Wednesday 30 November 2016 12:01 am

One in five self-employed people have almost been driven out of business because of too much finance admin

Sorting out paperwork can quickly take up chunks of time for anybody running their own business or working for themselves, but there's one particular aspect of it which is driving some over the edge.

One in five (19 per cent) self-employed people have been so tied down going through the processes of organising their finances, such as tackling their expenses reporting, that it has nearly driven them out of business, according to a survey by Intuit QuickBooks, seen exclusively by City A.M.

The research also found that, thanks to the increasingly unbalanced nature of work and life, it now takes the average self-employed businessperson the equivalent of 15 working days to unpick their personal income from their business takings, especially since three-quarters (75 per cent) of self-employed people use the same bank account for business and personal use. 

Read more: The surprise London areas where disposable income's rising fastest

"When people make the decision to become self-employed, they often focus on their idea, how to monetise it and the prospect of growing it into something brilliant," said Dominic Allon, vice president and managing director at Intuit Europe. "The reality of managing the business' finances can be an afterthought when compared with the complexities of getting a plan off the ground."

Recent figures also suggest that, if time is money, those who call themselves boss have less and less to waste. Research released last month by the Resolution Foundation found the average weekly take home pay for somebody who is self-employed has fallen by 15 per cent in the space of 20 years

According to numbers from the Office for National Statistics, there are now 4.79m self-employed people in the UK, which is roughly 15 per cent of the country's workforce.