End User FAQ

Have a question about MyFirmsApp or our product? have a look at some commonly asked questions below to see if you can find you answer. Alternatively if you're struggling to find what you're looking for, please contact us by clicking the button below.

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End User FAQ

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 to update your phone's operating system.

There are 3 permission requests within the App; the way these requests are made is common in all Apps with this type of functionality.

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

Why do we ask this?

In order to be able to communicate with you on key activities like tax deadlines, we have to have your permission to send you messages via the App.

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. Once allowed the GPS technology tracks the journey for the purpose of tracking and managing mileage. Without this, the mileage tracker won’t work.

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. Once allowed it enables the end user to photograph receipts, expenses and or income using the device. Without it, you can’t capture images of your receipts etc.

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.
Any data stored on our online centralised platform and this data is backed up by us. Photos, receipts, mileage etc. are all stored locally on the your device and are not backed up by us but should be backed up using your own cloud backup such as iCloud.
The App will function once downloaded without an internet connection. However it will require the internet to update itself.
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.
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.

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.

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 make sure images and data from your App are backed up 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.

The calculators within the App are designed to provide you 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 your advisor is encouraged throughout the App.

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 non-accounting professionals 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 you to get basic information then enable you to contact your advisor for further advice.
  • 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.

The calculators within the App are designed to provide you 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 your 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 you to get basic information then enable you to contact your advisor for further advice.
  • 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.
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.

Internet speed can 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.

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.

The App 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.

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.

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.

This App 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.