The research reveals:
7 in 10 SMEs expect a change of government at the upcoming election.
66% list reducing the compliance costs of running a business as their most important business-related issue.
48% would vote for a government that provided greater support to improve digital capability and business skills in order to ‘future proof’ their businesses.
The SME sector is divided in their opinions on the future of the Australian economy, with 41% saying it will improve in the next 12 months, 37% expecting it to decline.
MYOB Chief Employee Experience Officer, Helen Lea said SMEs are at the core of the Australian economy and, despite a turbulent few years, their resilience and focus on recovery and transformation is to be admired.
“The importance of SMEs, which contribute an estimated 35% to the Australian GDP, has never been more crucial. With rising inflation, a lingering global supply chain crisis, workforce disruptions due to COVID-19, and a challenging geopolitical environment — this period of uncertainty looks set to continue.
“The SME sector in Australia is a powerful voting group, with more than two million registered in the nation. Their hope for a stable and bright economic future should be important to both current and prospective leaders,” said Ms. Lea.
The role of digitisation in supporting SMEs to recover and thrive
Forty-three per cent of SMEs surveyed say that digital tools have helped their business be more productive, however, 1 in 3 (31%) still don’t have any kind of online presence. 23% say digitising elements of their business remains too expensive and 29% believe a tax deduction incentive of some sort would help them get started digitally. MYOB welcomed the recent Budget measure to introduce a tax incentive for digital adoption and MYOB’s data further confirms how vital that incentive is.
Of the SMEs already using digital tools, top examples of business integration include tax and BAS lodgement and payments (51%), compliance (38%), cashflow, invoicing and online payments platforms (40%) and productivity, project and inventory management (29%).
“We know that once digital adoption gathers speed, the impacts are immediate and significant. This is both at an individual business level and macro level, with MYOB modelling showing a potential $10.5 billion return to the economy as a result,” Ms Lea said.
Reducing the compliance costs of running a business as the most important business-related issue for SMEs
"SMEs want to see a reduction in the compliance costs of running a business and a strong economy in which to operate, particularly with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic still taking a toll. Specifically, post-election SMEs would like a simplified GST / BAS reporting process and a proportion of government procurement contracts allocated to smaller businesses,” Ms Lea said.
While 71% of SMEs think there will be a change in government at the upcoming Federal Election, they are mixed on what the outcome of a change is likely to be and how it will impact their business. Thirty-four per cent believe a change will have no impact on the business, 28% believe it will be positive (rising to 44% of Gen Y), while 25% think it will have a negative impact.
“We know the contribution SMEs make to the economy is widely felt and look forward to Australia’s leaders providing a fruitful and inspiring agenda to support them,” Ms Lea said.
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.
About MYOB Business Monitor
The MYOB Business Monitor researches business performance and attitudes regarding areas such as profitability, cash flow, pipeline work, technology usage and the government. This report presents the summary findings for key indicators from the MYOB Business Monitor comprising a national sample of 1,000 business owners, managers and directors (operators), conducted from March 22 to April 21, 2022. 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).