ATO benchmarking data set to boost small business

By Nick Hall | 07 Mar 2019 View comments

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has this week released updated benchmarking data to assist small businesses chart their industry results.

Drawn from over 1.5 million small businesses around the country, the new ATO benchmarking data allows small business owners to compare their performance with competitors, providing valuable insights into operating success.

More than 100 industries are included in the ATO benchmarking data, including food and beverage, retail, education, building and construction trade services.

Peter Holt, ATO assistant commissioner said that businesses should use the benchmarks to gauge the strength of their business and keep an eye on their competition.

“We want small businesses to stay afloat, so our benchmarks are a great way to ensure your business is viable, competitive and not at risk of venturing into rough water,” Holt said.

Holt also suggested that the new ATO benchmarking data would allow the ATO to identify small businesses that may not be accurately reporting their income.

“Think of the benchmarks like the red and yellow flags on the beach. If you stay between the flags, you’ll be less likely to attract our attention.” Holt said.

“If your costs are within the benchmark range, you should be satisfied that you’re keeping up with your competition.”

The easy access to benchmarking data will also provide new franchisees with deeper information streams relating to location, demographics and expected performance.

“Clearly, a coffee shop in Caloundra will have vastly different operating costs to a panel beater in Perth. Our benchmarks accommodate for these variations between businesses due to factors such as location and businesses types,” Holt said.

“If you use a registered tax professional, it’s also a good idea to have a chat with them about where your business sits in comparison with our benchmarks. They might have some advice about steps you can take to improve your performance.”