How to deal with a loan from a bank or government scheme

This article explains the steps you need to take in FreeAgent if your business has borrowed money from a bank or a government loan scheme.

You can follow these steps if you received a loan from a bank or from the government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) or Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS). If you received a loan from an individual, find out how to deal with a loan from an individual instead.

If your business provided a loan to a business or employee, find out how to deal with a loan provided to a business or employee.

You’ll need to follow the steps below to add a new liability category for the loan and then explain the bank transactions associated with the loan once they have been imported into your FreeAgent account via a bank feed or uploaded from a bank statement.

Please note that if you created a dummy bank account to represent the loan, you should continue to explain the bank transactions as transfers between the dummy bank account and your business account, rather than following the steps below, until the loan has been repaid in full.

You'll need to have full (level 8) access to your FreeAgent account to follow the steps below.

1. Add a new liability category

First, add a new liability category in FreeAgent by selecting 'Settings' from the drop-down menu in the top right-hand corner of the screen and then selecting 'Accounting Categories'.

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Select ‘Liabilities category’ from the ‘Add New’ drop-down menu.

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Enter a name for the category in the ‘Description’ field and choose a new nominal code number for it.

FreeAgent will only let you pick certain codes - for example, ‘Liability’ categories can only range from ‘731’ to ‘780’ - and some of the codes will already be taken by FreeAgent's existing categories.

Choose where the category should be reported on your Final Accounts report from the ‘Reporting Type’ drop-down menu. If you’re unsure which category to select, please ask your accountant.

Once you’ve chosen a nominal code, select ‘Create Category’ to save this new category.

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2. Explain the bank transactions

Next, you'll need to explain the bank transactions associated with the loan that are paid into and out of your business bank account.

Money paid into your business bank account

Once you've received the money and the relevant transaction has been imported into your business bank account in FreeAgent, navigate to the ‘Banking’ tab at the top of the screen and select ‘Bank Accounts’ from the drop-down menu.

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Choose the relevant bank account from the list.

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Select the transaction that you'd like to explain.

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Select ‘Other Money In’ as the transaction ‘Type’ and choose the liability category you created from the ‘Category’ drop-down menu.

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Select ‘Explain Transaction’ to complete the process.

This will create a balance in the new liability account for the amount of the loan, which would be recorded as a liability on the Balance Sheet because the loan is money that the business is expected to pay back.

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A record of the bank transaction being explained will also appear in your Audit Trail report.

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Money paid out of your business bank account

When you repay the loan with money from your business bank account, navigate to the relevant bank transaction, select ‘Other Money Out’ as the transaction ‘Type’ and choose the liability category created for the loan from the ‘Category’ drop-down menu.

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Select ‘Explain Transaction’ to complete the process.

This will reduce the amount in the liability category on the Balance Sheet as the business no longer owes the full amount of the loan.

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A record of the bank transaction being explained will also appear in your Audit Trail report.

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Paying interest on the loan

If your business is due to pay interest on the loan, you'll need to split the bank transaction between the liability category you created for the amount of the loan repayment and the amount of interest. When allocating the amount that is interest, select ‘Payment’ as the transaction ‘Type’ and select ‘Interest Payable’ as the transaction ‘Category’.

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A record of the bank transactions being explained will also appear in your Audit Trail report.

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