CPA Australia calls for Govt. to reimagine and reinvent for business recovery

- July 7, 2020 2 MIN READ

Certified Practicing Accountants Australia (CPA Australia) is urging the Morrison government to reflect, reimagine and reinvent to assist small businesses to recover post-COVID-19.

Dr Gary Pflugrath, Executive General Manager Policy and Advocacy at CPA Australia suggests the government needs to shift its policy focus to supporting business recovery and reinvention to shepherd the nation to economic recovery.

“Economic policy decisions should take advantage of the currently low cost of debt and should not be driven by shorter-term budgetary considerations,” Dr Pflugrath said.

“With record low-interest rates, we need to keep the cost of servicing debt in perspective. Government debt should not be a hand brake on economic recovery.”

Dr Pflugrath believes the government must continue to provide support via existing COVID-19 relief measures in order to give small business time to recover. He urges a tapered withdrawal of support services rather than an abrupt cutoff, suggesting this will assist small businesses to recover.

“Existing COVID-19 measures should be withdrawn from September in an orderly tapered manner, balancing the need to support businesses that are viable in the longer-term against the limited benefit in sustaining businesses that have little or no chance of recovery.

“The opportunity exists for many businesses to reboot and permanently change the way they operate. We expect technology to be key to this. However, with our Asia Pacific Small Business Survey showing that the level of technology use and investment by Australia’s small businesses is significantly lower than small businesses in Asia, state and federal governments need to greatly expand the support they provide to SMEs to better back the sector’s digital transformation efforts,” Dr Pflugrath said.

CPA is also recommending that the government permanently adopt changes that were made during the pandemic which made it simpler for businesses to meet their reporting and governance obligations. CPA believes that by doing so the businesses will be able to embrace technology and be more productive.

Finally, Dr Pflugrath says the government has learnt many lessons from the coronavirus crisis and while the Australian economy has experienced a number of shocks, future shock could be avoided if preprepared polices and frameworks are now put in place.

“This ‘break glass in emergency’ response should be designed so that it can be scaled up or down quickly in response to the nature and magnitude of a disaster. This would minimise the need to make policy on the run and reduce the time between a disaster and the delivery of considered and appropriate levels of assistance to directly and indirectly-impacted businesses,” he said.

You can read the CPA’s full recommendations: Post COVID-19 Pandemic Economic Recovery

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