MARKETS & INVESTING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Businesses can waste $10.1b from bureaucracy woes

They also waste 5.5% time due to administration.

About 217,000 of Singapore's small to medium enterprises (SME) can waste $10.1b from bureaucracy woes, Sage revealed in a study.

According to its report "Sweating the Small Stuff," SMEs can waste 5.5% of their time due to dealing with administration.

"Administration is a large burden on SMEs, and this should therefore be addressed," said Tim Miller, author of the study.

Companies in Australia, Ireland and Singapore appear to be the least likely to use digital aids to relieve the administrative burden on their staff.

In Singapore, less than 20% fully use digital aids for administration, significantly lower than Spain and South Africa at over 30% each.

About 58% are concerned over implementation costs as a reason not to digitalise.

"Given the importance of this factor for companies in the UK, South Africa, Brazil and Singapore, we would recommend that governments and policy makers in these countries pay particular attention to this issue," Miller said.

Other reasons include digitalisation consuming too much time, cited by 20%, and its process being too complicated, cited by 18%.

Meanwhile, the top three encouragements to get companies to digitise are having cost savings, cited by 61%, freeing up staff, cited by 36%, and removing human error, cited by 35%.

The study noted that separate data for micro, small and medium companies in Singapore is not available. 

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