Many freelancers, self-employed folks, and independent professionals don’t think of themselves as business owners. But they are, even if they don’t have an officially incorporated business entity.
Found is a financial technology platform built for self-employed people who want to (and should) treat their operations more like real business enterprises. It’s one of the better bank accounts for freelancers around, and its paid version is powerful enough for companies with multiple employees and more complex finances.
Found isn’t perfect for every freelancer. Most will balk at the paid version’s price tag too. But if you’re in the market for a new (or first) business bank account, it’s definitely worth a closer look.
What Is the Found App?
Found is a financial technology app that offers basic business banking services through Piermont Bank, its FDIC-insured banking partner.
Found’s free version has no monthly fee and very few fees for account activities. It comes with a Mastercard debit card, multiple virtual debit cards, early direct deposit for qualifying payers, basic bookkeeping capabilities, built-in client invoicing, and some other notable benefits.
Found’s paid version adds premium capabilities like custom expense tracking, automated expense and transaction importing, and in-app estimated tax payments. However, at $19.99 per month or $149.99 per year when paid upfront, it’s a bit pricey for budget-conscious freelancers.
What Sets the Found App Apart?
Found stands out from other small-business and freelancer-friendly bank accounts for several reasons:
- More sophisticated bookkeeping capabilities. Found’s bookkeeping capabilities are more sophisticated than most free business bank accounts. Even with the free version, you can stay on top of relatively complex financial needs, including contractor payments and running tax obligations.
- Built-in business processes. Beyond expense and tax tracking, Found incorporates essential business processes like client invoicing and estimated tax payments. If you use it as your primary business financial account, it could potentially replace third-party invoicing and accounting apps.
- Unlimited transactions. Unlike many business bank accounts, Found has no transaction limits. This makes it useful for growing businesses and businesses that conduct lots of small-dollar transactions.
Found has two plans: a free plan that has no monthly fee and a paid plan (Found Plus) that costs $19.99 per month or $149.99 per year when you pay for the full year upfront.
The free plan includes all of Found’s core features, but Found Plus comes with potentially valuable benefits like interest on eligible balances and more sophisticated expense tracking.
|Yield on Balances
|1.5% APY up to $20,000
|Cash Back on Purchases
|Standard pre-filled categories
|Yes, from uploaded receipts
|Transaction Activity Imports
|Yes, from bank, credit card, and PayPal/Venmo
|In-App Estimated Tax Payments
Found Plus makes sense for solo professionals and business owners with more complicated business finances and those willing to pay for conveniences like transaction and expense importing. But for most freelancers and independent professionals, its value is questionable at best.
Key Features of Found
Found is more than a business bank account. It also comes with a menu of useful business capabilities, including basic bookkeeping, invoicing, and tax management.
Account Fees & Minimums
Found’s free version has no monthly fee. The paid version costs $19.99 per month or $149.99 per year when paid annually.
Neither version has any minimum deposit or ongoing balance requirements.
Found’s free version pays no interest on any balances. The paid version pays 1.5% APY on balances up to $20,000.
Debit Card & ATM Access
All Found accounts come with a Mastercard debit card that’s accepted at millions of locations worldwide and online.
You can use your Found debit card to withdraw cash at any ATM, but Found has no network of free ATMs, so variable withdrawal fees always apply.
You can create virtual debit cards with custom spending limits in the Found app and designate them for single or multiple uses. This capability is useful if you make lots of purchases with merchants you’d prefer not to give your actual card number to.
Early Direct Deposit
Found automatically sends direct deposits up to two days early when the payer qualifies. There’s no limit to the number of payers this feature applies to.
Bookkeeping & Invoicing Capabilities
Found has a bunch of built-in bookkeeping capabilities, most of which are available with the free version.
- Seamless integration with third-party payment and bookkeeping apps like Stripe and QuickBooks
- Automated expense tracking using Found’s pre-filled spending categories, like “restaurants” and “office supplies”
- Receipt capture and storage
- Unlimited custom invoices
- Unlimited 1099 contractor management
- Automatic expense importing from scanned receipts (Plus only)
- Automatic transaction importing from linked bank accounts, credit cards, and PayPal/Venmo (Plus only)
Tax Management Capabilities
Found’s tax management capabilities include:
- Automatic tax savings with custom amounts or percentages
- Automatically generated tax forms
- Real-time tax estimates
- Writeoff tracking
- In-app quarterly and annual federal tax payments (Plus only)
Found is a mobile-first app with an excellent rating from thousands of verified users in the Apple App Store. The app can handle any demands you’d normally place on the desktop version. Notable capabilities include:
- All expense tracking features
- All tax management features
- Custom invoicing
- Remote check deposit
- Person-to-person payments
- Scheduled and one-off bill payments
- Contractor payments
Through banking partner Piermont Bank, Found balances carry FDIC insurance up to the current federal limit of up to $250,000.
Pros & Cons
The Found app has some clear advantages over standard business bank accounts. It has a few notable downsides as well.
- No monthly fee on the free version
- No minimum balance requirement
- Lots of built-in business tools
- Early direct deposit with qualifying payers
- Limits on interest earnings
- No rewards program
- Paid version is expensive
Found offers a comprehensive range of business banking capabilities and some potentially useful built-in business processes.
- No monthly fee with the free version. Found’s free version is totally free to use. A surprising number of business bank accounts charge monthly fees as high as $10 or $15 for a similar set of features.
- No minimum balance requirements. Found has no minimum deposit or ongoing balance requirements, so it’s ideal for users without much of a cash cushion.
- Virtual cards with custom limits. Found offers free virtual debit cards on demand. Even better, you can set custom limits for each card to ensure merchants can only charge up to your preset budget.
- Early direct deposit with qualifying payers. Found processes most client payments up to two days before they’d normally hit your account. If you depend on prompt payments to keep your cash flow (and account balance) positive, this is a big advantage.
- Built-in expense and tax management tools. Found has a comprehensive lineup of expense and tax management tools at no additional cost. Its expense tracking capabilities could potentially replace third-party accounting apps you’d normally have to pay for.
- Built-in invoicing. Found’s invoicing tool allows unlimited custom invoices, which could be all you need to replace your paid invoicing software.
Found’s banking features fall short in a couple key areas, and its premium version could be too expensive for freelancers and independent professionals on tight budgets.
- No interest with the free version. Found pays no interest on any balances held under the free plan. This is a downside next to free business bank accounts that pay interest on all or some balances.
- Interest caps with the paid version. Found only pays interest on the first $20,000 in your account. This is a big downside for well-capitalized businesses that would prefer not to open a separate savings account.
- No rewards program. Found has no debit card rewards program. A growing number of competing business bank accounts offer surprisingly generous returns on spending.
- Paid version is pricey. Found Plus costs $19.99 per month or $149.99 per year. The annual rate is a much better deal, but it’s still expensive for budget-conscious users.
- No free ATM network. If you use your Found debit card to withdraw cash at an ATM, expect to pay stiff transaction fees.
How Found Stacks Up
Found isn’t the only financial technology platform designed for freelancers and small-business owners. One of its top competitors is Bluevine Business Checking, which targets a similar set of users. Before signing up for either, see how they compare.
|Bluevine Business Checking
|$0 to $19.99
|No, but virtual cards and expense tracking
|Yes, up to five
|Up to 1.5% APY on the first $20,000
|2.00% APY on eligible balances
|Free ATM Access
Found has a broader range of business tools, including custom invoicing and expense tracking, which makes it more of an all-in-one solution for business users. But its paid version is expensive and it can’t match Bluevine on key banking metrics like free ATM access and subaccount availability.
Found has a lot to recommend it, from no minimums or monthly fees (on the free version) to a bunch of built-in business tools that could save you money in the long run. If you’re a freelancer or independent professional, the free version is definitely worth serious consideration.
That said, Found isn’t perfect. Its banking side is stingy, with limited interest and no spending rewards. Its paid version is pricey and probably unnecessary for most sole proprietors. Especially if you’re running a growing business with multiple employees, see what else is out there before committing to Found.