After more than 18 months of significant research and extensive consultation, the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA), together with the IPA Deakin University SME Research Partnership, has released the Australian Small Business White Paper.

“We have brought to the table, substantial research, practitioner insights, industry views and direct feedback and input from small businesses across the country, to formulate the first industry-led Small Business White Paper,” said IPA chief executive officer, Andrew Conway (also co-author and chair of the research partnership).

“Australia faces a looming economic crisis; our mining boom decades are over.  Unless we can significantly boost business productivity in other areas, Australia will encounter a real prospect of a sustained fall in living standards.

“This dire need to dramatically increase productivity needs to start with the sector most critical to the Australian economy and the sector that is most capable of achieving growth if appropriately supported; the small business sector.

“Our White Paper has been produced to consider and debate real policy options for small business efficiency, productivity and growth.

“While we remain realistic in what can be achieved in the short-term, the IPA is committed to facilitate ongoing discourse to ensure that when small business speaks, it does so with the support of industry and evidence, and on a platform that aims to boost productivity of Australian small businesses.

“The White Paper puts forward recommendations and points of discussion around areas such as: education and training; access to finance through a loan guarantee scheme and venture capital; innovation policy; regulation; fair work laws; trade policy; and, taxation.

“We recognise the recent Federal Budget announcements of tax cuts for small business and initiatives such as the instant asset write-off of up to $20,000 are a step in the right direction; however, these changes do not go far enough.

“Immediate and more substantial tax incentives are required, particularly supporting entrepreneurs and innovators.

“Simply put, if we are to drive economic prosperity and continue the level of living standards that we currently enjoy, we must do a lot more in support of small business.  Our intention is to turn Australia into the best place in the world to start and run a small business,” said Mr Conway.

For more information on the White Paper go to