Expense Management

Expense Management

April 25, 2012

FreeAgent's Earnest App Helps Self-employed UK Residents Track Finances

Online accounting software provider FreeAgent announced today that it has launched a new iPhone (News - Alert) app uniquely aimed at self-employed individuals and very small businesses in the UK. The app, called Earnest, aims to help its select audience keep track of their finances and tax commitments.

FreeAgent began development of the app after being approached by HM Revenue and Customs which wanted to create a free resource which would help self-employed workers and very small businesses to keep track of both their income and expenses while providing an estimate of the amount of tax that they owe. It seems that many self-employed people still have difficulty in managing their accounts despite only having to file three-line accounts — recording income, expenditure and profit for the year. This ultimately led to HMRC sending out the request to software companies to develop some form of assistance.

Earnest is meant to be easy to use and is straightforward as it only deals with simply laid out information and record-keeping functions essential for the self-employed in the UK. The app is also the only free app currently available under the HMRC's initiative which also forecasts tax commitments.

“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,” says Ed Molyneux, CEO and co-founder of FreeAgent. “ 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.”

FreeAgent, which launched a new Alerts tool aimed at accountants in February of this year, has made Earnest available as of now on the iTunes App Store with no mention of a release on any other platform. This seems slightly odd to me as it further narrows the aim of the app to self-employed individuals and very small businesses in the UK who own an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. I know that Apple (News - Alert) devices are extremely popular the world over, but surely there are some who fall into this target audience who only own a BlackBerry (News - Alert) or Android device.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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