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How bank transaction explanations are synced between FreeAgent and Mettle

Once you have created a bank account in FreeAgent for your Mettle business account and enabled a Mettle bank feed, you will be able to explain your Mettle bank transactions in FreeAgent. This article explains how those explanations are automatically synced between both your accounts.

Please note that this feature is only available to sole trader and limited company FreeAgent account types.

When you explain a Mettle bank transaction in FreeAgent, the explanation will be synced with your Mettle account.

When you allocate an accounting category to a transaction dated after 1st June 2021 in your Mettle account, the category will be reflected on the corresponding transaction in your FreeAgent account. However, for any bank transactions dated before 1st June 2021, the category will not be reflected on the transaction in your FreeAgent account.

There are a small number of additional scenarios where explanations for bank transactions will not sync between FreeAgent and Mettle.

For more information about explaining bank transactions using the Mettle app, please refer to Mettle’s guidance.

Syncing explanations for transactions

Explaining a bank transaction involves allocating a payment type and accounting category to the transaction. If you explain a Mettle bank transaction in FreeAgent, the explanation will sync with your Mettle account. The explained transaction will appear in the ‘money feed’ in your Mettle app along with the synced explanation data and the label ‘Explained in FreeAgent’.

Similarly, when you allocate an accounting category to a transaction dated after 1st June 2021 in your Mettle account, that data will sync to your FreeAgent account.

Most accounting categories will sync between FreeAgent and Mettle, but there are some categories that will not sync.

Your Mettle bank feed connection

Bank transactions explanations in FreeAgent won’t sync with your Mettle account if your bank feed disconnects. To reconnect it, you will need to enable your Mettle bank feed again.

If there are new cleared transactions waiting to be sent when your bank feed is disconnected, Mettle will sync these transactions to FreeAgent, along with their accounting categories and attachments, when your Mettle bank feed reconnects.

Please note that if you make any changes to accounting categories for transactions which are already synced with FreeAgent while your bank feed is disconnected, those changes won’t be updated in FreeAgent when you reconnect your bank feed. You’ll need to explain them again in FreeAgent for them to show in your Mettle account.

VAT-registered businesses

When a transaction dated after 1st June 2021 is explained in the Mettle app and then updated in FreeAgent, the 'auto' VAT rate for the selected category in FreeAgent will be applied to the transaction. You can check the auto VAT rate for each category in FreeAgent by selecting ‘Settings’ from the drop-down menu in the top right-hand corner of FreeAgent and then choosing ‘Accounting Categories’.

It’s important to check the VAT rates applied to any transactions explained in your Mettle account before you file a VAT return with HMRC to ensure that you’re reporting the correct amount of VAT.

Why can I see a different category in Mettle to the one I set for the bank transaction explanation in FreeAgent?

Bank transaction explanations that you make in FreeAgent will appear differently in your Mettle account in the following scenarios.

Custom or edited categories

If you have created a custom accounting category in FreeAgent or edited an existing one and used it to explain a Mettle bank transaction, the explanation applied in FreeAgent won’t fully sync with your Mettle account. Instead, the transaction will show in your Mettle bank account as a ‘Custom Category’.

Split bank transactions

If you split a bank transaction in FreeAgent, it will show in your Mettle account as ‘Multiple categories explained in FreeAgent’. Please note that if you change the category of a split bank transaction in the Mettle app, the whole transaction will be allocated to a new category in FreeAgent.

Why is the accounting category I selected in Mettle not showing in FreeAgent?

The category you select for a bank transaction in Mettle will not sync with your FreeAgent account in the following scenarios. In most of these instances, you should receive a push notification via the Mettle app to alert you of this.

Transactions made before 1st June 2021

If you allocate an accounting category to a bank transaction made before 1st June 2021 in your Mettle account, the category will not sync to your FreeAgent account. Instead, you will need to add an explanation to the transaction in FreeAgent manually.

Additional information is required

For some transaction categories in Mettle, FreeAgent requires additional information to explain that transaction fully. If you select any of the following categories in Mettle, you will need to provide additional information by editing the relevant Mettle bank transaction in your FreeAgent account:

    • For a ‘Disposal of capital asset’, link the transaction to the relevant asset in the transaction explanation.
    • For a ‘Credit Note Refund’, link the transaction to the relevant credit note in the transaction explanation. 
    • For a ‘Bill Payment’, link the transaction to the relevant bill in the transaction explanation.  
    • For an ‘Invoice Receipt’, link the transaction to the relevant invoice in the transaction explanation. 
    • For a ‘Transfer to/from another account’, link the transaction to the relevant bank account in the transaction explanation. 
    • For a ‘Payment to User’ you will need to ensure the relevant user has a profile in FreeAgent and select that user in the transaction explanation. You’ll also need to select the relevant category from either ‘Benefit in Kind’, ‘Dividends’, ‘Drawings’, ‘Expenses’,  or ‘Salary & bonuses’.
    • For a ‘Purchase of Stock’, link the transaction to the stock item in the transaction explanation. 

Company-specific accounting categories

The below accounting categories are available to select for a transaction in Mettle. However, a category will only sync to your FreeAgent account if it is relevant to your account type (i.e. for limited companies or sole traders). If you are a sole trader, for example, you can select one of the limited company categories for a transaction in Mettle, but it will not sync with the transaction in FreeAgent.

Limited company only

  • Corporation Tax (820)
  • Corporation Tax penalty (372) 
  • Dividend (908) 
  • Formation costs (294) 
  • Director loan payment (907) 

Sole trader only

  • Drawings (901) 
  • Capital Introduced (901) 

Deleted or edited categories

If you delete or edit an accounting category in FreeAgent, but select that category for a transaction in Mettle, the category won’t be able to sync from your Mettle account to FreeAgent. However, the accounting category will remain set for the transaction in Mettle.

Locked transactions

If a Mettle bank transaction has been included in your Self Assessment tax return or End of Year accounts and, as a result, is locked in FreeAgent, it will no longer update if you add or change the category in Mettle. Please note that you will not receive a push notification from the Mettle app in this scenario.

Syncing attachments from a Mettle account to a FreeAgent account

If you add attachments (e.g. receipts) when explaining a bank transaction in your Mettle account, the most recently added attachment will sync to the transaction explanation in your FreeAgent account.

An attachment will only sync to FreeAgent if you have selected an accounting category for the transaction or explained it in Mettle. There is also a limit of one attachment per transaction in FreeAgent. This means that if you add an additional attachment via your Mettle account, the attachment in FreeAgent will be updated to reflect this.

Please note that attachments that you add when explaining a bank transaction in FreeAgent will not sync to your Mettle account.

Removing transaction explanations

If you choose to remove an explanation from a Mettle bank transaction in FreeAgent, the explanation will also be removed in your Mettle account. Similarly, if you remove an explanation from a bank transaction in your Mettle account, the explanation will also be removed in your FreeAgent account.

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