FreeAgent Review Part 2 – Features

It's the features that show FreeAgent has really considered their target market.

What's special

Projects - FreeAgents not the only software that allows you to allocates sales and costs to particular projects but it feels much more of an important part of FreeAgent. Whatever you are doing there's usually an assign to project option nearby. You can even break down a project into smaller tasks.

Time tracking - If you work on a time and materials basis FreeAgent makes it as easy as possible to track your time and create neat timeslips.

Expenses - There's two things we really like about FreeAgent's expenses system. The first is that it integrates really nicely with the project system. When you enter an expense you are asked if you want to recharge it to the client and if so whether at cost or with a mark up. Second, they let you record mileage clearly and simply at 45p per mile. We haven't seen any other package that does this (without clunky workarounds) despite it being how the vast majority of moden businesses charge car travel.

Dividend vouchers - If you mostly pay yourself in dividends you need to make sure you do it right. FreeAgent helps by preparing a dividend voucher and some board minutes. Too many small businesses don't go through these steps and risk a scary tax bill if they are unfortunate enough to come across an over-zealous tax inspector.

Payroll - The Payroll system works well. Just tell FreeAgent your monthly salary and it will work out your deductions and prepare a payslip. This is something lacking from Xero and KashFlow (though add-ons are available). On the downside, it only works for one director/employee and if you have anything complicated going on (such as a pension or childcare vouchers) you will need something more comprehensive.

Tax calculations - This is bold stuff and deserves a screenshot ....

 

For most contractors, keeping on top of tax is a nightmare. FreeAgent is trying to do everything it can to make this easier. The screenshot above uses all the information previously input into FreeAgent to run a corporation tax computation. If correct, this not only gives the user a clear view of their future tax bill but should make completing their tax return a breeze. We say 'if' though - check out our slightly less enthusiastic accountant's view later in this review. There's a similar function for personal tax.

Built-in features

  • Invoicing - raise a sales invoice with your company logo, automatically email it out
  • Recurring (eg. monthly) invoices are also possible
  • Multi-currency, but it doesn't allow foreign bank accounts
  • PayPal integration
  • Fixed asset depreciation
  • VAT reporting
  • Overview of outstanding invoices
  • An iPhone app for expenses
  • Dropbox integration
  • Contact management

You can see a complete list of third party Add-Ons here. At present FreeAgent don't seem to have quite the same level of third party developer support that KashFlow and Xero enjoy.

Features verdict

We think FreeAgent's features are unrivaled for contractors or freelancers, especially those in the creative industries.

If you expect your business to grow in terms of employees and transactions we just don't see the special features being as relevant and you might feel that you are using a system designed with someone else in mind.

 

 

>> FreeAgent Review Part 3 : Design
<< FreeAgent Review Part 1 : Usability

If you have a view on FreeAgent's features please leave a comment:

 

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