1. Your App Name in the Store

Getting your name right in the App stores (both Apple and Android) is important. You need to think about what people might search for along with your branding and the title length. For example, you might wish to use your firm name to make it easy for clients to find it. Alternatively you could call it something that people who don’t know you might search for such as ‘Accountancy Services’ or ‘Accountants in X’. There is a restriction imposed by both Apple and Android on the length of your name. This is a 30 character limit. We appreciate that for some this means not having the ideal name, or having to shorten their firm name using abbreviations. Unfortunately, this is a regulation that’s imposed on us and is outside our control. Please be aware that the name you provide will be the exact name used, so any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors will not be corrected.

Please email your logo to [email protected].

It needs to be high resolution in a working format such as .ai, .eps, .psd, with associated fonts included where applicable. If you don’t have working files and only have flat logo files, eg: jpgs or pngs, these need to be a minimum of 1600 pixels in width. The size of the logo is critical to ensuring quality on the variety of devices such as iPad retina display through to Android phones and tablets. If you have a logo but not the right quality and size required then you are best to approach the design company who put your logo together and ask them for the above. If you don’t have a logo or don’t have contact with your previous supply then we offer a logo re-draw service or a complete logo design solution.

Your free demo is carried out by phone with one of our technical experts. They will take you through the commercial case for having an App, its key features, case studies, and answer any questions. It’s relaxed, informal and without obligation. You can register for your free App demo here.

The MyFirmsApp solution works to the very highest technological standards. As a result the solution has been granted global approval by both Apple and Android along with other international networks and professional bodies.

So wherever you are in the world – we can help design, develop, build and support your App.

The App has been developed to support the very latest operating systems. This means for Android users it supports Android 5 and above, known as Lollipop. For iOS users including iPhone and iPad it supports iOS 9 and above. Like so many Apps this may require you or other users to update your phone’s operating system.

For details of the packages and prices click here

To view the latest monthly prices click here

Your monthly fee gives you complete peace of mind that our professionals are taking care of your App.

The fee covers financial updates including changes to budget, tax and legislation that affect the way the calculators, fact sheets, key dates and tables work within the App. It also covers technological updates to the App itself when Apple or Android launch new versions and or operating systems; meaning your App will work on the latest operating systems.

The monthly fee gives you support and management of your new App. The minimum support contract period is for 24 months. At the end of this period your monthly support and maintenance contract will automatically renew to ensure no drop in App service. Cancellations must be made in writing at least 30 days prior to your contract renewal.

The MyFirmsApp™ gives you one of the fastest, professional, and painless ways to launch your very own App. Your App will take approximately between 4-6 weeks from start to finish.
This is from the day we receive the information we require from you after you have placed an order.

Once you have provided the information we need and you have signed off your designs (if required) we will then submit your App for approval to both Apple and Google.

There are no time constraints for either store to approve or reply to App submissions, and because they approve every App by hand, at times there can be a delay as this part of the process is completely outside our control; it simply depends on how many submissions they are dealing with at the time.

You can add, remove and update specific areas of your App by logging into your very own control panel using a dedicated link and password provided once you order. You don’t require any specialist software, only a modern web browser such as Internet Explorer 9+, Firefox, Safari or Google Chrome. These are all available free via an online search for their name.

There are 3 end user requests within a standard platinum App; the way these requests are made is common in all Apps with this type of functionality.

The messages are requested and written by Apple and Android and cannot be amended for security reasons.

1. Initial download – XXX would like to send you notifications OK or Don’t Allow.

Why do we ask this?

It’s compulsory by Apple and Android when wanting to send users a push message.

What does it do?

We ask this so that the App user can effectively opt in or opt out of push notifications that you may wish to send them. The number of App users who have opted in can be found in your dashboard.

2. Mileage Tracker – Allow XXX to access your location – Allow or Don’t Allow.

Why do we ask this?

It’s compulsory by Apple and Android when wanting to track mileage.

What does it do?

Once allowed the GPS technology tracks the journey for the purpose of tracking and managing mileage.

3. Receipt Manager and Income Tracker – ‘Allow XXX to access the camera’

Why do we ask this?

It’s compulsory by Apple and Android when wanting to use the device camera.

What does it do?

Once allowed it enables the end user to photograph receipts, expenses and or income using the device.

You can either choose to promote your new App yourself, or use our proven App Marketing Resource Pack. Further details are available here.

Yes, if you have a blog with Insight. If you have a WordPress blog and have supplied us with an RSS feed then yes, when you blog your App will be updated in real time.

Yes, we can develop an integrated blog for you that automatically updates your social media (LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook), whilst also updating your new App.

We can provide you with a string of code for your web developers to copy so that an offer box will automatically pop up when an iPhone or android user visits your current website. This means that when a visitor arrives at your website it will say “We notice that you are using an iPhone, why not download our latest App here”. It’s a fantastic way of getting clients and prospects to get your great new App.

Find out more here.

A number of Android devices, notably Samsung, are not always fully updated with Android software – although they may say they are. You can normally update to the latest version by using the ‘settings’ function on your device and following the appropriate steps.

All Apps are developed for the latest versions of iOS and/or Android at any given point, and so at times it is necessary to prompt your device to update.

The App, once developed, belongs to MyFirmsApp and is licensed to the customer (you) only for the duration of the Term. We will ensure it’s kept up to date with new versions of android and iOS within your monthly charge.

Simply contact [email protected] and one of our expert team will be able to assist.

Yes, you will benefit for regular updates (as and when they are necessary) whilst you are paying for support.

The data is stored on our online centralised platform and this data is backed up by us.
Data provided from your RSS feed is not backed up and this should be handled by your current website provider.

Photos, receipts, mileage etc. are all stored locally on the users device and are not backed up by us.

The App will function once downloaded without an internet connection. However it will require the internet to update itself.

The App currently supports English only for the main user interface. The content you enter can be any language you prefer, however this would then result in an app with English and ‘your choice of language’ which may not provide the best user experience.

No, the App is not compatible with all devices. As with all new programmes it has been developed to work with the latest versions of Android and Apple devices including iPads using the operating systems Ice Cream Sandwich and iOS 4 and above. You may need to update your device to the latest operating system for the App to function on your device.

Occasionally we are asked why the App is not set up to work on Windows or Blackberry devices. The simple fact is that Apple and Android between them have +90% of the user base and this means it is likely that even if you are a Windows or Blackberry user, 90% of your clients and target audience will be Apple or Android users. On that basis, the cost of development for Windows/Blackberry would be prohibitively high. Although Windows initially made increases in market share, it has now fallen sharply and is still far behind the dominance of iOS and Android.

For some loyal Windows Smartphone users, this may present a concern. However, please be assured that we have made enormous investment in the iOS and Android technologies and have received accreditations from the majority of the professional bodies because of our App’s effectiveness and adaptability to market changes. Those firms that have invested in Windows or Blackberry devices will still be able to gain enormous value by getting their clients/prospects to download the App onto their own devices in order to use the tools and calculators.

If you would like to read more on this click here.

Over the past few weeks our team has carried out hundreds of 1:1s with accountants, financial service companies and IFAs. Many of them are interested in the latest App technology yet they have not had to update their android tablet or Smartphone – see how to update your android device here.

Getting the very best out of your Apple iOS device means installing the very latest software update. Here is a quick, easy ‘how to’ guide to update your iOS device – here.

They are updated for the future 12 months as soon as they are available. Typically, this is around late February/March time each year and these are subject to the budget in April. They are amended then as and where appropriate and at any key places during the year.

No, you don’t own the account. As the developers, it is our account. You can monitor success through your own Google Analytics on your website to see how many people visit your App page (like the example here). If you wanted to get more data, what some firms have done is to put a simple enquiry form on their website so that visitors have to fill this in to request the App QR Code.

Our team can let you know exactly how many App downloads you have had at any time. Platinum customers benefit from automated monthly reporting and tracking statistics.

Yes, one of the fantastic features of the MyFirmsApp™ solution is that you can access the App through the centralised data store enabling you to add, replace and change content. Plus, you can integrate with your blog, updating new content as you release new articles.

Yes you can, Icons are part of the design process and you can see from the www.myfirmsapp.co.uk site that there are lots of different icons in use.

There are 2 simple options to make your blog feed work in your App. This is a key function of your App and will help you communicate fresh content, news, views and opportunities in real time to everyone who downloads your App.

  • If you are a current website client of Insight, we will make this work for you. You need do nothing else.
  • If not, please download a copy of the RSS Guide here and either follow the simple, step by step instructions or send the guide onto your web team – get the guide here
  • If you don’t currently have a website with us, and have a blog but not on ‘Wordpress’ then we can create a unique RSS feed for you. There will be a small admin fee of £45
  • If you don’t currently have a blog at all, and would like to explore how the I-blog is simplifying accountants’ use of social media and boosting their web visitors, then click here

Please note: It’s important to remember that information provided within the App is offered as a guide only. It is not to be used without the advice from a professional advisor and should not be assumed as definitive.

Push Notifications are only available for platinum App users. These enable you to send a message containing up to 40 characters for Android users and up to 190 characters for iPhone users.

The financial information within the App is carefully managed and maintained. It is updated normally within 48 hours of an announcement.

Although this timeframe is subject to change as there may be some amendments that can be made immediately. There are others, such as a complete change to the way something is calculated that would take longer, as this would require the development and resubmission (to Apple and Google) of a new calculator.

There is always a trade-off between speed and accuracy. Therefore at designated intervals, post announcement, our team “consolidate” the changes to ensure any final amends or bug fixes are picked up.

Please note: It’s important to remember that the information provided within the App is offered as a guide only. It is not to be used without the advice from a professional advisor and should not be assumed as definitive.

The App has been carefully built to load the splash screen each time the App is opened. What many users of various devices do not realise is that if you simply click off an App, it is actually still open on the device and running in the background.

Therefore when you click back onto MyFirmsApp™ App it may not show the splash screen. That’s because the App itself has not actually been closed. If you are not currently closing your Apps or have not done so before it’s likely you have many Apps running in the background using unnecessary processing and battery power. For more information read how to close an App iOS app or how to close android App.

There are a variety of reasons we have built the MyFirmsApp™ solution to operate in the way we have. The first is that it is best practice and strongly advised by Apple and Google to not force splash screen onto users if they have not closed an App. Secondly, if you force the App to close when someone actually clicks off the App, this would stop the App from running in the background; meaning that features like mileage tracker and Push Notifications would stop working while the App was closed.

Yes, the good news is that while you still need to keep files for 7 years – digital is acceptable. Less paper, less space, less cost = good news! NB it is therefore important to back up images and data from your App to your computer/server/storage solution regularly. HMRC says “Records may be preserved on optical imaging systems, and the originals discarded, provided that what is retained in digital form represents a complete and unaltered image of the underlying paper document.” You can find the exact text within their document here.

Yes you can. Full details can be found here

Receipts are managed in the photo section of the end users device. If you are using a ‘Client Portal’ or a solution like ‘Dropbox’ for example then the end user can mass upload images/documents into these type of solutions. If you don’t offer your customers these solutions then it is left to the end users device type. Some phones, iPhones for example allow you to manually select photos/images and attach these to one email. Alternatively you can also set up ‘photo streams’ between one user and another. These solutions all vary depending on the device being used.

The calculators within the App are designed to provide the user with a good feel for the ways they may or may not be remunerated.

These are to be used solely as a guide and professional advice from their advisor is encouraged throughout the App. It’s a great way to save time, educate the end user and generate quality enquiries not time wasting calls.

The Dividend Vs. Salary Calculator is specifically designed for those who don’t have a complete or thorough understanding of tax. Therefore the calculator uses the current personal allowance value, as we have taken the decision that this is easier for the end user to understand.

Please note they do not take into account the current employment allowance.

It could be suggested there are other, more tax efficient ways to structure tax affairs. For example some firms may advise clients to take a salary of the NI threshold, not the tax threshold.

We have not included the above or other combinations to keep the App:

  • As simplistic as possible for end users to get basic information then contact you and generate quality enquiries.
  • Sensible, it must provide basic level facts but not complex scenarios where the risk and rewards need to be carefully explained.
  • To avoid any possible suggestion of solutions that the HMRC may view as aggressive.
  • A tool that generates interest and educated enquiries without taking away your opportunity to add meaningful value to the findings.

The calculators within the App are designed to provide the user with a good feel for the ways they may or may not be remunerated. These are to be used solely as a guide and professional advice from their advisor is encouraged throughout the App.

The Should I Incorporate Calculator’ is designed for those who don’t have a complete understanding of tax. Therefore the calculator uses the current personal allowance value, as this is easier to understand.

Please note they do not take into account the current employment allowance.

It could be suggested there are other, more tax efficient ways to structure tax affairs. For example some firms may advise clients to take a salary of the NI threshold, not the tax threshold.

We have not included the above or other combinations to keep the App:

  • As simplistic as possible for end users to get basic information then contact you
  • Sensible, it must provide basic level facts but not complex scenarios where the risk and rewards need to be carefully explained.
  • To avoid any possible suggestion of solutions that the HMRC may view as aggressive.
  • A tool that generates interest and educated enquiries without taking away your opportunity to add meaningful value to the findings.

It has been suggested that the VAT calculator should be pre-populated using the current, standard rate of VAT. We have left it blank so that the calculator caters for all users, allowing for those where business might be registered for a VAT Fixed Rate Scheme whereby their VAT calculators are at a rate agreed with HRMC and also other special VAT rates in existence.

The current contractors calculator works on the assumption that the contractor is working 260 days per year, 8 hours per day where necessary.

Our team is working on improving the contractor’s calculator so that it allows a number of variables to be entered into the front end by the user. These are:

Standard Weekly Hours > 35, 37.5, 40 or OTHER
Do you Work Public Holidays > yes / no
Additional days holiday per annum >

The App is designed to run very quickly. When it first loads it will draw in a splash page and then after a few seconds the App home page (the one with the icons) will load in. If your App is running slowly there are a number of reasons this might be.

Images loaded into the App – from time to time clients have loaded in huge images into their App. This has resulted in the App trying to download all this data prior to working and functioning properly. We are current working on a fix to stop this being possible, but it’s worth checking to see if you have done this.

Internet speed can also be a factor, especially if there has been a significant update to the App and you are downloading it on a very slow internet connection.

Device type can affect the App speed. It’s designed to operate using the latest operating systems. So if you are using an old device type on an older operating system this may not be supported and could impact speed. Furthermore even a new device running an older operating system may require you to update your version of the operating system.

If your GPS results appear to be inaccurate or you are not able to get GPS signal please follow these instructions:

  • Turn phone off/on
  • Turn GPS off/on
  • (Android) Be sure MyFirmsApp is allowed to use your location. Settings > Apps > MyFirmsApp > Permissions > Toggle Location ON
  • Disable any battery saver settings.* Including Power Saving Mode, Battery Management or any third party apps. Please see below for more information on your specific device
  • Check that your location settings are set to High accuracy. Settings > Location > Set to High Accuracy
  • Perform an “AGPS reset”: Install the App GPS Status & Toolbox, then in that app, go to Menu > Tools > Manage A-GPS State > Reset
  • Select “Location services” and ensure the “Use GPS satellites” and “Use wireless networks” check boxes are checked (“Use wireless networks” will help reduce the time it takes for your device to obtain a GPS fix).

*Adjusting battery saver settings on different devices

  • iPhone: Access your settings > battery > check Low Power Mode off
  • HTC: Access your phone settings > battery > power saving mode > battery optimization > select MyFirmsApp > don’t optimize > save
  • Samsung: Access Battery settings > App Power Saving > Details > MyFirmsApp > Disabled
  • Huawei: Turn Energy Settings to Normal and add MyFirmsApp to “Protected Apps”

Additionally from the “Settings” app, select the “Date and time” item and ensure the “Automatic date and time” and “Automatic time zone” check boxes are checked. GPS and our app rely heavily on an accurate time and time zone. Having your device set to the incorrect time zone or time may prolong the time taken to obtain a GPS fix, and may result in other inaccuracies in your recorded journeys.

If you are still having GPS issues after the steps above, try these additional steps that are known to resolve almost all issues.

  • Restart your phone. Usually holding down the power button and selecting “Restart” will do this. Make sure that you open the app with a direct line to the sky.
  • Remove and reinstall our app from the “Play Store” or “Apple Store”. It is possible the app did not download to the phone correctly, try deleting/reinstalling the app. Please make sure any journeys you would like to keep have been exported, as your activity history will be cleared from the device.
  • Turn off airplane mode before starting your journey.
  • Before you start tracking your next journey, be sure to wait a few minutes for the GPS to sync back up to your current location.

Note: It needs to be said that due to the different built-in GPS modules in each phone we can’t guarantee exact tracking results. When starting please try to avoid the following areas:

  • High Buildings
  • Deep forests
  • Areas where it’s very cloudy
  • Huge amounts of water like lakes, sea etc.

If you end up in these areas above this can affect your GPS signal during your activity.

Be aware that just because the some maps app like Google Maps may show your location on the map, this does not mean that the device’s GPS is functioning properly or that a GPS fix has been obtained. The data used to show your location on the map may be based on cellular network or wi-fi signals.

By making use of background tracking, your battery life may be effected. This is a consequence of aiming to achieve high accuracy in your tracked journeys.

The decision was made to increase the intensity of tracking to increase reliability and consistency, where a reduced intensity can result in the loss of important journey points including the shortening of corners and more in real life driving scenarios.

It makes sense to promote your App on your website, rather than sending traffic directly to the App store. The reasoning behind this is simple… It’s a chance for your website visitor to read about the App and use the download links while they can see everything else that you offer. It will also increase your website traffic and, better still, the App makes a great free offer on your site (we call it a ‘Call to Action’). You can find out more about Calls to Action in this video.

So when you consider adding the App to your site, you should think carefully about the new page you are placing it on and where to add Call To Action buttons on the Home page of your website, so your visitors can access the App page quickly and easily. You can also have links in the page footer if this fits the design of your website.

4 things you need when promoting your App on your website

To add your App to your website you need the following 4 things. You can either develop these yourself using your internal team or external agency, or ask our team to help.

4 Essentials:

  • Page copy with SEO – Provided in the optional marketing pack
  • Intelligent QR code – Also available in the marketing pack
  • Images of your App – Your design agency can supply or we can – details here
  • Direct links to your App in Apple and Android store – if you don’t have these please email [email protected]

4 ways to generate significant visitor numbers to your new website page

Once you have created your new App page, how do you get visitors to it? There are a number of ways you can achieve this, the first being to email your current customers and potential clients. Tell them about the App, what it can do for them and why you have launched it. You can write these emails yourself or access them via our optional marketing pack.

Once you have successfully promoted the page by email, there are a number of other options to consider:

  • Add the link to the footer of the email signature of all your staff.
  • Share the page on Social Media, in particular LinkedIn (more about this in our free report), Twitter and Google+.
  • Speak to one or two local newspapers or your PR agency about the launch. An App makes a great story!
  • Consider flyers or Stickems to promote your App.

Good luck!

This is just the start of an incredibly exciting journey. I wish you all the best in promoting and sharing your App and building your App user base.

*If you need assistance preparing or sending emails, our marketing team have extensive experience in preparing, designing, writing and sending emails using a variety of platforms. Please contact me for details.

The App uses industry standard encryption on communication where required and your data is backed up and stored securely. We operate within the UK and our primary data centres are Europe based.

Any sensitive client data is held directly in your client portal and/or accounting programme (e.g. QBO) and we simply cannot access that at all. Your App will be built on our platform which is globally compliant and approved by many professional bodies, and also by Apple and Android themselves.

It also uses Amazon Web Services which is a leading infrastructure globally and is trusted by many of the world’s biggest brands and institutions.

Yes, your client data (accessed via document portals, cloud accounting, case management, wrap platforms etc.) is just as secure as if the client was logging in from their computer. All the same protocols exist; so there is, in fact, no increased security concern from someone logging in via your App.

Receipt data and mileage information that is logged within the App can only be accessed by the user (neither you nor we can access it, even if desired) and is only seen by parties they choose to export and email the data to.

It is advisable, however, for mileage, income and receipt data to be periodically exported by the user as a back-up should something happen to their device (e.g. loss or breakage etc.).

There is currently no implementation of SBR within the app itself as there are no specific scenarios at this time where that would be appropriate. In the future, if our app becomes in-line with SBR functionality, we will pursue implementation further.

We have found in many situations that not all of the firms’ customers will opt-in to a paid-for Receipt Management tool, such as Receipt Bank.

Therefore, we strongly advise where this is likely, that you leave within your App both the in-built free Receipt Manager alongside the integrated Receipt Bank solution, therefore giving your customers ‘one App, one place,’ and the option to use the tool of their choice.

We can, however, remove one, either, or both from the App.

Typically, a well-designed App will ask for permission before it does something that will require the permission. For example, the App might only request access to your photo library when you try to attach a photo, or your contacts when dialling a number from your contact icon within the App. This gives you an idea of why exactly an App will need that permission for and is common across most Apps you will find in the App stores for both Android and Apple.

Permissions can be removed in your settings if you disagree but the permission will enhance the user experience of your App by being able to interact with functions such as the Mileage Tracker and Receipt Manager.

The App has access but doesn’t edit or alter any information in those phone storage facilities listed, they’re just needed to use the tools; for example, ‘Location’ is needed for GPS Mileage Tracker to track journeys correctly. Removing permissions would risk losing App features.

In comparison, MyFirmsApp requires the very minimum permissions compared to other Apps; social media Apps for example do require a lot of permissions and you will find most Smartphone Device holders will have one or more installed on their phone.

Resetting the password for your datastore login in simple and will be take you less than a minute. Simply navigate to https://login.myfirmsapp.co.uk and click on ‘I’ve forgotten my details’. Doing so will result in a popup appearing.

if you know the email address you signed up with click the green button and enter that email address into the field followed by clicking ’Send Me A New Password’. If you do not know the email address of the account click ‘Password Reset’. This will trigger an email from your mail client allowing you to submit a support ticket, from which our Customer Success Team will be in touch.

We are the worlds largest provider of Apps for Accountants, have been rated in the US as a top product to watch this year and in the UK have just been nominated as finalists for Practice Product Software of the year. As an organisation we pride ourselves on our customer care delivered by a full time team of Customer Success exports.

MyFirmsApp has a fully transparent order process and terms and conditions are available to read at any time. These make it explicitly clear that you start paying at the time of signing your order. And that’s because you are purchasing a software licence agreement with MyFirmsApp activated at the time of signing your agreement (this is common practice in the software world).

It’s also important to understand we are building you a personalised App. To do this individually for a client involves a significant amount of time, resource, personnel in different departments and expense.

You can read estimated project timeline here – MyFirmsApp works to very stringent quality standards to ensure timelines are met or over achieved (providing of course we have what we require from clients to move the project forward such as kick start).

MyFirmsApp specialises in taking the highly complex and making it simple for our clients. In doing that it does not mean that the process for us is simple. Some clients could be forgiven for thinking the product is a standard piece of software, simply re-badged and re-organised according– a cookie cutter process.

It could be if we provided one single App, and submitted everything under our name, with limited design and customisation. But we don’t, we build everything around our customers using digital craftsmen and women at every stage.

That means a designer could add a new icon, new forms, different shapes, change the way an App might flow, remove functionality, add functionality etc. All of this has to then be built by hand, by developers who take what looks simple and puts it into code (the MyFirmsApp platform uses over 2.5 million lines of code). And then it has to go for full product testing using a 70-point quality checklist reviewed by a person. This includes cross device testing (just think there are thousands of different device types) across devices and different operating systems (Apple and Android). At any stage it could be rejected and passed back to the build team. Only once its approved does it get submitted by a human to the stores for approval. But we’re not finished there! We then track it through the stores and then let you know once its live.

Your App is available across the world, you may receive downloads from unexpected locations. As an example, we have customers who have large download numbers from locations such as China or India.

Many of our customers are happy with this and some are global or part of a global network.

By default, we enable all countries for an App unless otherwise specified. That’s because we need to give our customers the ability to operate globally – and you may very well have customers from around the world or customers aboard travelling, on holiday who want to download your App.

Your App may be legitimately being used in various locations, however we have also observed various scenarios for higher than usual download counts in multiple regions. These can range from Apps with similar names (your users may have been looking for another similarly named App), Apps with generic names that have high search volume such as ‘Tax Support’ and so on.

If you would like to exclude certain countries, this is absolutely possible, and is a service we provide free of charge. While this will stop downloads in the selected locations, this is not retrospective, and your current download statistics will change to reflect the new region selection. It does however mean that your downloads will only come from the regions you have chosen to support moving forward.

To limit the regions your App is available within, it’s as simple as getting in touch with our team.