UK freelancers ‘sick’ of paperwork… literally!

Sick of doing your accounting? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. According to a report by Nesta, almost 1 in 5 self-employed people in the UK have been so stressed by their financial paperwork that they’ve become unwell. And before you start shouting things about people needing to pull themselves together, consider this: the same report suggests that a similar number (again, around 1 in 5) spend as much as 8 hours each week trying to get it all done. That’s approximately a whole working day! Imagine what they could get done if they delegated.

It should be noted that the 1 in 5 who are losing so much time (and presumably sleep) are also attempting to do their accounting and banking themselves, without the use of any assistance (someone ought to point them in the direction of a decent online accountant). While these two groups of 1 in 5 are clearly different data sets, you have to wonder whether hiring a professional to do your accounting might ultimately be a worthwhile expense for the UK’s stressed-out freelance community. Remember: while financial spreadsheets might make you feel sick, accountants have actively chosen to make it their career. As crazy as it sounds, the word ‘tax’ actually excites them! (If you’re ever in need of a definition for the word ‘sick’, that might just be it.)

Perhaps the most striking figure in the Nesta report suggests that nearly half (around 42%) of Britain’s self-employed people say that financial record-keeping is the most stressful part of their business. Certainly, this chimes with a survey that we undertook here on this blog last year.

In a poll seen by approximately 1,700 readers, 28% of respondents told us that accounting was their biggest worry when going freelance. This figure was only topped by the number of people concerned about whether to register as a sole trader or a ltd company – something that 34% of them said they fretted over. Similarly, when asked if they found freelancing stressful or not, 45% of respondents said that they found it stressful (but at a level they could cope with) while 22% said they were stressed to the point that they felt it wasn’t food for them. Could there be a correlation?

Again, and without trying to be too obvious about it, it seems that one way of dealing with self-employment stress that is damaging your health might be to hand over more of your responsibilities to people who will willingly help you out. As we’ve always said at My Accountant Friend, “Your life is your business – your accounts are ours.” We can help you get on with being a success simply by doing what we do best.

For more info, check out the video near the top of this page. And should you want to know more, we really do live to chat. Simply click here to get in touch.

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