What is FreshBooks?
It is a cloud-based accounting platform, which means that it operates exclusively online. All of the information about your business’ daily accounting activities is housed securely online.
FreshBooks was established by an entrepreneur named Mike McDerment. Mr McDerment was inspired to design an alternative accounting option for businesspeople like him, having grown tired of using Microsoft Word and Excel. Since then, FreshBooks cloud accounting has gone from strength to strength, enjoying a customer base of more than ten million people looking to streamline their accountancy tasks such as invoicing, expenses and time management.
There is a genuine flexibility and agility to the FreshBooks accounting software, which has attracted businesses across all kinds of industries to get on board, including digital marketing, IT, legal services, business consultancy and e-commerce.
Back in 2017, the entire FreshBooks software was given a state-of-the-art facelift, before being relaunched as “New FreshBooks”. This approach was designed to help FreshBooks compete with the other leading digital and cloud-based accounting platforms. Although FreshBooks Classic remains in use by many businesses today, the remainder of this FreshBooks review will cover the latest New FreshBooks accounting software.
Pros of FreshBooks
The latest version of New FreshBooks benefits from new and improved functionality for businesses. The addition of time-saving features and integrations means that we can safely say that FreshBooks is now more than “just” invoicing software, but a fully fledged bookkeeping solution:
Dynamic solution for SMBs
The FreshBooks accounting platform is designed with small businesses firmly in mind. The platform’s developers know the pitfalls of human error and inconsistent bookkeeping, which can affect any busy small company that attempts to manage its accounts in-house. The New FreshBooks solution simplifies the invoicing and accounts process even more, with a slick, intuitive user interface that offers a clear dashboard and a chance to get an overview of accounts and late payments within a matter of seconds.
Responsive mobile platform
The real beauty of FreshBooks is that there is a FreshBooks app, available on both Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. Within the app, you can tailor and send invoices, take snapshots of expenses receipts, communicate one-to-one with clients and synchronize all of your accounting data in one hub; all of which is accessible on the move. It’s entirely free to download the FreshBooks app, so you aren’t penalized for managing your cash flow, even when you are away from your desk.
Time-saving auto-invoicing and recurring payments
FreshBooks understands that small business owners don’t always have time to micro-manage every last invoice and payment owed to their company. That’s why the platform enables its users to create automated billing schedules. You can automate recurring FreshBooks invoices over set periods – e.g. monthly, weekly or fortnightly – in the currency that you or your client prefers.
In today’s highly competitive cloud accounting industry, the New FreshBooks acknowledges the need for user simplicity in terms of its time-saving features. The platform is built to be as customizable as you wish, with the ability to set bespoke notifications that will only trigger when certain benchmarks are met e.g. late payment. Taking photos of expense receipts and attaching them simultaneously to relevant accounts or individuals has also revolutionized expense claims for SMBs.
In ultra-competitive industries, small businesses simply no longer have the time to dedicate to manually entering accounting data into spreadsheets. Not only is it time-consuming, the likelihood of human errors is also high. FreshBooks accounting software gives you the ability to generate financial reports, based on the data already within the system, at the touch of a button. There is a multitude of reports available at your fingertips, ranging from profit and loss and monthly expenses to real-time balance sheets. It’s also easy to export any of these FreshBooks reports via .CSV file, which is handy if you need to share data with your accountant.
Small businesses or freelancers who rely on time-based billing, particularly for long-term or one-off projects, will also be pleased to hear that the FreshBooks platform accepts third-party integrations with several leading time-tracking services. A FreshBooks Chrome extension can be activated to enable time tracking to synchronize from apps such as Asana, Basecamp and Trello. This gives businesses greater certainty that they will bill for the correct number of hours spent on a project, based on a predetermined hourly rate.
Invoice to pay function
Last but by no means least, FreshBooks also operates a hugely beneficial invoice-to-payment feature. It’s possible for owner-managers to be alerted when a client receives and opens an invoice. This overview ensures peace of mind for businesses that can be sure invoices are delivered, thus making it harder for clients to claim that an invoice hadn’t been received and subsequently avoid payment. Managing payments of invoices through FreshBooks' billing software for small business has been made very straightforward thanks to integration with the likes of Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Google Checkout, as well as PayPal for e-wallet transactions.
- Automated, recurring invoices and payments
- Secure client portal
- Turn estimates into fully fledged invoices
- Receive alerts when clients receive and open invoices
- Multi-currency and multi-language
- Preview invoices
- Communicate with clients individually
- Photograph and attach expense receipts
- Track expenses per project or overall
- Assign and re-bill expenses
- Create unique timesheets for individuals or departments
- Track time against clients and projects
- Automate invoices based on hours spent per project
- Top-down overview of projects and due dates
- Safe and secure payments
- Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Google & PayPal accepted
- One-click payment setup
- One-click report generation
- Export data to .CSV or .XLS
- Overview of outstanding revenue
- Overview of business spending
There is no FreshBooks cost to pay immediately. There is a free 30-day trial available of the New FreshBooks software, with no obligation to sign up to ongoing monthly subscriptions. If you do wish to pay for a monthly subscription, you can choose from one of three pricing plans:
FreshBooks Pricing Plans
- Lite - $15 per month. Available to one user account. Offers unlimited invoices and estimates, as well as all the reports you need, and billing for up to five clients.
- Plus - $25 per month. Available to one user account. Offers unlimited invoices and estimates, as well as the chance to generate proposals, advanced reports and access to live bank feeds, and billing for up to 50 clients.
- Premium - $50 per month. Available to one user account. Offers unlimited invoices and estimates, as well as proposals, advanced reports and access to live bank feeds. Bill up to 500 clients.
- Live tickets
- Live chat
- Small businesses
- Cloud-based accounting platform
In the event that you have any queries about your FreshBooks account, there are plenty of ways to get support from the FreshBooks team. You can call a toll-free telephone number to speak with one of FreshBooks’ “Support Rockstars”.
There are a number of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that you can access at the touch of a button too, which is handy if you query is a basic, common one. FreshBooks’ customer support department is also active on social media should you wish to tweet or message via Facebook.
Put simply, FreshBooks makes all aspects of accounting a breeze for SMBs. Even the cheapest subscription, FreshBooks QuickBooks Lite, is a very cost-effective, powerful solution that can automate billing cycles and save small businesses as many as two days a month to spend on doing what you do best – running your business and pleasing your customers.
The beauty of FreshBooks is its cloud-based nature. This means that wherever you are in the world, you’ll have on-demand access to your sensitive data to track time, send invoices and record expenses. It’s the easiest way to improve the efficiency of your accounting and general cash flow.