Small Business Accounting Software
FreeAgent is accounting software for sole traders and small businesses. It is based in the cloud meaning it is easily accessible via desktop, tablet and mobile.
With the development of technology, how we do our accounts has become much more advanced and varied. Recording finances has moved from manual books to excel spreadsheets to online cloud accounting software.
The benefit of this software is that it can be accessed anytime, anywhere, from any device. This means you can constantly update your finances and keep track of performance on a daily basis.
We have previously reviewed Xero, Quickbooks and Quickfile accounting systems. We will now review FreeAgent and see how it compares to the former.
Initial Set Up
Setting up an account was straightforward; we simply entered our name, email, company name, and password, and we were ready to go. After logging in we had to enter some additional details such as company information and accounting dates. Next to this were post-it notes, which provided useful tips on how to fill in the form. There was also a video available to guide you through the process. This is great customer support. The form was quickly completed and we were soon at the dashboard.
Desktop Software Features
The dashboard is well laid out and provides a clear picture of your finances. It contains details of: cashflow (income and outgoings graph), bank balance, profit and loss, invoices, and expenses. It is easy to navigate around using the drop down menus at the top.
Invoices can be created and then sent to clients via email. The software also allows clients to pay you online. This is valuable as you may receive payments quicker this way. We created invoices in a couple of minutes. The process was very simple: choose a template, select contact and add items, then the invoice can be sent to the recipient. We liked the ease of use here and the ability to setup recurring invoices.
Expenses can be tracked on FreeAgent and adding an expense was done in a few quick steps. One option that is available when logging an expense is to make the transaction a recurring event. This is beneficial if you have an expense which occurs daily, weekly, or monthly as you can set the transaction to automatically log at your selected interval.
As with most accounting systems you can set up a bank account and enable routine imports of bank transactions. This is nothing new however it is an essential feature to have as it saves a lot of time. It means you do not have to manually add statements to the software and your transactions are automatically updated to show your most recent activity.
Set Up Projects, Create Estimates and Timeslips
These additional features are a brilliant idea. You can create projects and track your activity for that project all in one area. This can help you separate out tasks. Estimates and timeslips can also be produced with ease. These features are not available on some of the other accounting systems.
Contacts can be added to FreeAgent so all your contacts details are there when you need them.
The customer support base on FreeAgent is one of the best we have seen. If you need help you have several ways to get an answer to your problem. Firstly, when you sign up you get a free 20-minute phone call to ask any questions. You can also access an FAQ section where there are several guides on how to complete different actions. These guides have screenshots to take you through step by step.
In addition, there are weekly webinars than you can register for. During the webinar a support accountant will guide you through the FreeAgent basics. This is an exceptional feature to have and shows FreeAgent’s dedication to the customer.
And if that was not enough support, there is also an online chat option where you can message a staff member with your questions.
The app for this software has a great user interface and is extremely easy to use. You can create and send invoices and add expenses, mileage, timeslips and contacts. You can also view bank transactions, cashflow and operating profit.
A feature unique to the app is the ability to photograph receipts to add to expenses. This is advantageous as it means you no longer need to save all your receipts as you will have digital copies of them.
We found the app to have a large number of features available compared to other accounting software. Often there are only a couple of features available on the apps, so this is where this product really excels.
To summarise FreeAgent is a smart, smooth system that has a variety of features and is very easy to use. The user interface is visually pleasing and makes navigation stress-free. Completing tasks such as adding expenses are done in minutes with little effort needed.
We especially favoured the support system that is available. FreeAgent has provided everything they could possibly think of to support the customer including online chat and webinars. It is good to know they focus on the customer experience.
The app is well designed and simple to use on the go. It has many features which are not available on other accounting apps, making it desirable.
FreeAgent unfortunately does cost more than its competitors such as Quickbooks, Kashflow and Xero. All these systems are at a lower cost. However, FreeAgent does have extra features and the app is brilliant. So, it may be worth the money if you are a business who wants all the features and does not want to compromise.