Wednesday, 28 June 2017 23:19

SMEs in the clouds over taxation returns: survey

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SMEs in the clouds over taxation returns: survey Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Small business operators are planning to complete their own tax returns, increasingly using cloud solutions rather than relying on older desktop software, according to a new report.

The latest Snapshot report from cloud accounting software provider MYOB shows that 41% of SMEs are planning to complete their tax themselves, up 36% from last year.

“Small business owners are already under pressure to meet sales targets, retain customers and ensure cash-flow is steady for their business. These every day obligations of running a business can be all consuming, so it’s no surprise that people are forfeiting their evenings and weekends to complete their tax reporting,” says MYOB chief executive Tim Reed.

“The increase in the number of operators taking on their own year-end tax preparation is likely a reflection of the uptake of cloud accounting.

“Over the last 12 months we’ve seen businesses embrace online accounting solutions, which makes these year-end tax burdens far less onerous than older, desktop software.”

According to the research, 37% of SMEs have sacrificed their weekends and 23% have worked past midnight in the lead up to the end of the financial year.

MYOB’s June SME Snapshot found business owners have been following government policy changes closely, resulting in 43% planning to use the newly legislated $20,000 asset tax write-off this financial year.

Additionally, 63% are positive about the decision to reduce company tax rates with 44% planning to invest these savings back into their business.

“SMEs are very aware of policy changes, and the significant impact they can have on their businesses, especially during end of financial year, but I’d always recommend that if they have any questions or uncertainty that they talk to their accountant.” Reed said.

Reed claims MYOB has led the charge to establish a prompt payment protocol, to counter the cash-flow burden impacting many Australian small businesses.

The Business Council of Australia announced the Agency Supplier Code last week, which asks companies to pay small business suppliers within 30 days of receiving an invoice.

“Not only is MYOB a founding signatory, the company committed to prompt payments a month before it was officially announced,” Reed says.

“The launch of the code is a big step forward in establishing an equal and fair playing field, helping SMEs avoid the ongoing chase of overdue invoices. The BCA believes in trade between small, medium and large businesses valued at $520 billion a year.  It is a huge part of GDP, which underscores the importance improvements in timely payments could have to the economy.

“By supporting this code, both as a partner and actively abiding by it, MYOB seeks to ensure a vibrant SME community within Australia, which we know helps not only small business, but big business and the community at large.”

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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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