Small businesses in Australia are set to make significant gains under the 2022 Federal Budget. Some of the key points of delivery for the budget included the SMB skills and training boost, the SMB technology investment boost and $25.2m set aside to support SMBs.
It is time for SMBs to set up appointments with their accountants in order to get the best advice on how to maximise their gains and make the most of these budget announcements. Your accountant will help you in assessing, planning and decision making. Businesses need to know their full financial position so as to maximise their ability to benefit from the initiatives.
What are the federal initiatives affecting SMBs?
Small business skills and training boost
Businesses with an aggregated turnover of up to $50m will be able to deduct an additional 20% of expenditure incurred on external training courses provided to their employees. This was to help businesses train new staff as well as upskill existing employees.
Until June 2024, SMBs will be able to claim a bonus 20% deduction for the cost of external training courses delivered to employees in Australia, by providers registered in Australia.
There will also be $2.8bn in funding for an overhauled apprenticeship incentive scheme to grow the number of qualified tradespeople by subsidising the wages of select apprentices.
Small business technology investment boost
Another huge win for the small businesses sector is the government’s scheme to invest in digitisation and tech so that small businesses can get ahead with digital transformation.
The measures will aid them in spending on cybersecurity or moving towards cloud-based computing services, electronic invoicing and web design. Businesses with an aggregated turnover of up to $50m will be able to deduct an additional 20% of expenditure, capped at $100k, incurred on business expenses and depreciating assets that support digital adoption.
The Australian government has committed $25.2m over three years to support SMBs, of which $18.4m is allocated to 2022-2023. This will be used in a variety of settings such as;
- Enhancing and redesigning the Payment Times Reporting Portal and Register to improve efficiency and reporting.
- A new Access for Small Business Owners program delivered by Beyond Blue to continue to provide free, accessible, and tailored mental health support to small business owners; and
- Extending the Small Business Debt Helpline program to provide financial counselling to small businesses facing financial issues.
Moving small businesses forward
SMBs and family-owned businesses are at the heart of the Australian economy. Over 8 million Aussies are employed in SMBs so it’s great news that the federal budget has given them measures to make the most of this period of economic recovery after the pandemic.
I believe that these measures will help them to increase productivity. Having a good accountant on your side will help you make the best-informed financial decisions, so that you can gain the most benefit from the budget. It has been a hard two years for small businesses so it’s essential that you work with your accountant to future-proof your business.
Coco Hou is the managing director of Platinum Professional Training, a national training provider for the accounting and bookkeeping industry, and Platinum Accounting Australia, a national network of accounting and bookkeeping businesses that specialise in providing strategic and practical taxation, business and accounting advisory services.