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FreeAgent Accounting Software Review

By
Lori Fairbanks
,
business.com writer
| Updated
Sep 13, 2019
Home
> Finance
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Freelancers and other small businesses that make a living off projects should consider using FreeAgent accounting software. The service offers tremendous features and a good mobile app.

FreeAgent Accounting Software

FreeAgent Accounting Software

The Best Accounting and Invoicing Generating Software

The Verdict

FreeAgent is a good option for project-based small businesses and freelancers needing to invoice billable hours and expenses to their clients. However, its inventory management features may be too basic for businesses that sell products.

FreeAgent is 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. Like the best accounting software, it comes with mobile apps for Apple and Android devices 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.

Visit our best picks page to see all of our recommendations for small business accounting software.

Pricing

There's only one pricing plan 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 for a year upfront 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. There's no contract, so if you decide this isn't the right accounting software for you, 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 with FreeAgent is easy. After you enter your business details, the software guides you through several setup pages where you can link your bank account and select the date format (which is helpful, since U.K. date formatting can be confusing for U.S. residents), your local currency, time zone, and sales tax details. 

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, where you can access email and invoice templates, add your company logo, create an inventory price list, and invite additional users to the software. 

The 30-day trial period is a good time to review the pros and cons of the software, and that process should include a detailed evaluation at its usability. Try rearranging the platform to find a setup you like. If it still isn't up to your standards, you may opt for a different account solution.

Timesaving Features

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 and any reference numbers, payment terms or discounts. On the second screen, you enter line items from a popup box. But there are several little features that speed up your invoicing: 

  • 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, letting 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 of manually importing 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.
  • Mobile app: Available for both iOS and Android phones, FreeAgent Mobile lets you stay on top of your account when you're on the go. 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. 

Other Features

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, including aged receivables, customer sales, balance sheets, and profit and loss reports. Freelancers should keep tabs on their cash flow from projects as well as other standard bookkeeping and accounting metrics, and FreeAgent helps you do that well.
  • 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.  

Additional Considerations

If you need customer support, you can contact the company by phone or email. However, FreeAgent, its customer support team and its phone numbers are based in the U.K., and its hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. GMT, so U.S.-based companies may find it inconvenient to call the company for support. Its phone numbers are not toll-free, so you should expect to pay international long-distance rates. 

There are other customer service options, though. 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 more limited than some other accounting software's integrations. 

Limitations

FreeAgent is a good option for small businesses that are service-based or 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 the software doesn't alert you when you've invoiced for more items than you have in stock. Rather, you must check the Price List & Stock screen for 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.

There's also only one pricing plan; some businesses might want to choose from an assortment of plans to fit more specific budgets and needs. Luckily, the one pricing plan should be affordable for most small businesses.

It's a bit challenging to contact the company by phone if you're working in the U.S., but the other resources mitigate that concerns.

Additional reporting by Bennett Conlin.

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FreeAgent Accounting Software

FreeAgent Accounting Software

The Best Accounting and Invoicing Generating Software

The Verdict

FreeAgent is a good option for project-based small businesses and freelancers needing to invoice billable hours and expenses to their clients. However, its inventory management features may be too basic for businesses that sell products.

Lori Fairbanks
Lori Fairbanks
Lori Fairbanks has years of experience writing and editing for both print and online publications. After graduating from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Arts in English, she worked as a magazine editor and then as a freelance writer and editor for a variety of companies, including marketing firms and a medical university. She now writes for Business.com and Business News Daily about financial systems and services for small businesses, such as accounting software, credit card processing and point-of-sale systems.