Established in 1975, Blevins Franks is a chartered accountancy and tax adviser practice with clients ranging from the freelancer up to large businesses.

Rebranded as BFCA in April 2009, the practice has offices in London and looks after most of its clients remotely by email and telephone.


Shortly after the start of the new millennium, HMRC introduced new regulations to ensure small companies and contractors had a better understanding of their company, including its finances.

Since then, BFCA has adapted its approach so it can still provide expert advice but also offer services that keep clients informed. To do this a clear and simple system to present accounting information to the client was needed, with online connectivity being key.

BFCA had explored a number of different online accounting systems but found the majority were usable for the accountant but confusing for the client. It needed an intuitive system the freelancer and contractor would be able to understand.

Having tried to develop its own system, Head of Small Business, Phil Richards was always on the lookout for an online service that could benefit the company and its clients. The ultimate challenge was finding software which wouldn't require manual intervention from BFCA's accountants, and would allow its clients clear control of their finances at all times.


FreeAgent came to Phil Richards' attention when he was reading a popular freelancer forum. An online accounting service created by freelancers for freelancers, FreeAgent is easy to use and gives a clear picture of profit and loss, making financial decisions and running a freelance business easier.

For BFCA, FreeAgent was the ideal offering because it included everything a freelancer or contractor needs to manage their own company. Working hand in hand with the software, the BFCA service provides the valuable advice and information to ensure clients get the maximum benefit for their company.

Being online, FreeAgent can also be accessed by both client and accountant when BFCA needs to provide remote advice and, where required, complete end of year financial statements.

From March 31 2009, BFCA moved all its freelancer and contractor clients onto FreeAgent Central software. The software is now included as part of BFCA's annual fee and provides clients with an up to date tax position for the last tax year.

The software allows BFCA clients to prepare VAT returns, calculate self assessed income tax and corporation tax and manage PAYE and NI. Users can monitor profit and loss, send and track invoices, track time and expenses, manage projects and payments. The service is also hugely attractive to BFCA with its benefit of linking personal and business tax together in a simple way.


FreeAgent is something that people can instantly understand and this is hugely beneficial for us and our clients. Initial feedback has been very positive as clients start to see the immediate and automatic picture of their finances.

-Phil Richards, BFCA

For BFCA, FreeAgent is the ideal online accounting system for freelancers and contractors, constantly evolving and staying relevant as the world of accounting continues to change.

As the client gets a better grip of their finances, BFCA is able to focus on providing expert knowledge and advice to its many clients.

Phil Richards, BFCA Head of Small Business said: "We knew what we wanted but were technically unable to do it for over a decade."

Phil Richards
Company Type:
Limited Company