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FreeAgent

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    #61
    Originally posted by ladymuck View Post
    About bloody time too! I have no idea why any accounting system doesn't allow CT600 to be prepared/submitted. It seems they all require a special "accountants" version of their software

    Hopefully the others will follow soon (especially Xero as I've just moved to them)
    (My bold) Presumably, when FA was a small independent company, the accountants out there did not want FA to do that. So FA functionality stopped at a trial balance and the accountant did the rest. Now FA is owned by RBS/NatWest, they are big enough to not care so much what accountants think. I think that's a very significant development and means nano companies are very close to having a robo-accountant rather than a physical one. I welcome that development.
    Public Service Posting by the BBC - Bloggs Bulls**t Corp.
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      #62
      Having used freeagent before and it was great but I stopped contracting so now I really need only to submit some:

      1) Expenses for property owned by company
      2) Rental income
      3) Salaries for me plus one.

      There are also director loans of the company owing me money

      The accountant charges 500GBP for this which really seems quite a lot - Is this something that could be done via freeagent?!

      I stopped using freeagent a few years ago and at the time handling of negative director loans and property as capital assets was not great - Has anyone used it for this where the property is owned to the Ltd itself
      Last edited by NowPermOutsideUK; 28 October 2020, 08:49.

      Comment


        #63
        Originally posted by NowPermOutsideUK View Post
        Having used freeagent before and it was great but I stopped contracting so now I really need only to submit some:

        1) Expenses for property owned by company
        2) Rental income
        3) Salaries for me plus one.

        There are also director loans of the company owing me money

        The accountant charges 500GBP for this which really seems quite a lot - Is this something that could be done via freeagent?!

        I stopped using freeagent a few years ago and at the time handling of negative director loans and property as capital assets was not great - Has anyone used it for this where the property is owned to the Ltd itself
        You have very niche needs so I suspect it doesn't and it won't because there is zero real demand for such things.
        merely at clientco for the entertainment

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          #64
          Originally posted by NowPermOutsideUK View Post
          Having used freeagent before and it was great but I stopped contracting so now I really need only to submit some:

          1) Expenses for property owned by company
          2) Rental income
          3) Salaries for me plus one.

          There are also director loans of the company owing me money

          The accountant charges 500GBP for this which really seems quite a lot - Is this something that could be done via freeagent?!

          I stopped using freeagent a few years ago and at the time handling of negative director loans and property as capital assets was not great - Has anyone used it for this where the property is owned to the Ltd itself
          If £500 is a lot of money to you, then you might want to re-evaluate your finances. It's only about half a day's work.

          And as Red Adair said "If you think that hiring professionals is expensive, try hiring amateurs"
          {emotionless greeting}

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            #65
            Originally posted by WTFH View Post
            If £500 is a lot of money to you, then you might want to re-evaluate your finances. It's only about half a day's work.

            And as Red Adair said "If you think that hiring professionals is expensive, try hiring amateurs"
            20 years ago it might have been half a day's work. Reality is in the UK, if you have any work at all, it's on maybe half that per day now, or less. Even London offers roles at £28 per hour in oil and gas engineering. I recently got asked about a role resident in China, 10 hours a day for Euros 450 before tax. Needless to say, luckily I'm happily retired and can smile at such rubbish when it lands in my in box.
            Public Service Posting by the BBC - Bloggs Bulls**t Corp.
            Officially CUK certified - Thick as f**k.

            Comment


              #66
              Originally posted by TheCyclingProgrammer View Post
              Unfortunately the CT600 will forever remain inaccurate for me as long as FreeAgent continues to not support the small pools allowance - my main pool for assets introduced when I first started was claimed in full when it dropped below £1000 years ago but the balance remains in FreeAgent with it adding 18% WDA on the pool each year.
              Well I've just found out that apparently FreeAgent will now support the small pools allowances for all CT600s prepared for periods ending on our after 27 October.

              Comment


                #67
                Originally posted by ladymuck View Post
                About bloody time too! I have no idea why any accounting system doesn't allow CT600 to be prepared/submitted. It seems they all require a special "accountants" version of their software

                Hopefully the others will follow soon (especially Xero as I've just moved to them)
                The lines are becoming blurred as time goes on, but over the last 20 or so years there's been two very different things, with very different markets:

                - Bookkeeping packages are marketed at all businesses. They need to be user friendly and non-techy (at least at the small business end of the market where the person doing the data entry is not a qualified accountant/bookkeeper, and uses it for maybe a couple of hours a month). Traditionally this was Sage/Quickbooks/Excel, then cloud based ones like FreeAgent/Xero/Kashflow came along.

                - Accounting/tax software are marketed to accountants. They don't need to be user friendly, as they'll be used by qualified accountants who use it day in day out, so can get used to quirks. They also do need to be techy, because tax rules are complicated, and there's a million and one niche scenarios/exceptions to common rules etc.

                The likes of FreeAgent/Xero have been dabbling at merging the above for a while now by drifting into the latter market. One problem they have is that it's not that hard to cater to ~80% of cases that are fairly standard, it gets much harder to cater to all the niche cases (eg TCP's situation above, though there will be countless other examples).

                On the one hand you may think this is fine, as then ~80% of users can do away with their accountant and DIY everything via the software (let's leave aside potentially higher risk of cock ups by the client for this purpose), and just the niche cases can get accountants with the more sophisticated software. However, it's a lot of work for FreeAgent et al to even get to this stage. Getting people to test this for FreeAgent is tricky. There's not much in it for their accounting partners. Cynics will say that's just cos we worry we'll be out of a job in a few years, but more practically it's because unless FreeAgent can cater to all cases (including niche cases), it's not much use to us. We'll still need to pay for separate fancy software. No benefit to us in doing half our clients on one bit of software, half on another. Software on both sides also put a bit of effort into integrations, which is of more benefit to accountants, but not so much for end users, as they won't want to pay for/learn the geeky software side.

                ...so yeah it may drift towards wannabe DIY accounting folk having a "you can have any colour you like as long as it's black" scenario with regards to things they can/can't do with their accounts, so the likes of FreeAgent can cater to their circumstances. Gradually FreeAgent will cater to some of the more common niches, though it'll be a business decision for them as to what is/isn't worth catering to, when considering extra development effort required vs potential extra customers it might attract.

                Comment


                  #68
                  Originally posted by Maslins View Post
                  The lines are becoming blurred as time goes on, but over the last 20 or so years there's been two very different things, with very different markets:

                  - Bookkeeping packages are marketed at all businesses. They need to be user friendly and non-techy (at least at the small business end of the market where the person doing the data entry is not a qualified accountant/bookkeeper, and uses it for maybe a couple of hours a month). Traditionally this was Sage/Quickbooks/Excel, then cloud based ones like FreeAgent/Xero/Kashflow came along.

                  - Accounting/tax software are marketed to accountants. They don't need to be user friendly, as they'll be used by qualified accountants who use it day in day out, so can get used to quirks. They also do need to be techy, because tax rules are complicated, and there's a million and one niche scenarios/exceptions to common rules etc.

                  The likes of FreeAgent/Xero have been dabbling at merging the above for a while now by drifting into the latter market. One problem they have is that it's not that hard to cater to ~80% of cases that are fairly standard, it gets much harder to cater to all the niche cases (eg TCP's situation above, though there will be countless other examples).

                  On the one hand you may think this is fine, as then ~80% of users can do away with their accountant and DIY everything via the software (let's leave aside potentially higher risk of cock ups by the client for this purpose), and just the niche cases can get accountants with the more sophisticated software. However, it's a lot of work for FreeAgent et al to even get to this stage. Getting people to test this for FreeAgent is tricky. There's not much in it for their accounting partners. Cynics will say that's just cos we worry we'll be out of a job in a few years, but more practically it's because unless FreeAgent can cater to all cases (including niche cases), it's not much use to us. We'll still need to pay for separate fancy software. No benefit to us in doing half our clients on one bit of software, half on another. Software on both sides also put a bit of effort into integrations, which is of more benefit to accountants, but not so much for end users, as they won't want to pay for/learn the geeky software side.

                  ...so yeah it may drift towards wannabe DIY accounting folk having a "you can have any colour you like as long as it's black" scenario with regards to things they can/can't do with their accounts, so the likes of FreeAgent can cater to their circumstances. Gradually FreeAgent will cater to some of the more common niches, though it'll be a business decision for them as to what is/isn't worth catering to, when considering extra development effort required vs potential extra customers it might attract.
                  All excellent points, thanks.

                  I would like to clarify my comment with:

                  I wouldn't be looking to get rid of my accountant any time soon. My use case for having a representation of the CT600 within my accounts package is to help me understand better what my liability position is and how to improve it without leaving it to the end of the financial year. I would still want/expect guidance from my accountant.

                  Giving a company owner fuller oversight of their finances can only be a good thing, even if it's only an estimate.

                  I know FA gives a ballpark estimate of CT already, which I guess is why they're first with this initiative.

                  Comment


                    #69
                    Originally posted by ladymuck View Post
                    Giving a company owner fuller oversight of their finances can only be a good thing, even if it's only an estimate.

                    I know FA gives a ballpark estimate of CT already, which I guess is why they're first with this initiative.
                    Yeah FA have done that for a while now. Again some niche scenarios it might be significantly out, but in most cases it'll be pennies out from the final CT liability (potentially after tweaks made to underlying FreeAgent data to match what accountant submitted).

                    It's a big step on from that to do all the tech work to enable submissions of compliant CT600s to HMRC. FreeAgent have decided it's worth the effort, and I imagine given they focus on the one person businesses (many of whom will be at the straight forward and perhaps also fee sensitive end of the business market) it's probably a good choice. I doubt the RBS/NatWest takeover has much to do with it, though I could be wrong.

                    They have dabbled with CT600 and year end statutory accounts production before, made some headway, but then decided for the time being they needed to focus their development efforts elsewhere. Things like the introduction of RTI "forced" them to suddenly devote lots of effort to that, and of course just maintaining their existing tax filing stuff requires effort, eg updating for new tax year rules/rates etc. Sometimes keeping the existing stuff going is a big enough effort on its own (as we can attest from just continuing to do the basics with Brexit/Covid-19/IR35 changes being thrown at us!).

                    Comment


                      #70
                      Originally posted by SimonMac View Post
                      Does anyone know if it's possible to get a report out of FreeAgent so show the number of miles you have claimed this tax year?

                      I've pulled out the detailed transactions for 249 (Milage account) but it just shows the monetary values. I know I can dived this by .45 and it will give me the miles but I want an easier way once I hit 10,000 and the rate changes so there will be a mix of data.

                      From a pretty flawless system (open banking aside which I blame Aldermore for rather than FA) this seems to be a big feature gap
                      I needed to do exactly that last year, there is a (slightly clunky) workaround:
                      1. Go to Accounting > Reports > Show Transactions
                      2. Select the relevant period and account for mileage
                      3. Export to CSV
                      4. Parse in spreadsheet (Text to columns in Excel), using ( symbol and space as delimiters, and setting it to ignore the non-mileage result columns
                      5. Sum up the mileage column


                      HTH - not as elegant as a simple FA report of course though, they really should have one!

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