The Administrative Burden Holding Back UK SMEs

What could your business do with an extra 71 days and £35,600 a year?

A recent survey by Sage discovered that UK small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) spend an average of £35,600 and 71 days on administrative tasks per year. Whether it’s accounting, payroll, processing invoices or chasing late payments these administrative burdens are estimated to cost the UK economy £39.9bn each year in lost time.

With UK businesses already facing productivity problems, it’s clear that greater innovation is needed to help SMEs overcome this burden and to give them additional time and money to invest in growth.


What can be done to reduce the bureaucratic burden?

While it’s not possible to completely rid SMEs of their administrative tasks, the burden of bureaucracy can be reduced by promoting the greater use of digital administration tools.

Sage’s survey found that many SMEs viewed digitising admin and moving to the cloud as being too complicated, time-consuming and expensive. Business owners also cited a lack of digital skills in the workforce and an apathetic attitude towards digitisation as reasons for holding back. This reluctance remains despite the clear evidence that automating admin tasks can help free up staff, reduce human error, assist in meeting deadlines and save money.

In order to help alleviate the UK’s current productivity crisis, SMEs need to be willing to embrace the radical potential offered by new technology.

To fully understand the administrative burden currently holding back SMEs in the UK and the benefits of digitalisation, take a look at the visual guide below or view the full breakdown on the Sage Advice blog.


Sweating the Small Stuff - Overview (002)