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Singapore SMEs suffer from 168 days of productivity loss over admin tasks

Sage has yesterday released its Sweating the Small Stuff: the impact of the bureaucracy burden report; highlighting that local small and medium businesses (SMEs) in Singapore spend 168 working days on administrative tasks - costing them S$160,000 a year. This number is far higher than the average of $80,000 spent by SMEs globally.

Undertaken by Plum Consulting, the research shows that an increase in productivity of as little as 5% in Singapore could lead to an increase in GDP of $8.7b. This could be partially achieved through the reduction of time spent on business administration.

According to the release, accounting is the biggest administrative task across all the different types of SMEs’ invoicing activities - including both invoice generation and processing of invoices received. The release reported that these three tasks make up around 41%, 46% and 51% of all administrative activities for medium-sized, small and micro firms respectively. Not only that, they are also the three tasks that can be carried out much more efficiently using software.

Sage survey productivity loss

Robin Chao, vice-president and managing director, Sage Asia, said: “The amount of time spent on business admin is huge – over a third of the year! Imagine what our local business could achieve if they could invest even a part of this time in innovation, training or new product development.”

“The impact could be massive, benefitting customers in the long run. Cloud-based software solutions can help cut back on and streamline administrative processes, enabling business builders to manage anything from people to money on-the-go. In the face of this fact, any hesitations that businesses have about adopting technology just fall away,” he said.

Chao added: “A significant opportunity has presented itself to us and we are calling on all business builders in Singapore, big and small, to take action towards either digitally automating or streamlining the administrative work that needs to be done.”

“The Singapore government is forward-looking and has many initiatives in place to guide business through this transition into the digital age and companies should do their best to capitalize on these opportunities as well,” he concluded.

Photo / 123RF 

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