Cash flow assistance for SME’s – here’s what to do

Australian Manufacturing Forum member viewpoint by Allen Roberts


The Government has announced cash flow assistance for small businesses, turnover limit an arbitrary $50 million, impacted by the Corona virus.

Perhaps the precarious position many small businesses are finding themselves in has finally pricked the Canberra political bubble.

The assistance is intended to keep people at work, and therefore money flowing in the economy. Some of the details are in a fact sheet easily downloaded from the Treasury website. If unsure, speak to your accountant.

Industry organisations, particularly banks will play a role in ensuring the information gets out, and those eligible, are helped to make the appropriate applications.

Inevitably however, the devil will be in the detail. Governments being what they are, will without necessarily intending to do so, make it challenging to access the relief.

There will be layers of bureaucracy and miles of red tape to be navigated.

I have one piece of advice to give that might serve to reduce the disruption and stress any interaction with a government agency giving out money and assistance will create:

Start collecting the data you will need now!

Add a category to your ledgers, that captures each and every expense associated with the Corona virus. Direct costs are easily assembled, but put them in one place, and include a calculation that reflects the time people spend sorting through the debris of their employers caused by this blight. Use the total cost of employment X hours spent as the calculating base.

Assembling and reporting the numbers is something that will inevitably have to be done, so do it now, and do it in a disciplined manner, so that when the rush is on nothing gets missed, and having it organised will make the process of accessing the assistance less disruptive.

Allen Roberts is managing director, StrategyAudit, a consultancy working at the intersection of Revenue Generation, Operations and Performance improvement.

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