Cloud accounting could save hundreds of hours per year, study finds

UK SMEs are “wasting” hundreds of hours each year on admin when resources are better placed elsewhere, a new study has found.

Sage, which published the report, revealed that small businesses are spending an average of 120 working hours a year on administrative tasks – around 5.6 per cent of the total time spent at the office.

It says back-office tasks are taking much longer than needed because firms do not have sufficient systems to deal with them. Cloud accounting, for example, could speed up processes as it allows businesses to process real-time information on the go.

The time spent carrying out accounting administration was most time-consuming, amounting to more than 20 per cent of total back-office time.

Rob Douglas, Adaptive Insights vice president of United Kingdom and Ireland, said small businesses “simply cannot afford” to spend hundreds of hours working in administration – particularly when new challenges, such as Brexit, are arising.

“This time could be better spent on analysing performance and preparing for different scenarios as the UK faces a time of change, with trade agreements and legislation all set for alteration. A lack of technology – including that of sufficient planning systems means companies will struggle to know their current situation, let alone plan for the future.”

He added: “It is no surprise that companies are spending so much time on administrative tasks. Finance teams are under increased strain as businesses demand more from them at a faster pace. Finance can often spend days or even weeks manually rolling up data from across organisations, leaving little time to analyse performance.”

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