Sage: Digitalisation Can Help Solve Global Productivity Puzzle
Sage, the market and technology leader for integrated cloud accounting and payroll systems, launched a live productivity tracker to determine the costs that companies bear due to lost productivity and the amount of time businesses waste on mundane administrative tasks.
Since 16 January, the productivity tracker showed that lost productivity because of redundant administrative tasks has already cost Small & Medium Businesses around the world £35 billion (AED180.4 billion) in 2018. A Sage study launched in September 2017, entitled Sweating the Small Stuff, found that small companies spend over five percent of their total capacity and as many as 120 days on routine admin tasks each year on average.
These results are especially significant when read in conjunction with Dubai’s local growth strategies, which focus on continuing diversification away from oil-driven investment and public spending and towards a more sustainable, productive economy, expected to grow by 3.5 per cent in 2018 and 3.7 per cent in 2019 per the recently released ‘Dubai Economic Outlook’ report.
Mansoor Sarwar, Regional Director for Technical Services and Pre-Sales at Sage Middle East, said: “With the implementation of value-added tax (VAT) in the GCC region, starting with the UAE and Saudi Arabia, tax accounting is the biggest administrative concern at present. This is where having VAT-compliant business management software can boost the productivity of Small & Medium Businesses.”
He added: “We believe that technology can help entrepreneurs and businesses succeed through redirecting some of those 120 hours spent on basic administrative tasks into attracting customers and growing revenue. Digitalization is set to become a critical enabler of entrepreneurial ambitions.”
Accounting takes up the largest proportion of administrative costs at 22.3 per cent alongside invoicing (22.3 per cent). This is followed by processing invoices received (11.9 per cent), tax accounting (11.5 per cent), payroll (10.1 per cent), talent acquisition (9.9 per cent), HR (9.8 per cent) and chasing late payments (7.8 per cent).
Emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, big data analytics and digitalization, can play a significant role in cutting down on admin costs permanently. However, according to Sage statistics, only 50 per cent of Small & Medium Businesses globally currently use digital tools to perform administrative tasks.
Stephen Kelly, Chief Executive Officer of Sage Group, said: “It is shocking that despite all the technological advancements of the past decade, business builders around the world are still burdened by needless administrative tasks. We can send robots to Mars and ride driverless cars, yet we have still not found a way to relieve small businesses of the 120 days per year they use up on filling in tax returns, chasing payments and preparing invoices.”
He added: “Apart from saving company owners from the drudgery of such tasks, easing the burden allows them to focus on their core business.”
Serving a customer base of more than 6,000 companies, Sage Middle East offers a variety of software solutions that cover accounting, human resources and payroll, customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning and business intelligence.
Sage is the market and technology leader for integrated accounting, payroll, and payment systems, supporting the ambition of entrepreneurs and business builders. Today, business builders measure success in strong relationships, partnerships, and communities. It‘s why Sage helps drive today’s business builders with the most intelligent and flexible cloud-enabled software, support, and advice to manage everything from money to people. Daily, more than 13,000 Sage colleagues in 23 countries work with a thriving global community of over 3 million entrepreneurs, business owners, tradespeople, accountants, partners, and developers to champion the success of business builders everywhere