The recent announcement of several new smartphone record-keeping apps caused quite a stir. Nigel Harris takes a closer look at them.
Following extensive discussions with HMRC, a number or leading software companies recently launched simple, free bookkeeping app(lication)s for mobile phones for businesses below the VAT threshold. They are not approved or accredited in any way by HMRC, who simply say that the suppliers “have advised HMRC that they have commercial mobile applications for record keeping that meet the HMRC specification”.
According to David Forbes, one of the developers who supported the project, the apps have been designed for people that currently only fill in 3 boxes on the short-self employment pages.
Five apps are currently listed by HMRC, for iPhone and Android phones only. The last time I looked there was also a Windows Mobile app which is no longer listed. These are the currently available apps and some noteworthy features:
- Forbes Receipt Keeper Links with other Forbes software, including their tax return software.
- ZipZipBooks from Immagini I like the big green In and red Out buttons for posting receipts and payments.
- Earnest from FreeAgent Enables you to distinguish between cash and non-cash trans, and you can categorise transactions and add notes to them
- MyBizTracker from Intuit
- Sage Record Keeper Extended functionality, which suggests a higher development budget. For example, when you estimate the current year’s tax you can also refer back to previous years (you can store unlimited previous tax years). Balances can be viewed monthly, and you can drill down to transaction level. Both Standard and Higher rate CIS deductions are catered for. Multiple tags or categories can be attached to individual transactions. The Sage website suggests that Android and BlackBerry versions may be coming later.
Do let us know if you have tried out any of the apps and what you think of them by logging in to AccountingWEB and commenting on this article.
About Nigel Harris
I'm a partner with Burton Sweet, chartered accountants & business advisers, and run the Shepton Mallet office down in beautiful Somerset. Despite the name, Shepton Mallet is actually the home of Glastonbury Festival! I trained in audit and corporate tax with Grant Thornton and came to my current position in 1991 via small local practices and a stint with a training consortium.
I have the distinction of being one of the original members of the AccountingWEB editorial team, having been a freelance writer here for a year or so before John Stockdyk joined!