Freshbooks

What is FreshBooks?

A simple and intuitive cloud based invoicing and accounting software with several features to help with your business finances. It's a full suite with modules for invoices, expenses, time tracking, accounting, projects, estimates, payments and reports.

With FreshBooks you can:

Create and send professional looking invoices in less than 30 seconds.

Set up and receive online payments with a couple of clicks and get paid up to 4 days faster.

See when your client has seen your invoice and put and end to the guessing game.

Keep on working on the go with the mobile apps for iOS and Android.

 

Who is FreshBooks for?

Freshbooks is  for freelancers, self-employers,  accountants, non profits, lawyers, ecommerce, real estate, and those running a small business with employees or contractors. This accounting software is designed to save lots of time with daily accounting tasks, making them flow seamlessly so that you can use your time to grow your business  focusing on things that really matter.

Since it has a bunch of automated functions, you can forget about most manual accounting tasks.

Key FreshBooks features:

Invoicing:

This works fast: you can enter the invoice without entering the client first. There are two pre-made invoice templates: simple and customized, in both of them you can add your logo but in the customizable there are additional options like theme color, header and font (two fonts to choose from).

In a matter of minutes, you can have a professional-looking invoice and add payments options with a pair of clicks.

 

In higher plans you can add reminders, set and schedule recurring invoices (for example, if you do the same work each month/week) and add a late fee.

Want more invoice templates? Check this video:

If you deal with international customers, there is the option to change currency (there are over 150 available) for the invoice and also support for several languages (English, German, Spanish, French and Swedish)
Once the invoice is ready, you can add a payment, print it, save as PDF, duplicate, archive it, save as a draft or send by email to your client and the system notifies when your client opened the invoice.
The invoice links to FreshBooks Payments, where the client can pay by credit card or ACH transfer (ACH in USA only)

If you have the FreshBooks account connected to your Stripe account, the client can click on the Stripe button and pay it, and then you need not check emails for payment notifications.

 

Expenses:

Expense tracking is easy, you can import bank statements, connect your credit card, or even take photos of your receipt tickets and see them in the expenses screen.

You can assign a particular expense to a client and add items to your invoices, enter expenses manually and add vendor, category and total amount.

Expenses are organized into Categories and Subcategories which are set by default according to those usually found on Tax forms, but you can add, edit, and delete your own items with a click.

The expenses can be marked as billable (to invoice it to a client later) and recurring too.

Estimates and Proposals:

An estimate is a simple detail of your job or services with a cost estimation, but proposals are more detailed than estimates.

You know that a professional proposal and a first good impression is a step towards your next job or service, and here FreshBooks proposals really stand out.

There are two proposal templates:

Simple and  Modern, in both designs you can add your own logo, banner and font.

Once you select the template, you can edit the proposal items: Client name,   date, number, sections (Overview, Scope of Work and Timeline) and also add attachments up to 500 Mb.

Everything in FreshBooks has been designed for an intuitive and fast user-experience; if you need an e-signature from your customer there is no need for other software;  you can add this option to the proposal for the client to sign it before you begin with the work.

Note that proposals are available on the Plus and Premium Plans only, but the difference is worthwhile.

If you are using a proposal software, there are integrations that can help (FreshBooks integration with Prospero for example)

When you finish  your proposal, you can send it by mail and then the client receives a link where he can click to accept it (if you asked for an e-signature the customer needs to sign it first)
When the client accepts the proposal, you can easily originate an Invoice from it.
All proposals are saved and you can duplicate, edit or change an existing proposal when you need to create a fresh one.

Time tracking:

This is  basic but useful feature to keep track of how much time you have been spending on a job. Using FreshBooks time tracking is important to know how many hours you have worked for a certain job and to get paid every minute of your effort. With this built-in module you don't need  to use a third-part time tracking software, and you can log manually or with the built-in timer.

The time tracking module has a built-in timer which you can set on and off and pause, it keeps active while you are running the software. With this timer you can add time to a particular project or a client and also generate an invoice from this module.

Also, the timer is available in the mobile app to record time when you are away from the office working in another location and it is possible to log employees and contrators time.

 

Projects:

This feature allows you to collaborate with clients, employees and contractors creating projects that may be with flat rate or hourly based.

You can customize the project setting hourly rates, project name and services, add team members and assign it to clients and set up a budget.

There is the possibility to communicate with your team members in the discuss tab and share files with them too, this interaction is an essential feature to manage projects and makes unnecessary to have an external program to keep your team projects going.

Also, customers can add comments to proposals and estimates and you can reply to them. All this happens into the platform, and this mean that you won't be checking emails because all the info is managed by FreshBooks modules, but also means that you don't need to spend money and resources on other platform for team comunnications.

Each person you invite to your project has unique roles and access to your project (Admins, managers, employees, contractors and accountants) so for example, and user can assign a project to employees or contractors.

When the project is completed you can issue an invoice and send it by email to the client.

Reports:

The main reports are Invoice and Expense reports:

Invoices details, items sale, revenue by client and expense report.

Payment report: Accounts aging and payment collected

Accounting reports: Balance sheet, profit and loss, general ledger, trial balance, Bank reconciliation summary and sales tax summary.

You can mark any report as favorite for easy access on top of the screen.

Outstanding revenue: Shows which invoices are Overdue (have passed the due date of the invoice) and Outstanding (those unpaid and not passed the due date)

Total profit: This is the difference between Payments (green) and Expenses (red) Here you can customize the date range and the currency if you are working overseas.

Revenue Streams: Here you can see where revenue is coming from.

Spending: Know where your money is going

Unbilled Time: Never forget to bill your work time again, this section shows if there is time you have worked and is not yet billed.

All the reports can be printed, emailed and also exported to Excel.

Payments:

Within this platform you can accept all major credit cards, including Visa and  Mastercard. You also can connect to Stripe and PayPal and cash and check payments can be accepted too (you have to enter these manually)

The process to connect your bank account is straightforward  and goes trough email and business verification:

Payment fees are fixed and FreshBooks claims no hidden costs since fees apply only on current transactions and have no monthly cost. For credit cards it is 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction.

 

When a customer pays, the system automatically deduces that amount from the invoice to be the total or a partial payment.

Integrations:

There are over 85 apps and integrations available to connect with FreshBooks to make your accounting easier, this is a feature that adds a lot of value to this software.

Some integrations are:

Stripe: Accept secure payments online.

Squarespace: This sync option allows to bring all orders, payments and products into FreshBooks.

Formstack: Custom forms building.

Capsule CRM: Send invoices from FreshBooks inside a CapsuleCRM client's profile

Prospero: Turn your Prospero proposal into an invoice.

Slack: For easy information sharing.

Dropbox: Cloud storage that integrates into FreshBooks for easy expense tracking.

HubSpot: Push your customer contact details into FreshBooks to evaluate the ROI of your marketing actions.

Trello: Easily track time with Trello integration.

Shopify: Automate your Shopify accounting with this integration.

G Suite: Add Gmail contacts as clients and create invoices straight from your email account.

Gusto: Import your payroll transactions for more accurate expense tracking.

Zoom: Connect to Zoom to pull your meeting minutes into FreshBooks for easy billing.

eBay: Improve your finances, saving hours of manual work.

Magento: Connect the popular ecommerce application with FreshBooks through Zapier.

Bench: Connect with a professional bookkeeping platform at affordable pricing.

Plenty of other integrations are available; such as analytics, customer support, education, event management, inventory management, marketing, payroll, project management, tax help, website management, CRM, accounts receivable and more.

And if the integration you need is not listed; Zappier, ONESaaS,  Integromat, Piesync and Devart can connect hundreds of applications to automate your workflow.

FreshBooks pricing:

There are four plans to choose from; Lite, Plus, Premium and Select. This is a screenshot for yearly suscriptions, if you pay monthly then the costs are a bit higher.

 

freshbooks pricing
freshbooks pricing

The Lite Plan is the most affordable and suits a very small business like freelancers or individuals. There are basic features (unlimited invoices only up to 5 clients) but it is a convenient starting point. Also includes unlimited estimates, expense tracking, credit card and transfers payments, and limited reports.
In the Plus Plan you have unlimited estimates and proposals and double entry accounting reports plus scheduled late fees, a very interesting feature to have (if you get paid quickly the price difference between plans is trivial).

These prices are

Conclusion:

FreshBooks is a simple and intuitive platform to keep your finances ordered. The whole interface is clean, and every process is quick and straightforward.
This software is aimed at freelancers and small business owners that need a simple app to maintain finances organized with minor effort and since it is a cloud based system, you do not need to install a program on your PC and can run on any web browser.
Although mobile apps (available for Android and iOS) have limited functionality, they are useful if you are on the go to add registers and keep them synchronized.
Note that you can try FreshBooks for free for a 30-day period (can cancel at no cost) and there is no need for a credit card), this is an excellent option to take and try for yourself.

Novembre 2020 update: If you buy directly avoiding the free trial, they offer a 60% discount for the first 3 months.