The challenge is making automation work for them with many companies needing support through this transition or risk being left behind and unable to competeGrant Linton, Reckon\nA new survey on business sentiment has found the cost and complexity of compliance is a key issue for businesses in the lead up to the election. \nThe What Do You Reckon Election Survey, conducted by Reckon NZ, also found majority of businesses had embraced the change automation and artificial intelligence was bringing.\nEighty-four percent of respondents said technological advancements and the \u201crise of the robots\u201d was impacting on their business and the roles their staff will play now and in the future.\n\u201cIt was clear the majority of businesses were moving with the times, and embracing the concept of automation,\u201d says Grant Linton, general manager Reckon Accountant Group. \n\u201cThe challenge is making it work for them with many companies needing support through this transition or risk being left behind and unable to compete.\u201d\nThe survey aimed to find key issues impacting businesses on the lead up to election. \nReckon says it surveyed 1500 of its clients across a number of different industries.\nWhile the majority (75 per cent) said it was easy to run a business in New Zealand, when asked if the current government had done enough to reduce the cost and complexity of compliance, a third of respondents believed it had not done enough.\nAlmost half said the government had done \u201csomewhat\u201d enough, and a further 22 per cent believed the government had done \u201cenough\u201d or \u201ca lot\u201d to reduce cost and complexity around compliance. \nLinton says a quarter of the respondents believed it was not easy to run a business in New Zealand.\n\u201cThe most common reason was the cost of compliance and how it takes focus away from core business. One respondent gave the example of \u2018health and safety overkill\u2019 as being a compliance cost which hit companies particularly hard,\u201d he says.\nOther factors included the challenge of finding qualified staff, and difficulty when needing to dismiss staff.\nThe single most important election issue affecting businesses was varied \u2013 and ranged from compliance issues, tax, and attracting the right staff, through to transport issues, the cost of living, and refocusing on the regions,\u201d says Catie Cotcher, general manager, Reckon Business Group.\n\u201cA number of respondents said there needed to be a shift of investment back into the regions to take the pressure off Auckland infrastructure and drive regional economies.\u201d \nThe respondents said the general state of business in New Zealand was positive, however it could do better in fostering innovation.\n\u201cThere was a healthy awareness about the need to diversify and invest in research and development for future growth, rather than just continuing to grow incrementally in traditionally strong industries, and by pushing commodity products,\u201d says Cotcher.\nShe says some respondents were concerned that while many businesses were thriving, others were not growing and adapting as they needed to and there is \u201ca core\u201d that were struggling.\nNo caption\nSend news tips and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org\nFollow Divina Paredes on Twitter:@divinap\nFollow CIO New Zealand on Twitter:@cio_nz\nJoin us on Facebook.