FreeAgent launches Amazon UK e-commerce integrationby
Cloud accounting provider FreeAgent has created a direct integration with Amazon UK to provide e-commerce retailers with an automated accounting solution. The developer has also upgraded its data capture and extraction tool and launched a partnership with the financial reporting tool Syft Analytics.
The new FreeAgent-Amazon integration allows e-commerce retailers with an Amazon UK Marketplace account to connect directly to FreeAgent, in what the developer is calling one of the first direct integrations between Amazon and UK-based accounting software.
The integration adds automation options such as importing sales and refund data and automatic categorisation – tools that FreeAgent believes will enhance client data accuracy and reduce manual admin for accountants with clients who sell on the Amazon UK Marketplace.
The FreeAgent-Amazon integration is only suitable for Amazon sellers based in the UK who only use the Amazon.co.uk marketplace.
Similar tools in the space include Dext Commerce and the A2X and Link My Books third-party integrations often used to connect to Xero or QuickBooks online accounts.
How the FreeAgent-Amazon integration works
The connection can be activated via the FreeAgent Connections and Add-ons page or found on Amazon UK’s Selling Partner App store.
Once the connection has been established, details of clients’ Amazon sales, refunds and fees are automatically imported into FreeAgent once a day, usually at night so the latest cleared data is ready in the morning. The software then creates invoices, credit notes and bills based on the Amazon UK data it has imported.
Each day, if there have been sales on a client’s Amazon UK seller account an invoice will automatically be created in FreeAgent. If the user receives a sales refund and there have been refunds in their Amazon seller account, a credit note will automatically be created in FreeAgent. If any fees have been incurred, a bill will automatically be created in FreeAgent. When a settlement report is due or requested, the amount of Amazon sales after Amazon’s fees have been deducted will be automatically disbursed to the user’s bank account.
Full details on how the FreeAgent-Amazon integration works can be found on FreeAgent’s knowledge base page.
The system also auto-categorises transactions based on existing information in the account via FreeAgent’s Guess function (if this functionality is enabled).
The integration between FreeAgent and Amazon UK is free until 30 April 2024, then charged at £6/month plus VAT for direct subscribers or available to add to accountants’ practice invoices at a reduced rate.
While FreeAgent hasn’t set any restrictions on how much clients can use the integration, an FAQ response on the developer’s site states that the practical upper limit is around 6,000 orders per month, based on the volume of data imported from Amazon’s API.
The integration is available now to direct subscribers. For users whose FreeAgent account is provided free by a bank or who work with a FreeAgent Partner accountant or bookkeeper, it will be available from late November.
Kill the admin gap
The integration points to the broadening of FreeAgent’s user base following its acquisition by the NatWest Group in 2018, and an increasing focus on connectivity with the wider accounting ecosystem.
“E-commerce is a growing area for us and, for those specific customers, this integration is real time saver,” FreeAgent director of product Craig Clarke told AccountingWEB. “It’s an opportunity for them to kill the admin gap by removing manual data imports and increasing accuracy.
“Others have used third-party integrations to solve this problem, but we decided to build something ourselves and we believe we’ve got a better deal for us and the customers,” added Clarke. “This is the start of us looking at the retail space, and it makes sense for us to begin with Amazon as they’re the largest in the field.”
Roan Lavery, CEO and co-founder of FreeAgent said, “By partnering with Amazon, we aim to help online sellers save valuable time, money and stress associated with staying on top of their sales and financial admin.”
Smart Capture upgrade and Syft integration
FreeAgent has also announced a significant upgrade to its data capture and extraction feature, which is now known as Smart Capture. This allows users to capture and store images of receipts or bills.
The update expands the feature from FreeAgent’s mobile app to its web version, where users can now drag and drop or upload files on their desktop. Users can now also upload PDF files as well as photos, and add files in bulk.
Smart Capture will then attempt to extract data and value information from receipts or PDFs and match them to a bank transaction (if one exists that is marked “for approval” and has a matching date and value). If a matching bank transaction doesn’t exist, users can convert the file into an out-of-pocket expense and Smart Capture will automatically extract the date and amount and suggest a cost category.
Every user gets 10 free uses of Smart Capture a month, and then the service is charged at £5 a month for unlimited usage. If a FreeAgent user pays for the tool but doesn’t hit the usage limit for six successive months then they are automatically downgraded to the free tier.
“We’ve had a really good uptake on this,” said Clarke. “It takes away the admin headache. A bit like our Amazon integration, there’s a subset of our user base that processes a significant volume of expenses and has shoeboxes literally overflowing. This efficiency is something this group can really benefit from.”
FreeAgent also announced a new integration with the interactive financial reporting tool Syft Analytics. The connection offers FreeAgent users the ability to use transaction-level data to explore details of clients’ financial performance and pinpoint potential issues or opportunities as they arise.
The move continues FreeAgent’s focus on building more connected integrations with practice technology providers and builds on its stated aim of being more visible to more customers.