RSM Bird Cameron, one of the largest mid-tier accounting firms in Australia, is urging small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to start preparing now for the introduction of the carbon tax on July 1, 2012.
Tim Pittaway, principal, RSM Bird Cameron, said, “The task of transitioning to a low-carbon economy will place significant regulatory, market and reputational pressures on all businesses.
“While the carbon price will firstly affect big polluters, the most likely outcome is that extra costs will be transferred onto SMEs and consumers.
“SMEs need to start preparing for the introduction of a carbon price in Australia and initiate moves to understand their carbon exposure.
“The more Australia continues to generate additional carbon emissions, the higher the carbon price and the more expensive reduction strategies will become, which is why SMEs have a real incentive to
start accounting for carbon sooner rather than later.”
Issues SMEs should start considering now:
- what risks does the business run by ignoring existing and future carbon emissions regulations?
- do business owners and managers understand the business’ carbon footprint including how much energy it consumes and how much greenhouse gas it produces?
- what is the business’ carbon reduction strategy?
- how will additional carbon emissions regulations, in particular the introduction of a carbon price, impact the business’ financial bottom line and accounting and reporting practices?
- will the business’ stakeholders demand more transparency on actions to reduce carbon emissions?
Pittaway said, “SMEs should also be aware that products and services made from less polluting material will ultimately become cheaper compared to products made through processes that incur more carbon pollution.
“This may provide the opportunity for SMEs to realise cost savings through careful selection of suppliers.”
RSM Bird Cameron is the largest mid-tier accounting firm in Australia with national ownership and profit sharing and offers a full range of specialist advisory services, including business consulting and advisory, assurance and advisory, taxation consulting, corporate consulting and turnaround and insolvency. RSM Bird Cameron is a core member firm of RSM International, the sixth largest network of independent accounting and consulting firms in the world.