Sage survey shows that unleashing business builders from burdensome admin could unlock over C$728bn in lost productivity

‘Sweating the Small Stuff: the impact of the bureaucracy burden' is research commissioned by Sage highlighting the impact of administrative tasks on Small & Medium Businesses globally

Research finds an average of 120 working days spent per year is on administration

Richmond, B.C. September 18, 2017Sage, a market leader in cloud accounting software, today unveiled an economic report highlighting that the world’s business builders currently spend an average of 120 working days per year on administrative tasks, accounting for around 5% of the total manpower for the average Small & Medium-Sized Business.

Undertaken by Plum Consulting, the ‘Sweating the Small Stuff: the impact of the bureaucracy burden' economic report, which surveyed over 3,000 business builders across 11 countries, found that complying with administrative and regulatory requirements has a significant impact, both in terms of manpower that must be devoted to the tasks and the actual cost to the bottom line. In Canada, an increase in productivity of 5% could lead to an increase in GDP of at least C$500 billion per year, which can be partially achieved through the reduction of time spent on business administration.

Of the administrative tasks analysed, the report found that time spent on accounting is most costly globally, amounting to over 20% of total administration time, and up to 27% of time in France. This is followed by generating invoices, and taxation. This is also reflected in the Canadian market, where the biggest task for Small and Medium Businesses is accounting (21%), with generating invoices coming in at a close second (18%).

“Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are the drivers of our economy, accounting for the largest proportion of GDP and employment in the country. Our latest research highlights that by investing more in their businesses on the administrative side, Canadian business builders can shorten the amount of time it takes to get paid and eliminate the risks of clients never paying their invoices, saving them both time and money, so they can focus on growing their businesses,” said Paul Struthers, EVP and Managing Director at Sage Canada. “We are committed to making such possibilities obtainable for SMBs by providing access to solutions that help them manage everything from money to people digitally, in real time and in the cloud.”

The markets surveyed for this report include Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, the UK and US. Sage has over 3 million customers – small and medium-sized enterprises in 23 countries, including the surveyed regions.

Global snapshot: Small & Medium Businesses’ Contribution to Global Economy

Across the 11 countries analysed SMBs account for at least 96% of total enterprise, so if lost time was given back to them, the impact on GDP would be appreciable

Country Percentage of time lost to administration Implied loss in productivity (USD)
UK 5.6% GBP 39.9 bn
South Africa 3.7% ZAR 7.3 bn
France 7.7% EUR 43.9 bn
Ireland 3.5% EUR 2.2 bn
Australia 4.9% AUD 31.8 bn
Brazil 6.5% BRL 79.5 bn
Canada 1.7% CAD 17.7 bn
Singapore 5.5% SGD 10.1 bn
Spain 10.5% EUR 32.0 bn
United States 4.9% USD 335.3 bn
Germany 3.7% EUR 28.2 bn

Source: Sweating the Small Stuff: the impact of the bureaucracy burden.

Struthers continues, “It is highly encouraging that SMBs in Canada are spending less time on administrative tasks than their counterparts in all other countries surveyed, but we recognize that there is still much room for improvement as we estimate an implied loss of C$17.7 billion in productivity. We hope more and more business builders will come to appreciate the true extent of savings in time and resources that can come from digitizing and automating their administrative tasks, so that they may grow and flourish to their greatest potential.”

Click here to read the full report

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About Sage

Sage is the market and technology leader for integrated accounting, payroll and payment systems, supporting the ambition of entrepreneurs and business builders. Today, business builders measure success in strong relationships, partnerships, and communities. It‘s why Sage helps drive today’s business builders with the most intelligent and flexible cloud-enabled software, support and advice to manage everything from money to people. Daily, more than 13,000 Sage colleagues in 23 countries work with a thriving global community of over 3 million entrepreneurs, business owners, tradespeople, accountants, partners and developers to champion the success of business builders everywhere. And as a FTSE 100 business, we are passionate about doing business the right way, supporting our local communities through the Sage Foundation.

Sage – the market and technology leader for integrated accounting, payroll and payment systems, powered by the cloud and supporting the ambition of the world’s entrepreneurs and business builders. Because when business builders do well, we all do.

About Plum

Plum Consulting is an independent consulting firm, focused on the telecommunications, media, technology, and adjacent sectors. We apply extensive industry knowledge, consulting experience, and rigorous analysis to address challenges and opportunities across regulatory, radio spectrum, economic, commercial, and technology domains.

A London-based partnership founded in 2007, Plum works for governments, regulators, service providers and equipment suppliers around the world. Its advice is based on rigorous economic analysis and specialist technical knowledge of radio engineering, which it combines with extensive market knowledge of the communications sectors to provide clear and sound analysis.

Nexus: G-WEBCD5