How to create a new expense

Here's how to record your out-of-pocket expenses (your own money that you spend on business expenditure).

Depending on your FreeAgent account type you'll either find Expenses in the main menu or in the My Money menu. You can also quickly create a new expense by choosing New Expense from the Quick Links menu on the Overview screen.

1. Choose a user

Once you’re in the Expenses area, select yourself, or if you have multiple users, select the appropriate user (i.e. the person who spent the money) from the 'Show' drop-down menu. Here's how to add employees or colleagues as users on your account.


Next, select 'Expense' from the 'Add New' drop down menu. If you're recording a mileage claim, you'll need to follow a separate set of instructions.


2. Create a new expense

Payment or Refund

Choose whether this was a payment or a refund. It'll usually be a payment but sometimes you might need to record a refund, for example if the employee was personally paid back for something he or she has previously claimed on expenses, such as a train ticket which was not used because there were engineering works in progress.



Choose a category for the expense. You can also add a new category, for example, subsistence, clothing or petrol.

If you're a UK based company registered for VAT, make sure it's in the right category for VAT. For example, if your employee bought some stamps at the post office, make sure that you categorise this as Postage so that no VAT is claimed on it.



Enter the date of the expense. Please note that the earliest an expense should be dated is your FreeAgent start date. If you enter an expense dated before your FreeAgent start date, this will add a negative brought-forward balance in the 'Expenses' area. Find out how to enter an expense dated before your FreeAgent start date.



Choose the currency that you used to pay for the expense. If this is a currency other than your base currency please see our foreign currency expenses article.


Enter the amount of the expense, as on the employee's receipt. Put the figure in inclusive of any VAT. Remember, if you need to override the default Auto VAT setting, you can choose from a set percentage, or choose Amount from the menu if you need to manually enter the amount of VAT.



Put a description of what this was for. You might also want to make a note of why the employee incurred it, particularly if it's a tax-sensitive expense such as business entertaining.


Link to project

You can link this expense to a project...


...and optionally re-bill it to that project's customer, at cost or with a mark-up.


Setting up a recurring claim

If this expense is going to happen again in the future, for the same employee and same amount as before, for example, a mobile phone voucher, use the Recur option to create a duplicate automatically.



If you have any paperwork that relates to the expense (e.g. a receipt), you can attach a scanned copy by choosing ‘Select a file’ from the 'Attachment' area and following the instructions.

If you used the FreeAgent mobile app to capture an image file and save it to the 'Files' area of your account, select 'Choose from saved files' instead and follow the instructions. Attaching an image file to an expense will remove it from the ‘Files’ area of your FreeAgent account. 

If you have attached a file to an email template, the file will be locked in the ‘Files area’ and you won’t be able to attach it to an expense. If you want to attach a locked file, follow these steps.


Once you've finished entering the expense, select 'Create New Expense' to save it, 'Create and Add Another' to save this expense and start entering another one, or 'Cancel' to close this screen without saving the expense.

That's it. Job done!

The expense has been added to the list of costs incurred by this user which he or she can expect the business to pay them back for.


I've made a mistake entering my expenses

You can edit expenses and FreeAgent will automatically defer these changes if necessary to the next open VAT return.

I want to delete a recurring expense claim

Navigate to the 'Expenses' area of your FreeAgent account and choose 'Recurring' from the expense type drop-down menu to see a list of all your recurring expense claims. Select the recurring expense that you want to delete and then change the option displayed in the 'Recurring?' area of the expense to 'Does Not Recur'. Select 'Save Changes' to complete the process.

I want my business to pay me back for what I've spent

Please see our guide to recording a payment from the business to a user.

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