieves its goals.
The committee has published a report in March 2018 recommending the reduction to 1 year which awaits further debate in parliament.
PPSA amendment to the definition of a PPS Lease
Although the government did not invite consultation, the AICM was a voice of reason when sudden changes to the PPS Act were tabled and subsequently passed on 11 May 2017
Other recent submissions and lobbying
- Senate Standing Committees on Economics inquiry into Superannuation Guarantee non-payment
- In 2015 lobbying efforts resulted in a permanent exemption from a requirement of the Privacy Amendment Act 2012 that commercial credit providers register with an External Dispute Resolution Scheme (EDRS), which would have resulted in significantly increased operating costs for members.
- In 2015, AICM made a submission to the Productivity Commissions inquiry into Business Set-ups, transfer and closure strongly recommending reform around identification of directors and company set-up (to deter Phoenix Activity) and insolvency (to reduce the burden of the current Preference Payments legislation on Credit Professionals) among many others. The AICM also raised the need for reform of preferential payment legislation. This inquiry led to the Federal government's innovation statement on Bankruptcy, Safe Harbour and Ipso Facto Clauses.
- Late in 2014, AICM made a submission to the Federal Government in response to Treasury’s Exposure Draft of the Insolvency Law Reform Bill 2014. This Bill represents a real frustration to AICM members and to business in general, and the AICM submission urged minimisation of proposed new requirements that would increase administration costs associated with reporting. These efforts ensured credit management professionals’ interests were strongly reflected in the reforms being implemented in 2017.
- Prior to 2014 the AICM has been a significant voice in areas including the Personal Properties Securities Act, the Privacy Act, Comprehensive Credit Reporting, the ACCC Debt Collection Guidelines and Insolvency legislation.
To capture issues covered above and those yet to progress to formal consultation, the AICM Board established its current Key Policy Positions paper. This document is continually reviewed and updated and forms the basis for engagement with regulators and government representatives. Available here.
Recently the AICM became an industry association Member of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, this membership expands the network of the AICM to more than 60 other industry associations and over 300,000 businesses. It also provides additional industry and government avenues to lobby and raise the profile of credit management.