FreeAgent is small business accounting software designed for freelancers and small business owners, and it's especially suited for service- and project-based businesses. It's 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 phones that you can use to create and send invoices, track time, photograph receipts and track expenses. It offers a single service tier for U.S.-based businesses. U.K. and international versions are also available.
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There's only one pricing plan available for the U.S. version of this accounting software, and it supports an unlimited number of users, customers, projects and transactions. It costs $24 per month, though the introductory offer is $12 for the first six months, and an additional discount is available if you choose to pay upfront annually rather than monthly.
The software has a 30-day free trial, so you have ample time to acquaint yourself with the program before signing up. If you decide this isn't the right accounting software for you, there's no contract, so you can close your account at any time without incurring cancellation fees. There's no setup fee either, so the only thing you pay for is your monthly subscription.
Ease of Use
As with most of the small business accounting software we reviewed, setting up an account is easy. After you enter your business details, the software guides you through several setup pages where you can select the date format (which is helpful, since U.K. date formatting can be confusing for U.S. residents), choose your local currency, time zone, sales tax details and link your bank account.
The interface for this online accounting software is more nested than others, but the dashboard has movable cards that allow you to rearrange it to your liking. Invoicing is located under the Work tab at the top of the screen, along with estimates, projects and time tracking. FreeAgent houses a lot of information on the settings screen, and you'll use this screen to access email and invoice templates, add your company logo, create an inventory price list, and invite additional users to the software.
Creating estimates and invoices is a little different with this small business accounting software, as it's a two-step process. On the first screen, you enter setup details, such as whether the invoice is attached to a project, any reference numbers, payment terms or discounts. Then, on the second screen, you enter line items from a pop-up box. But, there are several little features that speed up your invoicing, such as the following.
- On invoices, you can include any unbilled items attached to the project, such as timeslips or expenses, which is a unique feature that would be helpful for businesses that charge their customers for these items.
- After creating an estimate, quote or proposal, you can convert it to an invoice with a single click.
- You can schedule recurring invoices and automatic payment reminders, saving you the time it would take to create and send them manually.
- FreeAgent integrates with PayPal 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.
- You can set up the software to automatically send your customers a thank-you email after you receive their payments.
Here are some additional ways FreeAgent helps you accomplish your accounting tasks quickly.
- Billable time and expenses. The software has a timer, so you track the time you spend on a client project and create accurate timeslips that you can then add to invoices with just a few clicks. It also tracks expenses, which you can invoice as well.
- Bank feed. You can connect your bank, credit card and PayPal accounts to the software and your transactions are automatically downloaded each day, saving you the time it would take to manually import them.
- Smart bank reconciliation. FreeAgent's smart reconciliation tool, called Guess, predicts which of your bank transactions match with those you've created using the software.
- An app. Available for both iOS and Android phones, FreeAgent Mobile lets you stay on top of your account when you're on the go. With it, you can see an overview of your accounts, create and send invoices, snap photos of your receipts and create expenses, claim mileage, view your contacts, and track your billable time.
FreeAgent is very capable accounting software. It can help you manage your vendors and fixed assets, track bills, and create a price list of the items or services you sell. Here are a few of its notable features.
- Reporting. You can run both detailed and high-level financial reports, from aged receivables and customer sales to a balance sheet and profit and loss report.
- Projects. FreeAgent helps you keep estimates, invoices and payments for a project in one place. It also helps you manage time and monetary budgets, track time against project tasks and track billable expenses.
- Customizable invoices. You can change the look of your estimates and invoices by changing the theme from the invoice screen or the settings screen. (You have to go to the Settings screen to add your logo to the system if you haven't done that yet.) Although you can choose from eight templates, there aren't color or font options unless you can code CSS, in which case you can create a custom template.
If you need customer support, you can contact the company by phone or email. However, the company, its customer support team and its phone numbers are based in the U.K., and its hours are Monday through Friday, 9 to 5 p.m. GMT, so U.S.-based companies may find it inconvenient to call the company for support. Phone numbers are not toll-free, so you should expect to pay international long-distance phone rates.
The company's website offers multiple support resources, including a searchable knowledgebase, FAQs, getting-started videos, weekly webinars, welcome calls and a blog.
Some third-party integrations are available, so you can connect the software to other business applications you already use, but the selection is limited.
FreeAgent is affordable accounting software and is a good option for small businesses that are service-based or that carry just a few inventory items. But, inventory-based businesses will find it lacking. There isn't a tab for inventory; rather, you access the Price List & Stock screen from the Settings menu.
Adding inventory items to invoices is clunky, and it doesn't alert you when you've invoiced for more items than you have in stock. Rather, you must look up the Price List & Stock list from the Settings menu to check the quantity you have on hand. This is inefficient for companies wanting to track the number of products they sell in real time as they invoice.
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