Time to Plan: How Can I Make the Budget Work Best for Me?

Budgeting & Forecasting

The financial year has ended and whether we like it or not, this means it is time to reassess our financial goals and get set for a fast start to FY16. Last month’s Federal Budget delivered some good news for Australia’s 2.1 million small business owners, with planned tax cuts and incentives opening up many exciting opportunities for you and your business.

Currently, if you’re a small business owner and you give your employees more than one portable electronic device – say a tablet and a laptop – you might not be able to obtain the Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) exemption for both. With the proposed changes to FBT, all work-related portable electronic devices will be free from FBT, making it easier for you to get work done more flexibly and at lower cost.

The proposed asset threshold increase is another big initiative changing things for your small business. For businesses with an annual turnover of less than $2 million, the asset depreciation threshold is looking to be increased to $20,000 (previously, the threshold sat at $1,000).

Current research reveals that SMBs that fail to invest in technology are actually doing more damage to their bottom line than good. These new budgetary measures are just the spur you need to make the most of mobile technology and assess the role technology can play in your business. Here are my three tips for getting the most from the next financial year.

1. Adopt tablets and mobile business applications

The small business monitor estimates Aussie small businesses are wasting an estimated $608 million a year by not making the switch to digital office tools.

Now is the time to invest in portable electronic devices, such as tablets and smartphones and the proposed changes to FBT makes it cheaper and more convenient for you to integrate work-related portable electronic devices into your business, especially if you purchase them outright. This is because, any eligible individual assets you buy costing less than $20,000 (before 30 June 2017) can be immediately depreciated.

2. Invest in cloud computing

If you are looking for an excellent return on investment, then Cloud technology is the way to go.

As a decision maker in a small business, it is essential to take advantage of, and recognise, the many ways cloud computing can help to reduce unnecessary overheads. At present, more than one in five SMBs are using cloud computing every day, with just under half who use the technology spending less than $100 per year on it. If you are looking to increase productivity and flexibility in your business, then investing in cloud computing is the way to go in FY16!

3. Be data smart and get connected

There is no denying that to run a small business in today’s market, you need to have flexibility to operate on the go without restriction. This means you need access to data on the go and the reassurance that data limits won’t get in the way of running your business.

Updates in business mobile plans now mean that you can change the way you do business in FY16 by getting connected and sharing data across your team’s compatible devices on the same account in Australia. This way, you are maximising your data spending while getting connected.

With the right tools at your fingertips and support from the Government – how will your business boost its profitability and productivity in FY16?

Will Irving


Will Irving was appointed to the role of Group Managing Director of Telstra Business, effective 12 August 2011. Telstra Business is dedicated to meeting the telecommunications needs of nearly 1 million small and medium businesses across Australia. In 2006 he was named Australian Corporate Lawyer of the Year and the Communications Law Committee of the International Bar Association gave him its Outstanding Achievement Award in 2008. More recently, the Telstra legal team was the ALB Australian Law.