SMEs divisive on budget benefits, says Bentleys
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SMEs divisive on budget benefits, says Bentleys

The upcoming federal budget has split expectations firmly down the middle within the SME community, according to the latest research from international accounting network Bentleys.

According to Bentleys’ recent Voice of Australian Business survey, a bi-annual national survey of SMEs across all industries and regions, 39 per cent of Australian SMEs believe the upcoming federal budget will not include measures beneficial to their businesses, compared to only 23 per cent that believe it will. 

“With the lack of clarity currently around the budget, it's understandable that people feel uncertain of what will transpire,” said Dean Steer, a tax partner at Bentleys.

“The fact that the majority of SMEs don’t believe the budget will contain beneficial measures for their business, however, is worrying as it raises questions about the SME community’s confidence in the support they will get from government.”

Larger, metropolitan SMEs were more likely to expect a beneficial budget, with 44 per cent of medium businesses believing that the upcoming budget would contain beneficial measures, compared with only 13 per cent of micro businesses.

In addition to divisive expectations, SMEs also revealed the possible measures that would be of the greatest benefit to the ongoing success of their business:

  • Simplification of compliance and reporting processes (64 per cent stating it would be extremely beneficial, very beneficial or moderately beneficial)
  • Cuts to the corporate tax rate (58 per cent stating it would be extremely beneficial, very beneficial or moderately beneficial)
  • Extension of the immediate asset write-off (58 per cent stating it would be extremely beneficial, very beneficial or moderately beneficial)

“It’s not unexpected that simplification of compliance and reporting processes rank highly for SMEs, as most don’t have the time nor the money to be dealing with excessive and complex processes,” said Mr Steer.

“Reducing this burden would make a substantial difference for SME owners, freeing them up to do what they do best – run their business.”

SMEs divisive on budget benefits, says Bentleys
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