With the current focus on a change in tax record-keeping obligations to encompass all things digital plus the need to businesses to adapt to a new era in the way they operate, going digital is more important than ever.
The virtual world that we’re currently living in doesn’t allow for the same face-to-face interaction that many of us have become accustomed to and there is a concern for many businesses that this inadvertent transformation in the way business has traditionally operated will mean they have already fallen behind.
It is not too late to get started! The future of business is digital and small business needs to pivot away from traditional practices and realise success is now dependant on operating via digital channels.
The first step
The first step to going digital is to understand how it can benefit a business.
The benefits of digital mainly come from the following sources:
- Tools you access through the internet such as cloud programs mean you can collaborate anywhere and anytime using the internet.
- Systems that communicate.
- An online presence – your business window to the world.
Systems that communicate.
Implementing systems such as the way staff are paid and rostered, customer relationship management programs, product inventory systems and financial management systems that can be integrated for streamlined processing means less processing errors and empowers your business to track and reduce expenses.
Embracing new digital technologies can save time, help find new customers and assist businesses to become more efficient.
How to prepare your business to be digitally ready
There are several tools you can use to convert to a digital platform. Business.gov.au have developed a digital transformation guide to understand the benefits of going digital and what that means for small business.
The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASFBEO) have also developed advice on helping small business to digitise.
Insolvency reform declarations due
From 1st January 2021, eligible businesses experiencing financial distress can access a new, simplified debt restructuring process that allows them to restructure their existing debts while remaining in control of their business.
The reforms are intended to reduce the cost of external administration for small businesses and the compliance burden for insolvency practitioners, thereby assisting more businesses to remain viable or increasing returns to creditors and employees in situations where they are not salvageable.
The process allows financially distressed small businesses to access a single, streamlined process to restructure their debts, while allowing the owners to remain in control of their business. This will support more small businesses to survive, meaning better outcomes for businesses, creditors, employees, and the economy.
To access this relief, a business can declare intention to access the restructuring process by publishing the declaration on the published notices website from 1st January 2021.
A company’s period of temporary restructuring relief begins on the day the declaration is published. A business will also need to notify ASIC within 5 business days that they have made this declaration.
The form for doing this is available on the ASIC website from 1st January 2021. The ability to declare intention to access the restructuring process is available until 31st March 2021.
Treasury have released a comprehensive fact sheet explaining the process of application and eligibility. Treasury – Simplified debt restructuring fact sheet.