Award-winning accountant Elaine Clark is taking on an advisory role at Coconut, the online current account for freelancers and the self-employed.
Elaine created the Cheapaccounting.co.uk franchise to make small business accounting as efficient and cost effective as possible so this move makes perfect sense.
Sam O’Connor, Co-Founder and CEO says: “Coconut is bringing banking and accounting together to eliminate business admin for self-employed people and small business owners.
“But we want the accountants our customers work with to also benefit from real-time bookkeeping and rich data because this saves everyone time and money.
“90% of businesses in the UK are owner managed and 90% of the growth in small companies since 2001 are non-employers. These businesses tend to have simpler requirements than bigger businesses but the products out there are complicated and dated, so haven’t kept up with the shift in the market.
“We think that these firms and the accountants that support them need access to the most advanced technologies and Coconut will provide this in a tailored product.”
Working with the coconut team
Elaine says: “I’m really excited to be working with the Coconut team as they build out the accountancy offering of their product. I think the convergence of banking and accounting will be more transformative than cloud accounting was 10 years ago.
“We want accountants to be able to harness the full potential of technologies like machine learning to enable them to better service their clients while also improving margins and allowing them to grow their practices. Coconut will soon allow them to do this in a single tailored product.”
Community of accountants
Coconut is building a community of accountants in a Facebook group called Coconut Partners. In the same way that customers have been a driving force in the development of features, they aim to do the same with the accounting community.
Coconut is an app-based smart current account combining banking, accounting and tax services designed specifically for the UK’s fast-growing freelance and self-employed workforce.
The company launched its iPhone app for sole traders on 31 January and has opened 2,500 current accounts with £10m payments processed. Last week, Coconut pre-approved the first Android customer and continues to build features to support sole traders and in the future limited company contractors.
Coconut was founded by Sam O’Connor and Adam Goodall who met 10 years ago when training as accountants at PwC. They started freelancing after selling their first business, a FinTech company called ProConfirm, to Confirmation.com in 2014. Coconut is backed by leading tech accelerator, Techstars, and was named one of the ten winners of the Nesta Open Up Challenge, a competition to award prizes to innovative businesses using new Open Banking APIs.