Tuesday, 10 October 2017 11:48

Xero sees uplift in SMB fortunes as staff numbers increase Featured

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Xero sees uplift in SMB fortunes as staff numbers increase Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Australia’s small businesses are booming, according to a new report which reveals that there has been a 7.67% increase in employee headcount over the past 12 months.

According to accounting software provider Xero, all states experienced employment growth in small businesses year-on-year to August 2017, with small businesses in Victoria employing fastest and experiencing net employment growth of 8.6%.

And Victoria was followed by New South Wales, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory (+8.1%, +8%, and +7.5% respectively), with Western Australia seeing weakest growth of 3.1%.

According to  Xero, its latest Insights report indicates that many small businesses using its software are performing well above Australian averages - for instance, ABS overall employment growth showed a 2.7% rise over the same period, and the “outperformance” by small business is also true on a state by state basis.

Queensland’s overall employment growth was just +4.1% between August ‘16 and ‘17, while Victoria and New South Wales both grew more modestly over the same period (+3.1%, +1.9% respectively).

And, in a recent report Xero says its data shows  small businesses were paid faster in July than they have been in nearly three years as big Australian companies began honouring a pledge to settle invoices sooner.

Xero found that small suppliers with 30-day payment terms saw their bills settled in an average 34.6 days, down from 36.2 days a month earlier and says that, while that means payments still arrived almost five days late, the trend is improving.

The company also says July’s figure extends a gradual slide recorded since Xero began following payment times in September 2014.

According to Xero, the July move was notable, as it was the first month that some large businesses began implementing a Business Council of Australia pledge to settle small-supplier invoices within 30 days, and some big companies, including Coles and Woolworths, have promised to pay within 14 days.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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