Finding invoicing software that also has accounting abilities can wear you off. Even when you find one that meets your needs, you won’t like its price since most of them are quite high. After a long search, we came across a tool called FreshBooks, which is an invoicing software perfect for those running small ventures. Ideal accounting software should be able to track your invoices. This will help you know if and when the customer received the bill and also see when the balances are due. Besides that, it should also allow you to manage your invoices online so that you can receive payment directly.
In this FreshBooks review, we are going to look at the various features that this software has, including recurring invoices, invoice tracking, using your mobile app to send invoices, and much more. We are also breaking the software down to show you why it is the best invoicing software in 2020.
Table of Contents
What is FreshBooks?
Built for small business owners and experts who are self-employed, FreshBooks is an invoicing and accounting software that is web-based. It’s easy to use the tool, and anyone can handle it, including those with zero tech and accounting skills. With a detailed set of features like time tracking, automation, collaboration, online payment acceptance, and more, it is the best software when it comes to managing invoices. As a business owner, you need an invoice software that allows you to do more than receiving sending invoices only. FreshBooks will help you do that and more. Not only is it secure as a cloud, but it’s also highly accessible. You can connect it with your bank, credit card companies, and other online payment services. FreshBooks also integrates with other cloud-based apps.
Is FreshBooks Right For My Business?
If you are a self-employed venture, you are going to love this software because it’s built for service-based businesses. If you don’t have time to learn to account, you are going to love this software. With FreshBooks, you will have enough time to focus on other aspects of your business since it is very easy to use. Currently, the accounting software allows you to do double-entry accounting, manage accounts payable, and users can also pick from various plans. A unique feature of FreshBooks is called general ledger processing. With FreshBooks accounting software, you can choose from subscription plans. The plans vary according to the number of clients they allow to send and receive invoices. Overall, this is great accounting software that will enable you to do the following:
- Customize all kinds of invoices you want to send
- Users can automate bank imports
- It accepts ACH online bank transfers and credit cards
- It has an intuitive interface that allows you to manage and track your account
- All your data is secured with SSL encryption
- Expense management
- Time tracking
- Provides reports and insights
- Project budgets
- This accounting software has 200+ third-party integration options
- FreshBooks customer service is done through email and phone
Features, Benefits & Product Strengths
When it comes to features, FreshBooks has an array of them meant to cater to all your invoice accounting needs. With in-built automation that covers all the basics, this accounting software will help you save a lot of time. Below are some of the best features that you are going to get with the latest version of FreshBooks.
FreshBooks comes with a stylish dashboard that allows you to check vital financial info about your business fast and with no hassle. The dashboard has graphs for Spending, Outstanding Revenue, Revenue Streams, Unbilled Time, and Total Profit. You will get quick key reports from the side menu. On the top right-hand corner of the screen, you will find a quick create button, and at the bottom right-hand corner, there is a help button
You can start creating your invoices once you finish building your list of service items with pricing and set up your company profile.
You can easily use this system that allows you to create and send invoices in a few minutes so that you can get back to other pressing issues. No need to use PDF forms or Excel Sheets that take a lot of time to create invoices. With FreshBooks, users can send and manage professional invoices. This includes the following types of expenses and their line item:
- Other fees
- Hourly wages
- Project expenses
Below are some of the invoice features that allow you to save time:
- Create invoices to match by changing the template, accent color, font, insert a logo. This means you can customize your invoices the way you want.
- Instead of creating invoices from scratch, with only two clicks, you can convert estimates and proposals. With this software, you can tweak and duplicate past invoices, which allows you to save time rather than creating a similar type of invoice from scratch.
- Also, with a few clicks, you can deposit requests, add a discount, or schedule payments.
- FreshBooks can send scheduled recurring invoices automatically. You can also schedule payment reminders and add late fees to past-due invoices flat fee or percentage.
- You don’t have to worry about guessing whether the client received the sent invoice since you can see when the client opened the invoice.
- You don’t have to be in your office to send your invoices. You can just use your phone to send your invoice while you are on the go.
- If you are dealing with international clients, you don’t need to worry about communication exchange rates since FreshBooks supports multiple languages and currencies.
The FreshBooks app allows you to take pictures of the receipts so that you can log them as expenses. After that, you can categorize them into and credit card transactions or transactions imported from your bank account. Once you have done that, you can add them to invoices after marking them as billable. You can attach the expenses to clients or projects. By doing so, you will be able to stay on the budget by viewing what you are spending.
FreshBooks gives you access to these expense features:
- Tax-friendly expense categories
- Capturing your receipts and attachments
- A summary of spending that is easy to read since it is categorized
- Vendors that do business with you can log expenses with ease and quickly
- Regardless of the currency, you can track expenses easily
- Users can edit expenses
FreshBooks Estimates and Proposals
One of the latest features of this accounting software is how it allows users to create professional estimates and proposals for clients. This allows them to automatically generate invoices and create proposals that are linked directly to projects. You can get this task done with ease without using extra tools.
With FreshBooks Estimates and Proposals, you can do the following:
- Make proposals that show a project’s timeline, scope, and deliverability
- Clients can use e-signatures to approve and sign proposals online
- One can check and respond to client’s feedback on proposals
- With the FreshBooks mobile app, you can create and email estimates from anywhere
- Once the client approves the estimates, you can convert them into ready-to-play invoices
Time is of the essence. Therefore you need to save as much as you can when running a small business. This is because you are using billable hours. What makes FreshBooks awesome is how it allows you to track the time spent by your team on projects. Users are allowed to download a Chrome extension to use it on their desktops. If you like, you can also install and open the FreshBooks app on your mobile phone and start tracking your time. There is an option to input your time manually in case you forget to stop the timer once you are done with your project.
Also, you can read Invoice2Go: Best Invoice App
The time tracking feature in FreshBooks allows you to:
- Breakdown your activity and time daily
- Bill clients according to hours put into projects by including the hours into the invoices
- Help your team save time by tracking everyone’s time
- Log hours
- Use the in-built timer to track hours
- Track time against based on projects and clients
- Track time inside other apps like Trello and Basecamp by downloading the Chrome web browser extension
Managing and tracking entire projects is another awesome feature that you are going to like in the new FreshBooks. With this feature, you can create a space to collaborate with your team members and clients. You can send and share files or chat with your team and clients with ease while working on projects.
The project management and tracking tools you can do the following:
- Collaborate with everyone you are working within your project from clients, employees to contractors
- Share documents by uploading them to FreshBooks easy access
- While still in FreshBooks, you can begin team discussions
- Set project deadlines
- With project overviews, you can review ongoing initiatives
Besides in-depth invoicing solutions, FreshBooks also has payment functions. With this accounting software, you can easily and quickly receive your payments.
The payment features allow users to:
- Accept online payment through FreshBooks Payments or Stripe
- Accept ACH bank transfers, credit cards, and Apple Pay
- Accept invoices with one-click payment
- Record payment automatically
- Record expense automatically for transaction fees
- Allows auto-bills and recurring payments
- Use Stripe to accept international payments
- Send reminders and late fees automatically
- Create project deposits
- Users can buy the FreshBooks Advanced Payments add-on
Payments from clients are received directly within the invoice, which makes the process simple and fast. Clients are allowed to pay with credit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, or Stripe. This makes it easy for you to accept payment from anywhere in the world. If you want to accept credit cards, you can easily do so by signing up for free through WePay. You will be given 14 days to verify and link your bank account. The fees that you need to part with for accepting credit card payment through FreshBooks are as follows:
- Discover credit cards, Visa, and MasterCard: 2.9% + $0.30
- American Express credit cards: 3.5% + $0.30
To offer your clients other payment options through apps, you need to link Fresh Books to PayPal and Stripe. FreshBooks doesn’t allow the client to pay you via ACH bank transfer, check, or another form of payment apart from the ones mentioned above. You will have to make a personal arrangement with your client outside Fresh Books if you want to use other payment methods.
With FreshBooks, you can stay on top of the game since the accounting software allows you to create various kinds of reports. You can check these reports to understand how things are going in your business. You can also print them to get a hard copy for your team members, contractors, client, or accountant.
If you want to access your reports, you can easily do so from the Fresh Books dashboard. The dashboard also allows you to expedite tax processes. Users can also filter these reports based on clients, dates, or team members. You can also filter it according to exported, saved, or printed so that you can share it with your accountant.
FreshBooks reports give you access to the following:
- Profit and loss report
- Invoice details report
- Expense report
- Accounting reports
- Sales tax summary
- Accounts aging report
- Payments collected
Third-Party Apps, Add-ons and Integration
Once you decide to use Fresh Books, you are going to integrate with almost 80 apps. These integrations allow you to extend its features using other services. If you have other business programs that you are using, you can easily connect them to FreshBooks. These include marketing, analytics, tax, scheduling, among other tools.
Below is a list of vital services that you can link to your Fresh Books software:
- G Suite
- WordPress and more
This vital section in FreshBooks accounting software lets you add client info and critical notes. You can also create reminders and late fees for each customer and set the default language, invoice, and currency. You will be given a stylish client page with graphs that show outstanding amounts, the amount in the draft, and total money overdue. In the image below, you are going to see a full client directory and a list of recently active clients. Clients can also receive statements from you easily. However, FreshBooks doesn’t offer any way to manage vendors.
The role of users is assigned and determined once you add them to your account. When you do this, you also decide what features each user is entitled to. Except for removing or adding apps and add-ons, your business partners can do everything else. Invoices, accounts, expenses, reports, and your dashboard can be accessed by accountants. Employees are allowed to track their time, access their projects to check additional expenses. Only contractors are allowed to have their accounts. This will let them check the projects that you have invited them to and also track their progress and time against those projects.
From the above image, you can see that there are four types of team members whom you can invite:
- Business partners – These lots are going to get complete access to your FreshBooks account login.
- Basic employees – These will be allowed to track their own time and expenses but only check their info.
- Contractors – They are allowed to track their time and expenses. They can also send you an invoice.
- Accountants – This group is allowed to access FreshBooks categorize, reports, expenses, and create journal entries.
He or she will receive a message and a link to connect to Fresh Books, once you add their names and email addresses. When inviting team members, don’t worry about permission levels since FreshBooks will provide automatic permissions.
The app version of Fresh Book is available for both Android and iOS devices. The app is also powerful and has all the features that are found in the browser version. With the Fresh Books app, you can accept payments, record expenses, capture receipts, send invoices, and track billable time. The app also allows you to chat with your clients.
Here are some of the things that you can do with the Fresh Book app:
- Capture and upload receipts
- Track time spent on projects
- Respond to team members and clients questions
- Manage and send invoices
- Track expenses
You will be forced to insert sales tax manually since there is no settings section. You will have to do this on each line item of an invoice. You will also have to select the sales rate manually since Fresh Book only allows you to save them.
FreshBooks is available in 14 languages and is compatible with close to 170 currencies. If you are running an international business, you are going to find these options very useful.
Importing & Exporting
Using .csv, you can easily import clients and expenses. You can’t personally import services or items. This is one thing that is going to annoy you about this accounting software. The company will help you import the data for you once you send a file to FreshBooks’ support. Reports are exported and estimates and invoices downloaded as PDFs, and that is as far as exports go.
You will get a couple of pricing offers with FreshBooks, just like other accounting software. The plans are based on the features that come with each one of them and the number of active clients. With a 30-day free trial, you can test the software to see if it offers all that you require in your business.
Below is an overview of the subscription plans and add-ons that FreshBooks offers.
- The Lite plan – This plan goes for $15 a month and lets you bill up to five clients. With this plan, you can send unlimited estimates and invoices, connect FreshBooks to your bank feed, track time, and receive online invoice payments.
- The Plus plan – For $25 per month, this plan allows you to bill up to 50 clients. It also comes with all the features found in the Lite plan and allows you to send proposals, recurring invoices, and automatic payment reminders. Charging late fees is also allowed with this plan. Some of the new features that come with this plan include financial reports and double-entry accounting and financial reports.
- The Premium plan – This plan is available for $50 per month. With it, users can bill up to 500 clients, and it has all the features found in the Plus plan, but it only adds the number of clients that you can bill.
- The Select plan – This plan comes with custom pricing. In case you have over 500 clients or your annual billing is more than $150,000 annually, you can subscribe to the FreshBooks Select. If you feel like you want to try this plan, you will need to contact the company for a price quote that meets your business needs. Besides all the features found in all the mentioned plans, you will also get a dedicated account manager.
- Each additional user – With each user that you are going to add to your account, you will be forced to part with $10 per month. This will apply to contractors, employees, and business partners. You won’t incur any additional costs in your account.
- FreshBooks Payments – This one will cost 2.9% and 30 cents per transaction. With this service, you can accept online invoice payments. With Stripe, you can also accept payments.
- The Advanced Payments – Add-on go for $20 per month, including 3.5% and 30 cents on each transaction. A virtual terminal method is included with this credit card processing service that allows you to accept payment in person or over the phone. Your clients can also permit recurring payments. You will have to subscribe to one of the plans mentioned above if you want to use the Fresh Book app. You don’t need to pay anything to use this app.
If you are a college student, you are going to love the fact that FreshBooks supports financial education for students in colleges. They do this by offering educators and students free classroom materials and accounts.
FreshBooks Pros and Cons
- Has an easy to use interface that is user friendly
- Its dashboard allows you to manage different accounting functions
- FreshBooks Customer service is there 24/7, and it’s pretty detailed
- Has an effective mobile app that is feature-filled
- Has several stylish invoice templates that can be customized
- A huge number of third-party integrations
- You will be able to the time spent on projects thanks to the time tracking feature
- You can store time entries thanks to its simple yet flexible notes section
- Has tools for estimating projects and team collaboration
- Restrictive usage by allowing single-entry accounting only
- Compared to other similar accounting software, it has limited features
- The monthly cost is too high, and the features don’t match up
- Its email click-throughs and automated expense are full of bugs
- Lacks a dedicated Android app and its reporting is not flexible
- You won’t see the pending amounts from the previous invoices
FreshBooks Customer Service
Fresh Book has great customer support that is provided by phone, in-program live chat, and email. It has knowledgeable and friendly representatives who are always on standby to assist you in case you have any problems. We can attest to their timely response because we tested them, and they responded in time. Although support isn’t available 24/7, their weekday hours are extended. You can get them from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, Mondays through Fridays. If the customer support is down, you will get access to numerous resources that have everything you need to know about this software. You can also get help from their website that provides answers to any question that you may have. Among these resources are a free webinar and a blog that has vital tips about accounting and other helpful business tips.
Top FreshBooks Alternatives
Always try to research other similar tools that are out there before settling for anyone of them. You should go for a tool that offers everything that you need in your business. You can choose a tool that is friendly to your pockets of one that has additional tools. There is plenty of FreshBooks alternative software that will help you manage your invoices. Let’s look at three of them:
Zoho Books is the perfect FreshBooks alternative if you are looking for an affordable tool that gives you access to many clients and also has the same features as FreshBooks. The basic plan in Zoho Books will allow you to add 50 contacts, two users, and create five automated workflows. Besides that, you will also get features such as customs invoices, bank reconciliation, expense tracking, and timesheets. It is just like the Lite plan in FreshBooks, but you are going to get it at $9 per month. It is cheaper and allows more clients and users. The higher levels of this tool will allow you to accommodate even more users and also other great features.
Wave, on the other hand, has a great tool, and the best thing about it is that it is free accounting software. It is a credible tool that offers awesome accounting features. Don’t underestimate this tool just because it is free. It has features that even FreshBooks doesn’t have. For starters, it has a double-entry accounting, billing, and invoice reminders, and accommodates an unlimited number of users. In FreshBooks, these features are found in the Plus plan and will cost you $25. Apart from that, you will get extended functionality in Wave thanks to its payments paid and payroll add-ons. Wave doesn’t have as many features as FreshBooks, but for free software, it has enough features to run your small online business.
Xero is the tool you run to when you are looking to complete a well-rounded accounting software like FreshBooks. The tool is known for its friendly interface and with great features to help you manage your invoices. Its Early plan costs $9 per month, and it restricts you according to the number of invoices, bills, quotes, and bank transactions. The best pan options that match FreshBooks are either the Xero Established plan or the Xero Growing. Going for $60 and $30 per month, respectively, this software is a bit on the higher side when it comes to price. I would recommend the Xero software because it has a mobile app and allows you to connect to a 700+ third-party tool. No matter the tool that you are going to choose, it is better that you settle for a tool that offers more marketing than book-keeping.
We have come to the end of our FreshBooks review. We hope that you have understood what this accounting software is all about. The ball is on your court now that you know what FreshBooks offers. From features to its pricing plans, we have touched on every aspect of this tool. As you have seen, FreshBooks will make great software for small business owners. Although it’s a bit pricey compared to other tools, you are going to benefit from its awesome features. Make good use of the free 30-day trial to check whether it is the right tool for you. You will be in a better position to grasp what it does and what it doesn’t if you create an account. If you are not satisfied, you won’t need to subscribe to any plan at the end of the 30-day trial.
Which one is better between FreshBooks and QuickBooks?
If you are looking for a tool that will help you to manage your time better than FreshBooks will do a better job than QuickBooks. FreshBooks is geared towards providing simple and accessible accounting and expert services when it comes to invoicing. On the other hand, QuickBooks is quite robust and has a wide range of features. This makes it have a steeper learning curve. It’s built to cater to complex accounting areas of your business.
What’s the price of FreshBooks per month?
The lowest price of FreshBooks is $15 per month, and from there, the price will go up depending on the number of billable clients you may have in your system. It will also depend on the number of staff you want to access this software.
What FreshBooks use?
The main function of FreshBooks is to do book-keeping to help business owners properly manage their accounts and send and receive invoices. It is perfect for those who are self-employed or professionals.
Who owns FreshBooks?
FreshBooks was founded by Michael McDerment in 2003, but it’s currently is a privately held by venture capital-funded firm based in Toronto.
Is FreshBooks accounting software?
Yes. What makes it an actual accounting software is its double-entry accounting that was added in 2018.
Does FreshBooks allow you to create a budget?
Currently, FreshBooks doesn’t have a company-wide budget feature. However, it allows you to create an hourly budget for a project.
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