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Pros / You can set it up to automatically send a reminder if an invoice is past due and a thank you email once the bill is paid.

Cons / It doesn't create purchase orders or automatically track inventory.

 Verdict / FreeAgent is a great option for project-based small businesses and freelancers needing to invoice billable hours and expenses to their clients.

FreeAgent is small business accounting software designed for freelancers and small business owners. It's cloud based, so you can access it from any browser. It offers a single service tier for U.S.-based businesses. U.K. and international versions are also available.

Like most of the small business accounting software we reviewed, setting up an account is easy. After you enter your business details, you're guided through several setup pages where you can set up the date format (which is helpful, since U.K. date formatting can be confusing for U.S. residents), choose your local currency and time zone, and link your bank account. Every setup page includes tips and a short video clip, which is a helpful feature.

The interface for this online accounting software is more nested than others, but the dashboard has moveable cards that allow you to rearrange it to your liking. Invoicing is located under the Work tab at the top of the screen, along with estimates, projects and time tracking. FreeAgent houses a lot of information on the setting screen, and you'll use this screen to access email and invoice templates, to add your company logo, to create an inventory price list and invite additional users to the software.

Creating estimates and invoices is a little different with this small business accounting software as it's a two-step process. On the first screen, you enter setup details, such as the whether the invoice is attached to a project, any reference numbers, payment terms or discounts. On invoices, you also decide whether you want to include any unbilled items attached to the project such as timeslips or expenses, which is a unique feature that would be helpful for businesses that charge their customers for these items. On the second screen, you enter line items from a pop-up box. After you create an estimate, quote or proposal, you can convert it to an invoice with a single click.

You can change the look of your invoices by changing the theme from the invoice screen or the settings screen. (You have to go to the settings screen to add your logo to the system if you haven't done that yet.) You can choose from eight templates, but there aren't color or font options unless you can code CSS, in which case you can create a custom template.

FreeAgent tracks billable time and includes a timer so you can create accurate timeslips that you can add to invoices. It also tracks expenses, which can also be invoiced. You can set up recurring invoices and automatic payment reminders using this software.

This accounting software for small businesses can help you manage vendors and fixed assets, track bills and create a price list of the items or services you sell, but it doesn't create purchase orders, track inventory or print checks. However, you can manually adjust the stock to reflect the quantity you have on hand. There isn't a tab for inventory, you access the Price List & Stock screen from the settings screen.

You can run several financial reports using this accounting software for small businesses, including an aged receivables report and a general ledger. You can connect your bank, credit card and PayPal accounts to the software. If you choose to "auto-explain transactions" when you sync your accounts, the software can automatically match your bank transactions with those you've entered into the software. Like every application we reviewed, FreeAgent can be set up to allow your customers to pay their invoices online with a credit card. It integrates with PayPal, Dwolla and Stripe.

FreeAgent offers a mobile app for both iOS and Android phones, and you can use it see an overview of you accounts, create and send invoices, snap photos of your receipts and create expenses, view your contacts, and track your billable time. The company's website offers business education in the form of a blog, knowledgebase, small business guides and webinars. If you need customer support, you can contact the company via phone or email.

Summary

FreeAgent is capable accounting software for freelancers and small businesses, particularly those that are project- or service-based and require a system that helps them bill their clients for hours and expenses. It doesn't create purchase orders or automatically track inventory, which may make it less ideal for businesses that sell goods.

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