No, I’m not dying – but if anything in this world is going to make a man aware of his own mortality then it is taxes, or more specifically a tax return. Most of us have the privelage of being employed or salaried so some other poor sod has to do this nasty work for us. Then there are those of us who are self-employed and have to do their own tax returns (or pay someone else a handsome amount to do it for them). Then finally there are idiots like me who do both.
2009 has so far been a fruitful exercise in avoiding my tax return. Amongst the things I have achieved in the subtle art of self assessment
procrastination careful thought and deliberation, I have:
- nearly finished our kitchen
- found a renewed interest in blogging
- discovered that capital asset is an anagram of ass tit palace, a finer name for a brothel i think you will unlikely find
Thank heavens then for Freeagent Central, an Edinburgh-based web application aimed at making business accounting simple for numerical numpties like me. I first came across Freeagent Central shortly after starting freelance work 2 years ago and it has proven to be an invaluable resource for managing my business finances.
Features that really sold Freeagent Central for me have been:
- Project and client-based invoicing, including recurrent invoicing (eg for hosting or maintenance)
- Customisable invoices (using CSS templates) exporting to PDF
- Time tracking
- Integration with bank accounts (including import of digital bank, credit card and paypal statements)
- Expense and mileage tracking, including recurring expenses
- Ability to upload scans of bills and receipts
- Great, prompt customer support and advice on Get Satisfaction
- Automatic tax and income assessment calculations, including integration with salaried employment
- At a glance accounting summaries
- Built-in API, though not really explored this yet
- Export data as an excel spreadsheet
- Slick design by my Net Resources predecessor, Roan Lavery
Freeagent Central is a monthly subscription-based service (sole traders come in at £15 + VAT a month) but there is a Free 30 day trial to see if it floats your boat (and not your business). If you sign up using the following referral link then we’ll both get 10% of our subscription costs (everyone’s a winner, baby):
It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Freeagent Central has improved the workflow for my freelance work immeasurably and taken the sting out of accounting and self assessment.
Disclaimer, other accounting web apps are available and none should replace the merits of hiring a reputable accountant to do your taxes, although there is an expanding list of accountants who are freeagent friendly.
And remember kids i(nvoice) comes before e(xpense), except after c(apital asset)!