Freeagent accounting software review

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What is Freeagent software?

FreeAgent, which launched in 2007, It is also cloud-based, so you can access it from any browser, and like the best accounting software, it comes with mobile apps for Apple and Android devices.

FreeAgent has all the basic accounting offerings you have come to expect – from sending invoices and payment reminders, record expenses and mileage, project management and quote estimations and time tracking – amongst others and has three pricing packages to choose from (which we go into a bit more detail below) which include unlimited user access and no limits on usage of any of its features.

In this review we will delve into the most popular features and tools Freeagent has to offer small businesses, freelancers,  accountants, and bookkeepers, its pricing and summarise the pros and cons to help you weigh up whether this accounting software is the perfect fit for your business needs.

Fusion Accountants is one of the largest Freeagent partners and an accredited Freeagent Premium Partner and VAT Practitioner supporting 100’s of small business and Contractor clients so they get the maximum benefit from the online accounting software both from a technical and accounting perspective. If you are new to the software, we will also provide training as well!

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Who is Freeagent aimed at?

Used by over 100,000 small businesses, It is especially great for small business owners, contractors or freelancers working in the service sectors or is a project-based business to help them find a better way to deal with their business expense, invoices, spreadsheets and receipts.

You can also invite us as your accountant, or your bookkeeper, to partner up on your accounts. This means we will have direct access to all your data and any reports – from running payroll, file RTI, Self-assessment & VAT returns directly to HMRC and perform tasks on your behalf to help your business excel.

FreeAgent does automate many basic bookkeeping tasks, which will give your accountant more time to focus their expertise on your business’s performance. Information is updated in real time in Freeagent, which makes any potential problems easier to spot and fix.

Pricing

Rating – Excellent: 2.5/5

Freeagent offers three different price packages, with unlimited usage. You can also have as many users, clients, and projects as you want, at no extra cost. There are no contract or setup fees, and you can easily cancel your account from within FreeAgent.

Sole trader package
Partnership LLP package
Limited Company package

The software has a 30-day free trial, so you have ample time to try out the platform before signing up. There is no contract, so if you decide this is not the right accounting software for you, you can close your account at any time without incurring any cancellation fees.  

FreeAgent for free with NatWest

If you are a NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, or Ulster Bank NI business current account holder, you can get full access to FreeAgent for free, as long as you retain your bank account.

If you sign up with us as a client, not only will we manage the free set up on FreeAgent’s platform, but we will also give you a reduced monthly fee of 10% on any of our price packages.

Features and benefits

Rating – Good: 3.5/5

FreeAgent has a number of friendly interfaces and time-saving features which makes setting up an account relatively easy. Once you enter your business details, the software guides you through several setup steps where you can sync up your bank account and select the date format, your local currency, time zone, and sales tax details. This will give you a snapshot of how your business is currently performing.  

Visit the settings screen where you can access email and invoice templates which you can personalise with your company logo, create an inventory price list, and invite additional users to the software. You can also set up the software to automatically send your customers a thank-you email after you receive their payments.

After putting in your details you are presented with a home screen to set up your profile. This includes how to send an invoice, record an expense, link your bank account and how to start your first project.

The ‘Contacts’ section allows you to input the details of any of your customers and clients which are stored in one place, meaning that you can easily set up a bill or an invoice and send it to your customer. You can set up these contacts manually or import them from your email list.

Main timesaving features

Invoicing: Your Invoice timeline instantly shows the status of recent invoices and lets you see what has been paid, what is due and what is overdue. Your clients can view your invoices online and pay you by credit/debit card, Direct Debit or PayPal.

Set default payment terms for different contacts and receive periodic insights into your fastest and slowest-paying customers.

All their templates include all the information HMRC needs, so your invoices will meet all legal requirements.

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Create estimates: Send your estimates to clients and track whether they are approved or rejected. When the work’s complete, convert your estimate into an invoice. If you are doing international business, you can generate estimates in more than 25 different languages and in any currency.

Accounts payable:  Manage and create bills, set recurrent bills, add bills to certain projects you are working on and create attachments for your existing bills.

Expense tracking

Expense tracking: Snap expense receipts and upload them to your account from your phone. Track all the expenses you incur whilst running your business. You can follow bank payments and out-of-pocket expenses so there is no reason to forget to record an expense again.

You can also set up automatically recurring expenses (like magazine subscriptions or monthly rail card purchase), so you do not have to worry about entering them again and again.

Inventory/Stock: Manage your stock and inventory, as you buy and sell goods.

Integrations: E-commerce and payment solutions through their third-party relationships with PayPal, GoCardless, Shopify and Stripe, and you can set up your account to allow your customers to pay their invoices online with a credit card, which helps you get paid faster. All your transactions are automatically downloaded each day.

Projects: See everything you need for anyone project in one place. Including invoices, estimates, expenses, and tasks. It also helps you manage monetary budgets, track deadlines against project tasks, and track billable expenses.

Customer support

Rating – Excellent: 5/5

When it comes to resources and advice, Freeagent has some pretty good support in place.

There is also dedicated phone and email support for both small businesses and freelancers, as well as Accountants and bookkeepers.

You can also book a 20-minute call with their support team. Just click the ‘Help’ button and ‘Ruby the robot’ will either suggest some answers from their Knowledge Base or pass your query onto our support team to contact you directly.

They have a library of short videos to help get you up and running. From connecting your bank account, tracking your expenses to managing your first project.  You can also join weekly webinars based on its most popular features.

In addition to the above, they have business guides, FAQs, a UK tax rate tracker, and a number of blog posts.

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Rating – Good: 3.5/5

Rating – Average 3.5/5

The Advantages

Freeagent is a nicely designed online platform which is easy to navigate and the accounting software they have created is pretty bang on as well.

It has been specifically designed to accommodate small businesses and help them reduce the process around accounting paperwork. The software is also a great fit for contractors and freelancers, maybe responding to an increase in the British workforce wanting more flexible working or becoming an entrepreneur?

Another benefit of FreeAgent (the same does apply to its main competitors Xero & Quickbooks as well, which we have previously reviewed here) is that it is completely cloud-based enabling you to take care of invoices, expenses and cashflow anytime, anywhere – all you need is a good connection to the internet!

The sign-up process is very simple. Yes, it does take a few minutes to add in your details and company information, but after you input your details you are presented with a home screen that offers  a step-by-step guide to setting up your profile. This includes how to send an invoice, record an expense, link your bank account and how to start your first project. FreeAgent seem very keen to make the sign-up process  as stress-free as possible.

There is a good amount of features such as project management, customisable invoices, reoccurring invoices, multi-currency, upload receipts, time tracking, bank feeds/imports and tax estimations.

Support: Telephone, email, webinars, knowledge base and plenty of videos – offering really good all-round tips and advice tools.

It is, without a doubt, a good option for small businesses, freelancers, and contractors. It offers unlimited users, international invoicing, and time tracking, all in a very easy and customisable UI and dashboard.

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The Disadvantages

One of the main sticking points for FreeAgent is their pricing which is quite expensive compared to its main rivals Quickbooks and Xero, particularly if you are going to be a light user of the software. They do, however, offer new customer large discounts (currently 50%) as well as offer FreeAgent for free if you have an active NatWest or RBS bank account.

Also, the price packages seem to be rather limited by not allowing a more ‘pick and mix’ approach to choosing the features businesses might prefer over others and which would be more in line with their budgets.

When you start the initial sign-up process be aware that there a number of question prompts, which you may find frustrating. Don’t give up! Remember to engage with your Accountant as they will be very familiar with the process, and should be able to manage the set up on your behalf. 

Though based in Edinburgh, (but expanded into the American market in 2012) and aimed predominantly at UK businesses it does feature some American terminology, and the date fields are not in a UK friendly format.

Most complaints regarding the software seem to be bank related from entering transactions to bank feeds being rather slow as well as problems filing VAT and self-assessment returns and having to do it manually instead.

On the whole, despite a small number of negative reviews, Freeagent has a Trustpilot approval rating of 82%, and we are happy to recommend FreeAgent as a great online platform for your small business or as a Contractor.

Start with the 30-day free trial and decide if this is the accounting solution for you or give us a call to discuss which software option might be the best for you based on need and budget.

Looking to switch accountants

We have developed a stress free process to help you switch accountants. Join up with us and enjoy our services and great price packages in no time! Call our Switching Hotline on 020 8577 0200 for help and guidance.