• Xtract Accounting

What is FreeAgent Cloud Accounting Software?

Updated: Feb 7


Xtract Accounting, the small business Accountants for Directors and Limited Companies, have chosen award winners FreeAgent as their preferred accounting software partner for their small business clients. Read on to find out why.


A person completing their FreeAgent Accounts on a laptop
FreeAgent Dashboard

Running a small business can be time consuming at the best of times, not just with the day-to-day running, but also the financial upkeep. Complex manual processes, out-of-date figures and restricted access are all familiar problems and can prevent key financial decisions from being made. So how do you manage your accounts efficiently and ensure access to the latest financial information? FreeAgent Cloud Accounting Software – Feature rich and designed with the small business owner in mind, not accounting professionals.


As a FreeAgent Partner and experienced user of the software ourselves, we cherish the many features and benefits FreeAgent has to offer small business owners.


They get real time information on all their key financial figures, save time by using the many automated processes, find it easier to manage and understand their accounts, get more insight and value from their accounts and can easily share information securely with authorised users – and their accountants.


These are strong benefits that allow owners to focus on running their business and coupled together with the benefits of our proactive and fixed fee monthly 'FD' service, results in effective decision making based on sound financial information.


If you are considering how to improve your accounting processes and your financial decisions, we strongly recommend finding out more about FreeAgent.


With that in mind, we thought we would give you a head start by summarising below just some of the features FreeAgent has to offer small business owners, but if you would like to discuss it in more detail, feel free to contact us.


A cloudy sky

What is FreeAgent and cloud accounting?

The truth is that cloud-based software has been available for many years now. It is available for many popular, important business applications such as Internet banking, Office 365, SalesForce and Amazon Web Services to name but a few. Think how such applications have transformed our business lives.


Cloud software is just that – the software is accessed through an internet connection, “the cloud”; there is no programme to install or maintain on your own computer systems. That means any authorised user can access the software and their data from any location and on any device – laptop, desktop computer or smartphone. Never has “at the touch of a button” been truer.


When it comes to accounting, a cloud-based software is so much more convenient to access. You can check information, update records, carry out transactions (like sending quotes and invoices to customers, for example) or share information with other people, wherever and however you happen to be working.


But the benefits don’t stop there; most cloud-based accounting software, like FreeAgent, are packed full of features that you wouldn’t normally see on traditional computer-based accounting software, for example, integration with contact and calendar scheduling apps, as well as payment integrations such as Stripe and GoCardless, all of which aim to make your administrative tasks lighter and more automated.


In a post-pandemic world, this ease of access and superior functionality will become the key ingredient to maintaining an efficient accounts function for small business owners.

A padlocked door

“What about the security of my data?”, I hear you ask. Well, along with the programme itself, your data is also held securely in the cloud, protected by the highest levels of security, the same security that banks use as a matter of fact.


Think about the disruption caused by a disaster at the office like a fire or flood; there is a serious risk that your data could be lost or inaccessible. But this is not a problem you need to worry about when the data is held in the cloud. All you need is an Internet connection to get your accounting systems up and running again.


The other benefit of cloud-based systems like FreeAgent is that the software company is responsible for backing-up data and maintaining, managing, securing and updating the software, so you don’t need a technician on site to cover that.


It is the case that cloud-based software is becoming an increasingly vital asset to small businesses seeking an advantage over their competition. To keep up with the ever-changing environments in which they are used, software companies are continuously developing and pushing out product updates, some as frequently as weekly.


In terms of cloud-based accounting software, it is estimated that they will soon evolve into full scale business management tools, assisting small business owners with everything from scheduling a Zoom meeting with a client to submitting Customs importation paperwork.



FreeAgent benefits


Real-time information

One of the biggest benefits of FreeAgent is “Real-time Information” - the availability of your financial information right there, whenever you need it. If you have ever struggled to figure out whether your numbers are right up to date, you will know why this is important.

FreeAgent Bank feeds

FreeAgent uses technology such as Open Banking to feed all of the latest transactions and inputs directly into your software, so any numbers you check are right up to date. There is a clear, easy-to-use dashboard where you can view the latest figures, and a tax timeline that tracks your upcoming tax payments.


With our Monthly 'FD' service, a client will also receive the benefit of a monthly profit and loss health check and tailored profit extraction advice – both of which would not be possible were it not for Real-time information.


So, when you are making important decisions or checking if you need to chase payments or get more funding on board, with FreeAgent, you can be confident that your calculations are accurate.


Automated functions

Your time is valuable, and it is likely that your financial responsibilities can sometimes take a back seat until you have more time to deal with them. With FreeAgent, you can cut down on the time you need to spend on accounting and concentrate on other important aspects of growing and running your business.


As touched upon above, FreeAgent uses Open Banking technology to automatically feed your daily banking information directly into the software. Not only that, but FreeAgent learns how you explain those banking transactions, and given time, will automate the process for you. With FreeAgent, manual inputting of banking data and bank reconciliations are a thing of the past. The time saving potential is significant.

A person doing their expenses on the FreeAgent Mobile app

Always on the move? No problem! Upload receipts and expenses, and even log your business mileage via the clever FreeAgent mobile app. It is always synced with your data in the cloud, so you don’t need to worry about repeating the process when you get back to the office.


And then there’s invoicing. With todays economy, it has never been so important to keep on top of business cashflow. With FreeAgent, you can automate your invoicing process, starting with sending an estimate or quote, all the way to chasing payment.


Send reoccurring invoices? FreeAgent can do that automatically too! FreeAgent can even be connected directly to your GoCardless and Stripe accounts, so taking payments from customers can become a one-click process.


Greater insight

As a business owner, the real value you need from your accounting system is not just up-to-date numbers, but in-depth insight into the financial health of your business.


It is important to get a clear view of cash flow, for example, or the number of customers who are paying late. You might also want to identify the key customers who really are important to the growth of your business.


If you are not familiar with accounting programmes, it can be hard to get that information from your systems, but FreeAgent makes it easier. The developers have designed the software specifically for small businesses, and the above information is presented neatly on your FreeAgent Dashboard, the very first page you will be presented with upon logging into your FreeAgent account.

The FreeAgent Dashboard displayed on a tablet device

You can customise the way the FreeAgent Dashboard is presented to ensure that the most important information to you is seen first.


And when you need specific information, either in the form of a summary or a detailed drill-down, FreeAgent can provide either view. So, the more familiar you become with the system, the greater understanding you will have of the many important financial aspects of your business.


Clients of our Monthly 'FD' service also receive the benefit of a monthly Profit and Loss health check, providing you with even further insight into your business finances.



Simpler collaboration

There may come a time where you need to share the information within your accounting programme with other stakeholders outside your business - banks, investors, suppliers, and business partners, and of course your bookkeeper or accountancy company.


With traditional systems, you probably had to rely on emails or memory sticks to share data — methods that were inherently insecure.


Because FreeAgent is cloud based, you can share the information via the Internet by giving authorised users secure access. That makes it easier to discuss with your stakeholders the live performance and financial figures for your business.


Where your accountants are concerned, they can see what you see; if you make a mistake, or need some urgent tax advice, they can logon and immediately provide the support and advice you need to move you forward.


Talking of support and advice, our Monthly 'FD' service with fixed monthly fees, uses your live accounts data to provide proactive and monthly bookkeeping support and tax advice. Click the link above to find out more.



FreeAgent for your business?


By using FreeAgent accounting software, which is included at no extra cost to clients who use our Monthly 'FD' service, we believe that you will be able to transform the way you manage and use your accounts, helping you to gain real confidence in your numbers and focus on growth.

Visit our website to learn more about FreeAgent, or alternatively, call us on 0330 133 2615 or email us at hello@xtractaccounting.co.uk.



About the Author of this Blog post…

A portrait of Gordon Roe

Hi, my name is Gordon Roe and I am the Founder and Managing Director of Xtract Accounting. Having worked in an accountancy practice setting for well over a decade, I had become accustomed to the same annual routine for clients - Books in… Analyse… Queries out… Answers in… Finalise… Accounts and Tax Advice out.


Then, in 2020 I realised I could use advancements in technology and software to significantly improve the relationship between accountant and client, and at the same time, provide an insightful and real-time tax advice service. After all, that is what the modern client expects and deserves!


And so, Xtract Accounting was born…


Xtract Accounting are online accountants based in Lincolnshire, who offer proactive small business accountancy services exclusively to Directors and Owner Managed, Micro and SME Limited Companies throughout the UK.


We specialise in helping Directors Xtract more out for the work they put in!


Our monthly 'FD' service with fixed monthly fees, sees us take on the more proactive role of Finance Director for your business, and offers a plethora of benefits including:

  • Inclusive accounting software provided by FreeAgent,

  • Your very own dedicated accountant,

  • Regular insights into how to maximise your tax efficient (or even tax free!) income,

  • Jargon-free telephone and email support,

  • Plus, much, much more!

With Xtract Accounting, you can be sure your accounts and tax will be kept up-to-date and organised.


Find out more about us or connect with us on Social Media (below)