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Travel cost and business expense management bringing major headaches for SMEs

SME employees and owners are increasingly facing concerns over travel costs and expenses, impacting on wellbeing and mental health.

That’s the finding of research by Allstar Business Solutions into the concerns of 1,000 SMEs, showing that smaller businesses are feeling under more and more pressure over how to handle business expenses.

The analysis found that SMEs spend on average more than £4,000 per month on travel and subsistence expenses and are averaging more than £5,500 per month on other types of expenses which could be better managed.

A quarter (24%) of small businesses say that managing expenses and payments left them “pulling their hair out with stress”, while more than a fifth (21%) say that balancing cash flow “keeps them up at night”.

“Spending too much on fuels and hotels”, “employees puzzled by the finance policy”, and “losing receipts” are owners’ biggest fears.

Meanwhile employees said that having to use their own money upfront when they are travelling for work is one of the biggest pain points. Half (50%) of business administration and support services team members say that they are left out of pocket every month, while more than a quarter (27%) of workers in water supply claim to have experienced personal difficulties on more than one occasion as a result of being left out of pocket.

Speaking about the findings, Thore Vestergaard (pictured), MD of commercial cards, Allstar Business Solutions, commented: “Business expense management isn’t just a headache for businesses but also a burden for employees too, taking a serious toll on their emotional wellbeing. This poor mental health has repercussions for efficiency, impacting on workers’ productivity and affecting business output.

“It doesn’t have to be this way, though. Harnessing the latest technologies can transform businesses’ expense policies, making owners’ lives easier by streamlining administration and controlling employees’ spending habits, all while releasing much-needed cash flow into the business.

“Business and fuel expense cards like the Allstar Plus card, for instance, can help prevent common problems such as delays in reimbursement, by allowing team members to pay for any expense whenever they need to, without having to use their own cash. In addition, they benefit employers by giving them complete control of all business spending. Offering access to discounted fuel and interest-free purchase for 44 days, they can significantly lower costs for small businesses. With such solutions, both business owners and employees can enjoy a streamlined expenses process, giving them peace of mind.”

Written by Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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