Businesses could boost their productivity by more than 10% using new government-backed financial discounts worth up to £5,000 off the price of software.
Savings like these, available through the Help to Grow: Digital scheme, can supercharge UK small firms and make them more efficient, as almost one third of them are still using paper-based records for book-keeping.
Analysis by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) shows using a single business management technology, such as accountancy software or customer relationship management (CRM) systems, leads to productivity gains of at least 10% for small and medium-sized businesses.
This can increase to 25% if a business uses two or more digital technologies.
Antony Walker, Deputy CEO of techUK, said: “Our most recent research shows businesses across the economy want to adopt productivity-boosting technology.
“The valuable incentives and support provided through the Help to Grow: Digital scheme will empower small businesses to seize the opportunities of digital technology. This will enable them to reach new customers, boost revenues and create more jobs.”
A recent survey by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy found almost a third (31%) of SMEs still used paper-based records for handling VAT. And a similar figure (30%) used paper-based records for company tax.
Businesses that adopted digital accounting software also saw an increase of 11.8% in employee sales over three years, according to a recent report by the Enterprise Research Centre.
Help to Grow: Digital gives eligible businesses the chance to apply for discounts worth up to £5,000 off the cost of approved CRM and digital accounting software from leading technology suppliers.
The three-year scheme, launched in January, also offers all UK businesses free, impartial support and guidance to help them:
- Identify the digital technology needs of their business
- Make informed decisions about which software products best meet those needs
- Successfully incorporate these products into their business
Financial discounts for Help to Grow: Digital are available to UK businesses that have between 5 and 249 employees, been trading for more than 12 months and are purchasing the approved software for the first time.