MYOB research reveals 3 in 4 small business owners expect a change of government at the upcoming election and want stable leadership, tax cuts and reduced payment times

30 Apr 2019

Leading technology company, MYOB, today released a special Federal Election Edition of the MYOB Business Monitor. The survey of more than 1,000 Australian SMEs highlights the issues small business owners (SMEs) want to see at the top of the agenda during the campaign period.

  • 3 in 4 SMEs expect a change of government at the upcoming election
  • SMEs want stable leadership (60%) and an incoming government to have a large majority in the House of Representatives and Senate (47%)
  • 69% would vote for policies committing Government and big business to paying small businesses within 30 days
  • 53% listed small business tax cuts as the most important business-related issue
  • 1 in 3 have already seen a reduction in tax they pay, of those, 85% used the tax cut to reinvest in their business

MYOB CEO Tim Reed said that over the last three years, small business had played a critical role in policy debate, even more so than in previous decades.

“The importance of small business in the context of the broader economy has moved from being just words to actions - meaningful policies such as tax cuts for small businesses, increase to the instant asset write-off, and policies that encourage research and development in early stage companies,” he said.

“The issues that small business owners want a future Government to take action on are clear. They told us that a lower company tax rate allows them to invest in their business, that utility and fuel costs are rising to crippling levels, that they greatly value the instant asset write-off and want access to e-invoicing.

“They also revealed they want the government to simplify - remove red tape, streamline the BAS and GST reporting process, and increase their digital service offerings.

“With more than two million small businesses in Australia, this is a powerful voting group all parties want to sway; both the Government and Opposition must take notice of these findings,” said Mr Reed.

Small businesses are using tax cuts to reinvest and create jobs

One in three business owners surveyed have already seen a reduction in the tax they pay as a result of the recently legislated tax cut. Of these small business owners, 40% used the cash to buy new equipment, 38% focused on improving the financial strength of their business, 36% paid down debt, 20% expanded their product portfolio, and 17% hired new staff.

“When it comes to tax cuts, our research confirms overwhelmingly that of those businesses who have already received the benefit of these tax cuts, 85% of business owners have used that cash to reinvest in their business - buying new equipment, creating jobs and hiring new staff and, importantly, stimulating the economy,” Mr Reed said.

3 in 4 small business owners think there will be a change of government

“Among the clearest findings from our research is that small businesses want to see stable leadership from government post-election. Small businesses prosper when the economy prospers and the instability we have seen in Canberra over the past six or so years has not been great for business confidence. In order for the economy to grow and thrive there must be a level of business and consumer confidence. Post-election, small businesses also want to see a government that has a strong majority in the House and Senate who will deliver on their policy commitments,” Mr Reed said.

While small business owners are fairly nonplussed about the Government's current level of support (39% neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, 30% dissatisfied, 26% satisfied), 3 in 4 small business owners think there will be a change of government at the upcoming Federal election.

Small business owners are mixed on what the outcome of a change is likely to be and how it will impact their business. Twenty nine percent of owners believe a change in government will have a positive impact on their business (rising to 43% of Gen X + Get Y), while 27% think it will have a negative impact, and 29% believe it will have no impact at all. However small business owners overwhelmingly want to see stable leadership (60%) and a large majority in the House of Representatives and the Senate (47%).

“What’s important to MYOB through this election period is a bi-partisan approach to small business policy. That all parties recognise and acknowledge the importance of small business to the economy and that all parties have a solid and exciting agenda for small business if they were to take Government. We want to see small business front and centre of every conversation that all parties are having this election period,” Mr Reed said.

Business Monitor: Federal Election Edition can be accessed here.


Report highlights:

When asked which of the following initiatives or policies would get your vote for or against the party that proposed them, the top policies small business owners would vote for were:

  • 69% of small business owners would vote for policies committing Government and big business to pay small businesses within 30 days
  • 68% would vote for keeping the $20,000 instant asset tax write-off for businesses under $10m revenue
  • 64% would vote for policies that significantly simplify the GST/BAS reporting process

But, when asked which of the following business related issues are most important, the top five were clear:

  • 53% said tax cuts
  • 51% said utility costs
  • 47% said fuel costs
  • 31% said streamlining government processes and cutting red tape; and
  • 28% said the instant asset write-off



About MYOB

MYOB Group Ltd (ASX: MYO) is a leading provider of online business management solutions. MYOB makes business life easier for approximately 1.2 million businesses across Australia and New Zealand by simplifying accounting, payroll, tax, practice management, CRM, job costing, inventory and more. MYOB operates across four strategic segments – Small to Medium sized businesses (SMEs), Practices (accountants, advisers and bookkeepers), Enterprise (larger businesses) and Payments. It provides ongoing support via many client service channels including a network of over 40,000 accountants, bookkeepers and other consultants. MYOB is committed to ongoing innovation and delivering efficiencies and growth opportunities for its growing client base across Australia and New Zealand.  For more information, visit or follow @MYOB on Twitter.

About the MYOB Business Monitor
The MYOB Business Monitor is a national survey of 1,000+ Australian small and medium business owners and managers, from sole traders to mid-sized companies, representing the major industry sectors. The Business Monitor researches business performance and attitudes in areas such as profitability, cash flow, pipeline, technology usage and the government. It has run since 2009, commissioned to independent market research firm Colmar Brunton. This most recent survey ran in April 2019. The businesses participating in the online survey were both non-employing and employing businesses. All data has been weighted by industry type, location and number of employees, which are in line with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS - Counts of Australian businesses, including entries & exits - 8165.0).