Everybody hates doing admin – apart from the Crunch account managers who lovingly look after their customer’s accounts. No, small business owners, freelancers and contractors prefer to be getting on with what they’re paid to do – not filling in forms, sorting their tax, or crunching numbers.

Well, not only is the process a pain, but it also costs a lot of time and money. And probably a lot more than you’d think, according to a new report.

Research by cloud service provider Keboko reveals that administrative tasks in the field of bookkeeping, invoicing, billing and filling out timesheets takes the average worker in the UK 37 days every year. Assuming time is money, that equates to a whopping £100bn for all businesses every year.

It’s for this reason we see many industry commentators supporting the idea of an ‘outsourced economy’ where small businesses expand their business not by employing people but by hiring freelancers and contractors. They also outsource other vital business functions such as their marketing, web design and, of course, accounting. As ‘queen of homeworking’ Emma Jones would say: “Do what you do best and outsource the rest.”

Outsourcing in this way enables people to focus on earning money and building their business, rather than get tied up in a cocoon of red tape. This is particularly important in challenging economic times.

Commenting on the research, Charlie Cowan, CEO, Keboko, said, “With Britain starting to emerge from the global recession, you’d expect most companies to be hard at work trying to generate new business. However, many workers struggle to find time to do this, as non-core tasks, such as inputting data and updating reports, still take up too much time. It’s costing UK businesses a fortune, with the money essentially going down the drain.”

Freelance copywriter Derek Fraser decided to do his accounts with Crunch and immediately discovered the benefits to his business after previously doing his accounting himself.

“As a freelance copywriter, I need to concentrate on writing ads and finding new clients: not messing about with book-keeping. I can now raise and email invoices before I’ve even left a client’s premises, which saves me time and helps to get me paid quicker.

“Perhaps the best thing is that it gives you full visibility of your overall financial picture at all times: which is so much better than waiting for an accountant to put you in the picture about your tax liability three months after the year-end.”

Crunch online accounting enables freelancers, contractors and small business owners to do all their accounting via intuitive online software with the advice of expert accountants included.