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Small Businesses In UK Spend 13 Days Annually Dealing With Expenses

by Jim ONeil on April 22, 2011

in Personal Finance News

A recent survey of more than 400 small and medium sized business (SMB) owners yielded several interesting results. For one, these companies spend 13 business days on average managing their expenses. The majority of those surveyed said they spend more time managing their expenses than performing activities related to new business.

The focus on expense management represents a large drain on resources and time. Sixty-three percent of business owners surveyed said that new business generation takes a back seat to managing expenses. The portion of business owners reporting they spend more time on expense management than investigating new markets or planning the future of the company was 48.8 and 54.1 percent, respectively.

Four out of every five business owners polled expressed concern about the amount of money their employees spend. One in four of them were worried that staff members expense things they should not, reminiscent of the MP expense scandal.

One-quarter believed that their employees engage in excessive spending and one-third thought staff were making unnecessary expense claims but had no time to verify this.

One in every six owners surveyed responded that they did not have a clear, written policy regarding expenses. Less than 40 percent of UK SMBs use automated expense management software that can streamline expenses and reimbursement, allowing the business to focus on other responsibilities.

Cash flow is usually very important to a small business and the current difficulty acquiring cheap loans makes managing expenses even more important.

With automated tools, expenses can be submitted and tracked via mobile phone or online. Paper receipts can be converted into digital records that may be referenced at any time. Some expense management software providers cater to as small as one-person operations.

They provide a comprehensive solution designed to reduce time spent managing expenses and prevent related costs from spiraling out of control.

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