Budget 2014: Understanding the impact on small and medium businesses

14 May 2014

To help Australia’s small and medium business operators get the most out of the 2014 budget changes, MYOB strongly encourages them to innovate and to make the most of online technologies to help boost their productivity, business performance and their confidence in the economy.

MYOB CEO Tim Reed says, “Following the handing down of the budget, it can be tempting for business owners to bunker down, play it safe and postpone their plans for growth. There are still opportunities to be had for SMEs.

“I’m pleased the government has set a target of reducing regulatory compliance costs on businesses, individuals and the community by $1 billion every year. Business owners and managers will continue to call for tax reform, deregulation and reduction of red tape - our latest SME research shows GST and BAS simplification continue to top the list of initiatives they hope to see. We call on the government to keep tax reform on the agenda and to consider broadening the GST to not only address the needs of health and education spending but to also ease the burden of completing a BAS on Australia’s two million businesses.

“With the retirement age set to increase to 70 by 2035, small business stands to gain the most from taking up a new $10,000 incentive payment encouraging employers to hire over 50s. We encourage small and medium businesses to keep this in mind as they hire and install a new step in their hiring process to ensure they capture this benefit whenever they meet the necessary criteria.

“I hope the rise in the fuel excise rate does lead to increased investment in roads including highways and rail in our cities and regions, to help ease the pressure of rising fuel prices. Fuel prices was once again the top pressure point for SMEs this year, and has been since 2011. This change is likely to be the least popular part of the budget with SMEs, particularly so with certain sectors that will feel more pain – our latest research shows agribusiness and Western Australian-based businesses felt the most pressure from rising fuel prices. 61% of SMEs would welcome investment in transport infrastructure in our major states and cities. Adopting online and teleworking technologies can also help ease the pressure by enabling business operators to operate from home or any location outside of the office.

“Plans to facilitate innovation and self reliance via a new Entrepreneurs' Infrastructure Programme will be well-received by SMEs. Our research shows more than half of SMEs would support increased government funding for innovation, R&D and training on how to use the internet to grow their business. The benefits of online technologies include the ability to compete on a more level playing field with local and global rivals, increased productivity and less time spent on business administration. This means more time for growing the business, which has the potential to make a difference to our economy.

“Further support for small business include creating a specialised unit to help small businesses gain better access to government contracts, which is supported by half of the SMEs we surveyed. We strongly encourage assisting SMEs to gain access to government contracts and also encourage SMEs to take up these opportunities.

“Small business will feel reassured that the budget has been put on a sound footing for the medium term. While no-one likes tax increases, and a number of consumers will likely feel the pinch, and this may constrain spending, past behaviour indicates there is a chance that Australian’s will believe the worst is behind them and that economic growth will continue unabated – fulfilling the rising business confidence that recent surveys have shown.”

Top initiatives that would turn SME election votes:

Small and medium businesses are the bedrock of our GDP health, and their needs are paramount to the success of our economy. We should do all we can to make their business life easier. To give them a voice, MYOB explored the initiatives and policies that they would vote for. They want the government to make doing business less complex, to invest in infrastructure and to encourage business investment.

  • Policies that significantly simplify the GST/BAS reporting process – 64%
  • More Federal Government investment in transport infrastructure in our major states & cities – 61%
  • Keep the $6500 instant asset tax write-off in play – 58%
  • Keep the accelerated initial deduction for motor vehicles that allows small businesses to instantly write off $5000 on motor vehicles – 58%
  • Increased Federal Government funding for skills, training & apprenticeship programs – 57%
  • Government backed loans to small business start-ups – 57%
  • The abolition of the carbon tax – 55%
  • Increased Government funding for innovation, research & development – 53%
  • Provide free Government-funded training to all small businesses on how to use the internet to enhance & grow their business – 52%
  • A proportion of Government procurement contracts being assigned to small businesses – 50%

Visit http://myob.com.au/taxtime for a summary of major tax changes, and helpful tips and resources.


For MYOB product information, research results, business tips, discussions, client service and more visit the MYOB websitewebsite, or its The Pulse Blog, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

For further comment or to arrange an interview please contact:

Angely Grecia

MYOB Public Relations Consultant

P: 02 9089 9071 / M: 0449 169 997 /

E: angely.grecia@myob.com

Mitchell Hunt

Haystac Public Affairs Senior Account Manager

P: 02 8094 7739 / M: 0428 224 961

E: myob@haystac.com.au

About the MYOB Business Monitor

Established in 2004, the MYOB Business Monitor is a national survey of small and medium business owners and managers, commissioned to independent market research firm Colmar Brunton. The most recent study ran in July and August 2013, surveying 1,022 operators from sole traders to mid-sized companies, representing the major industry sectors. The Monitor researches business performance and attitudes around areas such as profitability, cash flow, pipeline work, technology usage and government. Note: the weighting of MYOB client and non-client respondents is reflective of overall market proportions. This media release details the survey findings for the 300 importers and exporters in the respondent pool.

About MYOB Australia

Established in 1991, MYOB is Australia's largest business management solutions provider. It makes life easier for approx. 1.2 million businesses across Australia and New Zealand, by simplifying accounting, payroll, tax, practice management, CRM, websites, job costing, inventory and more. MYOB provides ongoing support via many client service channels including a network of over 40,000 accountants, bookkeepers and other consultants. It is committed to ongoing innovation, particularly in cloud computing solutions, and now spends more than AU$30 million annually on research and development. In 2013, MYOB expanded its offerings with the acquisition of accounting solutions provider BankLink. For more information, visit myob.com.au.