open side menu Navigation
close side menu navigation Close navigation

Insolvency Practices Inquiry

Former Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell released the Insolvency Practices Inquiry final report, recommending a suite of recommended changes to current insolvency practices that aim to achieve the best possible outcomes for small businesses in financial trouble.


On 10 October 2019, former Ombudsman Kate Carnell launched an inquiry into the insolvency system, to investigate if current insolvency practices achieve the best possible outcome for small and family businesses in financial trouble.

Our Small Business Loans Inquiry identified a lack of transparency for the small business owner when a creditor commenced debt recovery action. The small business owners felt they had lost control of their business as they were unable to contribute to, or obtain copies of, reports by insolvency practitioners. As the cases reviewed frequently ended in the business being wound up, the process appeared poorly managed to the small business owners and resulted in less than ideal outcomes for the owner, the lender and creditors of the business.

This inquiry identifies areas where practices can be improved and recommends changes to the system to achieve fairer outcomes for all parties involved.

As part of the inquiry, a discussion paper was released to seek feedback on the development of a best practice framework for small businesses facing insolvency and for practitioners managing external administrations.


Final report (PDF 2MB)

Terms of Reference (PDF 214KB)

Reference Group (PDF 96KB)



Reference Number Name of Contributor
II001 Confidential
II002 SM Solvency Accountants (PDF 1MB)
II003 Chartered Accountant Australia and New Zealand (PDF 125KB)
II004 Buchan, Jenny (UNSW) (PDF 1MB)
II005 Confidential
II006 NSW Government Small Business Commissioner (PDF 121KB)
II007 Victorian Farmers Federation (PDF 421KB)
II008 Confidential
II009 Law Council of Australia (PDF 173KB)
II010 UNSW Tax Clinic (PDF 260KB)
II011 Pitcher Partners (PDF 255KB)
II012 Financial Counselling Australia (PDF 357KB)
II013 Confidential
II014 Lisa B (PDF 825KB)
II015 Jacobs, Sue (PDF 195KB)
II016 Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association (PDF 1MB)
II017 Housing Industry Association (PDF 1MB)
II018 Australian Institute of Credit Management (PDF 512KB
II019 Australian Credit Forum (PDF 319KB)
II020 Australian Securities and Investments Commission (PDF 319KB)
II021 Aylward Street (PDF 147KB)
II022 National Farmers Federation (PDF 190KB)