We’ve heard plenty of talk recently about the key role that small businesses will play in the UK’s economic recovery. Prime Minister David Cameron recently paid lip service to how crucial they are in creating jobs, wealth and opportunity.

This is undoubtedly true, and an analysis of those businesses using Crunch’s online accounting service bears this out. Over a twelve month period our customers have collectively billed clients for a total of £52 million.

What’s also great to hear is that our customers are also being paid promptly, with companies taking around 20 days to settle invoices. This marks a change in a previous trend which showed that small businesses were essentially being used as banks, with companies delaying payments way past due dates. According to the Federation of Small Businesses’ statistics, 30% of small businesses say they are being paid late.

Crunch MD Darren Fell has revealed how Crunch customers are driving the economy.

“Our customers’ healthy billings, based on 800 companies, is further proof that the future is in small business. They are key to driving the UK economy,” he said. “We are just about to hit 1,000 active customers now and expect to be looking after over 2,500 companies’ accounting needs by the end of the year. This will mean our small businesses will be driving the economy to the tune of around £170 million. Collectively, they are a powerful force and are becoming the backbone of enterprise in this country.”

Not only does it represent a positive snapshot of small businesses in the UK, it also backs up recent research which has shown how IT contractors are bucking the national trend during difficult economic times. Almost half – 48 per cent – of companies whose billing we analysed were from those in the IT sector. 17 per cent of these were design, marketing and project management businesses.

Are you a freelancer, contractor or small business owner? Why not join the online accounting revolution with Crunch where you get online bookkeeping software plus expert accountancy advice just a phone call away? Find out more here.