Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Fast expenses on FreeAgent

One area where traditional desktop-based accounting software scores over online accounting software is the speed of data entry.

Accountants and bookkeepers are used to batch input screens, like this one (Sage's purchase invoice entry screen) where all the entries for a year can be made on one screen at one go.

Online accounting solutions often can't provide that, so each entry has to be made one by one, which can slow the process down.

I've been looking at FreeAgent recently, and was impressed with how fast I was able to post out-of-pocket expenses into that system.

For starters, out-of-pocket expenses are set up as standard. No need to enter a bank account or supplier account for the director.

Secondly, FreeAgent remembers the detail of the last entry (account name, date and amount), which is handy if you're recording repeated expenses like train tickets. What's even more handy for that is the recurring expenses feature.

And right at the bottom, you can choose to "Create and add another" expense. No need to go out of the expenses area and back in again.

So although this may not be as quick as a batch entry screen, I would say it's fast enough to at least start counterbalancing that advantage of desktop software, when you consider the myriad other advantages of online software.

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