Free Agent – Is This The Way Forward For Accountancy?

For someone who finds bookkeeping a drag, and fails to create time to keep their records properly.  Or for someone who is interested in a change of their bookkeeping system to help make their life easier, then Free Agent could be for you.

Free Agent is a relatively new bookkeeping system that is all web based.  That means, no installations, no downloads and no space taken up on your PC or laptop.  As long as you have an internet connection you can access your information from anywhere, being from your PC or through an APP on your phone or tablet device.  This gives bookkeeping a more flexible and ‘on the go’ feel so that the previous ‘drag’ of having to go through and write or type each individual transaction at the end of the day/week/month/quarter to keep your books in order is reduced and hopefully gone completely!

When you initially log into your unique Free Agent account you are taken to the ‘dashboard’, this is effectively an overview of how your company is performing over the year.  There is a cash flow graph at the top showing money coming to and from the company on a month by month basis and the bank is shown in a line graph format so that you can visually see what has been happening with your company’s finances.  Separate lists of amounts due from or to you are also shown, and the dashboard has the flexibility for you to choose what you would like to be shown.  So if you would like to keep an eye on motor expenditure for example, this can be shown on a box on the dashboard.

One of the best features of this system is the fact that it is able to link up with your company bank accounts.  Once you have inputted your bank details, depending on the settings you choose Free Agent will download your bank transactions at the end of every day, saving you a lot of time, and also making sure your bank balances immediately as it is taken directly from your bank statements.  Your job is then to allocate those transactions to the correct expense account.  Free Agent also has the ability to pick up regular transactions and allocate them for you, saving even more time in future months.

Instead of having to write or type individual invoices and trying to remember what number invoice you are at Free Agent produces invoices for you.  There are also a number of formats to choose from if the standard invoice doesn’t suit you.  These invoices can then be e-mailed to customers through Free Agent so work does not need to be duplicated in order to send them out.  These e-mailed invoices also have the ability to be paid online, straight to your bank account through a link at the bottom of the invoice, giving customers an extra option to pay you quickly and efficiently.

If you are VAT registered, VAT returns can be filed online through Free Agent making VAT filing a lot easier.

Payroll can also be run through Free Agent, with the ability to print pay slips as required.  PAYE can also be submitted online through Free Agent and meets all the Real Time Information (RTI) requirements

Trying to explain all the features that Free Agent has to offer is extremely difficult as there are so many! So this is just a brief overview of the package.  So if this small piece of information sparks an interest into what we are currently offering then please contact us here at Balance and we can speak to see how Free Agent or something similar could help you and your business today.

This article was compiled by Jacob Lee, trainee accountant at Balance Accountants.

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