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- Date Established
- United Kingdom
- Unlimited users
- Easy to use
- Reasonable monthly cost
- International invoicing
- Well-designed UI
- Limited invoice customizations
- No payroll
- Limited reports
- No cash-basis accounting
FreeAgent was founded in 2007 by ex-RAF pilot Ed Molyneux and freelancers Roan Lavery and Olly Headey. A large feature set and unlimited users have allowed this software to soar high for years. Over 80,000 users are aboard the FreeAgent plane, and judging from customer reviews, these users seem incredibly happy with the software.
FreeAgent offers most basic accounting features, project management, inventory, time tracking, international invoicing, and more. A flat monthly fee gives you access to unlimited users with no limits on features. The UI is easy to use and there are many learning resources available. Strong VAT support makes FreeAgent ideal for UK business owners.
While FreeAgent offers a ton of great features, the software has hit turbulence in a few areas. There are limited importing capabilities, a limited chart of accounts, only nine reports, no cash-basis accounting option, no bank reconciliation, and hardly any invoice customizations. The customer support has also taken a turn for the worse.
Despite these drawbacks, FreeAgent is still a great accounting option, especially for UK users. Read on to see whether or not this accounting software is right for you and to learn how to use FreeAgent’s service at zero cost to your business.
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Table of Contents
FreeAgent has a single pricing plan. Payments are made monthly, but you can receive a discount for paying annually instead. There is a free 30-day trial. No credit card information is required, and you can cancel your account at any time.
FreeAgent also often offers a discount for the first few months of service and has a generous referral program as well, where you receive 10% off for every friend you successfully refer. There is no cap on referrals, so you could potentially get your subscription completely paid for.
- Invoices and estimates
- Contact management
- Expense tracking
- Expense claims
- Accounts payable
- Project management
- Time tracking
- nine reports
- Multi-currency support
- Sales tax
- VAT tax support
- Mileage deductions
- Unlimited users
Cloud-Based Or Locally-Installed
Cloud-based; no downloads or installation required.
Hardware & Software Requirements
As cloud-based software, FreeAgent is compatible with nearly any device so long as you have an internet connection and are using an up-to-date version of the following browsers:
- Mozilla Firefox
- Google Chrome
- Internet Explorer (11+)
Specific Size Of Business
FreeAgent was designed with small businesses in mind but could be a good fit for freelancers and contractors as well. Unlimited users make FreeAgent a scalable option for businesses; however, the lack of payroll or a payroll integration may put FreeAgent out of the running for larger businesses.
There are strong user permissions available. You can set nine different user roles to control access; you can lock periods as well.
There are three main versions of FreeAgent: the UK version, the US version, and the Universal version, which is available for all other countries. The UK version is the most developed, making FreeAgent ideal for UK users in need of VAT support. The US version of FreeAgent (which we predominantly focus on in this review) isn’t a bad option, especially for sole proprietors who need Schedule C tax support or businesses in need of international invoicing. However, there are some more developed US solutions out there. Check out our top rated-accounting software to explore all of your options.
Ease Of Use
FreeAgent is incredibly easy to use. The software features a nice UI that is well-organized and intuitive, which doesn’t take long to learn.
FreeAgent offers a strong selection of features. You can take a tour of these features or schedule a demo of the software. Here’s an overview of what FreeAgent has to offer:
- Dashboard: The dashboard features charts and graphs that show relevant business activity. You can easily view your cash flow, invoices, banking, expenses, and profit and loss.
- Invoicing: FreeAgent offers eight invoice templates. The template designs are all appealing, but the customizations could use improvement. You can add a custom logo and header, but if you want to make any other changes, such as changing the color scheme of the invoice, you have to know HTML or CSS. You can set recurring invoices and invoice reminders. FreeAgent makes it easy to write off unpaid invoices as well. The best part about FreeAgent’s invoicing, by far, is that you can send invoices in 28 different languages.
- Estimates: You can easily create and send invoices. Converting estimates to invoices only takes a second, and you can sort estimates by approved, rejected, or sent.
- Contact Management: You can manage both contacts and vendors using FreeAgent. You can save basic contact information, default tax settings, sales tax registration, and custom notes. You can set a default language as well. Contacts are arranged to look like an address book, and contacts are automatically marked as a customer when you send them an invoice or a supplier when you create a bill. When you click on a contact, you’ll be able to view their full history, including how much they currently owe and any invoices, estimates, projects, or bills associated with them. You can easily send account statements to customers as well.
- Expense Tracking: You can track expenses using live bank feeds or by importing bank statements. You can add expenses manually as well. FreeAgent makes it easy to attach expenses to projects and bill them to clients. There is no bank reconciliation at this time. Note: Like almost all software using bank live feeds, FreeAgent partners with Yodlee, which may violate some banks’ Terms and Conditions. Consult with your bank to see whether live bank feeds are a good choice for you.
- Expense Claims: FreeAgent also supports expense claims to help you handle any out-of-pocket expenses that need to be reimbursed.
- Chart Of Accounts: FreeAgent doesn’t have a full-fledged chart of accounts, but you can record income and expense categories.
- Fixed Asset Management: You can record fixed assets (or, as FreeAgent refers to them, capital assets). When you add the asset’s life, FreeAgent will automatically calculate the depreciation for you.
- Accounts Payable: You can create and manage bills and add bills to projects as well. You can set recurring bills and add attachments to each bill.
- Inventory: FreeAgent’s inventory feature is called “Price List & Stock” and can be found under settings. Basically, the Price List portion is your average items list, while the Stock portion actually tracks inventory. FreeAgent will show you the quality on hand for your stock items, but there’s no way to add a stock description or purchase price.
- Project Management: FreeAgent supports project management and basic job-costing. When creating a project, you can add tasks, billing rates, a default currency, a budget (by hours, days, or dollars), start and end dates, and notes. You can attach expenses and billable (and unbillable) time to projects and easily invoice these costs to customers. FreeAgent will also show you your overall project profitability.
- Time Tracking: You can easily track both billable and unbillable time using FreeAgent’s built-in timer, or you can add hours manually. You can create daily or weekly timeslips and attach them to projects.
- Reports: FreeAgent only offers nine reports, which is a bit limited, but the software does have the accounting basics covered. You can also opt to be sent a weekly email with items that need attention (such as overdue invoices, important tax dates, etc.).
- Journal Entries: FreeAgent supports journal entries.
- Default Email Templates: You can create personalized default email messages to accompany your invoices.
- Thank You Notes: You can also create default thank you notes to be sent automatically when an invoice is marked as paid.
- Credit Memos: FreeAgent support credit memos.
- Sales Tax (US & Universal Only): You can create multiple sales tax rates and create sales tax reports with FreeAgent. (The US plan has no limit on sales tax rates, while the Universal plan only supports two sales tax rates.)
- VAT Support: FreeAgent has great UK tax support, including VAT, MTD compliance, and PAYE & NI. FreeAgent will also help with your self-assessment, and you can submit your VAT directly to HMRC. In terms of US tax support, sole proprietors can fill out their Schedule Cs with FreeAgent.
- Mileage Deductions: You can create mileage deductions in FreeAgent under the expense claims feature.
- Multiple Currencies: FreeAgent supports 115 currencies and 28 languages.
- Importing & Exporting: You can import bank statements via .ofx, .qbo, .qif, or .csv. You can also import contacts but only via Microsoft Outlook, Google Mail, Apple Mail, FreshBooks, or Basecamp. You can export all FreeAgent data in the settings.
Customer Service & Support
FreeAgent doesn’t have customer support representatives, they have “support superheroes.” These superheroes are on call from 9 AM to 5 PM Monday-Friday BST (UK Time). In the past, responses were quick and informative. However, it’s taking these superheroes longer and longer to swoop in and save the day. Previously, email response times varied from as little as 10 minutes to three hours at most. Now, response times generally take a day. However, one email I sent wasn’t responded to for five days. There is no phone support, so if you’re looking for a quick response, you may be out of luck.
The good news is that FreeAgent has a good help center and several other support resources. Additionally, while my own experience with customer support is poor, many FreeAgent users report the exact opposite and praise the company for fast response times. Here’s how to get in touch with FreeAgent support:
- Email: The main way to reach FreeAgent support is through email.
- Knowledgebase: FreeAgent has an extensive knowledgebase with tons of how-to articles that are thorough and easy to understand. You’ll also find getting started guides, FAQs, and webinars.
- In-Software Help: You can access the knowledgebase, the getting started guide, and support directly from within the software.
- Small Business Guides: FreeAgent offers small business guides in over 14 different categories, including bookkeeping, invoicing, expenses, payroll, small business, and more. These guides are insightful and cover concepts such as “How to Get Your Invoices Paid in Five Days” and “What If Your Client Won’t Pay? A Lawyer’s Guide for Freelancers.” They are chock-full of good advice and tips for business owners of all types.
- Community Forum: There is a community forum where you can connect with other FreeAgent users to ask questions and see how other companies are successfully implementing the software. You can also make feature requests and view FreeAgent announcements.
- Webinars: FreeAgent hosts weekly webinars that you can attend to help you get started with your account. These can be found within the knowledgebase.
- YouTube: FreeAgent has a YouTube channel with around 130 videos. New videos are added regularly, and there are video demonstrations for almost every feature in the software.
- Blog: FreeAgent has a blog that is mainly used to announce updates and company news. There are a few helpful business advice articles too.
- Grant Support Access: You can grant support access to FreeAgent customer service representatives at any time (you can also disable access at any time). This way, representatives can see exactly what’s going wrong and how to fix it.
- Social Media: FreeAgent maintains active Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts.
Negative Reviews & Complaints
FreeAgent receives predominantly positive customer reviews. You’ll find far more positive review than negative reviews, although there are a few complaints. Here they are:
- Needs More Features: A few users say they want more features and functionality, such as improved invoice templates, reporting, and a cash flow forecasting feature.
- Too Expensive: A couple of users complain that the software is too expensive.
- No Cash-Basis Accounting: There is no cash-basis accounting with FreeAgent, which is a problem for quite a few small business owners.
- Mobile App Crashes: There are several reports of crashes and glitches within FreeAgent’s mobile apps.
Positive Reviews & Testimonials
FreeAgent has a large number of positive reviews, and on Capterra and TrustPilot, 72%+ of the reviews are 5-star. There has been a huge spike in the number of reviews since our last review and the majority are positive. FreeAgent receives 9.1/10 stars on TrustPilot (based on 397 reviews), 4.55/5 stars on Reviews (based on 330 reviews), and 4.5/5 stars on Capterra (based on 111 reviews).
Here are the most common praises:
- Great Customer Support: By far, the most common praise is that FreeAgent has wonderful customer service. Users appreciate the fast response times, in particular.
- Easy to Use & Saves Time: Many users say the product is easy to use, which saves time on administrative work, such as expense tracking and billing.
- Good Feature Selection: Quite a few users comment on FreeAgent’s large feature selection. Freelancers, in particular, find these features to be incredibly helpful.
- Nice VAT Capabilities: Many UK users like the VAT capabilities of the software, especially when VAT taxes can be so confusing.
- Scalable: Many businesses appreciate that FreeAgent grows with their business.
Here’s what a few users are saying:
I can highly recommend FreeAgent — I’ve been using it for 5+ years and it’s been great for productivity.
I have spent literally years trying to find the right accounting app for me as a freelancer. At this point, I’ve used about all of them. I tried QB Freelancer in it’s first year and it had far too many bugs. I used Harvest, but it didn’t have all the features I needed. I tried Freshbooks, but it just didn’t work and it lacked features…Frustrated to the point of just using good ol’ excel sheets, I found FreeAgent. These guys do just about everything perfectly.
I started my own company at age 22 and felt completely overwhelmed with everything business, until I tried FreeAgent. My accountant recommended it along with a few other products, but FreeAgent was my favourite. It’s been three years, and I’m still going strong. Use daily for invoices, time tracking, etc. Solid product, new features added all the time, can’t recommend enough!
So easy to use, unbelievably helpful support — can’t believe it took me four years of freelancing before I finally took the plunge! Thank you FreeAgent.
It just makes running a business easier.
Integrations & Add-Ons
FreeAgent offers 30 integrations (including a Zapier integration, which connects the software to over 1,000 other add-ons). API is available for developers.
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FreeAgent uses 128-bit SSL encryption with SHA256 certificates and redundancy to protect user data. The company also uses intrusion detection and 24/7 physical monitoring. The company is PCI compliant and is certified to the Cyber Essentials Plus standard. FreeAgent’s servers are hosted by The Bunker.
FreeAgent gets a lot of things right. Unlimited users, job costing, time tracking, international invoicing: it’s easy to see why users have such good things to say about the software. The software is easy to use and offers affordable pricing, with no limits on features or the number of users (with most companies, you can pay more than $24/month for just a few extra users). Freelancers and UK users, in particular, can really benefit from FreeAgent’s features and VAT support.
When it comes down to it, FreeAgent is one of the best UK accounting software options out there. US users could definitely make the software work if they wanted to, but the lack of payroll could be a deal breaker for some businesses. In addition, the software could use some improvements in terms of invoice customization, importing capabilities, cash-basis accounting, and customer support.
For some businesses, the pros may definitely outweigh the cons. If FreeAgent still sounds like a good choice for your business or if you’d like to judge the software for yourself, be sure to use the free 30-day trial and let us know what you think. If you’d like to see what other options are out there before deciding, check out our top-rated accounting solutions.