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Digital-based Countingup is a business “accounting bank”. As you may have guessed, this means that it’s designed to work both as a bank and as accounting software. It aims to let small business customers pay their bills, issue invoices and do their accounting all from the same app.
Countingup combines a business bank account with accounting software. As Countingup’s CEO Tim Fouracre modestly puts it, “it’s Xero and RBS in one app”. It launched on 24 January 2018 for freelancers and sole traders, but it’s now also available for limited companies. Countingup says it reached 8,000 customers during its first year, and that it’s now used by over 28,000 businesses.
You can sign up to Countingup online in a few minutes, as long as your business is registered in the UK and you are at least 18 and a UK resident. These are its main features:
There are three tiers of monthly membership for a Countingup account:
However, don’t expect these prices to be all-inclusive. You’ll also need to add fees for most of the banking services (these prices are the same for all the membership tiers):
When signing up to Countingup you get the first three months for free (so no monthly subscription fees or bank transfer charges, although the other transaction fees still apply).
Countingup has been created with small and one-person businesses in mind. Its features aren’t tailored for big and complex businesses, that employ many people and will be regularly banking tens of thousands of pounds.
Countingup’s main pro is combining accounting and banking, so you’ll get the most out of the account if you’re planning to use it for both of these things. To enjoy Countingup to its fullest you might be a freelancer or a startup, or a small business that has not established your banking and accounting systems anywhere else yet. Otherwise, you’ll have to be ready for quite a big change in the way you do things, and be prepared to switch over from both your existing business bank account and accounting software package.
Countingup isn’t officially a bank, so your deposits won’t enjoy the standard £85,000 protection that comes from the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme).
However, Countingup’s account is provided by Prepay Solutions, which has a licence for issuing electronic money granted by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It also keeps your money in a segregated account at Barclays, which means that if Countingup was to go bankrupt, your deposits can’t be used to repay its creditors.
Countingup has an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 from more than 1,100 reviews on the App Store, while over on Google Play it has an average score of 4.7 out of 5 from around 650 Android app users.
On Trustpilot, Countingup received a mark of 4.5 out of 5, and a rating of Excellent, from 1,400 feedback posts. Overall, reviewers on this platform praised the smooth account opening process and account features, although some customers said they would like the option of having more than one bank card with their account.
Unifying accounting and banking is obviously a great idea, and one that can save small businesses much time and potentially also quite a lot of money, as they don’t have to pay for separate accounting software. Countingup’s features are smart and handy, covering off the basics of what you would expect from both a business current account and accounting software.
When it comes to pricing, there are both monthly account fees (unless you are a very small business using the free plan) and banking transaction fees involved. Some of Countingup’s digital banking competitors do have cheaper prices for these aspects of a business account.
However, let’s not forget that there aren’t many accounting and banking app combos around yet, so this is a relatively unique service at the moment.
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