Freelancers and self-employed workers are losing significant amounts of time due to the difficulties of managing their own finances, according to a new study.
A survey from business management software provider KashFlow has indicated that the UK’s 5.3 million sole traders and micro-businesses are spending 19 million hours each month managing their finances – the equivalent of 2.5 million working days.
The report indicated that this is not a task that the self-employed particularly relish, as 32 per cent say it leaves them feeling stressed, while 50 per cent lack confidence about what they are doing.
Although 34 per cent said they felt in control of their finances and 42 per cent said they were “really good” at bookkeeping, there remained a significant proportion who did not share this confidence. Of this latter group, 43 per cent said they felt frustrated with themselves and 54 per cent retained constant worries about making a mistake, while one-quarter said they relied heavily on friends, family or accountants for help.
The survey also indicated that 15 per cent of people rated managing their business finances as the thing they like least about self-employment. Although this was not the most common answer – around 20 per cent said an inability to switch off was the worst thing about running a business – it remains indicative of the difficulties many freelancers have in keeping their own books.
Oliver Shaw, chief executive officer of KashFlow, said: “It’s clear that even those who feel confident managing their accounts still find it challenging at times, and that the overwhelming majority of sole traders and small business owners would like to spend less time on it.
“Although half a day a month sounds reasonable for such a task, almost a third of those surveyed are spending longer than that.”