Free SME Training Courses

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has launched its free education platform for small business owners, promising useful and informative courses for entrepreneurs at every stage of the business lifecycle.

The online platform offers more than 20 short courses on foundational business skills, like record-keeping, cashflow management, and paying workers correctly.

It also delves into tax-specific issues, like superannuation guarantee obligations, GST requirements, and claiming small business tax deductions.

The content is broken up into videos, fact sheets, case studies, activities, and quizzes, allowing entrepreneurs to test their knowledge.

Users can find courses targeted to the stage of their business, spanning from those who are yet to put their idea into action, to entrepreneurs seeking to retire, sell, wind down, or exit their business.

Those courses can be pieced together into self-directed pathways, allowing users to choose the most relevant topics.

The ATO site also allows users to find courses relevant to their particular field, including retail, hairdressing, construction, and the gig economy.

Further, the site contains calendars with key payment and lodgement dates, making it easier for business owners to keep tabs on what is due and when.

ATO deputy commissioner Will Day said the long-awaited platform was designed specifically with the needs of time-poor entrepreneurs in mind.

“We know that a lot of small businesses don’t have time to attend courses during business hours while they are busy running their business – so the beauty of our new platform is that you can do it at a time that suits you, save your progress, and then pick it up again later,” he said in a statement.

Minister for Small Business Julie Collins called the new portal a “great opportunity” for small business owners to find information tailored to their needs.

The ATO has also encouraged tax practitioners to provide links to the new course material to their clients, giving them another way to bolster their tax and business literacy.

The new portal arrives after the full-scale launch of the revamped ATO website, which the organisation says will make it easier and faster for users to find the information they need.

It also comes as the ATO turns its focus to recouping tax debts accrued in recent years.

The tax office has long associated increased tax literacy with improved compliance — and course information about gracefully exiting a business may assist owners before they accrue major debts.

You can access the new training portal here.