We asked Ed Molyneux, CEO and Co-Founder of FreeAgent, a few questions about his company and view of the markets they serve.

GetApp: Can you briefly present your management team?

Exec team comprises myself plus:
Olly Headey – Chief Technical Officer
Roan Lavery – Product Director
Roseann Wilson – Communications Director
Kevin McCallum – Business Development Director
Katherine Strachan – Financial Controller

GetApp: Are you a Cloud or a Software-as-a-Service company?

We’re both! We provide a cloud-based software-as-a-service product.

GetApp: How do you use and promote usage of Cloud Computing?

We provide an award-winning online accounting system designed specifically to meet the needs of small businesses and freelancers, so we’re definitely passionate about promoting the use of cloud computing!

We believe that managing your accounts in the cloud is the most effective way for a small business to stay on top of its business books. Whereas traditional desktop software limits you to just one computer, a cloud system enables you to access your accounts anywhere you have Internet access, at any time and from different devices, including a smartphone or tablet.

It’s also likely to be much faster – as you can upload your bank data directly into your accounts rather than entering it manually. And you’ll also have a better relationship with your accountant, as they can log into your accounts remotely to check them in real time – which in turn could free them up to offer you more in-depth advice about your wider business finances.

In the day-to-day running of our business, we also rely heavily on cloud computing – with our staff using cloud services like Google apps for business, Dropbox, Basecamp and Trello to manage our work effectively.

GetApp: What are the points of difference of your solutions?

The key thing that makes FreeAgent different is that our online accounting system has been specifically designed to suit freelancers and very small businesses. We ensure we don’t bamboozle people with accounting jargon: we’re there to help make it as easy and intuitive as possible for them to manage their finances.

So if you’re a freelancer or small business owner, you’ll find that all of our features – whether it’s the ability to upload your bank data into your accounts or send automatic reminders once your invoices are overdue – are not only super-useful, but they also help save you a lot of time and effort when it comes to staying on top of your business accounts.

GetApp: How would you like to be evaluated by a prospect?

One of the most daunting things about starting a business is the prospect of managing your accounts. For many people it’s a time-consuming, confusing process that involves wrestling with a spreadsheet or using overly-complex accounting software that isn’t designed to suit their needs.

When people try FreeAgent, however, it’s a different story. Our customers don’t just say that we save them time and make it easy for them to do their accounting, but that we actually put them back in control of their business finances. We want people to discover that, when they decide to take a free trial, they don’t have to spend ages getting to grips with the software or need an accounting qualification to understand it. Instead, using FreeAgent is an intuitive experience. It’s a system that enables them to create invoices, log expenses, import their bank data and keep track of their cash flow – and we have an expert team of support accountants on hand to help them with any queries they have about using the system.

We want to surprise people when they start using FreeAgent and make them see how easy and empowering it can be to manage their accounts – and that they can enjoy and even have fun doing it.

GetApp: Why do your customers buy from you?

There’s a combination of reasons. Firstly, because we’ve designed FreeAgent for freelancers and small businesses, our customers receive a service that suits their specific needs. We don’t bombard them with a lot of complicated features that require an encyclopedic knowledge of accounting – instead we strive to make the process of managing their business books as easy and intuitive as possible.

But we’re also constantly evolving and improving the system, introducing relevant new functionality that makes accounting even easier for small businesses and adapting to new accounting and tax requirements – so our customers receive great value for their subscription.
We also have a dedicated team of support accountants on hand to help with any problems or issues that our customers have with using the system, provide webinars, Q&A’s, whitepapers and email up-dates – at no extra cost. So it’s not just the core product that they’re subscribing to: it’s also the service and expertise that comes with it.

To be honest, the question isn’t why our customers buy from us in the first place – it’s why they continue to do so. I think customers choose us and stay with us because, by using FreeAgent, not only do they save time but they gain a huge amount of control and insight into their business finances that helps them run their businesses better.

GetApp: Can you mention some of your key clients?

We currently have more than 30,000 customers worldwide, including freelancers, sole traders and small businesses. But we also have strategic partnerships with some major names in the business and accounting sectors.

For example, since 2011, FreeAgent has been part of the award-winning MyBusinessWorks applications package that Barclays provides to its business customers in the UK. FreeAgent also powers the ‘IRIS OpenBooks’ online accounting system for IRIS Software, whose customers comprise around 50% of the 28,000 accountancy practices in the UK.

We also have partnerships with organisations including the Royal Mail, the National Enterprise Network and the Made Simple Group, and we work closely with major online payment providers such as Dwolla, Stripe and GoCardless.

GetApp: What do you see as the key trend emerging in the industry?

It’s becoming easier and easier to connect together cloud applications to synchronize data (like contacts and transactions). For example, FreeAgent automatically syncs with your bank account and we’re building connectors to a wide variety of e-commerce systems, so you have the most up-to-date picture of your business’s financials.

GetApp: What is THE most important message you feel you should get across to someone considering buying your solutions?

If you’re a freelancer or small business owner fed up with feeling overwhelmed when you’re doing your books, FreeAgent is for you! It’s an intuitive, award-winning online accounting system designed to take the pain out of managing your finances and put you back in control of your business bookkeeping.


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