Entrepreneur and businesswoman Beth Turner worked in HR for a prestigious department store before choosing to become an independent business owner.
She noticed a downside: along with the satisfyingly rapid growth of her business came the burden of administration.
“I was running an increasingly successful business from various pieces of paper and folders,” Beth explains. “It was a tedious manual process with virtually no flexibility. It became quite restrictive as I tried to work around the needs of my family.”
Like so many small business owners, Beth found that the process of business administration, while essential to keeping on top of things, was leaving a massive paper trail that proved daunting to sort out, especially at the end of the financial year.
“I was eager to find a simple and reliable way to organise my business that I could access whilst away from the office. It had to be a one-stop shop that would keep me out of trouble with the taxman while freeing up my time to do the things I needed to do to establish and grow a successful business.”
Beth found that traditional accounting apps focus on the raw nuts and bolts of the accounting process. Instead, she required something to help manage her day to day business activities and ideally, as a by-product of this, something that would prepare the necessary data for her accountant and the tax authorities at the same time.
Beth engaged with the Rhino development team in 2017 and helped them to adapt the Rhino Small Business App so that it was simple enough for someone with a modest knowledge of technology to use and also the specific features that she required for her industry.
To address this, the Rhino App was changed so that new Customers could select a ‘Sector’ when they registered a new Account and the App would be automatically configured for that sector when they log in.
Having the correct features was a crucial first step but the second and equally important requirement was that Beth needed to be able to access her business whilst out and about. Most people will recognise that sometimes if you put off doing things, you simply forget. Beth wanted to make use of any free windows of time to update everything during the day so that her evenings were free when she got home. Beth now runs her entire business on her mobile.
“My phone is always with me. My contacts, prospecting, appointments, notes, invoices, expenses, documents, accounts… the whole lot. I can now organise my business from my mobile in the moment – by that I mean in the car, on the train or in a coffee shop, rather than having to find time later when I’m at home with my family,” she says.
Using the Rhino App, Beth became the first person to submit an annual return digitally to the MTD pilot project in June 2017, then exceeded that achievement in March 2018 by being first to submit to HMRC’s Live system. But the pinnacle has to be her invitation to Whitehall to brief the Admin Burdens Advisory Board (ABAB) and the Customer Experience Working Group (CEWG) in November 2017.
All in all, Beth’s involvement with the Rhino team has taken her on a fascinating journey where she has played a significant role in shaping both the Rhino App and the MTD platform in favour of the small business owner.