Governments urged to slash red tape to boost tech SMB productivity

Invoice processing
(Image credit: Shutterstock/Andrey_Popov)

Britain’s businesses are losing time and money in lost productivity by not adopting smarter invoicing systems, a new report has claimed.

The analysis of 9,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by accountancy software firm Sage claims a 3% increase in labor productivity could be unlocked, equating to around £2.5 billion in annual economic uplift.

Sage’s report suggests that by simplifying business processes and reducing red tape through e-invoicing, even the UK’s smallest companies could save £11,300 each year going off the European average. It advocates for the UK government, among others, to consider integrating e-invoicing within the business landscape in order for SMEs not to fall behind compared with their global competitors.

Going digital could save you time and money

The report also revealed some shocking truths about the state of affairs for businesses in the UK, claiming invoices are paid late more frequently than in other European countries, with over a third (37%) of SME invoices delayed compared with an average of 31% across Europe. Sage attributes this to an inefficient information flow and manual processing.

Electronic invoicing has already been mandated by some governments, and has been shown to reduce processing time by as much as 44%. The report also revealed that half of the UK’s SME leaders currently take time out of their working hours to chase payments, detracting from their overall productivity.

Alluding to the upcoming general election, Sage’s Chief Commercial Officer, Derk Bleeker, commented: “The next government must not let UK SMEs lose out to their international competitors. Laying the groundwork for e-invoicing will be crucial for enhancing overall economic productivity and bolstering our digital economy.”

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Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!