Starting in business is never the easiest thing - there are so many more aspects to making it work than simply plying your trade… accounting and finance being one of them.
Being able to accurately and quickly see where the money is coming from and where it is going is essential.
pebble.it started life using Excel! This very quickly got out of control as the number of transactions increased and we started to learn about tax. So we moved on to MYOB - a very powerful, fully-fledged, accounting package (Macs & PCs). MYOB lasted for a couple of years until we became too frustrated with the average interface, sheer number of options that we did not understand and its non distributed nature (even though you can make it work in a distributed fashion, it is clunky).
By this time, there were a number of web-based, software-as-a-service accounting systems cropping up. In the end it came down to deciding between Freshbooks (a US-based company) and FreeAgent (a UK-based company).
Freshbooks was, and still is, a little further developed, but it did not specialise in UK tax and its feature set is enormous - almost too big again. It also does not look as nice!
- Quick Views - snap shots of outstanding invoices, overdue bills, P&L, bank balances.
- Recurring Invoicing - retainer client invoices automatically created on a frequency of your choice.
- Permissions - give employees and your accountant varying levels of access.
- Project Profitability - link money in and out to a specific project to assess profitability - a great feature.
- Time Tracking - easily track time spent on projects by the hour, day or week.
- Reminders - set up FreeAgent to automatically send out invoice reminders for overdue invoices - this makes life so much easier when invoicing a lot.
- Payroll and Tax - calculations specifically tailored to UK companies.
- Reconciliation - now so much easier as FreeAgent can recognise recurring bills and assign them to the right account automatically - we no longer need a bookkeeper which easily saves us hundreds of pounds a month.
- Extras - there are other systems that integrate with FreeAgent, and we are sure that the number of apps doing this will continue to grow - check out their goodies page.
FreeAgent has revolutionised our ‘admin’ lives and is well worth investigating - it could help your business too.