Coconut, the smart accounting app designed specifically for self-employed people, is set to automate bookkeeping for millions of people around the UK.
From mid-November, self-employed people and small business owners who have a current account or credit card with 20 of the major high street and challenger banks will be able to connect their accounts to Coconut and make use of it’s automated bookkeeping and tax tools, regardless of where they bank.
Used by 15,000 people and 500 accountants, Coconut helps sole traders and small limited companies manage their business finances more efficiently. From payments through to tax return, they’ve brought together all of the things that used to be separate and difficult to handle like expense management, receipt capture, invoicing and tax.
With this move, Coconut will give users total visibility of their business finances across multiple accounts - removing the need to manage and move between multiple spreadsheets, bank statements, accounts and apps. Additionally, credit cards and other accounts, such as personal current accounts, can be connected ensuring that every business expense is captured, including historical data.
Sam O’Connor, CEO and co-founder, Coconut comments: “There are over five million self-employed people in the UK and they are all under-serviced by cloud-accountancy packages created for larger businesses. We found that on average, self-employed people are losing out on £5,000 of income each year as a result of spending as much as 10% of their time on manual bookkeeping when they could be working.”
Not only is Coconut a smart accounting tool, it is also starting a wider revolution for self-employed people who are known for being strapped for time. Coconut enables these people to meet their tax obligations, while also helping them to identify spending patterns and gain valuable insights on how their business is performing.
O’Connor continued: “For the first time, even if people have accounts with other banks, they will be able to manage their money, finances and taxes effortlessly thanks to our smart accounting tool. We take away the burdensome tasks of bookkeeping and reconciling accounts to enable people to do what they do best, focus on their business and not have to worry about managing their finances.”
Open Banking is an initiative that was set up in August 2016 as a result of regulators ruling that the nine largest UK banks had to give a way for their customers to securely share their financial data with third party applications. The aim of the initiative is to increase competition within financial services, encouraging innovation and ultimately better services and products for consumers. Coconut is one of the first approved third party providers and one of six winners of the prestigious Nesta Open Up Challenge, an international competition that awarded grants to innovative businesses using new Open Banking APIs.