Are You Ready? Developments that SMEs Need to be Aware Of

Categories: Small Business, Tax
27 October 2015

The pace of change for small and medium sized enterprises across Victoria, and Australia, has been unrelenting in recent years. New taxes, new technology, new regulatory burdens and an economy affected by a once in a generation mining boom and bust cycle have all added to the ever-evolving environment.

But looking forward, what are the biggest trends that Australian SMEs need to be aware of?

Changes to Super

Superannuation was introduced in the early 1990s, and has grown in scope considerably since then. The original 3% compulsory employer contribution is now 9.5%.

Under a previous Federal Government, the plan was to increase this compulsory contribution to 12% of ordinary time earnings, but this was paused by the current Government at 9.5%. However, with a change in leadership, the rate may change again, and the most likely result would be a rise in compulsory contributions.

Increased Flexibility

Businesses of all shapes and sizes will start to adopt more agile and flexible work practices to improve profits, efficiency and better respond to the needs of their staff.

For example, a contract landscaping and yard maintenance company with several employees would traditionally have required their contractors to “report in” to the office to collect their materials, invoices and jobs for the day.

However, with tablets, laptops and wireless internet, these instructions and invoicing can now be downloaded directly to devices, reducing time spent on travel to the head office and administration.

Similar improvements and efficiencies can be found in almost every business across every industry, and the fastest to find and implement them will be rewarded.

Everything on Demand

The “on demand” or sharing economy that has sprung up in recent years will continue to expand while traditional industries shrink. For example, Uber – allows passengers to summon a cab on demand, faster and more cheaply than a traditional taxi.

Large businesses have begun to use Uber for their business travel, and there is even talk that Australian Government departments could follow. Similarly, accommodation on demand through Airbnb, Stayz, and other sharing economy services will continue to result in lower costs for those businesses that are savvy enough to adopt them.

Tax Changes

It seems almost certain that there will be changes to the Australian tax system in coming years. This may take the form of an increased GST, lower company tax rates or the winding back of penalty rates.

To plan for the future and make sure that you are best placed for the changes that are bound to come your way, give Scott Partners a call and schedule an appointment. We can help put you in the best position financially for the future.