Apps can help you keep on top of your book-keeping


HMRC have been encouraging and promoting mobile phone apps to support small businesses and the self-employed with their basic record keeping.


A list of the currently available apps can be found on


The list is growing and there now 8 apps available.  Which app you chose will depend on your mobile phone type but I have tried out a couple of the iPhone apps to see how they work.


1. Free Agent Central – Earnest


2. Sage  – Sage record keeper mobile


Both of these apps have basic functions for recording items of income and expenditure. The apps add the income and expense invoices to give you a running profit total for the tax year to date and allow for simple analysis by expense type. Earnest attempts an estimate of tax liability but disappointingly Sage record keeper only directs you to HMRC’s online tax calculator.


They both have a capacity for taking a photo of the relevant receipt and storing it against the invoice entry.


The data can be emailed to your computer as a spreadsheet where further analysis and adjustments can be made. The downloaded information will still need to be analysed before it can be entered on your tax return. The apps also include handy diary reminders for key dates and links to useful pages on the HMRC web site.


I think the apps are a great idea and the ones I have tried are simple to use. I think they will be most useful for people who are out and about and need a practical method of recording details on the move with an easy way to send data back to the office.


Please note that a limitation for the apps I have reviewed is that businesses need to be under the VAT threshold, currently set at £79,000 of taxable turnover, for them to work.