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14 Indicators of Insolvency


The list comes straight out of ASIC v Plymin, Elliott & Harrison [2003] 21 ACLC 700 and has been quoted a further 29 times in subsequent cases and is the checklist that almost every liquidator goes off.

1. Continuing losses.

2. Liquidity ratios below 1.

3. Overdue Commonwealth and State taxes.

4. Poor relationship with present Bank, including inability to borrow further funds.

5. No access to alternative finance.

6. Inability to raise further equity capital.

7. Suppliers placing the company on COD, or otherwise demanding special payments before resuming supply.

8. Creditors unpaid outside trading terms.

9. Issuing of post-dated cheques ( I am guessing that there is a modern update to this)

10. Dishonoured cheques ( or bounced direct debits these days)

11. Special arrangements with selected creditors.

12. Solicitors’ letters, summons[es], judgments or warrants issued against the company.

13. Payments to creditors of rounded sums which are not reconcilable to specific invoices.

14. Inability to produce timely and accurate financial information to display the company’s trading performance and financial position, and make reliable forecasts.

If the company ticks even one of these it may not be insolvent but it definitely needs help.