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MYOB Calls For Next Government To Mind The Pace Of Legislation

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
MYOB Calls For Next Government To Mind The Pace Of Legislation

30 October 2008 - Almost 40% of businesses having trouble keeping up with law changes - survey Pace of legislation leading pain point for small businesses

As the economy shapes up as one of the major issues of this year's election, MYOB is calling on all political parties to be aware of the impact of changing legislation on New Zealand businesses.

According to the latest MYOB Colmar Brunton survey of business pain points, 'Keeping up with Government legislation changes' is the most significant challenge for the nation's small businesses. Of the over 500 businesses with less than 20 employees that took part in the research nationwide, 37 percent found keeping up with legislation changes difficult.

Over 97 percent of businesses in New Zealand employ 19 or fewer people.

According to the survey, employers with businesses in the 6 - 19 employee range had the most difficulty (44 percent) in keeping up with legislation changes, while those in the retail trade (41 percent) highlighted the issue as a more significant pain point than businesses in the agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors (39 percent) and property, business and professional services (35 percent) and construction and trade services (29%).

In particular, 20 percent of respondents in the 1-5 employee range found implementing the latest payroll tax changes difficult, while 33 percent of businesses with between 6 - 19 employees had difficulty with these changes.

MYOB New Zealand general manager Julian Smith says any future Government must take into account the pressure on business created by frequent changes to legislation.

"This latest survey highlights just how hard it is for the country's businesses to keep up with compliance issues and other changes," says Julian Smith.

"The research confirms what our clients from around the country have been telling us for quite some time - constant changes in legislation make it just so much harder to do business."

"With that in mind, we're calling on any future Government to be mindful of that impact on New Zealand business - not just in terms of specific pieces of legislation, but the number and scope of changes business owners and managers have to be aware of to remain compliant."

According to the MYOB Colmar Brunton survey, other areas businesses find difficult relating to cash flow, finance and compliance are: 'raising funds to invest in the business', 22 percent of respondents, 'knowing how to make profit', 21 percent, and 'chasing up late payments', 18 percent. More businesses in the 1 - 5 employee range were finding these areas difficult, with 26 percent having trouble chasing up late payers, and a quarter finding it hard to raise funds.

"Clearly in the current environment, there is a lot for local businesses to contend with," says Julian Smith.

"And as the recession puts still greater pressure on businesses, we believe they need a legislative environment that makes it easier to deal with government."

"Releasing complex new legislation, or making frequent and extensive changes to existing law, is something we believe any future Government should avoid - particularly during this period - to allow Kiwi businesses to focus on the fundamentals of good business, like maintaining cash flow and profitability."

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