Boox is an online accountancy service aimed at contractors, freelancers, locums and certain micro-businesses. At a monthly fee of £69.50 (excluding VAT; price is £83.40 including VAT), this cloud-based software comes with a dedicated client accountant to answer users’ queries and provide assistance.
The company displays its mission statement as ‘to deliver a great value, efficient and effective online accountancy service to UK-based contractors and freelancers, providing a personal service through a regular consultative advice which continually exceeds customer expectations.’
Boox also assists the self-employed in incorporating their businesses and completing self-assessment tax returns, although users will pay extra for these additional services.
Boox prides itself on the speed and time-saving benefits of its services – the company incorporation service, for instance, boasts a 24-hour turnaround – and this is evident in its accountancy service upon logging in to the website.
The Home dashboard shows the user their latest accounts-related messages and the company financial position at a glance, with a graphical representation of monthly sales, expenses, and sales-minus-expenses (for many, this will be profit).
It will also give figures showing the tax liabilities for VAT, PAYE/NIC, corporation tax, and VAT savings for those businesses signed up to the flat rate scheme.
For those in a hurry, there is a ‘quick invoice/expense’ function on the home page for those who simply want to log in, raise a quick invoice to a client or quickly record an expense in their accounts and log back out again.
It’s easy to amend or view the details later when logging back in and working through the main accounting tabs – in addition to the Home dashboard, there are also tabs marked Invoices, Expenses, Pay Yourself (although there are currently no functions to pay any staff), Banking, Taxes, My Boox (where you can contact your personal accountant or amend your company’s details), Reports, and Help. It should therefore be quite easy to work out what one needs even for the most inexperienced self-employed user.
Those not familiar with accounts will find a number of features very useful. For example, there’s the calendar with system-generated records of the date that quarterly VAT returns are due, and the breakdown of sales and expenses expressed in a number of ways. This can be both graphical and numeric for users who process information in different ways, and different ways to pay yourself, deal with banking, taxes. There’s even a Help function to show you how to use the software, although most of it is quite easy to work out.
The only thing you should be aware of that might be confusing at first is that the horizontal ‘drop-down menus’ underneath the main accounting tabs are for the accounting tab one has hovered over, rather than the tab selected. But it’s a very tiny point and really shouldn’t detract from the ease of use and easy-to-understand functionalities this service offers.
A solid accountancy service accessible from any internet-connected computer, Boox is intuitive, easy-to-use and certainly suitable for contractors. In fact any self-employed individual with a personal service company will find it useful. Available from £69.50 plus VAT per month, the service includes a personal accountant available to handle users’ accounting affairs. With a 14-day free trial available, you should find it reasonably straightforward to get set up, do your accounts, and obtain professional assistance when needed.