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Challenger bank Countingup closes beta testing, current account goes live

The banking start-up has ended its beta period today, officially launching a UK business current account with integrated accounting and tax software.

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After opening up access to those on its waitlists earlier this year, challenger bank Countingup has today fully launched its UK current account that automatically does the bookkeeping, integrated with its own accounting and tax software that has been fully developed in-house. 

More than 1,000 small businesses have been working with the start-up since January to review the service during its beta phase, providing feedback and helping to shape the bank’s future roadmap. 

As of today, small businesses can get started with a current account for free, while the combined business current account and accounting product will be available to self-employed users for £9.95 per month. CEO Tim Fouracre (pictured, right) has also promised that additional accounting and tax features will be rolled out over the coming months.

“An accounting system reveals what’s going on behind bank transactions - but small business owners only tend to see this analysis when they find time to do the books,” said Tim. “This can be months later, or at the end of the tax year in a mad rush before the self-assessment deadline. Many opportunities to gain valuable and actionable insight in real time are lost. This could be the difference between success and failure for a small business.”

Regulated as an e-money institution by the FCA, business owners and freelancers can open a Countingup current account in five minutes on a smartphone, gaining an UK account number, sort code and contactless Mastercard in the process. 

According to the platform, in 2017 some 5m tax returns were filed at the last minute. By April 2020, the government’s Making Tax Digital scheme will increase the number of tax filings to 5 per year. This is a process that Countingup aims to make easier for businesses, hoping to reduce their tax bill by ensuring all expenses are accounted for.

Fouracre commented at the time: “Countingup is the fastest Challenger bank to launch in the UK. Inception to launch of our business current account has taken just over four months and that’s down to a fantastic team who are determined to make running your business as simple and as automated as possible.”

The business bank raised €750,000 in a seed round in October last year, led by Frontline Ventures.

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