The FreeAgent Blog

FreeAgent is well known for its easy invoicing, expense and other bookkeeping features, but did you know it also has some really useful behind-the-scenes functionality that could help you save even more time? Here are five pro tips to help make managing your books in FreeAgent even easier.

Create an invoice price list to save time

Do you often invoice your customers for the same product or service and spend ages meticulously entering the details about those items every time you create a new invoice? You may be able to save some valuable time by creating a price list instead. Once your price list is set up, when it’s time to invoice your customer you simply choose the item you need from the list, and FreeAgent will automatically add the item to your invoice. No extra effort required!

Set your invoices to send themselves

If you send regular invoices to a customer - for example if you're taking monthly payment by direct debit and need to invoice for each different payment - then you could save valuable time by creating a recurring invoice profile. FreeAgent uses recurring profiles to generate invoices when they’re due, they’ll just automagically appear in your accounts. You can also set up FreeAgent to send automatic emails to accompany every invoice, saving you even more time and admin.

Link FreeAgent to other apps

Since FreeAgent probably isn’t the only app that you use to run your business, it’s a great idea to check out our integrations page and also third party services like Zapier to see how you can connect FreeAgent to other apps to save time. For example, you could automatically create a Trello card from a FreeAgent project, automatically add new FreeAgent contacts to a Mailchimp list, or automatically add FreeAgent projects to your Google calendar. For a masterclass on time-saving automation, check out this example from Hitreach to see how they automated their sales process and saved their business around £25,000 (or $38,600) per year.

Keep tax deadlines from sneaking up on you

If you’re in the UK or US, you probably already know about the FreeAgent Tax Timeline, which displays a live projection of how much money you owe for tax and when you owe it.

But did you know that you don’t even have to log in to FreeAgent to see this information? You can export the details of your tax deadlines into your Google, Outlook or iCal calendar by following a few easy steps, and make sure those tax deadlines can’t sneak up on you.

Chase your invoices and say thank you automatically

Chasing invoices is one of those necessary evils of running your own business, but you can save a lot of time and hassle by setting up FreeAgent to automatically remind customers about their invoices by email, and even to send a thank you email when they’ve paid. We can’t guarantee that you’ll never have an awkward conversation about payment again, but hopefully FreeAgent can take the bulk of the time-consuming reminders to help you get back to work.

All year, our awesome customers have been sharing the FreeAgent love online, so we wanted to say thanks this Valentine's Day by sending some love back to them. Instead of the usual flowers or chocolates, we wrote a custom love song for anyone who had tweeted that they loved us and even took requests on Twitter to keep the love going. You can see all the love songs here, and check out some of our favourites below

A duet for Hannah

A blues song for Tom

A special request song for Dan

A country song for WMP studios

A ballad for Startacus

How to build great customer relationships this Valentine’s Day

Posted on 12 February 2015 by Matt Perkins – 0 Comments

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, this is an ideal time to think about the relationships you have with your customers, so here are our top tips for showing your customers some love and building positive, lasting relationships with them.

Work on your relationships with existing customers, as well as new ones

While attracting new customers is always going to be important, remember that your existing customers need some TLC as well! Spending time with your customers will not only make them feel valued, it could give you an opportunity to boost your sales. Make sure your customers are aware of everything you can offer, and consider whether there might be an additional product or service you can tell them about.

Treat your best customers to a premium service

If you feel you’re selling all you can to your top customers, then how about offering them a ‘premium’ service? This can cover all sorts of angles but essentially it's about aligning your offering to the needs of your very important clients. You could consider offering special delivery options to your premium customers, for example, or working on slightly different payment terms, if that's appropriate. If you can make your input into your customers' lives as relevant and valuable as possible, they are far more likely to want to continue their working relationship with you.

Encourage your customers to return the love

If you invest time and effort in nurturing your relationships with your existing customers, they should be keen to recommend you to their friends and family. Recommendations can be a great source of new business, so make it as easy as possible for customers to refer you to their friends. You might want to think about offering an incentive to encourage customers to do this; you could offer a small discount, for example, or a one-off complimentary product or service.

Keep moving your long-term relationships forward

When you've been working with a customer for a long time, it can be easy for the relationship to become a little stale. The key to any strong, lasting relationship is communication, so get out there and talk to your customers. Don’t just ask them what they love about you; ask them what your weaker points are as a supplier and what you could be doing differently. That way you can make the right changes and build even stronger bonds with your customer.

What’s new in February?

Posted on 11 February 2015 by 0 Comments

You’ll want to make sure you’re sitting down for this one, as we rush with gay abandon into the heady world of VAT MOSS, capital asset disposals and more.

VAT MOSS

If keeping up with the exciting developments in the world of VAT is your thing, then you’ll be aware of the furore surrounding changes to the way tax is handled for businesses supplying digital services to consumers in the EU.

Designed to prevent large corporations unfairly exploiting international tax rules, from January 1 2015 VAT on digital services is paid in the consumer’s country, not the supplier’s country, and is charged at the rate that applies in the consumer’s country.

But for a micro-business selling ebooks online for instance, this would involve potentially registering for sales tax in every EU country you supply to. Which would be painful to say the least.

To simplify things HMRC came to the rescue with the introduction of VAT Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS). Once you’re registered for MOSS, you can account for the VAT due on sales in other EU countries by submitting a single quarterly return and payment to HMRC.

Still with me? OK. HMRC will then send an electronic copy of the appropriate part of your return, and any payment, to each relevant country’s tax authority.

Now, if for any reason that wasn’t as clear as an azure sky of deepest summer, take a look at the HMRC guidance on MOSS.

How FreeAgent helps

If you do think the new rules will apply to you, then FreeAgent is here to help. The first thing to do is head over to the Settings >VAT Registration page and confirm you’ll be making VAT MOSS sales. If you’re already VAT registered, select the EC VAT Reporting option.

When you create an invoice or explain a bank transaction as Sales, you can now flag this as being under VAT MOSS, and include the place of supply. This will let you apply the appropriate sales tax for the country, and ensure the sale doesn’t appear on your normal VAT return (if you have one).

VAT MOSS sale

Finally, you can now view a list of all VAT MOSS transactions on the Show Transactions page under a separate category, which should make filing your MOSS return easier.

If that hasn’t completely satiated your desire for VAT MOSS then our Knowledge Base article keeps the fun rolling.

Disposing of capital assets

Now, VAT MOSS is a tough act to follow, but we think now having the ability to dispose of capital assets is up to the task!

Previously you could record the purchases of capital assets but there was no way to explain if you’d sold an asset.

You can now explain transactions as disposals of capital assets, which will prevent further depreciation, ledger the profit or loss made on the disposal, and get all the accounts right.

select disposed asset

Our Knowledge Base article explains how this all works, and includes information on what to do if you’ve been previously journalling for capital assets disposals.

And finally

  • You can now run the aged debtor/creditor reports as at any date of your choosing.
  • When you view the invoices tab for individual contacts you now have the filter option to see only Draft invoices.

And I think that’s probably enough excitement for one day.

Until next time,

Roan and the team at FreeAgent

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