The FreeAgent Blog

Reading to recharge: 5 small business books for your summer holiday

Posted on 11 June 2018 by Andrew Bond - Jump to comments

Summer is almost here! After months of harsh winter it’s time to pack up your suitcase and head somewhere new and exciting. Whether you prefer to relax by the pool or live large on a city break, a good book can be a welcome addition to any holiday.

Enjoy these books for small business owners during your holiday downtime and come back ready to tackle any challenge!

Want to get more organised?

The Organised Mind by Daniel Levitin

Modern life is chaotic. Our phones are constantly buzzing, our calendars are constantly full and our minds are constantly racing. How can we quieten some of this noise while managing to lead productive lives? Neuroscientist and cognitive psychologist Daniel Levitin believes he has the solution.

Drawing on work from both academia and the business world, Levitin suggests ways we can organise our minds and our lives. Diving into topics such as the makeup of the brain and information overload, Levitin gives practical tips to help us tidyup our messy lives and bring order to our chaotic schedules. Levitin has an academic background and is able to combine plentiful knowledge with an engaging writing style.

This would make the perfect audiobook for an early morning drive to the airport.

Image of Daniel Levitin book the organised mind

Want to get more comfortable with selling?

To Sell is Human by Daniel H. Pink

No matter what kind of work you do, as a small business owner you’re likely to find yourself doing a bit of selling at some point. Whether you’re an IT contractor pitching for work or a web designer trying to convince a developer to work with you, being able to present a case clearly and convincingly is a skill that’s definitely worth taking the time to hone.

Writing with a witty flair, Pink argues that selling isn’t a “dark art” but something we’ve been doing unwittingly our whole lives. Drawing on academic research and psychological studies, Pink shows that selling doesn’t have to be deceitful or sleazy and can be carried out in a more honest and human way.

At 140 pages this book is impressively concise – a great read to brighten up your flight or a tedious wait at the terminal.

Picture of Dan Pink To sell is Human Book

Want to get on top of your finances?

A Field Guide to Freelancer Finances by FreeAgent

As a freelancer, managing your business finances may not be your favourite thing to do, but there’s no doubt it’s important. We might be a little biased, but we think our Field Guide to Freelancer Finances is a great addition to your holiday reading list, especially if you’re keen to get to grips with your business finances once you return to work.

We’ve included everything you need to know about your finances as a freelancer or small business owner, including credit control, pricing your work and invoicing. Combining many unique perspectives of those working in the field of freelancing – from a web developer in London to a chartered accountant who specialises in working with small businesses – the book is also a great source of guidance and inspiration.

We recommend that you read this on a sunny terrace on a lazy afternoon! If you prefer to read on kindle, you can access that here.

Image of freelancer finances book

Want to become more comfortable in new situations?

Rookie Smarts by Liz Wiseman

Does facing a new challenge in your business ever leave you feeling a bit out of your depth? While stepping outside your comfort zone isn’t always easy, leadership expert Liz Wiseman argues that it’s actually a great place to be. In Rookie Smarts, Wiseman proposes that those who are new to things, “rookies”, often excel as they bring an attitude that’s open to new solutions and continuous learning.

Even if you’re not new to a subject, Wiseman urges readers to take on a “rookie mindset”, staying fresh and curious in a world that’s constantly evolving. One way she recommends doing this is spending time with rookies. So even if you’re a veteran in your trade, hiring an intern for a while may freshen up your thinking.

While those around you listen to music on the beach, take your chance to get stuck into Rookie Smarts!

Image of Rookie Smarts book by Liz Wiseman

Want to gain more general business knowledge?

The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman

Josh Kauffman’s The Personal MBA provides an entertaining and comprehensive overview of all the business topics you might need to get handle on as a small business owner, from sales, to finance, to setting up repeatable and scalable business systems, this book has it all.

The appendix recommends 99 other books for further reading, so you can continue your learning long after the holiday is finished!

Image of the Personal MBA by Josh Kauffman

Now you know the books you need, the only thing left is to go on holiday. So pack your suncream, hunt out the sunglasses and don’t forget to take some of these delightful reads with you!

Improved data export now available

Posted on 6 June 2018 by Roan Lavery - Jump to comments

A box full of exported data

We’ve made some significant improvements to the export data feature in FreeAgent, meaning you can now easily download all of your data, files and attachments.

No, we’re not trying to get rid of you, but we know how important it is to have full control of your data.

The first big change is that you can now download all of your previously uploaded files, receipt images and attachments. Go to the export all data section in your settings, and you’ll see the new option to download files and attachments. Depending on how many files you’ve uploaded, this can be quite a chunky export, so we’ll email you a download link when it's ready.

We’re also making some changes to our account data export. We know that some of you use the export data option to get numbers into a spreadsheet for ninja-level reporting purposes, so we’re adding even more data to this export.

You can find out more about exporting your data over on our Knowledge Base.

Oh, and one more thing

We recently introduced the ability to ‘hide’ users in your FreeAgent account.

Data from hidden users will still affect your accounts but you can hide them so they no longer appear in most drop-downs and lists. Which keeps everything nice and tidy.

Our Knowledge Base explains everything.

Until next time,

Roan and the team at FreeAgent

Keeping your account secure

Posted on 1 June 2018 by Richard Grey - Jump to comments

We recently introduced a new feature to improve customer password security. We included a new strength meter and we also began checking newly entered and reset passwords internally against publicly-known lists of common, weak or previously exposed passwords.

Unfortunately, we identified an error that stored these passwords visibly in our internal logging system. While access to this data was only accessible to a restricted group of FreeAgent engineers, we took immediate action to rectify the problem.

We have identified all the customers who could potentially have been affected and have emailed them to let them know. If you’re a FreeAgent customer and you haven’t received an email about this issue, there’s nothing that you need to do.

We are very sorry this happened and we remain committed to reviewing and improving our processes to ensure that similar incidents do not occur in future.

Richard Grey is Head of Information Security at FreeAgent. He is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional with over 15 years' experience managing personal data across various software solution providers.

Revolut x FreeAgent integration is now live

Posted on 31 May 2018 by Roan Lavery - Jump to comments

FreeAgent and Revolut logos

Are you a customer of Revolut? If so, we have some good news - their FreeAgent bank feed integration is now live.

This integration lets Revolut customers link up their bank account with FreeAgent, pushing transactions into their FreeAgent account roughly every 4-6 hours. From there, these transactions can be reconciled as normal.

To set up the integration, just tap ‘Connect’ on the main screen of the Revolut app, and then select FreeAgent. If you need any help with this, please contact the Revolut team directly.

We hope this integration will be a big time saver for any of our customers who use Revolut. Keep your eyes peeled for more exciting bank feed functionality improvements in the future.

All the best,

Roan and the team

Page 1 of 171

< Previous