Research published in September has found that 5.6 per cent of working time at small businesses in the UK is spent on back-office and admin tasks. This time could be worth as much as £33 billion a year.
According to the report, “Sweating the Small Stuff: the impact of the bureaucracy burden”, accounting tasks were the biggest drain on time at SMEs, taking up a fifth of their total administration time. The report questioned more than 3,000 businesses in total.
Alan Laing, UK & Ireland Managing Director at Sage, the firm which commissioned the research, said: “In today’s business environment, where our lives are aided and enhanced by intuitive technology, surely spending so long on admin is unacceptable? No one started their business with a desire to spend many hours of their time carrying out admin.”
He added: “The administrative role takes up the valuable time of regular members of staff, who could otherwise be contributing to revenue and profitability. There is now a significant opportunity to unlock this time burden by either digitally automating or streamlining the work that needs to be done, and which is crucially designed to free up this time for fee-earning activity.
“We are therefore calling on the Government to support our business builders through this transition into the digital age, which in the long term will likely improve their bottom line.”