Tax Talks Podcast: When your business can’t pay its bills

Estimated reading time: 1 minute Business survival

Recently I was interviewed by Heide Robson, a professional accountant and the founder of the Tax Talk Podcast ( about business insolvency in Australia.

Sewell & Kettle & Tax Talks podcast

When your business can’t pay its bills

What I’ve done is broken the answer down into 19 questions that I go through in this interview. 

At the start of my career in the early 2000s small to medium sized enterprise (SME) directors really only had one option – their accountant recommended an immediate voluntary administration when a business became insolvent. Since then we have the safe harbour from insolvent trading commencing in 2017, small business restructuring commencing in 2021 and a long term move away from voluntary administration. And also there is the prepack insolvency arrangement – it isn’t yet universally accepted but it is practically accepted anyway.  

So you now have 4 options for an insolvent SME to undertake a restructure:

  1. Voluntary Administration
  2. Small Business Restructuring Process 
  3. Safe harbour from insolvent trading 
  4. Pre-pack insolvency arrangement 

With the permission of the Tax Talks Podcast, the interview can be accessed at the following links:

Part 1

Part 2


Three factor budget - man sitting with papers flying around

Why a financially troubled business should create a three factor budget

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

A major contributor to financial distress for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Australia is poor budgeting. Here we look at a useful budgeting technique — the ‘three factor’ budget/forecast, and how this can be used by distressed businesses to turn things around and avoid insolvency.

Insolvency practitioner finds a constructive trust

Why are constructive trusts relevant in bankruptcy?

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Constructive trusts impact on corporate insolvency and bankruptcy by reducing the pool of assets available for distribution to creditors. Here we define constructive trusts, and look at their application in corporate and personal insolvency.