Today, Coconut, the smart accounting app designed specifically for self-employed people, has integrated Open Banking into its offering meaning millions of people around the UK can now make use of its powerfully automated bookkeeping and tax tools, regardless of where they bank.
Self-employed people and small business owners who have a current account or credit card with any of the 20 major high street and challenger banks will be able to connect their accounts to Coconut. This will give them total control of their business finances across multiple accounts.
With growing numbers of self-employed and gig workers at the heart of the UK economy, research by Coconut 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 tasks. Coconut removes 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.
Used by 16,000 people and 600 accountants, Coconut helps sole traders and small limited companies manage their business finances more efficiently. They have brought together all of the financial admin elements like expense management, receipt capture, invoicing and tax.
By integrating Open Banking, Coconut gives 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 losing money unnecessarily, because they are spending too much time on manual bookkeeping tasks. Now they don’t have to. Open Banking provides a solution for this and, for the first time, even if people have accounts with other banks, they will be able to use Coconut to manage their money, finances and taxes effortlessly.”
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 and businesses. Coconut is 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.