I had the pleasure to catch up with ANNA about finances – ANNA money is a business account app that helps small businesses and startup with their financial admin. It’s also a current account that comes with a debit Mastercard.
Talking about money can be hard, there is no way around it. However, when discussing business, I very often find that people tend to feel confused, overwhelmed or insecure. The truth is, bank accounts do not have to be scary: “You can clearly keep track of what’s going out and coming in and also work expenses can all go on one card and the related bank statements will have those clearly itemised so again, the admin side of managing cash flow and doing tax returns becomes a bit easier, saving you time and money.”
Having an app and account together makes sense because it’s convenient, particularly now everyone does so much – shopping, booking holidays, monitoring their health – via a smartphone. 65% of our customers said their favourite method of communicating with the banking service is via the ANNA in-app chat because it’s convenient, fast, it’s super-responsive.
I had a chance to catch up with the team behind ANNA and discuss more the big dolla’ issue.
There are so many young people looking to chase their dreams: when does someone take the leap and becomes a freelancer? When they get paid, once they have a website?
You can be considered freelancer as soon as you have your first client! But also you can start by having what’s now known as a ‘side hustle’, which can eventually become what you spend all your time on.
When do they need to set up a separate bank account?
Ideally, set up a business account when you start earning money from your work (if you’re not PAYE) or if you have a limited company because it makes life simpler to have separate personal banking from your business transactions, especially when the time comes to filing tax returns.
Why do you think people have felt resistant to set up a new account?
It’s a bit like setting up or switching your utility or broadband provider – people often assume that it’s a hassle but these days, all that stuff can be done online within minutes and banking is becoming the same (although it can still take a few weeks to set up a business account with one of the more traditional banks).
With ANNA and the new challenger banks, there’s also the consideration around trust – the main high street banks have been around for decades, centuries even, and therefore have built up a certain level of recognition, loyalty and trust, whereas new financial services brands have to work hard to develop that.
Why did you decide to introduce invoices to ANNA?
ANNA is about saving time you’d spend on financial admin. Half of ANNA’s customers spend six or more hours per month on finance admin.
We’ve started with invoices (but we’re adding new features to help with tax and expenses very soon) because invoicing boring so why not automate it?! Plus when clients pay late and you have to chase them, it can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. So if an app does it for you, that takes a bit of the awkwardness out of the situation.
What is the biggest financial struggle of new small businesses and freelancers?
All freelancers and small businesses, not just new ones but those that are really established and well-known, at some point worry about cashflow and the negative impact of clients or customers paying late. It’s a major source of stress amongst SME’s and freelancers and the most likely cause of small businesses going under.
What is the one tip you’d share with small businesses and freelancers?
It’s really worth having a proper chat with accountant – especially one who has been recommended to you. Go along armed with some questions and even if you don’t appoint them immediately you’ll probably come away with some invaluable advice.
ANNA money is a business account app that helps small businesses and startup with their financial admin. It’s also a current account that comes with a debit Mastercard.