Is your business still relying on pen and paper accounting?

 In Business

We’re living and working in an increasingly tech-savvy and interconnected environment. Whatever business task you need to complete, there’s probably an app, suite or system that can help you do so quicker and more efficiently. Incredibly, however, one in five SMEs in the UK run their businesses using nothing more than pen and paper, according to a recent study.

Rather than helping them cut down on paperwork and administration, this can actually create more work than it saves. According to the study by payment solutions company Worldpay, these businesses can end up spending twice as much time on finances and admin as they do actually selling.

Cloud accounting packages and other similar solutions can help to streamline any business’s operations, whether it deals with its own finances in-house or uses outside agencies. Electronic record-keeping can certainly be easier than scrabbling through a disorganised paper trail on a semi-regular basis, and with changes such as auto-enrolment and real-time information (RTI) being introduced, it’s more important than ever for smaller businesses to keep on top of their financial record-keeping.

Accurate, accessible and up-to-date records also give businesses far greater insight when it comes to analysis and future planning. According to the report, almost half (48%) of SMEs said they are unable to identify their top 10 customers and their ordering habits. 40% are not able to provide an up-to-date monitoring or forecast of profit and revenue and 62% cannot identify their top three selling items. In addition, 57% are cannot accurately identify their busiest trading day of the month.

Dave Hobday, Worldpay’s UK managing director, said: “Many business owners feel compelled to cut back on paperwork, even when it leaves them with nothing but a blank sheet of paper to work from when it comes to forecasting … Business owners should make a resolution to spend a couple of hours and do a bit of research. You’ll quickly find that there are some very simple and cost efficient steps you can take to start recording and analysing valuable data about your business, so you can continue to prosper and grow in 2016.”

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