Cloud accounting advancements have led to more SMEs doing their own tax, says MYOB


An increasing number of small business owners will complete their tax returns themselves this year, according to research undertaken by cloud accounting provider MYOB.

The company’s June SME Snapshot revealed that 41% of owners plan to complete their own returns, up from 41% last year.  John Moss, MYOB’s chief strategy officer told Dynamic Business that the increase has been driven by technological advancements in cloud accounting software, which make it easier for owners to complete their own tax returns.

Of the findings, two came as ‘no surprise’ to Moss – 37% of owners have forfeited weekends to meet their tax obligations, while 44 said the EPFY process had significantly impacted their work/life balance.

“We know that Australian small businesses are already a time-poor group, and we also know that small business owners feel the compliance burden of GST and EOFY tax reporting,” he said.

“At this time of year small businesses struggle to balance their time in the business with their additional compliance obligations, and the result is having to work late into the night and at the weekends.”

Moss said there were a few key things small business owners could do to speed up the tax-time process and regain their time:

  • “Always forward plan for EOFY tax-time to alleviate time pressures associated with this heavy administration task
  • Use up-to-date online technology with automated data feeds to help you keep accurate and complete records
  • Connect with your accountant to help with your tax time strategy and to ensure you are claiming correctly. This will ensure you are able to process your tax claims faster”.

Although 41% of respondents told MYOB they wouldn’t be using the $20,000 instant asset tax write-off, and a further 16% were unsure if they would, Moss said the overall response to the measure has been positive.

“Given that it has only been in effect for two years, 43% uptake is a great result,” he said. “The $20K write-off is something small business owners have found extremely helpful. There could be a number of reasons for the 41 per cent who aren’t planning to use it, but if the measure is extended again, some of those businesses may change their mind in the future.”

See also: Federal Budget: small business $20k instant asset write-off scheme extended by one year and A permanent $20,000 instant asset tax write-off for businesses tops SME wishlist, MYOB finds.