This article explains what CoPilot is and how it allows you to work with an accountant directly within FreeAgent.
What is CoPilot?
CoPilot is an innovative new way of working with an accountant. For a set monthly fee, you can choose a FreeAgent partner accountant who suits your business and then work with them directly within your FreeAgent account.
How to find a CoPilot accountant
Please be aware that exploring the steps below is completely without obligation, and your FreeAgent subscription amount will not be altered in any way unless you explicitly confirm the purchase of a CoPilot subscription.
You will see slightly different options depending on whether your business is listed as a sole trader, partnership, LLP or limited company in FreeAgent. Limited company directors will be offered the option of working with a CoPilot accountant on their Corporation Tax return, which is not applicable to the other business types.
1. Navigate to ‘Connections & Add-ons’
Select your company name at the top-right of the screen and select ‘Connections & Add-ons’ from the drop-down menu.
2. Select CoPilot
Select ‘Learn more’ in the ‘CoPilot’ section.
3. Select ‘See our accountants’
Review a brief description of CoPilot before selecting ‘See our accountants’.
4. Browse the accountants
Review the CoPilot accountants to find one that may fit your needs. Select 'More information' below each partner’s details to find out more about them, or click the play button to watch a video about the accountant’s practice. You can visit each accountant’s website by selecting ‘View accountant website’ below their details.
5. Get in touch with a CoPilot accountant
To get in touch with an accountant, select ‘Send a message'.
6. Provide your contact details
If you’d like to share any details about your business, add them to the 'A little bit about my business' section. You can also include any questions you have for the accountant.
Next, provide the phone number and email address you’d like to be contacted on and tick the checkbox to give permission for your details to be shared with the accountant.
Finally, select 'Send a message' to complete the process or 'Back to accountants' to return to the full list of CoPilot accountants.
If you choose to send a message to an accountant, they will normally get in touch with you within a few working days.
7. Decide whether to work together
When you hear back from the accountant, they’ll organise a time to speak with you about your needs, how your business works and how you’d like them to help. You may also discuss additional accounting work that’s required beyond the scope of the CoPilot service.
If you’re happy to work together, the accountant will carry out a simple ID check. Once that’s complete, they’ll invite you to sign up to CoPilot.
8. Review and confirm
For the final step, you’ll need to confirm your CoPilot purchase within FreeAgent. To do this, navigate back to the 'Add-Ons and Connections' area of your account and then select ‘Sign up to CoPilot’.
Next, review your CoPilot plan, including the terms and conditions. If you and the CoPilot accountant have discussed any additional accounting work beyond the scope of the CoPilot service, you can see what’s included by selecting the ‘What’s included?’ link in the ‘Additional accounting work’ section. Once you’re happy with all the details, tick the checkbox next to ‘I agree to the CoPilot terms and conditions’, then select ‘Sign up to CoPilot’ to complete the process.
How to message your CoPilot accountant from your FreeAgent account
Once you're set up with your CoPilot accountant, you can message each other directly from within your FreeAgent account.
Please note that only the FreeAgent account owner will be able to send, receive or access CoPilot messages.
To send a message to your CoPilot accountant, select your company name at the top-right of your screen and choose ‘Add-ons & Connections’ from the drop-down menu. Next, select ‘Manage CoPilot’ and then ‘Messages’. Compose your message in the text box and select ‘Send’ when you’re ready to send it to your accountant.
You can also send a message to your CoPilot accountant from within FreeAgent by selecting the bell icon in the top-right corner of your screen. Select the ‘CoPilot’ tab and then choose ‘View all messages’ to be taken to the CoPilot area of FreeAgent, where you can send a message.
When you receive a new message from your CoPilot accountant, a yellow dot will appear on the bell icon in the top-right corner of your screen. When you select the icon, the number of unread CoPilot messages will be shown in brackets beside the ‘CoPilot’ tab header. Select it from the menu and you will be taken to the CoPilot area of FreeAgent, where you can read the message.
If you have any questions about CoPilot, we recommend getting in touch with your CoPilot accountant. If you don't have one yet or you still need support after contacting your CoPilot accountant, select the blue ‘Help’ icon at the bottom-right of any screen in FreeAgent. Enter your question, select ‘Get in touch’ and choose ‘Leave a message’ to send us an email. Someone from our support team will then get in touch.
Why can’t I see any mention of CoPilot in my FreeAgent account?
CoPilot is currently only available for a subset of eligible businesses. If you’re interested in the service but you don’t see a CoPilot option in your account, please contact the FreeAgent support team by following the process outlined above.
What happens once I’ve contacted my chosen CoPilot accountant?
You should hear from the accountant within a few working days. However, if you've not had a response within this time and you want to speak to them urgently, get in touch with our support team via the ‘Help’ icon at the bottom-right of any screen in FreeAgent and we will contact the accountant on your behalf.
What do the identity checks with an accountant involve?
There will be an ID check to verify your identity, along with some basic paperwork to set you up as a client on your accountant’s system. If your business is a limited company, there may also be a check on your directorship of the business.
What does additional accounting work involve?
There are occasions when your accountant will need to complete additional work that isn’t included as part of the CoPilot service. For example, they may need to file your historical accounts or tidy up your account data.
If additional accounting work is required, your accountant will discuss an additional fee with you to review before choosing to sign up to CoPilot.
How will payment for my CoPilot subscription be taken?
Payment for your subscription will be taken on your next FreeAgent subscription payment date. The CoPilot charge will be added to your usual subscription amount and taken each month for as long as you subscribe to the CoPilot service. If you pay for FreeAgent annually, you’ll be billed each month for CoPilot, separately from your annual subscription.
What if I’m not happy with the CoPilot accountant I’m working with?
If you experience any issues, please contact FreeAgent’s support team by following the process outlined above.
Can I change my CoPilot subscription if my business circumstances change?
If your business circumstances change (for example, if your business becomes VAT-registered) and you need to change your CoPilot subscription, please contact your CoPilot accountant and they should be able to help.
Can I cancel my CoPilot subscription?
You can cancel your subscription at any time. Just contact FreeAgent's support team by following the process outlined above.