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Self-employed spend 15 working days unscrambling finances

A new study commissioned by TaxAssist Accountants partner, Intuit QuickBooks has found that three-quarters of the UK’s self-employed workforce have just one bank account for personal and business finances.

The findings from the ‘Definitive Study of the Self-Employed’, surveying 5,010 self-employed professionals across the UK, showed that they spend the equivalent of 15 working days a year on unpicking their business and personal finances.

Almost a fifth (19%) of respondents said that poor financial management of processes such as expenses has pushed them to the brink of going out of business.

There’s no doubt that the UK’s self-employed community is on the rise, with 4.6 million self-employed workers registered in 2016. However, with three-quarters of these potentially using the same bank account for their work and personal income, many are at risk of wasting valuable working hours separating business expenses from day-to-day personal outgoings.

Dominic Allon, Vice President and Managing Director, Intuit Europe, believes that when someone opts to go self-employed they focus most heavily on their concept and how to monetise it into something viable over the long-term.

“The reality of managing the business’s finances can be an afterthought when compared with the complexities of getting a plan off the ground,” said Allon.

“No self-employed worker can afford to spend significant time unpicking personal and business expenses when there are business critical activities to focus on – and get paid for.

“Financial management needs to be at the heart of any strategy, right from the start of any business endeavour, otherwise there is a real risk of failure.”

The study also ranked the most significant challenges faced by self-employed professionals, with an unpredictable income (58%) and the uncertainty of the future (44%) the most frequently noted hurdles to overcome.

“With what looks to be a challenging year ahead, organisations need to be empowering people to every level to combat leadership lag if they want to remain competitive,” added Allon.

“That’s why we’ve launched our manifesto, calling on UK businesses to address this ‘leadership lag’ to help the nation navigate what is set to be a challenging few years ahead.”

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