SMEs slow to swallow GST pill: MYOB

With just under 500,000 companies registered with Australian Business Numbers, MYOB is getting concerned that many SME businesses will not get their GST act together before July 1.

With just 93 days to go, MYOB CEO Craig Winkler yesterday told ARN he believes the "wait and see approach" being adopted by many small businesses could ultimately prove fatal.

According to Australian Taxation Office figures, two million Australian Business Numbers will need to be issued before June 30, 1.1 million of which are small businesses, Winkler said.

New Zealand's experience showed that around 25 per cent of businesses went out of business within the first six months after that country's GST introduction, he said. "It's survival of the fittest."

While MYOB and competitors such as Quicken have adopted an aggressive advertising campaign to alert small business to the pitfalls of failing to comply with the GST, Winkler said resellers themselves need to push their customers to become "compliant".

"The GST is not going to go away," he said.