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BAS, payroll still major pain point for Aussie firms


One accounting software provider has called the government out on not doing enough to simplify regulation for SMEs, especially around payroll compliance, as new research shows firms continue to struggle with onerous obligations.

By Lara Bullock 12 minute read

Today, MYOB released the results from its latest MYOB Business Monitor survey, a survey of about 1,000 Australian SME business owners, which show that support for the federal government increased to 26 per cent, up from 20 per cent in the last survey.

Despite this, 64 per cent are looking to the government to reduce red tape, simplify reporting processes and further business tax cuts, with 31 per cent of SMEs pointing to payroll compliance as their number one pain point.

“Current payroll compliance requirements can be complex and difficult to navigate with lengthy reporting processes required of accountants,” MYOB chief executive Tim Reed told Accountants Daily.


“Tasks like hiring new staff can require a huge investment of time and resources, which could be better spent on other elements of managing a business, focusing on customers and the service they’re provided.”

Mr Reed praised the government's introduction of Simpler BAS, but said that more could always be done on the policy front.

“We were delighted with the Simpler BAS introduction – it aims to reduce the complexity of GST bookkeeping for accountants and SMEs by delivering a better GST reporting system. Removing the need for businesses under $10 million from using specific G-Codes on every transaction can only be a good thing," he said.

“There is, however, always work for all of us to do to change processes to be able to leverage the new, simplified processes," he said. 

Simpler BAS has had mixed reactions in the accounting community. Recently, the changes left Carbon Group questioning whether the new rules are simple enough, and research from Scottish Pacific showed that 24.3 per cent of SMEs want BAS reporting to be streamlined even further.

However, Debra Anderson, executive director at Anderson Tax and Consulting, said moves which look to improve SME compliance process should be welcomed by the tax community.

“It’s about simplifying a, let’s face it, complex GST system and not having to worry about why something does or doesn’t have GST in it – it just does or it doesn’t. Simple. Many self-reporting businesses were getting the codings of why something does or doesn’t have GST in it incorrect anyway, so this takes the stress away from them of having to understand the rules, the law, the complexity around those issues and lets them focus on what they do best,” Ms Anderson said.

You can read more of Ms Anderson's thoughts here. 


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Lara Bullock


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