The digital divide: SMEs and the government

Digital services could be the solution for further engagement from the Australian government.

In a dynamic and forward-thinking world, it pays to go digital, whether you're a small business engaging with your customers or a financial firm adapting your tax and accounting services to support new strides in cloud-based computing. 

However, a new survey from Accenture has revealed that most Australians feel that the government has been a little lax in their entry into the online world; specifically in the services they offer. Almost 60 per cent of those surveyed said they were "dissatisfied" with the availability of digital public services, indicating a need for change in the current governmental design choices.

Despite the existence of the Australian Tax Office digital portals, only one third of respondents said they interacted with the government online at all.

This also translated to business owners, who were overwhelmingly open to the idea of a "one-stop digital public service" for everything bureaucratic, from monthly PAYG withholding obligations to licences.

This may be the first gust of the winds of change, however, as only 10 days after the release of the results of this survey, the Digital Transformation Office (DTO) posted its own findings on the digital landscape. In an attempt to "explore ways to present government information and services based around the way people look for and use information", the DTO has been designing a prototype that is user-focused, rather than forcing the everyday Australian to work within the complex systems that the government operates upon.

This new scheme is still in the works, though has seen success so far in its alpha applications. The digital transformation is ongoing, but hopefully the new year will see the Australian Taxation Office and the greater federal government update to the modern world.

Want to take the difficulty out of your small-business taxation? Come and speak to the team at WMC Accounting, the experts in small-business services.

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