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Small business growth strangled as the Taxman comes calling

New research has shown that small businesses are being bogged down by financial reporting and bookwork, with too much time spent on documenting the business strangling growth.

The research, conducted by Retail Decisions along with 620 Australian SME owners, revealed that 72% of those surveyed personally looking after the financial reporting.

Over two thirds of respondents spend more than two hours per day on bookwork, and as the tax man comes calling eighty per cent will slave for up to thirty hours to get their finances in order.

Matthew Moy, Principal of the Business Services Division of chartered accountants MGI Sydney, said that the end of financial year was particularly difficult for small businesses.

“Tax time is notoriously stressful for all businesses, but smaller organisations find it even more demanding as they don’t have any support.

“Getting all the red tape in order is a time-consuming and complicated process and when decision-makers are doing this themselves, they are clearly losing a lot of valuable time that would be better invested in growing their business.”

The research also examined other sources of stress for small businesses, determining that maintaining a high standard of customer service as well as managing cash flow and reducing overheads were amongst the most demanding.

76 per cent of respondents said that maintaing excellent customer service was a source of great stress, while 60 per cent admitted to lying awake at night wondering if they are going to stay in business.

Retaining staff was seen as the most manageable and least stressful problem, with only 39 per cent of those surveyed finding it an issue.

Adrian ‘Mr Taxman’ Raftery, Director of ARW Chartered Accountants said that although the end of financial year can be an incredible stressful time, there are simple things small business owners can do to retain control.

According to Mr Raftery controlling finances is integral to navigating the perils of tax time, and recommended hiring an accountant to ‘dig’ through the business peculiars like never before.

On top of this, regularly training and educating staff as well as focusing on customers that are of the most value will ensure the business will remain on the path to success.

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Alexander Fleming

Alexander Fleming

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