Get started with FreeAgent
Welcome to FreeAgent! This article is a quick guide to help you get started with your FreeAgent account.
This article contains the following topics. Select a link to skip straight to that section:
- Set up your account
- Enter opening balances
- Import your data
- Create invoices, bills and expenses
- Learn about projects
- Keep on top of your admin
- Next steps
There are dedicated articles to help you familiarise yourself with FreeAgent’s terminology. You’ll also find lots of helpful information and videos, and a link to sign up for one of our live ‘Getting Started’ webinars, on our Getting Started page.
If your business is already trading and you've been recording your accounts in another software package, watch our video on switching to FreeAgent for useful guidance on entering your accounting dates and opening balances.
You can also select the blue Help button at the bottom of the screen if you need assistance. Find out more about how to get help with using FreeAgent.
Set up your account
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. Find out more about these dates and where to view or edit them in FreeAgent.
If you need to give your accountant or bookkeeper access to your account, you’ll need to add them as a user.
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.
If you're unable to log in to your FreeAgent account, please see our troubleshooting steps for login problems.
Enter opening balances
If you’ve been trading for a while, you’ll need to enter brought-forward opening balances from your previous accounting software into FreeAgent.
These are your figures as they stood 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.
Find out more about how to enter your opening balances.
Import your data
If relevant to your business, you can import accounting data into FreeAgent, such as bank transactions, contacts, projects and historical income and expenses. You can find more details on each of these below.
After your bank transactions have been imported or uploaded, you'll 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 can attempt to explain your transactions automatically. Guess will need to be enabled manually for challenger bank feed integrations.
You can use the Projects feature in FreeAgent if you undertake large pieces of work for a customer. This lets you see everything relating to a particular project, such as 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.
Historical income and expenses
Before importing historical income or expenses, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the difference between an expense, a bill and a bank payment in FreeAgent. Then follow the steps below if you need to import them.
If you have historical sales invoices to import into FreeAgent, you can use a third-party integration such as AutoEntry to import the data. Alternatively, you can upload the relevant bank transactions and explain them as 'Sales'.
If you have historical expenses to import into FreeAgent, you can use a third-party integration such as AutoEntry to import the data. Alternatively, you can import the relevant bank transactions and explain them to the relevant cost categories.
Create invoices, bills and expenses
To do this, first enter your business details and add a logo if you wish. You can add a business email address to send your invoices from. There is also the option to set up templates to automatically email your invoices, email payment reminders and email a thank you note once the invoice has been marked as paid.
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, find out how to explain an expense repayment.
Learn about projects
After creating the project, you can create an invoice from the project to record your income against it. Alternatively, you can create the project from an estimate after you’ve sent it to your customer.
Keep on top of your admin
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.
FreeAgent mobile app
If you need to use some of FreeAgent’s more advanced features, you might find the following articles useful: