Welcome to FreeAgent! This article is a quick guide to help you get started with your FreeAgent account, from entering your initial settings to linking your bank account and creating your first invoice.
The Getting Started page on the FreeAgent website contains some handy videos on setting up your account, along with a recorded webinar that offers a guided tour of the software. You’ll find a whole host of more detailed information on how to get started with FreeAgent here in the Knowledge Base. You can also select the blue ‘Help’ button in the bottom-right corner of the screen if you need assistance.
To get up and running quickly with FreeAgent and familiarise yourself with its main features, we recommend you work through the following steps:
When you sign up for a FreeAgent account, you’ll receive an email asking you to verify your email address. It’s important that you follow the instructions in the email to confirm your account and prevent temporary limitations being placed on your account.
When setting up your FreeAgent account, you’ll need to enter your business’s accounting dates. For more information on these dates and where to view or edit them in FreeAgent, please see this article. If your business is registered for VAT, you’ll also need to enter the business’s initial VAT settings in FreeAgent.
If your business has been trading for a while and you’re moving to FreeAgent from another software package, the next step will be entering your opening balances. If your business is new, you can move on to importing your data.
2. Enter opening balances
If you’ve been trading for a while, and particularly if the business is a limited company, you’ll need to enter brought-forward opening balances from your previous accounting software into FreeAgent.
These are your figures as they stood as at your FreeAgent start date, and you can obtain these from a trial balance from your previous software package. Your opening balances include any money owed to the business from customers and money owed from the business to suppliers.
For more information on entering opening balances, including those you need to enter if your business is registered for VAT, please see this article.
If the bank feed is connected via Open Banking, then you can import transactions dating back two years. If your bank account is with a challenger bank such as Monzo, Starling Bank, Revolut or Capital on Tap, then you can set up an integration, which will function in a similar way to a bank feed.
After your bank transactions have been imported or uploaded, you will be able to view them in the ‘Banking’ area of FreeAgent, where you can explain them to tell FreeAgent what each transaction relates to.
Once you’ve started explaining transactions, FreeAgent’s Guess feature will attempt to explain your transactions automatically. Guess is enabled by default for Open Banking bank feeds, but you will need to enable it manually for challenger bank feed integrations.
Contacts in FreeAgent are your individual customers and suppliers. You will need to set up the relevant contacts in order to create invoices or enter bills.
The Projects feature in FreeAgent can be used if you undertake large pieces of work for a customer. It allows you to see everything relating to a particular project - including invoices, estimates, expenses, tasks and tracked time - in the same place. If you’ve been using Basecamp to manage your projects, you can import your Basecamp project data into FreeAgent.
If you spend money on your business using personal funds, you would enter these costs as out-of-pocket expenses. You can record your out-of-pocket expenses on the go using the FreeAgent mobile app. If the business then reimburses you for costs that you paid for personally, please see this article.
Radar is a FreeAgent feature that contains an ‘Admin To-Do List’ and provides a feed containing tailored Insights into your business’s performance and information on any new features or product updates.
The FreeAgent Tax Timeline displays a live projection of how much money you owe to HMRC for PAYE, Income Tax, VAT and Corporation Tax - and when it’s due to be paid - so you’ll know how much to set aside for tax bills. It also reminds you of the filing deadlines, which you can synchronise with your Google, Outlook or iCal calendar so that you never miss a deadline.
FreeAgent mobile app
You can download the FreeAgent mobile app and perform a range of tasks on the go. For information on the mobile app’s functionality, please see this article. Please note that you won't be able to use the FreeAgent mobile app if you have an unincorporated landlord account.
If you need to use some of FreeAgent’s more advanced features, you might find the following articles useful:
FreeAgent is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority under the Payment Services Regulations 2017 (register no. 799763) for the provision of account information services.
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