Tax & admin · 5 October 2016

Banks to blame as entrepreneurs waste one day a month on financial admin

New research showed that 67 per cent of entrepreneurs would not recommend their business banking service to a friend

A new study by small business banking platform Tide has revealed that 63 per cent of entrepreneurs spend at least one day each month on financial admin tasks, as micro firm owners struggle with accounting and tax calculations.

In a survey of Britain’s small business owners and sole traders, more than a third of respondents felt that their small business banking service was either “poor” or “very poor”. General dissatisfaction was felt across the board, with 67 per cent admitting that they would not recommend their lender to a friend.

Tide’s CEO, George Bevis, placed the onus firmly on banks to offer an improved level of service, and highlighted the general failure to meet the business banking needs of entrepreneurs in Britain.

“With modern technology, there is no reason why banks can’t help their customers to navigate these waters more efficiently and save them time, but they simply aren’t doing so,” Bevis said in a statement.

Of startups still within the first year of trading, tax and accounting were reported to be the most difficult areas of financial admin to tackle, by 60 per cent and 59 per cent respectively.

Of businesses that have reached the fifth year of trading, 55 per cent claimed that keeping track of company expenses was the biggest administrative struggle.

Bevis warned entrepreneurs of the dangers posed by numerous admin tasks that come with starting a business. “In the early days of starting a new business, entrepreneurs and sole traders all too easily find themselves tied up in financial red tape,” he said.

“While the tasks they have to complete aren’t necessarily complicated, they are time-consuming and unfamiliar, and there can be significant consequences if done incorrectly.”

Further research released last year by payment processor Worldpay found that the average UK small business owner spent 48 days a year on admin, while 70 per cent believed that they did not have the necessary work-life balance to take a holiday.

Dave Hobday, UK managing director for Worldpay, advised entrepreneurs to invest in digital tools and apps to regain time spent on financial admin and other tasks.

“Business owners need to find ways to take back control of their information to become more efficient, make smarter decisions and get that well-earned break,” he said in a statement.

Find out how to deal with four productivity time drains in your small business.

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Simon Caldwell is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and communications from the University of Liverpool, and has previously worked as a content editor in local government and the ecommerce industry.


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