Whether you’re a seasoned FreeAgent user, new to the software or about to get started with FreeAgent, it’s likely that you’re not utilising its full potential. We’ve worked closely with FreeAgent for over 3 years so we know the system back to front and we’ve found the 3 most under-utilised features that could help you run your business.
The tax timeline
The tax timeline discreetly sits in the bottom right hand corner of your dashboard and shares the space with the profit and loss overview so many users miss out on all it’s got to offer. As the name suggests, this feature basically shows you a timeline of all your taxes in the same place so rather than waiting on a letter that may never arrive from HMRC or setting a reminder on your phone to prompt you to pay taxes you could simply check your tax timeline. The beauty of this feature is that is shows when payments must be made and when returns have to be filed for all of your taxes in the same place so VAT, PAYE, self-assessment and corporation tax are all in the same place. As if this feature wasn’t useful enough, as of December 2016 FreeAgent will now allow you to set up mobile reminders from the FreeAgent app on your phone so you will never need to worry about what needs to be paid and when.
Bulk bank transaction explaining
FreeAgent’s bank feeds are widely regarded as the biggest timesaver when it comes to your bookkeeping as it does most of the data entry for you but last year FreeAgent made it even better! When you’re up and running FreeAgent has got used to your expenses and how they look in your bank account they automate almost all your bookkeeping, but initially it needs a little more assistance to identify what’s what. This can make your set up take a little longer especially if you’re back dating several months of bookkeeping but now you can explain bank transactions in bulk. This means even with 6 months or more of unexplained transactions you could be up to date in no time. Existing users can also benefit from this feature as the odd little transactions that FreeAgent doesn’t automatically explain like cups of coffee on the road that will always come in with a different price and reference can be explained in one simple sweep with the bulk explaining tool.
While this isn’t a new feature or some revolutionary new way of doing something, it’s a massively under-utilised feature that could give you more control and understanding of your business. While the profit and loss or balance sheet is broadly the same as the statutory accounts you get from your accountant at the end of the year, your accountant is working with old data that just tells you what happened in the past. FreeAgent’s reporting capabilities allows you to look through the windshield rather than the rear-view mirror so you get an up to date view of exactly where your business is and where it’s going. The flexibility of the reports allow you to view monthly profit and loss accounts that could allow you to identify trends in business or even identify the most profitable work you do. The aged debtors report is another great resource as I’m sure we can all agree that a tool that gets you paid faster is worth using. The aged debtor reports gives you a to-the-minute view of who owes you money, how long it’s been outstanding and allows you to generate an email to chase the payment in just 2 clicks!