Half of small businesses work weekends and evenings

  • 35 per cent of SMEs don't start paperwork until after the end of June
  • 5 per cent jump in the need to work weekends to fulfil EOFY obligations

THE latest MYOB Business Monitor, a bi-annual national survey of over 1,000 SME business owners, has found that small business operators are working long hours to get their paperwork into shape and meet their End of Financial Year (EOFY) obligations.

"Many small business operators are making significant personal sacrifices over and above running their day-to-day business, making EOFY not only stressful but a period where meeting their EOFY obligations is eating into time that should be spent on working to achieve business results" said John Moss, Chief Strategy Officer, MYOB.

In the lead up to this year's EOFY, 42 per cent of operators are working weekends (up 5 per cent from the previous year), and a further 26 per cent working after midnight to meet their reporting obligations.

"We also found that a large proportion, 35 per cent, of operators don't make a start on their EOFY paperwork until after the end of June."

"While it's easy to put the extra work on the backburner, there are several actions small business owners can take to ensure they aren't caught out at tax time. By starting early as well as seeking out help from their advisers or using accounting software, SMEs can save a great deal of personal time and stress further down the track," Mr. Moss said.

The Business Monitor reveals that the timeline for EOFY preparation varies widely between SMEs;  some business owners get cracking a month before the end of June (30 per cent), while some don't begin until the end of August (10 per cent).

"This is one of the most important administrative activities of the business year and getting it right can mean the difference between business success and failure," Mr. Moss said.

The Business Monitor found that SMEs in the Agribusiness sector were most likely to start preparation once the financial year ended (53 per cent).

BUSINESS owners in the older demographics, including Baby Boomers and Traditionalists, were also more likely to start preparation later at 41 per cent and 44 per cent respectively.

Many sole operators are also following this trend, with 41 per cent beginning the process post-June 30.

When looking at preparation methods, the Business Monitor found that over a third of business owners (36 per cent) tackle aspects of their EOFY reporting themselves, with a large majority also using the support of an accountant (63 per cent) or a bookkeeper (19 per cent).

"What we're seeing here is a discrepancy between how small business owners are feeling and what they are willing to change," said Mr. Moss. 

"We know SMEs are feeling the pressure, yet a third of SMEs say they won't be doing anything to cut down the time it takes to get ready this year."

"We urge all SMEs to make a change this end of financial year - whether that means talking to an accountant, upgrading or implementing software, or simply starting preparation ahead of June 30. This will help business owners remain focused on what matters most - running their business." 

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