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FreeAgent Tips

freeagent tips and hintsFreeAgent tips and hints

At >>Nimble Jack Accounting we love working with FreeAgent.  We think it is the best online accounting software and that is why we give it to our contractors, freelancers and small businesses as part of our packages.

Here’s a few tips for keeping your FreeAgent tidy and keeping your accountant happy!

1.)  Raise your invoices on time

It only takes 60 seconds to send an invoice in FreeAgent and until you do that, you definitely won’t be able to get paid for it!  To keep a consistent cash flow, try to invoice regularly during a project and not just once at the end.  This way you will always have cash in the bank to cover those business expenses and to pay yourself!

Here is a step by step guide to creating a professional invoice in FreeAgent.

2.)  Claim your out of pocket expenses on time

When you pay for a business expense yourself on behalf of your company this is called an “out of pocket” expense in FreeAgent.  This means that your company owes you this money – and you should “claim” it back as soon as possible.  There are so many stories of people forgetting to submit the receipt and then losing it!  Don’t let this happen as you will lose the money!  So spend a few minutes each month to claim all those receipts lying in the bottom of your wallet or handbag!

Here is a step by step guide to claiming expenses in FreeAgent.

3.)  Declare your dividends on time

We have taken clients over who have missed £10,000 of tax free dividends because their old accountants did not advise them properly!  Each year as a minimum (if profits allow) you should take £7,488 of salary and £31,488 of tax free dividends.  That is £38,976 of tax free income.

The tax year runs from 6 April to the following 5 April.  You must declare your £31,488 of dividends during this time, otherwise you will miss out on them. You cannot declare dividends retrospectively – this would be an illegal dividend!  Finally, when paying a dividend, you must make sure you have that amount of retained profit at least – just check this in FreeAgent.

Here is a step by step guide to paying a dividend in FreeAgent.

4.)  Chase unpaid amounts

This is not just a tip for FreeAgent users, but key for any business.  Most businesses fail because they have cash flow problems.  Many of these businesses don’t even know who owes them money.  With FreeAgent you never need to have this worry as at the touch of a button you can see who owes you, how much and for how long.  You just need to make sure that you raise your invoices on time and you upload and reconcile your bank statements.

Here is a step by step guide to checking who owes you money in FreeAgent.

5.)  Upload your bank statements regularly

Uploading your bank statements is important as it will help you reconcile who has paid your invoices, what your expenses are for and help you pay dividends and salaries.  The key is to make sure you have signed up for online banking.

Here is a step by step guide to uploading bank statements to FreeAgent.

6.)  Check your taxes

One of the problems with traditional accounting systems and spreadsheets is that they do not give you an estimation of tax at any given time.  With FreeAgent you can be in complete control of your finances as the great tax timeline will tell you exactly how much tax you will have to pay and when.

The tax timeline is brilliant way of budgeting for the future as you will have no nasty surprises.  Please note the FreeAgent tax estimations are just that.  Your accountant will always finalise your tax figures based on your final accounts.

Here is step by step guide to integrating your FreeAgent tax timeline with your calendar.

7.)  Use Apps!

We live in the time of apps and smart phones.  You will be pleased to know FreeAgent works brilliantly with a range of apps.  To make your life easier you can use apps like Mobile Agent or Receipt Bank to scan and copy expenses instantly to your FreeAgent account.  For their price, they really are a bargain as they will make your life completely stress free.

Here is a list of great FreeAgent apps.

For more information you can visit the FreeAgent website.

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About Hardeep Mangat

Hardeep is a down to earth accountant, who loves helping contractors, freelancers and small businesses save tax and make more profit. He also has a particular interest in IR35 . Hardeep attended University College London and is a Chartered Certified Accountant, who previously worked for Credit Suisse Investment bank and at a local accountancy practice.

Hardeep on Linkedin and Google+

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