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Challenger bank for small firms launches

11 April 2018

Challenger bank for small firms launchesA new UK business current account with integrated accounting and tax software has launched this week.

Countingup is aimed at sole traders, freelancers and small businesses; it offers a business bank account that automatically does the bookkeeping.

Customers who choose to use the banking service without the accounting features can do so for free if monthly deposits are below £750; there is a charge of £2.95 per month if they are above. The combined business current account and accounting product costs £9.95 per month.

Tim Fouracre, founder and ceo of Countingup, said: "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."

Countingup promises instant, automated expense recording giving real-time insights into the health of a business.

"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," said Fouracre. "This can be months later, or at the end of the tax year … 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."

A Countingup current account can be opened on a smartphone, with a photo and passport or driving licence. The account comes with a UK account number and sort code and contactless Countingup Mastercard.

"Business bank accounts often come with lengthy and expensive application processes," said Fouracre. "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."

With the advent of Making Tax Digital, additional features will be rolled out throughout 2018 including self-assessment tax filing.

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