This evening the 2023 Federal Budget committed to extend and increase the instant asset write off, invest in establishing industry growth programs for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and startups to commercialise their ideas and enhanced assistance with cyber security.
MYOB’s Chief Employee Experience Officer, Helen Lea, said while outcomes support SMEs in the short term, there is a greater opportunity to enable businesses to make future-focussed investments for growth.
“Tonight the Government announced a range of measures to support the SME community, such as the extension of the instant asset write-off. While this particular measure will be welcome news for SMEs, we need to re-think what constitutes an ‘asset’ and include or replace these with the incentivisation of modern, digital tools to deliver greater productivity benefits.”
According to Ms Lea, there’s more that can be done to help maximise the outputs of the economy’s engine room: small businesses.
“We would have liked to have seen more targeted outcomes for the meaningful digital progression of the sector, to inspire confidence and encourage investments to enhance productivity businesses, and in turn, national growth.
“In a market where SMEs need to achieve more with less, we want to see more support to help small businesses to adopt digital tools to increase efficiency and help SMEs navigate these tough times.
“Last October, this Government committed to the legislation of the Small Business Technology Investment Boost, which would see businesses receive a 20% tax rebate for investment in cloud-based software. This legislation expires at the end of this financial year and is still not passed, leaving SMEs without the certainty they need to invest.”
The World Bank’s 2023 Global Economic Prospects Report identifies that investment in digital capabilities offers strong investment growth potential for global economies. In particular, fiscal policies that balance private and public investment in digital capabilities are a key mechanism to reduce inequality in skills and protect against global economic pressures.1
“MYOB internal modelling found the return on investment for the adoption of digital tools by small business is 25:1. With small and medium sized businesses already contributing $700 billion to the economy, helping them to adopt digital tools would go much further than just weathering this short-term economic uncertainty.”
Only 50% of the latest respondents in MYOB’s research are using digital cloud-based software in their business for core workflows such as accounting, finances, supply chain and employee management. For one fifth of small businesses respondents, cost is still the top barrier to adopting digital tools.
“Small businesses employ over 7.4 million Australians and make up 99% of Australian private enterprises. They are the lifeblood of the economy and the Government needs to deliver support for them to ensure the security of the economy at large. We are somewhat encouraged by what we’ve seen tonight but look forward to seeing more direct focus in areas we know will set the small business community up for success in the near future.”
MYOB is a leading business platform with a core purpose of helping more businesses in Australia and New Zealand start, survive and succeed. MYOB delivers end-to-end business, financial and accounting solutions direct to businesses employing between 0 and 1000 employees, alongside a network of accountants, bookkeepers and consultants. For more information visit myob.com or follow MYOB on LinkedIn.