UK SMEs spending a third of their working lives unpaid

Mar 19 • Money & Finance • 3050 Views • Comments Off

UK freelancers and small businesses are not getting paid for a third of the time  that they actually spend working, according to the country’s market-leading  online accounting system provider.

New  research carried out by FreeAgent has revealed that for every working hour that  an average freelancer or small business owner bills their clients for, they will  actually spend an additional 30 minutes doing work that they won’t charge for.

FreeAgent’s  in-house data lab analysed information from more than 30,000 of the company’s  small business customers and found that – when users recorded the time they  spent on work-related projects – every 90-minute chunk of time would only  include an hour of “billable” work that they invoiced their clients for.

The  research was carried out to mark the launch of a brand new Time Tracking section  in FreeAgent – providing small business owners with the ability to record the  time they spend on projects using simple timers; easily filter their timeslips  and total all of their billable, unbillable, invoiced and uninvoiced time; and  create one-click timesheet reports.

Ed  Molyneux, CEO and co-founder of FreeAgent, said: “We know that people who run  small businesses work incredibly hard to make their ventures a success. But it’s  still surprising to see how much of that hard work they effectively do for free.

“We found  that when a small business owner works for 90 minutes on a specific project they  will actually only bill their clients for an hour, which leaves a full third of  their time that they won’t get paid for at all. Of course this isn’t necessarily  time that’s being wasted – as many small businesses will either invest some of  their own personal time into the projects they work on, or carry out important  admin they haven’t agreed to bill their clients for – but it may mean that they  aren’t working as profitably as they could be.

“That’s  why it can be very valuable for small business owners to track their time, so  they can see how long they spend working and – more importantly – which parts  they actually get paid to do. We’ve revamped our Time Tracking features in  FreeAgent to enable people to gather this information easily, so they can see  whether they need to make any changes that could minimise their unbillable time  and increase their profitability.”

For more  information about the importance of time tracking for small businesses and  freelancers, and how to track time in FreeAgent, download the latest whitepaper:

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