Using technology to cut through accounting admin and red tape
More than half of smaller businesses in the UK believe their growth is being held back by administrative tasks and the burden of red tape, according to a new survey.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) found that 55 per cent felt their growth was being hampered, while a huge 70 per cent reported that the administrative burden stopped them from focussing on their businesses’ primary purpose.
FSB Commercial Director Dave Stallon said: “The government has pledged to remove £10billion-worth of red tape over the course of this parliament. FSB welcomes this focus on deregulation, which should free up small business owners to spend more time doing business and creating economic growth.
“It is a common frustration amongst owners of smaller companies that they are unable to find the time to work on their real business activities, because they are too busy completing administrative tasks, however essential they are.”
These tasks take up an average of 33 hours every month – more than a quarter of an individual’s average working hours. This can represent a huge commitment for businesses without the resources to outsource these tasks or devote valuable staff time to them. The average amount paid by small businesses in outsourcing these administrative tasks comes to nearly £14,000 annually, and FSB members spent an average of £3,600 on help with tax compliance alone.
The most time-consuming tasks involved accounting duties, such as record-keeping and paying suppliers, which take up an average of 14 hours and 45 minutes every month. Business banking took up an average of nine hours and 19 minutes per month, and tax issues took up a further six hours and 38 minutes.
While the burden of red tape remains, businesses of every size have to ensure they meet their administrative obligations; by making the best use of technology in accounting, recordkeeping and payroll can certainly help to streamline the process, reduce potentially costly errors and cut the amount of time that has to be dedicated to tasks not directly connected to the primary purpose of the business.