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3 in 4 SMEs still storing files in shoeboxes


Despite the cloud revolution, three quarters of Australia’s small businesses still store at least some of their receipts and invoices in shoeboxes, new research has revealed.

By Staff Reporter 8 minute read

Even with the large number of digital technology tools available to small businesses, a study conducted by Xero shows that 77.6 per cent still manually store at least some of their receipts and invoices in shoeboxes, with more than half of those surveyed (57 per cent) admitting their filing system isn’t very organised.

The survey also revealed:

• 3.7 per cent of small businesses have no storage system at all for their receipts and invoices;
• Small businesses are forking out on paper administration, with 12.7 per cent spending more than $1,000 a week on paper admin costs (printer ink, paper, scanning, shredding, storage, etc) and a total three per cent spending more than $5,000 per week; 
• More than a third (38.8 per cent) of small businesses spend several hours a week processing receipts and invoices, churning out up to 100 invoices per week on average – totalling 5,200 per year.

Of the small businesses still using a paper system, almost half (40.2 per cent) had been running their business for more than 10 years. However, by contrast, small businesses that had been running for one to three years represented just 8.4 per cent of businesses using paper systems.

"The data shows us there are still many Australian small business owners who aren’t using technology to find day-to-day efficiencies within their business and cut down on time-consuming manual processes," said Trent Innes, managing director of Xero Australia.

"Aside from making it incredibly difficult to keep track of business expenses and cash flow, paper-based receipt/invoice systems become very costly and time consuming."

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