Smart accounting app Coconut aims to automate bookkeeping for self-employed and small businesses (SMBs) around the U.K.
Starting next month, customers that 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 to utilize its automated bookkeeping and tax tools. The platform is already being used by 15,000 people and 500 accountants, enabling sole traders and limited SMBs to manage their business finances.
“There are over 5 million self-employed people in the U.K., 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 [$6,407 USD] of income each year as a result of spending as much as 10 percent of their time on manual bookkeeping, when they could be working," said Sam O’Connor, CEO and co-founder of Coconut, in a press release.
“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," he added.
As a result, users will be able to keep track of all of their business finances across multiple accounts. In addition, credit cards and other accounts can be connected so that every business expense is captured.
Launched in 2016, Open Banking required the nine largest U.K. banks to enable their customers to securely share their financial data with third-party apps to boost competition, encourage innovation, and offer better services and products for consumers. Coconut is one of the first approved third-party providers, and one of six winners of the Nesta Open Up Challenge, an international competition that awarded grants to innovative businesses using new Open Banking APIs.