How we build features that accountants actually need
One of our Accountant Partners recently coded a tool for themselves that would enable them to query certain transactions with their clients. As Coconut’s accounting and tax software is designed to make working with sole traders incredibly easy, we decided to prioritise building that feature into our product—so everyone can make the most of it.
At Coconut, we’re working hard to build a product that simplifies and optimises the way that accountants work with sole traders—so that you can easily prepare for MTD ITSA, spend less time chasing paperwork and receipts, and open up opportunities to grow revenue.
To do this, we’re listening really closely to the people who know which features and functionality will make that possible: the people who work with sole traders on a daily basis, our Accountant Partners.
Querying transactions: a time-consuming task
As accountants who work with sole traders will know, one common task that takes up a lot of time is querying transactions with clients. Sainsbury’s shops, B&Q purchases, other transactions from a variety of places that sell things that could qualify as allowable expenses, but could just as well be a mis-categorised personal weekly shop.
It’s important for an accountant to be able to verify with their clients that, if these costs are labelled as business expenses, that is indeed the case.
Usually, this ends up being a fairly manual job: identifying the transactions in question, writing an email to query them, chasing for a response, and then categorising as necessary.
Over the last couple of months, the need to make this process easier is something that’s come up regularly in our user discovery sessions.
From the outset, using a digital solution like Coconut significantly speeds up the process of flagging and querying transactions. Transactions from any of your clients’ accounts can be seen in one place, making them easier to review and re-categorise. Our receipt scanner also makes it easy for sole traders to attach their receipts directly to transactions, so that you already have additional information at your disposal.
But we knew we could make the process even simpler. In fact, one of our Partners even coded themselves a bookmarklet, which enables them to easily select transactions they have questions about, and copy the details into whatever email or messaging software they use.
So, we’re building that feature into product—so all our Partners get the benefit!
How our query transaction features will work:
Whilst we’re here, let’s chat a little more about how this new feature will work when it goes live in June.
- In your client's Bookkeeping tab, select the transactions you'd like to query from the list by checking the boxes next to the date
- Click 'query transaction' at the top of the table—the popup modal will confirm the transactions you have selected
- Click 'Copy to clipboard'
- You'll then be able to paste this information in an email to your client.
This is only the first version of this handy feature. Going forward, we’ll be looking at the impact of being able to track specific queries until they are resolved.
Your needs are paramount
The ability to query transactions is just one example of a feature that we’ve introduced to ensure that our software optimises the real-life problems that accountants and bookkeepers face. Our software is designed to make working with sole traders simple, and we're building tools that will make your workflow more efficient—so it only makes sense we take our lead from those experiencing these challenges and needs every day.
It’s also why we’ve put together our Coconut Accountant Advisory Board. Made up of some of the UK’s most forward-thinking accountants, their insight and expertise will help us zone in on the biggest challenges, and consequently build the game-changing products and services that really change the way you work with sole traders.
In the very near future, we have big plans to make it even easier for accountants to manage clients with multiple income streams, as well as landlords. Book a call with us today to find out more about Coconut, how to become a Coconut Partner, and how you can have your say in building software that will revolutionise the way you work with sole traders.
You might also be interested in
Coconut’s simple bookkeeping and tax app is specifically designed for sole traders, helping them stay organised and top of their books all year round. Your sole trader clients can connect bank accounts in seconds, and capture receipts, bills and invoices as they happen. Using the Coconut Partner Portal, you’ll have real-time access to all of...