2022: a year in review

As we approach the end of 2022, we’re taking a look back at what’s been an eventful year. We’ve set new records and hit exciting milestones, all with the help of our wonderful Practice Partners. Here are some of this year’s highlights. 

Helping you prepare for MTD for ITSA 

The implementation of the government’s Making Tax Digital for Income Tax Self Assessment (MTD for ITSA) initiative has continued to be an extremely hot topic in 2022. At FreeAgent, we remained committed to helping you prepare for the changes ahead. [Please note: the government announced a two-year delay to MTD for ITSA after this blog was published.]

A dedicated solution for landlord clients

One of the most exciting moments of 2022 was the launch of FreeAgent for Landlords, a new version of our award-winning software built specifically for clients who earn income from property.  

We were thrilled to see the positive reaction the software had in our MTD for Landlords masterclass and we’ve been busy working in the background to continuously improve the product, including the introduction of joint ownership at the end of November.

A week of MTD-focused events with experts

We hosted our most successful MTD Week to date, with nearly 1,500 people attending our lineup of virtual webinars. Across six events, a range of expert speakers covered a host of MTD-related topics, from HMRC’s guidance for navigating MTD to advice on communicating with your clients about the changes. 

A calculator to plan your workload

We launched the MTD for ITSA workload calculator to help you figure out how long it will take to get your clients migrated onto FreeAgent. Several of our partners also signed up to HMRC’s pilot scheme which allowed them to use FreeAgent to make MTD for ITSA submissions on behalf of their qualifying sole trader clients.

Growing and improving FreeAgent with your input

Collectively you submitted over 220 valuable feature requests, which kept our developers busy throughout the year. 

The time-saving Bank Reconciliation report

One of the most requested features was to allow partners to check that the balance in a client’s bank account in FreeAgent matched the balance on their bank statement. We launched the Bank Reconciliation report in August which proved incredibly popular and is now run 110 times every day by our partners. 

One-click Open Banking reconsent

Back in April, we were the first to unveil industry-leading functionality that allowed you and your clients to reconsent Open Banking bank feeds every 90 days without having to leave FreeAgent, if they banked with NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland or Ulster Bank NI. We extended this functionality to most other major banks just a few months later, meaning the majority of bank feeds can now be reconsented at the click of a button. 

A host of improvements to the mobile app

We continued to develop our award-winning mobile app and introduced a series of improvements, including a new home screen and other time-saving updates. When used in conjunction with bank feeds, the FreeAgent mobile app is a powerful tool to help transition clients to digital record keeping ahead of the MTD for ITSA deadline. You can check your personalised practice insights report to see which of your clients are using our mobile app and have their bank feed enabled. 

Sharing expertise online and in person

Our events and webinars became CPD accredited

FreeAgent’s events and webinars became CPD accredited in 2022, opening up a variety of opportunities for you to top up your points. There’s now 24 hours (24 CPD points' worth) of CPD-accredited content available on the portal, which you can view at any time. 

Exclusive webinars kept Partners informed

We hosted some fantastic partner-exclusive webinars this year, including MTD for ITSA: how to support your smallest clients and our Marketing and social media masterclass. One in three of you attended a webinar live this year, with many more watching the recordings. 

Record numbers came to our Roadshows

But our events weren’t all virtual this year. Our team took to the road in November for the FreeAgent Roadshow where we were able to chat with you about your plans for conquering MTD. We had a record number of attendees across the UK and it was great to see so many familiar faces in person. 

Making the Practice Portal an indispensable resource 

More of you than ever explored FreeAgent’s exclusive content and resources in 2022. We kept you up to date with the latest MTD developments as well as what the mini-Budget meant for your small business clients. Advice on how to segment your clients and create a communications plan were popular all year round. 

Thousands of you also unlocked the benefits of becoming an accredited FreeAgent Partner by taking our exam or renewing your accreditation in the Learning Hub, with over 16,000 videos played and 4,000 PDFs downloaded. 

We celebrated a hat-trick of big award wins

At the beginning of the year, we were delighted to take home two awards from the AccountingWEB Software Awards: the FreeAgent mobile app won the Top Data and Expense Management software award with a whopping 82.1% of the vote and we also took home the Top SME Accounting/Bookkeeping Software Product award for the second year in a row. 

We rounded off 2022 by winning the Friendliest Software of the Year at the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) LUCA Awards 2022 for the third time. 

We’d like to say a huge thanks to all our FreeAgent Practice Partners - we wish you, your practice and clients all the very best for the year ahead.