FreshBooks Software Review: Overview – Features – Pricing

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freshbooks logoOverview Presentation

FreshBooks is an online invoicing, accounting and billing software for small business owners. Most of the time, freelancers, consultants, and small to medium-sized business make use of office suites such as word processors, spreadsheets and email for just about anything, even if they are not the best tools for the job. Cloud-based applications and services now can perform business functions such as billing and invoice management more efficiently. By using the leading cloud accounting solution, even one-person first-time owners are able to manage finances and create professional-looking invoices easily.

Features, Benefits, Product Strengths

  • Easy-to-use Online InvoicingFreshBooks is simple and straightforward to use. It has an intuitive interface that enables users to create, send and track invoices in a few minutes. Users can add their company logo, payment terms in any currency, and client information. Unit costs, amount totals and taxes are automatically computed. It will notify the users if clients have already viewed or paid the invoice, and will follow up those who have not paid with late payment reminders. It accepts credit card payments and can print paper copies for clients who prefer them.
  • Time and Expense Tracking – This online billing software makes it easy to log time and billable hours wherever the user may be. It has native iOS and Android apps that enable users to use their smartphones and tablets to track time, take photos of receipts and quickly convert hours and other billable items into invoices. It can even import expense data from bank accounts and credit cards and enter them in a specific tax category.
  • Bookkeeping, Financial Reporting, and more – Freshbooks cloud accounting solution is a productivity tool that enables users to perform bookkeeping functions without getting intimidated. It allows them to get organized easily and get paid quickly. It has Accounts Aging and Time to Pay reports that help users know the details of their business. It also has Invoice Details, Revenue by Client, and Profit & Loss reports to discover outstanding invoices, the best clients and the financial health of the business. It also integrates with many web services and apps such as PayPal, Stripe, Google Apps and more.

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Pricing

FreshBooks online invoicing, accounting and billing software offers freemium plans. Users who have 1 client can use the software-as-a-service for free. The Seedling plan that is priced at $19.95 per month allows users to manage up to 25 clients. As plans go higher, more features are available. All plans include free and friendly customer support, import and export of data, security safeguards, backup procedures, and ability to accept credit card payments. It is free to try for 30 days. Subscription can be canceled at any time.

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Social Network Presence

Target Market

Freshbooks is for freelancers, consultants, law firms, marketing agencies, professional services, IT web services and other small to mid-sized businesses. It is valuable for business owners, managers, accountants and finance staff.

Supported Language

The interface is available in English but invoices can be sent in the following languages: German, Dutch, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, and Estonian.

Some of their Clients

Client information is not available. However, the site states that it is currently servicing 5 million customers in over 120 countries.

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Testimonials

Tina Roth-Eisenberg stated that FreshBooks made her look professional and also saves her a huge amount of time.

Melissa Crnic described it as a very helpful software that makes tax season stress-free with its features.

Why FreshBooks

Invoicing, accounting and billing are essential business functions that should be managed well. FreshBooks is an easy-to-use, highly accessible and scalable cloud software that makes all these business functions simple, organized and professional-looking.

Company Info

Freshbooks is a service offered by 2ndSite Inc., a privately held computer software company based in Toronto, Canada. It was founded in 2003 by Mike McDerment (CEO), Joe Sawada, and Levi Cooperman (VP Operations). While with a previous Internet consulting business company, Mike accidentally saved over an old invoice. Dissatisfied with the current tools at that time to create invoices and manage billing, he decided to build what now has become the leading cloud accounting solution designed for small business owners. In July 2014, it received $30M first round funding from investors. The company is committed to building a time-saving software and providing extraordinary customer service.

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Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose is a subject matter expert and member of the writing team for Project-Management.com. He has written hundreds of articles including project management software reviews, books reviews, training site reviews, and general articles related to the project management industry.

2 Responses

  1. A very nice promotional article for Freshbooks.

    From a real user (me):

    I’ve been using Freshbooks for the last couple of years, and at first it was a breath of fresh air after getting away from Quickbooks (both online and desktop version prior to that). If you don’t have a proficiency for accounting, systems like Freshbooks are great, so I enjoyed the simplicity of it. The problem is – it’s just way too simple and there are some major gaps in functionality. Additionally, it’s a stagnant system. Very little improvements or features were tweaked or added in the system during the entire time I used it which is pretty unsual for a web based service.

    Freshbooks shouldn’t even call themselves accounting, because their forte really is in time tracking and invoicing. I now use Freeagent and wish I’d switched sooner.

    If you don’t care about tracking profit margins on projects or really tracking expenses accurately at all, then Freshbooks might work for you.

    Freshbooks gets plenty right. Tracking billable time against customers or customer projects is a breeze, and their invoicing and methods for collecting payments is really hard to beat. Plus, they integrate with so many other services, it makes it really easy to get addicted to.

    The things I love most – and the main reasons I’m glad that I left Quickbooks for Freshbooks years ago is:

    Automated invoice reminders, which are totally flexible. This alone saved me a lot of time chasing down late payers.

    Your customers get a really nice interface for viewing all their invoices online – although I will say I think I only have one or two clients who ever even used the client portal for doing that. Most of them just go to their email to retrieve the links for invoices or statements, but it is still a really nice feature.

    No connections to your banking / credit card accounts. You can do this with expenses to some extent, but it’s just awful to work with, when compared to Quickbooks, Xero, FreeAgent – pretty much anyone else. In order to use Freshbooks, you have to have some other software or service for managing the accounting aspects of your business. This ended up being a bad thing for me. I like having it all connected, and there are plenty of great alternatives for that, and some even charge less than Freshbooks.

    My reasons for leaving Freshbooks? Freshbooks is downright awful at expenses…

    You can’t record non-billable expenses against a customer or project. If you want to record the expense without billing the customer for it, you cannot assign it to the customer or project. No easy way around that without messing up your accounting records.

    And with expenses that you DO want to rebill the customer for, there’s no easy, intuitive way to handle marking up those expenses for goods or services to make a profit on. In order to do that, you must first add the expenses to the customer invoice, and then modify each line item expense amount up to the amount you want the customer to pay.

    You cannot record bills as you receive them your vendors. Say for example, you get an invoice from a programmer who did work for you on 4 different projects in a given time period. Most vendors will just send you an itemized invoice with all the billable time across the various projects. Well, you can’t record it that way in Freshbooks. Each line item on your bill must be entered into freshbooks one line item at a time, and you cannot correlate them easily to know that they are all part of one bill/invoice. Freshbooks also can’t help you with managing when your bills are due. That’s accounting, which Freshbooks doesn’t do.

    Freshbooks solutions to their shortcomings with expenses is all handled with hacks and workarounds for how their system is currently built. They are not easy or intuitive and they also throw things off with your accounting reports.

  2. John William says:

    Hi Jose,
    Thank you for this in-depth article about Freshbooks. Very useful since I’m looking around trying to find the best invoicing app for my small business. So far, I’m debating between Freshbooks (it do looks great) and Invoicera, an interesting invoicing and time tracking app with one huge advantage, it’s completely free to use!
    I think I’ll wait until you publish your Invoicera ( http://www.invoicera.com/ ) review before I take a final decision. I’m really anxious to see what you think about this app.
    Regards,
    John

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