A few months ago on reviewing my rss feeds, after a couple of weeks of disconnecting with things virtual and connecting with things sandy and sunny, I was pleased to see the announcement of Free Agent Central.
I have been reading Dennis Howlett for some time now and was secretly hoping that by reading his blog I would discover some better way of doing my accounts.
Free Agent Central seemed to be the answer.
Then… I promptly forgot about it.
The joy of having to do my VAT and Company Tax returns has prompted the search for a better way.
My accountants have already told me that I cannot continue with my 5 year old version of Sage Line 50. It is out of support and they no longer have a version in their office which makes sharing data with them tricky.
So I am looking for a new accounting package and whatever is happening with SAP A1S I am sure that I am way way way below the target market.
But I am in the target for FAC and for Quickbooks.
They are taking on beta testers at the moment and they recently released their pricing.
For a limited company they are charging £25 a month . I have to say, for what it does and how well it does it, it is pretty fair value. Putting it up against QuickBooks which I can get for £80 on Amazon my well be an argument the other way.
£80 for however long QuickBooks will last versus £300 a year with Free Agent Central. If you get in quickly with the beta program they will not start charging for 6 months as a thank you. This would knock it down to £150 for the first year.
What is the case for FAC?
Well it is easy to use and it is very niche to the Very Small Business needs so there is nothing that you don’t need to confuse you.
The upside with FAC could well be the amount of time that it takes to keep on top of this stuff. I
hate really don’t like the administration of accounting but I have to do it and generally find that I am doing my VAT returns at the last minute. Not only does free agent central make it easy but you can see at any moment what your state of play is in terms of amounts owing in tax. This in itself is a winner.
FAC means less spread sheets on thumb drives, less time fussing around entering invoices into an accounting package, less time fussing with bank accounts and reconcilliation. Hopefully it also means less time for my accountants to do my returns which should drive time and therefore cost down. This would mean they could service more clients in the same time and possibly add other value add services on to more clients.
I am still going to be investigating Quick Books as I am only one half of the equation. I need to communicate my accounts with my accountants and what they are able to work with is going to skew this decision. Of course they can get access to my FAC accounts and I am hoping as I trial this software/service they will see the advantage of it.
By the way, I notice their updates are named after cheeses – I am eagerly awaiting the ‘Venezuelan Beaver Cheese’ update.