Over a third of small to medium business owners will sacrifice weekends and evenings to meet EOFY obligations

20 May 2015

As Australian small to medium enterprises (SMEs) gear up for the end of financial year (EOFY), research taken from the latest MYOB Business Monitor reveals a significant proportion of business owners will work late into the night and at weekends in order to meet their reporting obligations.

In its sixth year, the bi-annual national survey of more than 1000 small to medium business owners found that 37 per cent of SMEs have to work weekends to meet EOFY demands. A further 22 per cent reported working past midnight during the week for the same reason.

Nicole Smith, Practice Manager at The Physio Joint, has two Newcastle-based physio clinics that utilise cloud accounting software to manage the finances.

“As a small business owner we need to use our time working on the business. To keep our finances in order, to automate what we can, and manage each of our nine employees’ super contributions, we use MYOB AccountRight Plus.

“It’s significantly faster than any alternative system we have used previously and for me personally, I love the fact that we don’t have to talk with the Super funds anymore. I just press a button and it’s done.”

Nicole is not alone and is part of the 14 per cent of Gen X business owners who have migrated to a cloud accounting software package in preparation for the upcoming EOFY.

MYOB CEO Tim Reed said “It’s no surprise to see SMEs are still struggling to find time in normal working hours to complete their EOFY obligations.  We’re thrilled that our cloud accounting solutions are helping to ease this burden, but also call on the government to take steps to remove some of the red-tape that is creating this time-wasting burden on hard-working business owners.

The current business environment is highly competitive and business owners are under increasing pressure to keep up. When you then consider the additional EOFY compliance activities that occur this quarter, the burden on SMEs can be very stressful. It’s no surprise that a significant portion of SMEs work late or at weekends to meet the demands and subsequently sacrifice important time with family and friends.  This is not good for their health.”

The Business Monitor reveals 37 per cent of SMEs do EOFY reporting themselves rather than outsource to an accountant or bookkeeper. This adds to the workload they have of running the business day to day. 

“The countdown to the end of financial year is already underway for a significant proportion of SMEs.

“This year, 65 per cent of Gen Y business owners are turning to accountants or bookkeepers to cut the time they spend on EOFY reporting. 18 per cent are also moving to cloud-based accounting systems. Year on year, we’ve seen the biggest changes in our research come from the Gen Y segment, who are now almost twice as likely to have begun to use an accountant (44 per cent) compared to this time last year (27 per cent),” Mr Reed adds.

However, despite those time saving approaches, nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of Gen Y business owners admit to having to turn down an invitation to catch up with friends in order to meet EOFY obligations. Planned holidays have also fallen by the wayside, with businesses hiring between 20 - 199 employees twice as likely to be unable to take planned breaks because of EOFY preparation (23 per cent), compared to sole business owners (11 per cent).

“There is still time to get your accounts in order and we encourage SMEs to look into the possibilities now, no matter what financial stage they are at,” Mr Reed adds.

“There are too many business owners who are not making use of all the time-saving tools available to them to ease the EOFY burden. Today, it is easier than ever to move from a desktop solution to our cloud accounting solutions which will save business owners more than 10 hours a month. As such, we urge business owners to explore the options and start getting more time back in their day, which will be beneficial all year round.” 

DIY vs. assistance

Sixty three per cent of SMEs will use an accountant to complete this year’s EOFY reporting obligations, leaving 37 per cent of SMEs reporting on their own behalf. Gen X and Baby Boomers are the most independent, with 39 per cent and 38 per cent opting to DIY their finances respectively. This is significantly different to Gen Y, with only 22 per cent selecting to report themselves.

Tim Reed believes the multiple opportunities brought about by technology have been greatly beneficial to the financial freedom of SMEs.

“The great thing about technology is that it has enabled choice when it comes to how SMEs manage their finances. Software helps business owners, accountants and bookkeepers alike, so whether you want to DIY, have some assistance or a lot of assistance, the options are readily available.”

Migrating to the cloud

The survey reveals businesses two to five years old are five times more likely (15 per cent) to move from a desktop to an online accounting software package ahead of the EOFY than businesses 10 years or older (3 per cent). This figure jumps to 20 per cent when looking at SMEs who take payments on the road, and to 22 per cent for those exporting goods and services, indicating that situational demand is leading the migration.  

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For further comment or other information please contact:

Sarah Beyrath, MYOB PR and Corporate Affairs Manager

P: 02 9089 9043 / M: +61 427 223 841 / E: Sarah.Beyrath@myob.com

Louise Halloran, Ogilvy PR

P: 02 8437 5397 / M: +61 407 044 727 / E: louise.halloran@ogilvy.com.au

About MYOB

Established in 1991, MYOB is Australia’s leading accounting software provider. It makes life easier for approx. 1.2 million businesses across Australia and New Zealand by simplifying accounting, payroll, tax, CRM, websites, job costing, practice management, inventory, mobile payments and more. MYOB also provides ongoing client support via many 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 spends more than AU$35 million annually on research and development. For more information, visit myob.com.au.

About the MYOB Business Monitor

After six years of conducting the MYOB Small Business Survey we've enhanced it to better reflect the profile of Australian businesses. We've now incorporated medium businesses, along with the sole traders and small businesses that were already part of the survey. We're pleased to present the new look MYOB Business Monitor.

The MYOB Business Monitor is a national survey of over 1000 Australia's business owners (and directors) conducted twice a year by Colmar Brunton.Word paste media release article here