Sparrows Fly Birds Image by 165106 from PixabayFreeAgent made two announcements around improvements to its product this week. The first was improving receipt processing with a new Smart Capture capability. The second is a new integration for Amazon sellers between the FreeAgent accounting solution and Amazon using a new app on the Amazon app store.

Reduce manual work with Smart Capture

Smart Capture is an additional product that allows users to automatically extract data from receipts they obtain. Smart Capture works for both mobile and desktop users and will extract the data and amount from either PDFs or photos. The solution can work on one receipt at a time or receive files in bulk.

Data generated from Smart Capture flows into FreeAgent and will match the receipt with a bank transaction downloaded into the accounting platform. It will also suggest a transaction category for users to confirm.

Existing FreeAgent users can use Smart Capture for up to 10 receipts a month. However, if they have more receipts and want to use the feature more frequently, they must subscribe for an additional £5 per month.

One feature of the new solution that is worth calling out is that FreeAgent will cancel the subscription if users do not use it more than 10 times a month for 6 consecutive months. This is a thoughtful element rarely seen from other vendors.

Amazon integration

The new integration is available on Amazon’s Selling Partner Appstore. Transactions completed on Amazon will now automatically upload into FreeAgent, reducing the manual work for firms selling through Amazon.

There is no transaction limit tied to the integration. However, Freeagent believes that the API used limits the number to 6,000 per month, well beyond most organisations’ requirements.

Importantly, the system records the source of the transaction so a business leader can easily report on how their Amazon store is performing in comparison to the wider business. Both Sales income and Amazon fees are categorised automatically when the data flows into FreeAgent. This is one of the few integrations available direct from accounting vendors with Amazon, though several third-party integrations exist.

The new app is free until April 24th and then will be charged at £6/month after that.  It is available to the many thousands of FreeAgent customers who already use Amazon for their business.

Roan Lavery, CEO and co-founder of FreeAgent
Roan Lavery, CEO and co-founder of FreeAgent

Roan Lavery, CEO and Co-founder of FreeAgent, said,  “We’re always working to help businesses become happier and more successful by putting them in control of their finances. 

“With this announcement, we hope to introduce thousands of small business owners to the most cost-effective and sophisticated integration between accounting software and Amazon’s store – allowing them to trade online and manage their finances more easily and effectively than ever. 

“Through our research at FreeAgent, we know that more than a third (37%) of small business owners say they have experienced burnout as a result of running a business. By partnering with Amazon, we aim to help online sellers to save valuable time, money and stress associated with staying on top of their sales and financial admin.”

Enterprise Times: what does this mean

Two useful new additions to the FreeAgent platform this week with some attractive pricing options. Many solutions offer receipt capture, and it is no surprise that FreeAgent has added this feature. However, the limited-use option, and especially the automatic ending of a subscription, are nice features. The six-month delay is also sensible from the FreeAgent point of view. As it will enable the firm to improve cash flow forecasting for this income into the future.

The integration into Amazon is another very useful automation for small traders working with Amazon. It will make FreeAgent more attractive to prospects looking to work with both companies, especially up to next April.

It was less likely that FreeAgent would offer the integration for free for a limited number of transactions each month. Organisations will have to calculate the benefit of automation over the monthly manual work to extract transaction data from Amazon and load it into FreeAgent. However, there are likely fees from Amazon that FreeAgent must pay for this application.

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