2020 Roadmap Update

Hi everyone :wave:

Sam, Russ & JB hosted a webinar on Monday to answer some questions we’ve had from potential investors during our Crowdfund campaign so far.

The guys covered our roadmap for this year so I thought I’d share it here so everyone can catch up on what we’ve got in the pipeline.

Highlights include:

  • Improving the bookkeeping experience

  • Introducing a business dashboard

  • Saving for tax

  • VAT submission

Would love to hear your thoughts! We’re also inviting people to get involved with our development of the Saving for tax feature, so if you’d like to get involved - let us know [see thread on that here]

3 Likes

I was lucky enough to be present on this webinar, it is all great additions or updates to coconut which will help it grow.

Looking forward to this journey!

1 Like

Great to hear it @ryev!

1 Like

Really excited about these new roadmap features!

Great idea to have a business dashboard. I would really like to see insights and analytics of how my business is doing in regards to income and expenses as a total, or timeline, or similar.

Looking forward to vaults, Having some kind of automation to help me set aside tax for the end of the year would be so good. All these features that make things automated and easier in terms of tax and bookkeeping are so useful!

Not sure about the dashboard page being the first page you see when opening the app. I really like seeing my list of transactions on opening, like it currently is. Would it be possible to choose in settings which page you want to see when opening the app?

Love the ‘Items that require your attention’ feature, especially if it is an app wide list of tasks that need action.

Loving all those overview features too, especially showing total spending in each category and the breakdowns of income and spending totals.

3 Likes

Great idea about being able to choose which page is your ‘landing page’ - hope @coconut pick this up for a future release :crossed_fingers:t3:

3 Likes

We probably won’t give the option of setting what the homepage is due to the UX challenges that then subsequently presents. We will, however, remember which screen you were on when you were last on the tab, which will in effect do a similar job

This is both sad and good news.

Plenty of other apps allow you to set which screen you see when launching into app. Surely there is a way this can be done? Especially with the headcount rising post-investment, people with different skills will come onboard. Plenty of learning from existing apps out there just how this works.

Good news though that you’ll remember where we last were, but not sure this would be helpful in all situations. I change between apps pretty regularly and being able to set which screen shows when launching is helpful and gives me the information I want straight away.

Would the ‘remember where you last were’ still work if the app was completely shut? I haven’t seen any apps to my recollection that have this capability and is why having the option of choosing the landing page an important one.

1 Like

Ok, that sounds good.

1 Like

Good to hear your thoughts on this. I’m going to take that away and think on it. I’ll post an update on Bite next week detailing some of our thinking around the dashboard and how it works. Really keen to get the community’s input on how it develops.

2 Likes

Very exciting the business dashboard looks great

2 Likes

Love the new UI, great work.
Will it have a section for VAT calculations? I’m keen to see a section that has VAT total (by month, quarter and year)

2 Likes

Hey Ben!

I think there is something covered about this somewhere in the new investor pitch, or may have read it somewhere else.

Someone from the team will reply soon though & confirm!!

Hi Ben,
It will in time. Our initial work will focus on getting the structure of the dashboard done, along with its various dependencies and knock on effects. We’d likely want to focus on ‘saving for tax’ first, but we’d then want to build out the capabilities of the dashboard pretty quickly after that as we see it as a really transformative area of the app for our customers.
We’re really happy that you’re a fan of the UI. We really love it and hope our customers will love it too once they get it in their hands.
Cheers
JB

2 Likes

Great stuff! From the accountant’s point of view I think that question asking if the user has an accountant is important. This could be used as a springboard to other features we take care of that the client doesn’t want to deal with.

We usually deal with bookkeeping for example as part of our subscription service, our bookkeepers reconcile the bank regularly and categorise transactions that are outstanding or incorrectly categorised in the accountant’s portal. So it would be great to see the portal expanded to include quick access categorisation features like those shown on the way for the app, plus reconciliation tick boxes to ensure once categorised the transaction doesn’t get altered without resetting the flag. We don’t want to prevent the user from owning and editing their own transactions, but we do want to know if they have!

We also check the VAT analysis as we go, prepare the VAT return in plenty of time and file once client has approved. So that ‘I have an accountant’ tick box could lead eventually to a list of the areas the client doesn’t want to deal with and those we can deal with - such as VAT filing for example.

I think Coconut could effectively join the dots between a fully DIY user solution for the small business user and an accountants tool for maybe busier clients who really don’t want to DIY much at all! I see no conflict between the two, and the ‘I have an accountant’ switch could be the key to keeping both camps very happy! :blush:

2 Likes

It’s somewhere in the newest pitch deck I believe that they will be asking if they have an accountant, and in the future if they don’t being able to share with them a list of accountants on Coconut.

The VAT filing is something Coconut is working on making autonomous, so no user would have to worry about it, but can check on it anytime.

The landscape is changing for compliance accountants and it is going to be a fun ride, in just a few years we have gone from typing transactions into accounting software from paper bank statements, to importing CSV files and mapping them to nominal codes, to automatic bank feeds and bank rules for categorisation (until open banking broke the seamless transfer of data we had previously enjoyed) to now embracing machine learning and auto categorisation - which now leaves our bookkeeping department to wander an the expert eye over things and chat with the client if there’s anything unusual via the app or our own TheBeanCounter bot.

There’s still work to do in order to turn a Coconut list of categories into a proper Trial Balance we can use as a starting point for the accounts and tax computations but it’s getting there (Coconut tax calcs are a great way to prevent overspending of perceived profit for the sole trader, we add a number of refinements to this for our own clients and of course there’s more to tax than just what goes through the business bank account).

If Coconut can keep accountants on side and develop the accountants portal then I am sure we can eventually dump third party bookkeeping software like Xero we use for journals and the like - dealing with all that in the back end and pumping the Coconut export straight into our tax software. Like I say fun times ahead for the go ahead tech savvy accountancy firms… not sure what’s going to happen to the old school suits behind desks though?

2 Likes

Coconut Accounting Services, starting from just £25 / month

Ok - well I’m sure if there are any accountants in here they would by now have been forwarded by at least one of their clients (like we have) an email sent to the client direct from Coconut offering accounting services… with prices quoted that undercut our own prices… nice.

After all the liaison with @Jamie (who must now be feeling a little sidelined) I can only really say one thing - goodbye Coconut and best wishes for the future as Coconut Accounting Services.

PS. Thank goodness we didn’t get our funding sorted in time to invest in our own demise as accounting partners.

Hi @AegisAccounting

Just wanted to reassure you that we’re not planning to undercut accountants here. We’ve worked quite extensively with accountants to ensure the pricing is right and this is a profitable service for our partner accountants. And we’re signing up new partners all the time.

We have no plans to offer accounting services ourselves. We also don’t want to sell this to customers who already have accountants, and we’re making an update to our onboarding process to make this clear. The way this will work is that we will ask if you have an accountant or if you don’t. Where you do we will point you to provide access through the portal. Where you don’t we will try and connect you up. We don’t plan to try and take customers from existing accountants as this isn’t the goal.

If the customer doesn’t yet have an accountant, we will be pointing them in the direction of one of our partners through this service. The starting price is £25 / month ex. VAT for a sole trader with simple requirements. The top price is £100 / month ex. VAT for limited companies, but there are additional fees for specific things. We haven’t opted for low-cost pricing for this, because we want our accountant partners to be able to offer a good service.

You can see the pricing in full here.

The aim of this service is to increase access to accountants and therefore support the accounting industry. We’ve identified that many of our customers don’t yet have accountants, but want them. By creating this link, we can help to increase the number of businesses using accountants.

We’re also really keen to get feedback on pricing, service, partners anything like that so would welcome a chat if you have 15 minutes. If you can email support@getcoconut.com someone will make the connection.

Sam

2 Likes

As I’ve replied on your other post … :grinning:

Let me start by saying that I think the new Coconut Accounting offering is excellent for both the client and the accountants overall with the accountants, who are part of the programme, receiving leads without the need to carry out marketing. Sounds like a result to me.

In life there is always the potential for a client to find a better deal elsewhere. I often find that the devil is in the detail and the new deal may be apples while the existing accountant offers pears. It’s more than price although this may be the headline click bait that the client focuses on – there needs to be a like for like comparison.

Let’s be certain though and especially in this climate, clients are much more price aware with Coconut and other Challenger bank apps blowing apart much of the bookkeeping and accounting processes. Clients are more savvy and want to know what they get for their fees.

Clients may come to an accountant for the price but stay for the service.

As accountants we can use many tools to get our job done. I like Coconut because not only does it do what I need it to do but the service from them is personal …. I get a good response and things are dealt with.

I’m not a betting person but it would not surprise me if other Challenger banks don’t follow suit at some point on this anyway. It’s a great idea so why wouldn’t they?

Tim – Perhaps Coconut haven’t handled this announcement as best they could (and I know Sam – he will look very closely at this for lessons learnt) but whilst I’d never tell anyone what to do, please do have a think about ditching Coconut as a partner.

I do think you should take it as a massive compliment that your client has come to you and you’ve resolved any fee issue with them. How many accountants lose clients with the first thing they know about being the professional clearance letter? So no opportunity to resolve any issues. And, as you said, there was already a service on your web site that cut his fees anyway - so all’s well that ends well.

And just to point up my reply here: Coconut offering Accounting Services