PayPal: API Setup and automatic feeds

This article explains how to set up your PayPal Premier or Business account to synchronise with your FreeAgent account and enable Express Checkout for receiving invoice payments online.

If you have a PayPal Premier or Business account you can accept online payments from your clients using Express Checkout. With API access enabled, you can automatically sync PayPal with your FreeAgent account.

Granting API access to FreeAgent through PayPal

Begin by adding your PayPal email address to your list of verified emails in FreeAgent. Next, add your PayPal account to FreeAgent.

Log into your PayPal Premier or Business account, select the ‘Activity’ tab and choose ‘API Access’ from the drop-down menu.


Select the 'Grant API Permission' link.

On the 'Add New Third Party Permissions' screen, enter and select 'Lookup'.


Select the following five options from the resulting screen:

  • Use Express Checkout to process payments
  • Obtain your PayPal account balance
  • Obtain information about a single transaction
  • Search your transactions for items that match specific criteria and display the results
  • Generate consolidated reports for all accounts


Enabling an automatic bank feed in FreeAgent

Navigate to your PayPal account in the ‘Banking’ area of FreeAgent and select ‘Edit Details’. 'Look for the 'Additional Features for Premier or Business accounts' options and select from the 'Enable Automatic Feeds' and 'Enable Express Checkout' checkbox options.

We recommend that you tick the ‘Guess bank transactions’ tick box as this will ensure that the PayPal fees are split out and explained automatically for you.


Foreign currency transactions

FreeAgent can account for any income you receive through foreign currency PayPal transactions.

If you’ve set up your PayPal account to automatically convert foreign currency transactions into your FreeAgent base currency*, you should set up a single PayPal account in FreeAgent in that currency. Your converted transactions will then import and will be posted to your accounts as normal.

If you hold multiple foreign currency balances in PayPal, you will need to set up separate accounts in FreeAgent (one for each currency) and choose the appropriate currency when you complete the details for each account.

uskb.pngFreeAgent will only import PayPal transactions that are in the relevant currency for each of your PayPal accounts in FreeAgent, so all your foreign currency transactions will feed through to their respective accounts separately.

How FreeAgent accounts for foreign currency transactions

FreeAgent automatically accounts for your foreign currency PayPal transactions in the base currency of your FreeAgent account, using the latest exchange rate on

This means that the figures on your accounting reports (such as your balance sheet and profit and loss report), and the figures you see on your overview screen will be displayed in your base currency. FreeAgent revalues your accounts every day against the current exchange rate and updates your converted figures accordingly.

*If you have a UK account, your base currency will be GBP, if you have a US FreeAgent account, it will be US dollars, and if you have a Universal account, it will be the currency you selected when you first set up your FreeAgent account.

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