Business leaders are becoming increasingly cynical of governments at all levels as the bluster about supporting SMEs fails to translate into meaningful action.
“There’s a growing sense of cynicism… we’ve noticed around the country of small businesses saying to government broadly, governments of all persuasions at all levels, ‘there [are] some key things we want you to do, just get on and do it,'” said Andrew Conway, CEO of the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA).
“So, I think, generally speaking, small businesses will get on and do what they have to do; they’re happy, they’re content. But there’s a huge opportunity to seize a productivity dividend in Australia if governments get onto this.”
Mr Conway said that taxes are a prime example of this sentiment, where talk of taxation reform, committees and reports deliver recommendations which are often delayed or never acted upon.
For this reason, the IPA is undertaking a national road show to connect with SMEs nationwide and deliver their real-world findings to all levels of government in the hope of driving tangible and meaningful change.
“It’ll happen about the end of this calendar year," the CEO said. "We’ll have the first draught if you like, and then early in 2018 we’ll actually have the final presented in Canberra. And then we present actually to all levels of government.”
Mr Conway urged all SMEs to engage with the IPA as part of this process to enable their concerns and experiences to see the light of day and drive effective policy action.
“If I pose you this one question, ‘As a small business owner, what’s keeping you awake at night?’, that will give us some great policy input in terms of the white paper process,” Mr Conway said.
[Related: SMEs could access $1m in compo from new EDR]
James Mitchell has over eight years’ experience as a financial reporter and is the editor of Wealth and Wellness at Momentum Media.
He has a sound pedigree to cover the business of mortgages and the converging financial services sector having reported for leading finance titles InvestorDaily, InvestorWeekly, Accountants Daily, ifa, Mortgage Business, Residential Property Manager, Real Estate Business, SMSF Adviser, Smart Property Investment, and The Adviser.
He has also been published in The Daily Telegraph and contributed online to FST Media and Mergermarket, part of the Financial Times Group.
James holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature and an MA in Journalism.
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