Less than a third (31%) of UK SMEs claim to have a clear picture of business spend at the end of each month but little visibility on a day-to-day basis, according to a new report commissioned by fintech provider Fraedom.
The report also revealed that this lack of visibility is leading more than half (57%) of the sample to spend more than two hours per week on expense or financial management tasks, while 22% admitted having to regularly ‘spend significant time and money investigating who spent what’.
“It is vital that businesses have real-time visibility of spend, just as we have in our personal lives, in order to have a good view of cash flow and help guide investment decisions. A lack of visibility is forcing SMEs to regularly go back and interrogate audit trails which is a drag on the business’ resources, efficiency and productivity,” said Kyle Ferguson, CEO, Fraedom.
It is vital that businesses have real-time visibility of spend, just as we have in our personal lives, in order to have a good view of cash flow and help guide investment decisions
In addition to struggling with visibility of spend, over half (52%) of UK SMEs find it difficult to access funding. According to 28% of the sample, access to funding has got worse over the past five years, while only 14% feel it has improved during that timeframe.
“Small businesses account for 99.3% of all private sector businesses in the UK, so it is clear that businesses of this size are vital to the UK economy,” added Ferguson. “Banks, therefore, can’t afford to ignore SMEs and must begin to answer the demands of these businesses for increased visibility and easier access to funding.”