Managing business expenses is the biggest headache for SMEs

According to the latest research, managing travel costs and business expenses are the two biggest headaches for businesses in the UK.

The research by Allstar Business Solutions looked into the concerns of 1,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

They found that employers are facing greater pressure regarding handling business expenses, with the strain having a negative effect on the business.

Business owners are spending an excessive number of hours managing expenses per week, which is time that could be better spent on important business activities or even improving their work/life balance.

More than a fifth (21 per cent) of owners claim that balancing expenses and cash flow kept them up at night and a quarter (24 per cent) felt that managing workplace expenses and payments left them ‘pulling their hair out’ through stress.

On average small businesses spend around £4,000 per month on travel-related expenses alone and are averaging over £5,500 per month on other types of expenses.

These business expenses are being found to cause major headaches for SMEs who have to deal with issues such as excessive spending on fuel and hotels, as well as lost receipts and a lack of understanding regarding the finance policy.

The research found that it wasn’t just employers affected by stress related to expenses. Half (50 per cent) of responding businesses felt they were left out of pocket every month by having to use their own money upfront for expenses.

The strain of handling expenses, and waiting for reimbursement, has been to found to have a significant negative impact on business productivity.

Thore Vestergaard, MD of Commercial Cards, Allstar Business Solutions, said: “Business expense management isn’t just a headache for businesses but also a burden for employees too, taking a serious toll on their emotional wellbeing. This poor mental health has repercussions for efficiency, impacting on workers’ productivity and affecting business output.

“It doesn’t have to be that way though. Businesses can transform their expense policies to make owners lives easier, streamlining the process and releasing much-needed cash flow back into the business.”