James Fuller combines his self-employed experience with his background in technology as the Co-Founder and CEO of Hnry. Hnry brings self-employment into the 21st century, making it as simple and risk-free as having a permanent job.
Can you talk us through the background of Hnry? What led to its development?
I became self-employed about five years ago. Coming from the safety and relative ease of a permanent job, at the time I didn’t realise what a burden admin, taxes, insurance and other time-consuming tasks would be.
While accountants are great at filing taxes, there were no services available for tasks like insurance, ACC, invoicing and the other admin requirements that come with being self-employed. And without a paper trail of verified income, access to financial services became more difficult: getting a mortgage, applying for a loan – these are all real challenges that many self-employed people face.
Once I had navigated the pitfalls and figured out some admin processes, some friends of mine who were leaving full-time jobs for self-employment started asking my advice on how to manage their sole trading businesses. I ended up helping them by managing all their admin for them in exchange for a few beers here or there. Soon enough I was raising invoices, reconciling transactions and filing taxes for a few different people, and that’s when I realised that this was a problem that was just waiting for a technological solution.
Shortly after, my co-founder Claire and I set up Hnry with the vision to make self-employment as simple and risk-free as having a permanent job.
What sets Hnry apart from accounting software?
We’re not just a software provider, we’re also a registered tax agent. We help our clients navigate the legal requirements of IRD and ACC and ensure that they are getting the right tax relief.
The core offering of our business is a platform that gives self-employed individuals the ability to have all of their taxes calculated deducted and paid every time they earn, issuing a payslip so they can prove their income to anyone. Our online platform also provides invoicing, expense and financial management tools, and provides insights into income and expenditure trends.
How easy is it to use?
When a client joins, they receive a Hnry Bank Account. They have all their self-employed income paid into that account, and every time they get paid, we pay exactly the right amount of all their taxes straight away, before passing what’s theirs on to them immediately, and when the time comes, we automatically file all their GST and Income Tax returns.
If they need to raise business or home office expenses, they can do that by simply snapping a photo of the receipt from their phone; no need for shoe box accounting.
We also play an educational role for our users on what they can and can’t claim through IRD to help them manage their tax liability more effectively. We really want self-employed people to have visibility and control over their expenses.
Overall, Hnry is a solution to simplify self-employment. We reduce costs and admin overhead, improve work/life balance, and offer the same comfort and peace of mind as a permanent job but with all the benefits of self-employment.
Final question, how did you come up with the name ‘Hnry’?
We were looking for an original name that was short and efficient like our software, so Henry without an “e” fit the bill. And vowels are expensive when picking a domain name!