I’m hopeful

Enhanced Reporting and/or CSV export

I've recently gone through the time tracking reports for our clients and users, and used these to produce some great graphs, showing how our engineer time is spent, how much of our time each client uses etc.

Firstly, it would be great if the reporting capabilities in FreeAgent allowed this type of analysis, but failing that: a CSV export would have halved the amount of time this took me. Are either of these features on the Roadmap?
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  • Hi Paul,

    We don't publish our development roadmap as we don't want to make promises and then find we can't keep them because of unexpected problems.

    I have added this idea to our list for future discussion. If you have any further ideas, please don't hesitate to come back to us.

    Kind regards,

    Emily
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  • I’m frustrated
    yep - I'd like to echo this request.
    At the moment, the only way I've found to conduct any kind of cross-tab or pivot table type analysis on timeslips is to cut/paste from a blanket report of absolutely every hour submitted by everyone.
    But the paste into Excel wrecks the hours field - it does not add up properly.

    Anyone know of any other way of doing this?
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  • This is definitely the only major hole in Freeagent's functionality, there's seemingly no useful ways to produce printable reports or export data selectively to make your own graphs and so on.

    While it's useful for an accountant to be able to login, there are a lot of use cases where an accountant, bank manager or other advisor would really benefit from a nicely formatted print of the balance sheet or P&L

    Similarly it'd be really useful to be able to spit out graphs of how expenses split between different suppliers or clients. Helping to easily answer questions like:

    Who's my biggest client by revenue, what are my biggest expenses and so on.
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  • I’m frustrated
    I echo this. I would really like to be able to do some comparative analytics - for example year on year or quarter on quarter comparisons on selected codes such as travel and accomodation or expenses charged to client.

    At the moment I have to export all to a spreadsheet and spend a lot of time formatting and setting it up.

    Alternative I suppose is for someone to write an API to one of the mainstream reporting packages such as QlikView
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  • I’m waiting patiently
    Any idea when this might be on the road map? Or indeed does anyone have any tips or tricks for setting up analytics using the downloads from FreeAgent?

    And any chance of a reformat on the Invoice export sheet in the interim. Currently the export query generates a 'grouped summary' with the summary on one row and then details on subsequent rows. This is a pain if I need to do an analysis as I have to remove the summary lines but then copy down the contact, project, reference and date against each entry row so that I can then run an analysis pivot on it.
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  • This is pretty much essential. Freeagent is very poor on reporting and the very least they could offer is a CSV export. I guess they don't want us leaving for another service? Really surprised this isn't on the list at the depot.
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  • I’m frustrated (again)
    Luke - don't get your hopes up.
    As you can see, I raised this issue over 3 years ago, and i wasn't the first.
    Meantime, it has taken 6 YEARS to get Freeagent to admit that multi projects on one invoice is not an unreasonable request! You won't believe how they defended not working on this despite heaps of user requests.

    It is very frustrating because Freeagent is such a strong concept, and does a lot of things very well. But its management have a poor record of listening to what its customers want, and this issue is yet another example of that.
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  • Yes, it would be really useful to generate a spreadsheet or CSV of invoice or bill data filtered by time period. Having to take an export of 3.5 years worth of data and then pare it down from a not very friendly format, just to do something like see income year to date by client...or track progress of overdue invoices is ridiculous.
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  • It basically means Freeagent has a limited lifespan. As my business grows even a little bit I'm going to have to find other solutions.

    Its frustrating as the core is very strong and usable but this is the just backbone. They've got to realise that people don't just like storing data they will want information that they act on. i.e. they need to improve reporting and access to data. I work in product innovation and I just can't fathom a company that has such a clear direction from its customer but yet continues to ignore it?
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  • Hi folks,

    Have you seen the CSV export available on Accounting > Reports > Trial Balance?  The filter to the left allows you to enter a custom date range and you can then export all the transactions contained within this date range via the green Export Report button > Transactions CSV.  If you wanted to see Sales, you would filter on the 001 Sales code on the export file.  If you wanted to see purchases, you would need to filter on all the appropriate codes.

    I hope this helps.

    Thanks,
    George
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  • Thanks George that helps a little, but when you filter by transaction type, the export options change to just PDF...which is no use at all...
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  • Hi Jon,

    Sorry, I meant filtering on the actual export file. 

    Open up trial balance
    Edit the custom date range
    Click Export Report > Transactions CSV
    Receive a file with all transactions between the custom date range.
    Use Excel or other to filter on a specific code(s)

    I hope this helps,
    George
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  • I’m frustrated
    In an age where analytics is so vital to improving the effectiveness of any organisation it seems rather pathetic that FreeAgent cannot provide a customisable reporting tool within it's program. PLEASE, please improve this failing!!!
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  • I’m embarrassed on Freeagent's behalf
    @Bradley - indeed. It's an admission of failure that it's over 5 years now since users asked for a reporting suite, and absolutely no progress beyond "export it to Excel" has been made.
    On a positive note, Freeagent said that multi-projects on one invoice couldn't be done, until they eventually after 6 yrs (!) recognised that a lot of its users wanted it, and that it was not that impossible after all.

    So maybe only 1 more year of "reporting-suite-denial" to go until it sinks in!
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  • Hi everyone, 

    Apologies, there is nothing further I can add at this time other than my colleagues above.

    I have added a vote for each of you against this on our feature request list.

    Kind Regards, 
    Eilidh
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  • I’m a little frustrated.
    @Eilidh Cameron

    Hi,

    Can you please add my vote to this request. Would be good to export data to csv or excel and then manipulate it the way we need. In my case I want to pull all the expense records by employee and calcuate for P11D reporting. So a facility where you can export data per a set of parameters and from specific objects or tables. I don't expect you to expose the SQL and the raw data, by the way, but that sort of function would be great.

    Aly.
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  • Hi Aly, 

    Certainly, I have added your vote also.

    Kind Regards, 
    Eilidh
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  • I’m frustrated
    Likewise add my vote - as you will see I was first raising this 3 years ago!
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  • Hi Mark,

    I do agree it would be a good idea.

    I have added your vote to this on our Features Request List for the Product team to consider, but as you can imagine we receive lots of good ideas and suggestions and we make every effort to implement the more popular features based on demand and available resources.

    Kind Regards,
    Sean
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  • I’m frustrated
    Yep, four years on and this is still an issue...

    I now have a google spreadsheet, into which I have to manually cut and paste the text from the invoice list screen and then create a pivot table from that. It's a laborious manual process. Just to find out how much each client spent this month/quarter/YTD
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  • I’m resigned to being ignored
    yep - add my vote.
    I first raised this in 2011 when I started out with Freeagent, and 4 years later, zero progress has been made.
    It's such an obvious and relatively easy thing to provide (from a coding perspective) I'm amazed that Freeagent folk have ignored it all this time.
    Let's hope the fundraising encourages these customer requests to be heard.....
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  • Please add my vote for enhanced reporting.

    Currently, there's NO WAY to get project expenses OUT of FreeAgent; not with the Export All Data command, nor through the API.

    Right now, the only way is cut-n-paste off the screen into Excel, and lots of manual tidying up.
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  • I’m fed up
    Given that it's taken 6 years to 'consider this', why not at least get a partner involved to tackle it, via an app developer for example?
    This is what happened when MobileAgent took on the on-the-go mobile timeslip and expenses requirement, and it worked well (and still does).
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  • I already looked into this. Unfortunately, some of the data, captured interactively, and held within FreeAgent is not exposed via the API for an add-on application to pull out of FreeAgent.

    eg.
    - Linked Project info for Bank Transactions cannot be read via API.
    - Project info for Expenses cannot be read via API.

    By way of comparison, take a look at what Crunchboards.com can do with data held in Xero (which itself is cheaper than FreeAgent)...
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  • Are there any plans to enable the price list to be exported to and imported from excel ?

    This seems like a simple function but I note that users have been asking for this for years too.
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  • Hi Paul and Ewan,

    Thank you for your feedback.  

    Paul - I agree that this would be a useful feature for some of our customers and have added your vote on our feature request list.  However, the information from the time tracking reports should copy and paste pretty well into a spreadsheet for you to use when generating your own reports and graphs in the future.  Hopefully this will save you some time rather than re-entering all of the figures.

    Ewan - Likewise, the price list in your FreeAgent account should copy and paste into a spreadsheet too.  However, as you have noticed you cannot import a price list into your account at the moment and I have added your vote to this on our feature request list.

    Thank you both for taking the time to let us know how FreeAgent could work better for you.

    Kind regards

    Liam
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  • 1
    I've commented here before, so won't harp on too much.

    But the response above reflects a genuine issue with Freeagent, far too much stuff is only possible by cutting and pasting info into spreadsheets and then faffing around with it.

    There needs to be a much bigger focus on helping small business owners answer the important questions they have, in a couple of clicks. How much has client x spent this month/year? Is it more or less than last year? Are we spending more on electricity/gas/mobile phones than we were previously, what's the trend?

    I ended up spending a hell of a lot of time just before christmas trying to forecast our cashflow by pasting bill and invoice data into a spreadsheet..it was a painful process.

    After five years with Freeagent, i'm now seriously kicking the tyres of some alternative systems as their reporting is head and shoulders above...i'm just trying to make sure they do everything else Freeagent does so well, if they do...then it may be time (regretfully) to move.
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  • 5 years on, still can't achieve this functionality.. Busy working on the IPO no doubt..
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  • I need to know who my biggest customers are, how much they spend, last year and this year..
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  • I’m frustrated
    I share your pain, Stewart - I also end up cutting/pasting to Excel all the time, which is very annoying and inefficient because each quarter, I have to start again rather than simply running a report.
    Like you Jon, I'm reassessing Freeagent, not because it's a poor product, but because their choice to ignore the obvious need for better reporting for years now shows that they don't really have their customers at the heart of what they do.
    It's very sad, because Freeagent has so much going for it - if only they had a Customer Experience Director to help the Exec make decisions, instead of an IT company thinking inside a 'systems' bubble...
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  • I’m frustrated
    Perhaps someone from Freeagent would like to answer why this request has been ignored for nearly 6 years?
    e.g. what are they working on currently instead of this?
    Why is there not some kind of poll for customers to rank the improvements they want to see?
    Why no transparency of how things are moving (or not moving) up the queue?

    And please, don't trot out the cut/paste suggestion as a viable alternative - it's an antiquated clumsy fudge.

    here's a simple example: I have a few major customers that I need to manage.
    Each quarter (ideally each month), I want to see what percentage of my overall business they represent, by tracking their purchases against all others. I'd also like to do this by customer category but this is something that Freeagent has never entertained. The only way of doing this currently is to cut and paste records umpteen times and do calculations in Excel.

    It would be so easy for Freeagent to do this - all the data is there.
    Has anyone in Freeagent actually sat down with their customers and watched how they work with it, what they want to do?
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  • Time to look for a different product I think, which is a shame.. They're too busy getting ready for the IPO and the pot of gold that that brings.. If you stop listening to your customers, we all know what happens eventually.. We shall see..
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  • Roan (Product Director) February 24, 2016 12:59
    Hi everyone,

    Sorry for not jumping on this sooner.

    There are obviously a few different use cases being talked about here but can I ask what information is missing from the existing company export in order to perform the analysis you require? Our preference would be to overhaul this existing feature so all the necessary data is included in a single place, but we do know certain data is missing right now.

    We've made some big improvements to our API recently as well, but I'll follow up with the suggestions made above. It might be worth looking at

    http://www.businessbackbone.co.uk/diga/

    who already provide an integration with FreeAgent and allow Excel reporting from FreeAgent data.

    I understand everyone's frustrations at the lack of progress in this area, but we are keen to understand if there are any quick wins available.

    Thanks
    Roan
    • http://www.businessbackbone.co.uk/diga/ are useless! I registered for a trial and tried to access my data to find out who my biggest customers were, anyway long story short, the BusinessBackbone software just crashed and never once provided a single piece of useful information, not one piece! I called and emailed them on several occasions, over seven times in fact and never got a response or my call returned! Useless!

      What do I have to do to find out who my biggest customers are in FreeAgent? It can't/shouldn't be this difficult to find this out!
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  • Sorry Roan - am I missing something here? You mentioned "existing company export"? What is this, and where do I find it in Freeagent?

    I did give a detailed example of what I am trying to do (but here it is again - do you need more info?)

    I have a few major customers that I need to manage.
    Each quarter (ideally each month), I want to see what percentage of my overall business they represent, by tracking their purchases against all others. I'd also like to do this by customer category but this is something that Freeagent has never entertained. The only way of doing this currently is to cut and paste records umpteen times and do calculations in Excel.

    I am not aware of any reporting at all by company (i.e. my clients or customers) - all you get is a list of invoices you sent and when they paid.
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  • I need to know who my biggest customers are, how much they spend, year on year.. Simple as that.. Who are my top five customers by turnover..??
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  • I need to know who my biggest customers are, how much they spend, year on year.. Simple as that.. Who are my top five customers by turnover..??
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  • I still can't believe that FreeAgent can't produce that information in a report....???
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  • http://www.businessbackbone.co.uk/diga/ are useless! I registered for a trial and tried to access my data to find out who my biggest customers were, anyway long story short, the BusinessBackbone software just crashed and never once provided a single piece of useful information, not one piece! I called and emailed them on several occasions, over seven times in fact and never got a response or my call returned! Useless!

    What do I have to do to find out who my biggest customers are in FreeAgent? It can't/shouldn't be this difficult to find this out!
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  • I’m frustrated
    Hi,
    I got the exact same situation with BusinessBackBone.co than the one described by Stewart.
    Does anyone at FreeAgent can tell us if this solution is really useful?
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  • Roan (Product Director) March 21, 2016 10:17
    Hi everyone,

    We've been in contact with Business Backbone to highlight the problems raised here. Hopefully we can resolve these.

    All the best
    Roan
    • view 4 more comments
    • Roan (Product Director) March 21, 2016 13:19
      Hi Rick,

      With respect this has nothing to do with an IPO. It's an ongoing difficult decision making process we go through regarding feature prioritisation. Over the last year or so, we've released a number of major features (improvements to banking, GoCardless mandates etc), all driven by equally passionate FreeAgent customers. So we do listen, monitor and (most importantly!) act on feature requests, but given the volume of requests we get we simply can't tackle them all as quickly as we'd like.

      Regarding reporting and exporting CSV data we did actually release a number of features in this area last year (better flexibility in aged/debtor reports) and then before that CSV export for most of the existing reports. Yes, we need to do more here but there are lots of other feature customers want so it's a constant balancing act.

      We don't have a Customer Experience Officer here at FreeAgent, but we do have a team of dedicated and passionate support accountants, product managers, designers and engineers, all of whom listen to and want the best for our customers.
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  • 1
    All I want to know is, who are my best customers by sales turnover, monthly and annually, simple as that.. I can click them one-by-one and write down the annual figure, then order them, but I have over 500+ customers and I'm paying for FreeAgent. My bank manager laughed at me when I said that my accounting software doesn't show me who my best customers are by their sales turnover. Its a joke.

    I see that a new feature recently released is uploading receipts to FreeAgent via the cloud though.. Hmm..

    We should be having this conversation on the FreeAgent Facebook page, in public.
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  • So, I feel like most of these forums have a lot of negativity in them so I thought I'd add some positivity. I can't actually remember why I signed up to be notified by this thread but it's quite painful to read. I guess I am very fortunate to be in the target marget for FreeAgent, I'm a freelancer. So everything that FreeAgent offers, covers my needs and anything they have developed recently (like uploading receipts to FreeAgent) has made my processes easier. Android app with receipts? Awesome. Thank you FreeAgent for making my life easier.
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  • I like FreeAgent, don't get me wrong.. I wouldn't be here if I didn't. But I need some very basic reporting functionality, what small business doesn't need to know who its best customers are? The data is in FreeAgent and it wouldn't be that difficult to drill down and extract the data or display it in a table.

    My gripe is about FreeAgent's paying customers asking/pleading for six years for a very basic and crucially important feature which could be implemented easily, but FreeAgent aren't listening to their customers.. And that is frustrating..
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  • I’m frustrated
    Hi Roan

    I've just tried your recommendation of Business Backbone. I'm afraid it has not worked for a number of reasons:

    1) the reporting output is limited to annual years, not financial years
    2) there are few reports available and there isn't access to the right data to be able to create the right custom reports
    3) the reporting is inaccurate - having compared it to FreeAgent figures it was £60k out and was missing key invoices and projects
    4) having sent a number of enquiries to the developer, I've had no response at all

    One option I did think of was whether it was possible to hook Zoho Reports into FreeAgent? We've used this for reporting projects with clients and it does work very well and is a pretty powerful tool. I don't know if there are any other off the shelf financial BI and analysis tools that might work as options?

    As it is, I've spent rather a long time getting fairly simple data out of FreeAgent using Excel. Not a great use of my time.

    Hopefully we can solve this in some way?

    Many thanks

    Matt
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