Playing now

Playing now

Sage Economic Report: The opportunity for SMBs in automating administrative tasks

Back to search results

Sage Software Economic Report

For business owners, having an extra 120 days a year could be a dream come true.

A recent global Sage Survey of over 3,000 small and medium businesses revealed that the average organization spends this much time per year on administration tasks.

Based on a seven-hour working day, that equates to an enormous 840 hours spent generating invoices, paying taxes, chasing payments, and more.

Reducing this administrative burden is something that businesses of all sizes could benefit from. And organizations that adopt technology to automate these processes can divert manpower that was previously spent on these administrative tasks and shift that focus to tasks that help grow the business.

Let’s take a closer look at the results.

Small businesses spend close to 20% of their time on administrative tasks

In the US, our research found that small businesses spend between 230 and 240 days per year on administration, which equates to 17% of total manpower spent on administrative tasks each year. What if we could redirect hours spent on administrative tasks back into attracting customers and increasing revenue? Small business owners could make real headway in growing their business.

The digital shift is happening at a slower rate

As businesses become more digitally savvy, the opportunity for technology to take over much of this admin drain is huge. Yet, our data showed that this digital shift is happening slower than expected. While 30% of US small and medium businesses said that they had fully digitized their accounting, close to 50% still have no software solution in place at all. Those that have yet to deploy technology noted worries about cost and the complexity of finding their way around new systems as the top concerns in delaying their move to digitizing the process.

Increasing productivity could lead to an overall improvement in the economy

Finally, our research in the US shows that an increase in productivity by just 5% percent could lead to an increase of close to $325 billion in gross value add (GVA)* per year. Increasing the use of solutions and technologies that automate basic administrative tasks could help business owners and their teams increase productivity and – according to research – the overall economy.

In summary, technology is the key to helping employees work on more strategic priorities that will help grow the business.  But to do that, they need our help. At Sage, it is our mission to help business builders big and small grow and succeed through the power of technology – and give back those 120 extra days.

*GVA measures the contribution to an economy of an individual producer, industry, sector or region.

Sweating the Small Stuff: The impact of the bureaucracy burden

Every minute a business owner has to spend on admin and bureaucracy takes away from the chance to make their vision a business reality. How does this cost bear out and how can a business owner overcome it?

Download our guide

Ask the author a question or share your advice

When you leave a comment on this article, please note that if approved, it will be publicly available and visible at the bottom of the article on this blog. While your email address will not be publicly available, we will collect, store and use it, along with any other personal data you provide as part of your comment, to respond to your queries offline, provide you with customer support and send you information about our products and services as requested.  For more information on how Sage uses and looks after your personal data and the data protection rights you have, please read our Privacy Policy.

Sage Advice Logo