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Tide Finds UK Small Businesses Spend £1.7 Billion on Payroll

Tide, a UK business financial platform has revealed the large amounts of time and money small businesses spend on running payroll for staff, ahead of the launch of Tide Payroll.

A study conducted on behalf of Tide amongst decision-makers at businesses with up to 50 employees found that collectively, UK small businesses spend up to £1.7billion each time they run payroll for their employees, part-time and casual staff. This is almost £300 per business, mounting up to over £3,500 over the course of a year. 10% of respondents said they spend between £500 and £1,000 each time they run payroll, 8% paying over £1,000.

The most common way that businesses run payroll is via dedicated software, at 41%, with 31% having their accountant take care of it. As well as the high cost of administering payroll, it is also a very time-consuming task, due to the complexity. Business leaders said they spend 2.5 hours on payroll admin, each time they run payroll, which mounts up to 30 hours a year. This is precious time being detracted from time that business owners could spend on growing their businesses.

Ali Travis, Tide VP of Business Services said: “There are numerous administrative tasks that small business leaders have to contend with that end up costing them huge amounts of time and money. Tide is dedicated to simplifying life for small business owners, with payroll being the latest task we’re tackling.

“The nature of work and running a business is changing, with freelancers and contractors being used more and more by small businesses. It is therefore essential that business owners have a quick and simple way of paying those who do work from them. Working out different tax contributions and salaries each month can be costly and cause a real headache – this is why we have created a product that streamlines the process and gives Tide members confidence that they are making the correct payments each month.”

Tide’s findings come ahead of the launch of Tide Payroll, in partnership with KeyPay, which will allow business owners to dramatically reduce the amount of time and money spent on running Payroll.

Chris Deeson, UK Country Leader, KeyPay said: “As experts in payroll we have witnessed the cost and difficulty posed by the traditional ways of conducting payroll. The nice thing that Tide is doing is to look at their clients and to rigorously focus on solving their real-life challenges.

Tide Payroll is simple to set up and delivers all aspects of automated payroll; be it compliance, pensions, accounting integrations and of course ultimately payments. This is next-generation stuff because nobody sets up a small business to run payroll, but everyone wants to be paid on time and without fuss.”


  • Polly is a journalist, content creator and general opinion holder from North Wales. She has written for a number of publications, usually hovering around the topics of fintech, tech, lifestyle and body positivity.

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