A new tax record-keeping iPhone app has been launched, designed to help the self-employed and very small businesses stay on top of their finances and tax commitments.
FreeAgent developed “Earnest” (iTunes link) after being tasked by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to create a free resource allowing self-employed workers and very small businesses across the country to keep track of their income and expenses and estimate the amount of tax that they owe.
Under HMRC guidelines, many very small business owners and self-employed people only have to file three-line accounts: recording income, expenditure and profit for the year. However, many of these people still find it difficult to manage their accounts – which prompted HMRC to request software companies to develop an app that would provide assistance.
FreeAgent has designed Earnest to be an easy-to-use, intuitive app that provides very small business owners with simple information and record-keeping functions that they require. Available to download today in the iTunes App Store, Earnest enables users to easily track their income and expenses on their iPhone and claims to be the only free app currently available under the HMRC initiative that also forecasts their tax commitments.
Ed Molyneux, CEO and co-founder of FreeAgent, said: “HMRC challenged the software industry to create an easy-to-use-app that would help self-employed people and very small businesses keep track of their finances, and we’ve designed Earnest to do exactly that. It’s a simple, intuitive app that lets them monitor their cash flow, input expenses and see how much tax is owed – and we think it’s going to be an invaluable tool for small business record-keeping.
“Our hope is that very small businesses will receive the support they require from Earnest – and as they grow and start to require more in-depth features for their finances, their experience with the app will encourage them to ‘trade up’ to use FreeAgent. We’re essentially trying to create a hassle-free journey that small and early-stage businesses can follow when it comes to managing their finances and bookkeeping.”
The Earnest app enables users to:
- Record income and expenses
- See your bottom line profit or loss
- Get estimates on how much tax you owe
- See upcoming tax deadlines and dates with a “Tax To-do” list
- Capture and store image receipts using your iPhone camera
- Create alerts to remind you of important tax dates and as you near the VAT Threshold
- Categorise transactions by payment method
- Record cash and non-cash transactions
- Add notes to entries
- Record CIS deductions made on income
- Back up your data by email
Whilst it’s a benefit that the app aims to be simple to use, Bitterwallet’s tax expert Sam Thewlis has outlined some of the limitations you should be aware of if you intend to use the app. For FreeAgent the hope is that users will require the greater level of detail recorded by their paid-for solutions.
Overview of your tax situation:
Your income and expense records:
Add a new expense record:
View upcoming tax deadlines:
Your business details:
The app is available to download for free from iTunes.
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