Swansea firm helps build accounting app ahead of UK digital tax law

A Swansea-based accountancy firm, Lee Coombes Accountancy, has been instrumental in helping leading fintech company, Coconut, develop a cutting-edge digital accounting app for sole traders.

The app is designed to help self-employed traders streamline and simplify their accounts ahead of a new legal requirement to keep digital records and use software to submit self-employed tax returns online. It follows the mandate for VAT-registered businesses to submit online via third-party software this year.

The collaboration between Lee Coombes and Coconut to develop the app grew out of new plans that were proposed by the UK government and titled: Making Tax Digital (MTD).

Making Tax Digital for Income Tax Self-Assessment (MTD ITSA) will apply to individuals from April 2024, legislating on the digitization of tax data registration and submission. Companies will have two years to voluntarily prepare and test the service before it is introduced.

Lee Coombes Accountancy was at the forefront of Coconut’s research, development and improvement, having participated in the early testing of the product with accountants and advising on how it could best benefit sole trader customers – a key element of the accounting firm’s main clientele.

In light of the MTD ITSA changes, the app and an accounting platform offering have been created to make this a seamless transition for sole traders, allowing them to continue to focus on their business. Sole traders will benefit from how the package includes completion of all accounting, recording of transactions and tax-efficient adjustments, as well as assistance with filing self-assessment tax returns and quarterly reports required by HMRC under MTD ITSA. Accountants benefit from much faster organization and preparation of accounting information in preparation for client tax.

The app was developed with a focus on user experience, making it simple and easy to use while merging expenses, billing and taxes all in one. The product was designed now in preparation for the impending legal requirement and in line with the grace period, with the aim of helping sole traders stay ahead of the curve.

The new app and offering promise to be a huge time saver for sole traders, starting with the registration process, which has been deliberately streamlined to be quick and easy to use. The app’s built-in invoicing software also gives independent merchants a simple platform to submit invoices on the go, whether from their phone or desktop. As the Coconut app is directly linked to the user’s bank accounts or credit cards, this means that there is no need to download statements for filing.

The software has also been developed to aggregate expenses from similar vendors, merchants and businesses, allowing for easy merging of information into the database. This, in turn, makes it easier for accountants to calculate taxes and expenses, as well as sole traders trying to locate specific invoices.

Coconut is an industry-leading accounting software developer. The company launched its first product in 2018 to cater solely to the needs of independent traders. The company’s recent collaboration with Lee Coombes Accountancy has enabled it to refine the app in time to help sole traders comply with the UK government’s new ITSA MTD regulations.

Lee Coombes, Managing Director of Lee Coombes Accountancy, said:

“We are extremely excited to be part of the new Coconut app. The goal was to increase the simplicity of accounting for sole traders, who can then focus on growing their business. We developed the app with anticipation. changes coming in 2024 that will affect sole traders, so those people can get ahead by signing up for the package now.

Sam O’Connor, CEO of Coconut, said:

“Identifying a gap in the market for software for sole traders and owners, we set to work to create something that was simple for the client, but which generated real efficiencies and time savings for the accountant or accountant. accountant. We build our features based on the needs of our partners and their customers and Lee was committed from the start to supporting this process. Now we are excited to help his practice grow through this transition to the digital.”

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