The UK has an understaffing problem. Called the ‘Great Resignation’, it’s largely down to the Covid-19 pandemic during which time many workers reevaluated their career choices and experienced a different type of work culture.

According to the Office for National Statistics, there were 1.3 million job vacancies in the UK between March and May 2022. Between July and September, that had fallen, but only to 1.25m vacancies.

The result is often overworked owner-managers who are spread thin. But you don’t have to write off your evenings and weekends, forced to work extra hours. Read on to find out what you can do to solve your understaffing problem.


Assess your staffing needs

Before you jump into anything – especially hiring temporary staff or working with an agency – you should always conduct a careful analysis of what your current staffing needs are.

Without a firm understanding of how many and what type of employees you need, it’ll be impossible to figure out the best solution. 

To do this, you can start by making a list of all the shifts and tasks you need to be covered. Then, you can make a judgement on who exactly you need – a temporary shop floor worker, a part-time employee to alleviate the busiest hours or an apprentice to help where they can. 


Outsource the tedious tasks

Owner-managers are often spread thin and can’t help their team with the core business because other duties call them away, especially things like paperwork, including payroll, tax returns and bookkeeping.

Being locked away during busy spells is harmful for a lot of reasons. First, you can’t be with your busy team, providing the extra pair of hands they need. Some staff might even be demoralised at the idea of you being behind the desk while they’re in the thick of things, misinterpreting your work as less stressful than theirs. 

Therefore, you need to think beyond staffing as an extra pair of hands at the tills or in the office – you need to think about who is best positioned to handle your compliance and financial work.

So, have you considered outsourcing your bookkeeping and accounting?


Outsource to an accountant

Accountants can help you with much of the work that can take up so much of your time as the owner of a business – accounting, bookkeeping, tax returns, payroll and so on. The amount of services they can provide are wide ranging. Some can even help with HR support and business planning.

The complexity of these issues should never be underestimated. Owner-managers who make that mistake often end up working into the evening just to get everything done. If they’re not, there’s a good chance they’re rushing things, making mistakes and opening themselves up to all sorts of problems later down the road.

Therefore, not only does outsourcing to an accountant save you time, it also gives you the peace of mind that the work is accurate and up to date.


Outsource to a digital accountant

Outsourcing to an accountant is a brilliant first step, but outsourcing to a digital accountant is an even better one – reason being, you’ll save even more time and remove even more stress while solving part of your understaffing problem.

At Evans & Partners, we use Xero, a cloud accounting software which enables us to do far more for you than traditional firms. 

When we need your participation with the financial side of your business and some administration, the technology we use smooths the whole process. 

For instance, you don’t have to perform regular backups of important data, as the software will automatically do it for you. It can automatically import bank and credit card transactions, produce recurring invoices, schedule reports and post transactions to the correct ledger. 

It can also automatically calculate discounts and taxes, and flag exceptions where invoices don’t match purchase orders. In other words, what you don’t outsource to us and decide to handle in-house will be made far more efficient with cloud accounting, helping plug the gaps in your understaffing problem.

To find out how Evans & Partners can help you by alleviating some common pressures, contact our team today.