I have not long got all my tax shenanigans out of the way for this year.. Well when i say ‘I’, i mean i pay a guy to trawl through a shoebox of paperwork and make sense of my financial dealings at the end of the tax year.
I am scared of such matters, but after talking with my friend Giles @kyomedia I am feeling like technology is finally simplifying the right parts of peoples lives and may well be un-complicating areas I have previously feared to tread.
Giles informed me that In September this year, a new online UK book keeping service launched. If you dont like doing your accounts or have problems with invoicing or tax returns, take a look at FreeAgent. In the past he has tried using Quickbooks, Simplybooks, Freshbooks, Excel and even the dreaded Sage. (All of which make me want to go live in a cave.)
He says FreeAgent allows him to keep a track of his time, mileage and expenses. He can even upload copies of receipts or create a login for his accountant etc. He started with downloading and importing his statements from his online bank account and it was no drama at all to categorise the income and expenses.
Normally when Giles recommends something, I am all over it like a rash. He is certainly the early adopter when it comes to professional tools. I just can’t seem to find my business gland on this one.. A little office confidence to make me take the plunge.. There’s a good chance that I’ll still be chucking receipts and printouts of my bank details into a box this time next year. I am sure this is down to my formaphobia.. Still. I am doubly enthused by Giles’s enthusiasm as I’ve felt this kind of intuitive accounting has been a long time coming.
Giles sent me a referral code that gives both the user and himself a 10% discount. Feel free to use it if you are going down this path. There’s also a free 30 day trial.
On the whole Its not that cheap but comparable to other boxed software and by the sounds of it, good value.
Giles then went on to tell me that he was not just sending me the link for the discount He really thinks the service is excellent. Here is the link..
Should you click it and give it a go, please let me know how you get on. Every time I throw a receipt into a box I do wish i had a little more control over my finances. Maybe the time has come.
Jenny Armstrong says
I looked at freeagent when it came on the scene a while back but you had to find a compatible accountant which seemed a bit messy to me.
Whilst researching my options I came across http://www.inniaccounts.co.uk who offer a similar online service. The main difference is that these guys are accountants with their own software online. I felt more confident they would know their product inside out rather than having two separate parties, one software provider & the other being the accountant.
I’m glad to have my freelancing business online and would recommend it to any freelancers out there. Which ever you opt for, you wont look back!
Richard Mackney says
Great post Christian,
I think I did my first self assessment as a freelancer in 1997 and found the whole process scary. Since then I have found the tax office to be amazing at helping and even attended a self employed training session at my local tax office.
Since they took the self assessment form online it has become even easier, I find that as long as you keep digital records as you go rather than let it all build up for a year it’s a breeze. Money in and money out is what it’s all about and making sure you know every bit you are allowed to claim for. I don’t know if working for yourself is contagious, but I seem to have advised loads of friends since 97 on going freelance and what can and can’t be claimed.
Today, for me, it’s more about the time involved and if it makes more sense to be using your time to make money and then pay someone to look after it rather than do it yourself. For this I call upon a ‘book keeper’ that comes in once a month – and this makes the accountants job easier (and cheaper).
I do love the idea of online book keeping and especially digitally sending copies of invoices to be stored online.
Ed Molyneux says
I’m Ed, founder of FreeAgent Central.
I hope you find the motivation to dive in and take a closer look at FreeAgent. As Giles will tell you, it’s not so much just a case of getting organised, it’s makes a real difference to the way our users _feel_ about their finances. Less anxious, more in control. That’s what keeps us going.
(PS Hey Jen, our users have the freedom to stay with their existing accountant as well as move to one of our partners. Most do just that)
(PPS Hey again Jen, maybe your involvement with inniAccounts ought to be disclosed in your comment, no? Or did you just put their website address accidentally in as yours ;->)
Jenny Armstrong says
thanks for your comment Ed. I’m no expert with using the internet and I didn’t understand what the website box was for so I just stuck theirs in!
Greg Wallace says
I’ve recently started freelancing and was looking for a professional online tool for keeping on top of the money side of things.
Free Agent Central done the trick, and the invoice templates and tracking is a great feature for easily managing your client invoices, and they look pretty smart as well!
Marie Poulin says
I tried the 30 day trial of Freeagent and it seriously blew my mind. I’ve been looking for something like it for so long, and was considering quickbooks… but this is so well organized, so clean, and it seriously puts all of the finances in perspective and makes me feel in control. I just signed up using your referral code, and so far I am seriously impressed. I use it pretty much daily to enter in all my freelance expenses. I think this is going to save me hours come tax time! I will definitely be referring this to other friends/colleagues!
Its the perfect way to keep track of projects on the go and hours spent, as well as expenses, GST, invoicing, etc. They couldn’t have made it easier. I LOVE that you accomodate for Canadian currency.
i heart freeagent!
Patrick Macdonald says
I tried a number of the alternatives both on and offline and came back to FreeAgent for its ease of use and interface. What a great design!
I have been using the FreeAgent Central for my graphic design business for the past year. It is hands down the best accountancy application I have used. The interface is easy to understand, the application is periodically updated and improved with new features, the customer support is quick and helpful.
David Whitehouse says
You should listen to your friend, I’ve been using FreeAgent for just under a year now, and I love it. You can check out my review if you like, if you’re not sure, you can view it here.