Cloud software providers FreeAgent have been in partnership with Natwest and Royal Bank of Scotland for some months now. Small business customers of these banks are offered the software for free, and are being advised there are host of benefits such as forecasting and simplifying tax.
But is there a downside to this?
Businesses that sign up must agree that their accounts records are shared with Natwest and RBS. So customers should carefully read the terms and conditions and understand the impact this could have on, for example, the withdrawal of overdraft facilities or decisions over loans. Data security is also a consideration and there is the risk of the “free” offer being withdrawn in the future and a subscription being charged.
We may see more partnerships between software providers and banks in the future, especially as HMRC’s Making Tax Digital project progresses. Business owners should ensure they fully understand the terms they are agreeing to before signing up.