Calls for greater support for small business in the Federal Budget

small business support budget
Chartered Accountants ANZ point to financial costs of advice. (Source: Bigstock)

Chartered Accountants ANZ has submitted its proposals as part of its Pre Budget Submission to the Federal Government.

The body has called on the government to provide greater support to small businesses through various measures such as a new grant that will enable them to access financial advice to help secure their future.

“Small businesses suffered on a number of fronts during the pandemic, and those that were able to survive and thrive are now at a point where they need detailed financial advice,” Simon Grant FCA, CA ANZ Group Executive Advocacy, said.

Chartered Accountants ANZ envisions the grant to not only enable small businesses to work with their trusted advisers, but also update their business records, produce a cashflow forecast for at least three months, and explore the pathways available to build a sustainable business.

“Many small-business owners have spent the last few years in survival mode and haven’t had the opportunity or funds to engage a financial expert to ensure their business operations are viable,’ Grant explained.

Chartered Accountants ANZ has also asked government to take a systematic look into the provision of financial advice as accountants find it very difficult to provide the advice that a business needs despite their qualifications.

Financial advice costs small business

“The cost of providing financial advice in Australia is excessive. As a result, many consumers who would benefit from receiving advice are priced out of the market,” Grant said. “Under the current regulatory environment accountants who do not hold an Australian Financial Services License are being asked to navigate a very fine line where one wrong step means they could stray into providing unlicensed advice and may be subject to substantial penalties. It is both unfair and inefficient for the regulatory environment to create such uncertainty and we ask the government to commence work on fixing this problem as soon as possible.”

CA ANZ’s pre-budget submission has also included calls for the government to continue their information drive on cyber security.

“Recent high-profile events have highlighted the importance of cyber security for all Australians and business operators, and how far-reaching the damage can be,” Grant said. “The Budget should fund a marketing campaign, at least annually, to raise community awareness of the excellent, free tools and resources produced by the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) to encourage cyber security practices.”

This article was first published on sibling website Inside Small Business.