Skip to main content
Guiding you to a better future


For a successful business, you need a viable business idea, the skills to make it work and the funding. Discover whether your idea has what it takes.

Forming your business correctly is essential to ensure you are protected and you comply with the rules. Learn how to set up your business.

It is likely you will need funding to start your business unless you have your own money. Discover some of the main sources of start up funding.

Businesses and individuals must account for and pay various taxes. Understand your tax obligations and how to file, account and pay any taxes you owe.

Businesses are required to comply with a wide range of business laws. We introduce the main rules and regulations you must comply with.

Learn why business planning is an essential exercise if your business is to start and grow successfully, attract funding or target new markets.

Marketing matters. It drives sales and helps promote your brand and products. Discover how to market your business and reach your target customers.

Some businesses need a high street location whilst others can be run from home. Understand the key factors from cost to location, size to security.

Your employees can your biggest asset. They can also be your biggest challenge. We explain how to recruitment and manage staff successfully.

It is likely your business could not function without some form of IT. Learn how to specify, buy, maintain and secure your business IT.

Few businesses manage the leap from start up to high-growth business. Learn what it takes to scale up and take your business to the next level.

Coconut integrates Open Banking into its accounting app

10 December 2019

Coconut, the accounting app designed for self-employed people and small firms, has integrated Open Banking into its offering.

It means users of the app can make use of the automated bookkeeping and tax tools regardless of where they bank. Self-employed people and small business owners who have a current account or credit card with any of the 20 major high street and challenger banks will be able to connect their accounts to Coconut.

The UK has seen a significant rise in the number of self-employed workers in the past decade, with IPSE data showing that the number of freelancers rose by 35% between 2008 and 2018. According to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), there are 4.8 million self-employed people in the UK, representing 15% of the workforce and contributing over £270 billion to the UK economy.

However, research by Coconut has found that, on average, self-employed people are losing out on £5,000 of income each year as a result of spending as much as 10% of their time on manual bookkeeping tasks.

Used by 16,000 people and 600 accountants, Coconut helps sole traders and small limited companies manage their business finances. The app brings together all aspects of financial administration, including expense management, receipt capture, invoicing and tax.

By integrating Open Banking, Coconut now gives its users total visibility of their business finances across multiple accounts. Credit cards and other accounts, such as personal current accounts, can also be connected.

Sam O'Connor, ceo and co-founder of Coconut, said: "Self-employed people in the UK … are all losing money unnecessarily, because they are spending too much time on manual bookkeeping tasks. Now they don't have to. Open Banking provides a solution for this."

Open Banking was established in 2016 as a result of regulators ruling that the nine largest UK banks had to provide a way for customers to securely share their financial data with third party applications. The aim of the initiative is to increase competition within financial services, encouraging innovation and ultimately giving better services and products to consumers and businesses.

Written by Rachel Miller.

Stay up-to-date with business advice and news

Sign up to this lively and colourful newsletter for new and more established small businesses.

Contact us

Make an enquiry