Coconut launches business current account for self-employed
UK start-up Coconut (formerly Monizo) “cracks open” its “smart” business account for freelancers and self-employed people – Coconut Start – which combines banking and accounting services.
The mobile app-based account will prepare customers for HMRC’s “Making Tax Digital” initiative, which starts rolling out from April 2019, Coconut says.
“It features automated tax management and expense tools, giving customers visibility into how much tax they owe with a real-time estimate, while also categorising their expenses for tax and allowing them to stay on top of client payments with instant notifications,” the company explains.
The account “ultimately aims to eliminate tax returns”, Coconut states. The account is free and can be opened in minutes on a smartphone. The app will offer optional extra services, such as VAT management.
“The growth of self-employment in the UK is one of the biggest structural changes in our workforce of our time,” says Sam O’Connor, co-founder and CEO of Coconut. He cites data from the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE), according to which, the growth in the numbers of self-employed workers has “massively outstripped” growth in standard employment over recent years. A record 4.6 million chose to work for themselves in the UK.
Yet, “self-employed people are still one of the most underserved groups of businesses when it comes to banking products and services that meet their specific needs”, O’Connor notes.
O’Connor founded Coconut together with Adam Goodall – the two met nearly a decade ago when training as accountants at PwC. They started freelancing after selling their first business, a fintech company called ProConfirm, to Confirmation.com in 2014.
Earlier this month, another challenger – Countingup – has launched its business current account for sole traders in the UK.
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