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SMEs’ top 3 stressors revealed

New research has pinpointed the three main challenges front of mind for SME clients.

Business Emma Ryan 19 January 2022
— 1 minute read

Non-bank lender ScotPac has released the findings of its H2 2021 SME Growth Index that found eight in every 10 Australian business owners are most worried by compliance, cash flow and finding enough time in the day to complete tasks.


“The top concern, perhaps due to navigating government grants, stimulus measures and other initiatives during the pandemic, has been meeting government compliance. This was named by 85 per cent of SME owners,” explained ScotPac senior executive Craig Michie.

“In 2018 only 10 per cent of SMEs cited government compliance requirements as a pressing concern so this issue has really surged for small business owners.

“The second biggest concern identified this round was SME owners having enough time to complete tasks, a worrying factor for 84 per cent of businesses.

“Rounding out the top three issues was cashflow concern, nominated by 81.5 per cent of SMEs.”

Mr Michie said the results have been “drastically exacerbated” by the pandemic, with the twice-yearly ScotPac research “recording a fourfold increase in staff issues since 2018”.

This, he said, should encourage trusted advisers such as accountants and bookkeepers, to be alert and help SMEs navigate the headwinds where they can.

“Whether it is restructuring the business, looking into mergers/acquisitions or finding new and smarter ways to fund the enterprise, there are many ways for SME owners and their advisors to alleviate the common pain points so many are enduring,” Mr Michie said.

SMEs’ top 3 stressors revealed
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Emma Ryan

Emma Ryan

Emma Ryan is the deputy head of content at Momentum Media and editor of the company's legal publication, Lawyers Weekly.

Emma has worked for Momentum Media since 2015 and has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest stories in corporate Australia. In addition, she has produced exclusive multimedia and event content related to the company's respective brands and audiences.

A journalist by training, Emma has spent her career connecting with key industry stakeholders across a variety of platforms, including online, podcast and radio. She graduated from Charles Sturt University with a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism).