Add a new bank account

When you first set up your FreeAgent account, you will probably have linked it to a bank account. FreeAgent treats this as your primary bank account, which means it puts that bank account's details on the invoices you generate so your customers can pay you online. Here we explain how to add another bank account, credit card account or PayPal account to FreeAgent.

1 Select Banking from the menu

navigation_banking

This brings up the summary of bank accounts. You can see that there's just one listed so far here under the graph, the account that you set up when you first started using FreeAgent.

just_one_account

2 Choose account type

Select the Add New button to choose what kind of an account this is. You can choose from Bank Account, Credit Card or PayPal.

account_type

3 Enter account information

FreeAgent then takes you to the New Account screen where you need to enter all the relevant information. If you’re adding a new PayPal account, make sure the email address you enter is the same one that you use to log in to PayPal.

4 Is it a personal or business account?

You can tick this box here to say the account is a personal account, that is, it's not a business bank account. This is for sole traders and partners who are running their business through a personal bank account rather than having a dedicated business bank account. The key differences between personal and business bank accounts in FreeAgent are explained in this article.

personal_account

If you're uploading your bank statements from online banking, you have to explain what every transaction is if the account is a business bank account (that is, this box is not ticked), but you don't if it's a personal account.

You can't record money paid to a user from a personal bank account, because money transferred between personal bank accounts isn't part of the business's transactions. That's fine if you're a sole trader and the only user is yourself, but if you have employees, you would need to make sure the account is not set as personal so that you can record their salaries correctly on FreeAgent.

5 Is this your primary account?

You can also tick this box here to make this account your primary account, rather than the account you set up when you first started using FreeAgent.

primary_account

That's handy if you have changed banks since starting to use FreeAgent and have a new business bank account.

Information required for uploading transactions

If you're going to be uploading your bank statements from Online Banking, then you'll need to put in your bank account number and sort code, so that FreeAgent can identify that you're uploading from the correct account. Do not include any spaces or dashes in either number.

bank_numbers

6 Your opening balance

Put in the balance of your bank account as at the start of the day on your FreeAgent start date. This will be the same as the balance at the end of the previous day. So if your FreeAgent start date is 6th April 2012, you'd put in the balance from your bank statement as at the end of 5th April 2012.

If you opened this account after the FreeAgent start date, then put a zero in the Balance box. You must put a figure in or you'll get an error message.

balance_box

7 International banking

Under More Options, you'll find a place to enter international banking information.

advanced_options

If you want the international information to print on your invoices, make sure the contact's country is set as outside the United Kingdom.

Once you've finished entering all the details, select Create New Account to save this account and start working with it, or Cancel to close without creating the new bank account.

That's it, what's next?

You're now ready to start recording transactions going through your bank account.

Why is it important to record bank transactions?

This is the foundation stone of your bookkeeping, as it's an important part of a tax inspector's checks to make sure that you've included everything from your business bank account(s) in your tax returns.

Once you've set up your new bank account, you can start entering your bank transactions; for example, upload them and then explain them, or enter them manually.

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