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Why Now Is The Time To Take Your Small Clients Digital

9th May 2024
Brought to you by
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Coconut’s simple bookkeeping and tax app is specifically designed for sole traders, helping them...
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For accountants counting their grey hairs after the dust settles on self-assessment season, the question of what to do differently next year weighs heavy. 

After a decade of cloud accounting progress, the issue of digitising clients has become polarising in recent years. In contrast to the earlier wave of voluntary digitisation in the limited company area, Making Tax Digital is now attempting to push smaller clients online – with many hesitant to adopt digital record-keeping for fear of new costs or complexity.

For accountants who still manage smaller clients manually, the headaches around documents and missing paperwork still need solving, but standard cloud accounting tools are often over-specced and overpriced. But with the right tools on your side, you can still streamline client bookkeeping, save time and stay compliant.

The Small Client Conundrum

Many of your smaller clients – sole traders, freelancers, and the like – have straightforward accounting needs. Yet, they often cling to outdated methods like spreadsheets and shoeboxes full of receipts. This translates to hours of manual data entry, chasing down missing information, and deciphering less-than-organised records for you.

Sure, there are sophisticated accounting software solutions out there, but these are often overkill for simpler clients. Their complexity can be intimidating, not to mention costly – both factors that deter adoption. Clients are wary of taking on a solution that takes hours to learn, along with a need for new processes and a hefty new line item on their bills.

For accountants, it can seem like the headache of teaching clients a new way of managing records just isn’t worth the fuss, but this just kicks the can down the road. Firms need a solution that balances cost, simplicity and compliance in a way that clients can appreciate.

The Need for Simplicity (and Sanity)

You want your smaller clients to embrace digital tools, but the solution has to meet several key criteria:

  • Affordability: It needs to fit within their limited budgets and appetite for change.
  • Ease of Use: A steep learning curve is a non-starter, especially for time-poor or older clients who are set in their ways.
  • Mobile-First: The ability to snap receipts and track expenses on the go is crucial for making it useful day to day.
  • Tax-Ready: The tool should streamline tax calculations and reporting, working with HMRC systems.

Coconut: The Right-Sized Solution

Coconut is designed exactly with this problem in mind, with an intuitive app designed specifically for smaller businesses and the self-employed. For accountants sick of paperwork, it’s your fastest route to onboarding these clients into the digital age without breaking the bank or overwhelming them. Here's how Coconut can simplify your life in the new tax year:

  • Effortless Expense Tracking: Clients can snap and categorise receipts directly within the app, eliminating lost paperwork and chaotic data entry.
  • Automated Invoicing: Creating and sending professional invoices takes minutes, improving their cash flow and saving you follow-up time.
  • Tax Made Easy: Income and expenses are neatly organised for tax time. Coconut even calculates estimated tax liabilities, so there are no year-end surprises.
  • Seamless Integration: Coconut directly links to business bank accounts for real-time financial overviews.

The Benefits of Small Client Digitisation

By introducing Coconut to your smaller clients, you enjoy the benefits of cloud accounting for all your clients without a lengthy onboarding process or steep costs.

  • Increased Efficiency: No more tedious data entry, lost paperwork and disorganised records.
  • Improved Client Relationships: Empower clients with real-time insights into their finances.
  • Scalability: Onboard more smaller clients without compromising the quality of your service.

Move Into the New Year With Confidence

Smaller clients are a vast and valuable market – the key is to create scalable, value-driving processes that balance their needs with those of you and your team.

Coconut makes it easier than ever to move your small clients to the cloud, with minimal fuss. Accountants can create a partner account for free and once clients are set up, they can connect their business bank account or credit card to track transactions automatically. Client plans start at just £5+VAT per client per month, and it’s all HMRC-recognised for digital record-keeping & quarterly submissions requirements.

Contact our team to find out how you can drive more value for your practice this year