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FreeAgent launches accountants division

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5th Mar 2014
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Cloud accounting software FreeAgent has launched a dedicated division to support UK accountants and their clients.

The application won AccountingWEB's 2013 Software Satisfaction Award in the small business accounts category, and added a self assessment return filing module in December last year

Until last year, FreeAgent relied on IRIS to market its software as IRIS OpenBooks within the profession. But after IRIS surprisingly acquired FreeAgent's close competitor KashFlow, the marketing restriction was lifted. On the same day that the KashFlow deal was announced, FreeAgent was talking about its expansion plans. To back these ambitions the company has recruited team to lead its new accountants division, including former ICAEW business development manager Andrew Garvey.

The FreeAgent Friendly initiative will offer accountants client training, marketing assistance, formal accreditation and exposure to FreeAgent's 35,000-strong micro-business base. This activity will supplement existing product training and accreditation programme, which also has a directory of accredited practices.

"We’ve already put together a strong team with a lot of experience within the accountancy profession to lead our FreeAgent Friendly efforts, and we believe this expertise will be invaluable as we drive forward our work with practices across the country.

Molyneux added that the company is planning to add self assessment return capabilities for both limited liabilities and partnerships, following the success of the same offering for sole traders this year. 

The forms capability was introduced before Christmas but no one could file online until the first week in January. 

"The timing meant that we may have missed some customers who were more organised but we got new customers and latecomers, but it was very successful and we had fantastic feedback," he said. 

With FreeAgent becoming more accountant-focused, other cloud applications such as Kashflow and Xero have been ramping up their efforts too. While IRIS has revamped KashFlow and added payroll capabilities to appeal to the small business market, one of KashFlow's main objectives will be to sell into the existing IRIS practice user base.

But Molyneux isn't worried about KashFlow. 

"We think more about Xero than KashFlow in how seriously we view the competitiveness. But both fit in same box and are best suited for larger businesses than we are interested in.

"KashFlow is in the same box as Xero in that it doesn’t do anything particularly different for the types clients we're directed at, apart from have fewer features," he said.

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Replies (3)

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By carnmores
05th Mar 2014 18:44

the comptetion hots up

thats good news for all .....

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By Char
07th Mar 2014 15:20

The software does not even have deferred tax codes?!

I believe the title says enough!

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By Kevin_McCallum
08th Mar 2014 09:48

Balance

@Char, from the FreeAgent side, we've always attempted to be as accessible as possible to all users, be they clients or accountants, wherever they come into the process.

This means not making clients feel distanced in their understanding of their business finances, but still making all the necessary tools and functionality available to accountants.

We're of the view that engaged and happy clients who take an interest in maintaining their banking, invoices, expenses etc are easier to manage at a practice level, and are more likely to have up to date and accurate data.

This can be a fine balance to strike, and is something we spend a great amount of time and effort on. In our experience and from the feedback we receive this approach is recognised as a genuine positive by thousands of users and hundreds of practices. 

There is a lot of SME accounting software out there that claims to be simple yet powerful. For at least a few of these, this is at least stretching the meaning of the word "simple" from my point of view.

On the subject of deferred tax codes specifically, our corporation tax codes can be (and indeed are) used by many accountants to post deferred tax provisions.

Do let me know if you'd like us to take you through all of features and benefits of FreeAgent, beyond the compliance side, from both the client and practice viewpoint in more detail.

 

Kevin McCallum

Business Development Director

FreeAgent

 

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