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Challenger bank with integrated accounting service launches for small businesses

Countingup, a UK business current account with integrated accounting and tax software, goes from beta to official launch.

More than 1,000 small businesses have been working with Countingup to review the service during the beta phase, providing feedback and helping shape the product and its future roadmap.

Sole traders, freelancers and small limited companies can get an account, which automatically does the bookkeeping, at Countingup.com today. Additional accounting and tax features will be rolled out over the coming months. Businesses can get started with a current account for free while the combined business current account and accounting product will be available to the self-employed for £9.95 per month.

Helping small businesses

The team behind Countingup say it has been designed to save small business owners time usually spent dealing with financial admin. Tim Fouracre, founder and CEO of Countingup, comments: “While HMRC’s Making Tax Digital project will give better visibility of the tax liability a business is facing it also requires more regular reporting. Countingup will ensure small businesses comply with HMRC’s MTD requirements simply and efficiently.”

Instant, automated expense recording is designed to enable customers to make smart, actionable decisions with real-time insights into the health of their business. By ensuring all expenses are accounted for, the Countingup team believe the service can also reduce a small business’ tax bill.

Tim adds: “An accounting system reveals what’s going on behind bank transactions – but small business owners only tend to see this analysis when they find time to do the books. This can be months later, or at the end of the tax year in a mad rush before the self-assessment deadline. Many opportunities to gain valuable and actionable insight in real time are lost. This could be the difference between success and failure for a small business.”

Different from traditional banks

A Countingup current account can be opened on a smartphone in five minutes, with just a photo and passport or driving licence. The account comes free with a UK account number and sort code and contactless Countingup Mastercard. Customers who choose to use the banking service without the accounting features can do so for free if monthly deposits are below £750, with a small charge of £2.95 per month if they are above.

Tim comments: “Business bank accounts often come with lengthy and expensive application processes. Many small businesses and sole traders avoid this by using their personal current account instead. This creates a massive bookkeeping headache as business transactions have to be unpicked from personal ones. We’re making the process as simple and as fast as possible so entrepreneurs can get back to doing what they love, running their business.”

Future plans

To support small businesses with the government’s Making Tax Digital plans additional features will be rolled out throughout 2018 including self-assessment tax filing.

Tim comments: “Traditional high street banks have focused on big business and tend to neglect the 4.3 million self-employed and micro businesses in the UK. We are reimagining how small businesses manage their finances. With accounting and banking in one place, and anti-money laundering checks already performed, Countingup customers can view their business’ financial health in a snapshot – informing everyday spending decisions and providing everything a lender needs to make a quick and fair decision on a loan application.”

About​ ​Countingup

Countingup offers accounting and banking in one place for sole traders, freelancers and small businesses. Tim Fouracre created the company in September 2017. Countingup is venture capital backed.

Tim Fouracre qualified as a Chartered Accountant at KPMG in 2007. He founded cloud accounting software company Clear Books plc in 2008 and was its CEO for nine years.

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