The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) has released the Australian Small Business White Paper, outlining policy options designed to boost small business efficiency, productivity and growth.
According to the IPA, the white paper, released in conjunction with the IPA Deakin University SME Research Partnership, has been compiled to provide small business with a platform for change in times of economic uncertainty.
IPA chief executive officer Andrew Conway said the paper brings to the table substantial research, practitioner insight, industry views and direct feedback and input from small businesses across the country to highlight the most important issues to SMEs.
“Australia faces a looming economic crisis; our mining boom decades are over. Unless we can significantly boost business productivity in other areas, Australia will encounter a real prospect of a sustained fall in living standards," Mr Conway said.
“This dire need to dramatically increase productivity needs to start with the sector most critical to the Australian economy and the sector that is most capable of achieving growth if appropriately supported: the small business sector."
Mr Conway said that while the IPA remains realistic about what can be achieved in the short term, the professional body is committed to facilitating debate to ensure that, when small business speaks, it does so with the support of industry.
“The white paper puts forward recommendations and points of discussion around areas such as education and training, access to finance through a loan guarantee scheme and venture capital, innovation policy, regulation, fair work laws, trade policy and taxation," Mr Conway said.
“We recognise the recent federal budget announcements of tax cuts for small business and initiatives such as the instant asset write-off of up to $20,000 are a step in the right direction; however, these changes do not go far enough. Immediate and more substantial tax incentives are required, particularly supporting entrepreneurs and innovators.
“Simply put, if we are to drive economic prosperity and continue the level of living standards that we currently enjoy, we must do a lot more in support of small business. Our intention is to turn Australia into the best place in the world to start and run a small business,” Mr Conway said.