This is the second in a series of four articles on how to manage new business development vs. day-to-day operations.
Is your small business drowning in staff-related paperwork that takes you away from doing what you (and your staff) should be doing – growing your business? Time sheets, time-off requests, expense and mileage reports, reimbursement forms: These are all necessary aspects of company operations, but the ever-growing stacks of forms consume much more than copier paper.
The extra labor and time to accomplish these tasks can be significant and directly affect the bottom line. Americans spend 9.8 billion hours a year – much of that in the course of commerce – handling and filling out government paperwork, according to the White House Office of Management and Budget. Internal processes are time consuming, as well. For instance, the American Payroll Association found that it takes an average of six minutes per timecard to manually review and input data for payroll. Add to this a company’s other internal forms, and it can be very difficult for executives to find a spare minute to concentrate on the business at hand.
What’s more, it costs $22 on average to manually input an expense report, according to a survey by Paystream Advisors, and $75 an hour to prepare federal tax forms, reports the National Federation for Independent Businesses.
Companies can find relief by automating internal systems for time and attendance and expense reporting. Among the benefits:
Reporting technology makes running payroll and reports a task that fills minutes instead of hours. Employees who can input their own expense and mileage reports also eliminate that time spent by a manager. The result is increased productivity for executives, who now have freed hours to pitch new business and serve customers.
Next week: Easing the regulatory compliance burden.