A new banking app from Amaiz has ambitions to unburden sole traders and small businesses from the weight of admin. Professional Builder’s Lee Jones investigates.
Every builder will bear the scars of doing battle with a paper monster of receipts, payments and invoices. For tradespeople, time is a very precious commodity and far too much of it is consumed by finance and accounting. Inevitably, of course, the incumbrance of additional jobs at the end of what is already a busy day will result in mistakes, and a survey from the banking app Amaiz has found that these are actually costing significant amounts of money. Indeed, its research reveals that over 34 per cent of micro businesses had even forgotten to invoice a client.
Launched in March of 2020, Amaiz brings bookkeeping and banking together for the benefit of builders and offers a whole suite of services besides. “It’s a banking app that does a lot more than banking,” declares Matt Goddard, Head of Acquisitions at Amaiz. “When we talked to the self-employed before we launched we found that one in five were working at least another day on accounting and we want to make sure that they are using that time to do the things that make them money.”
Available via a smartphone or desktop, ease of use has been one of the app’s guiding principles. Downloading and registering takes a matter of minutes – with no credit check – and only a form of ID and right to work in the UK required. Once set up, builders can take advantage of a host of financial tools and accountancy services, as Matt explains. “The app is supplied with a pre-paid Mastercard with which builders can purchase materials. Receipts are then captured and categorised automatically, whilst it’s equally possible to take a picture of a proof of purchase on your smartphone and file it accordingly. As a result, paperwork is digitally stored, and a large chunk of your bookkeeping duties are automated.”
As with any business account there are full notifications of payments from clients, but there is also the ability to invoice from the app whilst still with the customer. Not only that, but we are, of course, moving inexorably towards a cashless society. It would be fair to say that the building industry has been slower in the adoption of the necessary technologies, but the impact of Covid-19 will serve to accelerate that change, with contactless payments inevitably demanded of many more businesses.
“We found that a lot of smaller traders are not taking card payments because they fear that the cost might be prohibitive,” continues Matt. “With our mobile card reader, there’s only a small transaction fee of 1.69 per cent, together with a nominal set up cost (from £19.99), and builders are then ready to take contactless payment from clients there and then. It prevents late payment issues, the money goes straight into the tradesman’s account, and the transaction is automatically recorded in their company’s accounts.”
By utilising the desktop version of the app, all that captured financial data can be integrated into accountancy software or downloaded as a CSV file. In another lockdown friendly feature, in order to check the figures, an accountant can even be provided with limited and secure access to the Amaiz account, eliminating the need for a face-to-face meeting.
Moreover, if you need accountancy support, Amaiz’s own in-house professionals are on hand to help. “Our expert accountancy team are fundamental to what we do,” enthuses Matt. “They provide full live support 24/7, whilst it’s also possible to ask simple questions through the app. When tax deadlines come up – or during the kind of crisis we’re seeing today – and there is pressure on HMRC phone lines, tradespeople will find that advice a very useful resource.”
If it’s peace of mind that users are looking for then take comfort that all of your information is protected by the very latest in voice biometric verification, a system which is recognised as the most reliable in proving someone’s identity. Not only that but it’s popular with customers because they don’t need to remember passwords. The developers of the Amaiz app are confident that its service is the silent partner that can release the skilled builder to undertake more site work. “We want businesses to take back control of their payments,” concludes Matt, “and help them increase their productivity in the process.”
For further information on the Amaiz Banking App visit amaiz.com/features/