When launching or running a business, one of the most important responsibilities is to keep your finances in order.
Whether it's hiring an accountant, opening a business account or registering with HMRC for corporation tax or VAT, there are a number of tasks to be done when you set up, and a bewildering array of banks, software companies and accountancy firms on hand to help.
What if there was just one app that could help you do all of the above? That is precisely the premise behind Counting Up.
"It's about combining accounting and banking into one smartphone app," explains founder Tim Fouracre.
The main benefit of the app is that it saves users vast amounts of time by automating their accounting, he says.
"Currently when you use accounting software you have to go through and tag all transactions – sales, travel fares, etc," Fouracre adds. "We will automate all of that so you don't have to. We'll also bring in receipt scanning, and pull out the data from that. It's a big time saver."
Fouracre started out as a web developer before training as an accountant. Since 2008 he has been running a bookkeeping software company he founded called Clear Books, but he stepped down as CEO in October to focus on this new venture.
The Counting Up team is currently focused on building the product with a view to launching the app in February or March 2018. It will start with banking features in February, then invoices and reporting services will be added, then access to capital – specifically loans or overdrafts. "It's an iterative process," says Fouracre.
The company raised £500,000 in funding at the end of September, led by FrontLine Ventures.
"We have three very senior developers – the CTO Mike who was previously head of platform at Oliver Wyman Labs, before that Nokia and Accenture, then two engineers from FlexTrade, so they've got great experience in financial products and growth teams," he says.
The app promises that users can sign up for banking and accounting services in just ten minutes, and it's currently working with Barclays to provide bank accounts.
The app will be free until the end of 2018, and will then cost £3 a month for banking alone, £10 a month for both banking and accounting services for self-employed sole traders, and £20 a month for limited companies.
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