Upload a file to Files area via API?

Free Agent used to have a really great feature to upload attachments directly by simply sending an email to a specific address for each user. That’s been switched off now, which means that when I get a PDF receipt from a supplier (like 98% of my receipts are these days) I have to either drag the PDF to my desktop, open a browser, open the files page, then upload it. Or if the receipts isn’t a PDF and is a styled html email, print to a PDF, then save the PDF then open the browser etc.

When I used to use Xero, I had all this sorted through automator actions, so it was a single click which did all that. But the lack of the easy way to get files into the files area kills this on FA. So, is there a way to use the API to create a similar functionality, where files are added to the Files area via the API?

1 Like

I’m not aware of a way to upload files to the Files area via the API, but I don’t work for FreeAgent so that’s not definitive.

However you can use the API to upload files to bank transaction explanations (see the attachment attribute), which I presume is where you want the files to end up.

[Shameless plug] As it happens I have built something which allows you to forward supplier PDF receipts to an email address, from where they are attached to the appropriate explanation in your FreeAgent account. I use it for all my own supplier PDF receipts. If a receipt doesn’t have a PDF attachment, it converts the HTML email (or text if there’s no HTML part) to PDF using headless Chrome and uploads that.

Hi @theboyler,

Anna here from FreeAgent. Thank you for getting in touch!

We unfortunately had to retire the previous email feature, however, we do have a similar feature that’s available on our mobile app. You can read the following Knowledge Base article which explains how you can do it: How to import files into your FreeAgent account using the FreeAgent mobile app – FreeAgent

Thanks for the suggestion for having an API endpoint; it’s a great idea! I’ve passed it on to the product team and we’ve added this to our feature request board for you.

All the best,
Anna

Thanks Anna - that’s fine, I suppose, if the phone is the main way you interact with the service. For myself, I’m just not going anywhere, so having to use a screen the size of my hand instead of my 24inch monitor is a real pain in the backside, especially when the competition (Xero eg) handles this super easily.

This is great for the mobile app, but doesn’t solve the requirement to upload files via the API. Do you think this would be possible at all?

Edit: To clarify, I’d like to automate certain parts of my job, and have purchase invoices automatically added to my FreeAgent account so I can select it and move on.

Thanks! :slight_smile:

Hi @jbrooksuk,

As an engineer, I completely understand the desire to automate everything! I’ve raised the feature request for the API file upload endpoints with our product team.

As an aside, what you’re describing sounds a little like our new Auto-Extract feature. Currently, you can upload a receipt to the files area via mobile or desktop, and FreeAgent will auto-extract relevant data for you, and offer the option for you to easily convert this into an expense. We’re planning to expand this service to cover bills sometime next year.

All the best,
Anna

Hi @theboyler,

I understand completely - I’ll make sure to add your comments here to our feature request so that the product team have a better understanding of the pain points.

All the best,
Anna