FreshBooks Review: Invoicing and Accounting Made Easy this 2020

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Jane Taylor in Business & Finance

Last updated: 22 January 2020, 05:23 GMT


Ever wished your accounting software could just sort out your finances without the need to hire an accountant?

I was reading a FreshBooks review online where the reviewer faced initial struggles using QuickBooks. She even hired a QuickBooks instructor for a two-hour session.

However, she ended up getting more confused and put off dealing with the financial aspects of her freelance business for a whole year. That was until she decided to give FreshBooks a try.

By the time I was done reading that FreshBooks review, I had so many questions about this software. Does FreshBooks make invoicing and accounting that simple? What features make it better than other accounting software that does the same? Fortunately, a detailed FreshBooks review can help you answer this question.

Overview of FreshBooks


FreshBooks is one of the biggest names when it comes to invoicing and accounting software. It was designed in Toronto by Mike McDerment back in 2003 after his frustrations using Word and Excel.

Since then, FreshBooks has grown to serve over 24 million people in more than 160 countries. In 2017, the software was revamped and launched as the “New FreshBooks." It still kept its original version as the “FreshBooks Classic.”

In 2018, FreshBooks was updated to include the double-entry accounting techniques as well as bank reconciliation and journal entries. These changes have allowed FreshBooks to step up to the plate and compete with other accounting giants like Wave and QuickBooks Online.

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FreshBooks Review: Key Features


What do you expect from your ideal accounting software solution? Let’s look at some of the unique features that FreshBooks has to offer.

Dashboard

FreshBooks has an easy to navigate dashboard where you can quickly view important financial information.

It helps you keep a watchful eye on the amount of money you’re owed, amount of money made (or lost) as well as outstanding and overdue invoices.

Invoicing

FreshBooks provides two customizable invoicing templates to personalize your brand. You have the option to update your logo and incorporate brand colors. Furthermore, you can add notes or even terms to your invoices.

FreshBooks also makes sending estimates easy. You simply need to create duplicate estimates, convert them into invoices and view the status.

Another thing FreshBooks that makes FreshBooks shine is providing a reliable invoice to payment features. It lets you see when a client receives and opens the invoice that you sent. That can help you deal with clients who claim they didn’t get your invoice.

Lastly, FreshBooks comes with a convenient feature that automatically sends overdue payment reminders to your clients.

Payment processing

FreshBooks strives to make managing payments flexible. You can settle accounts using the traditional methods of bank transfer, debit, or check.

FreshBooks introduced FreshBooks Payments that made it possible for businesses to start receiving payments through credit cards. It comes in handy for people who are selling products online.

When it comes to online payments, the FreshBooks Classic supports five payment gateways including:

  • Authorize.net
  • Stripe
  • PayPal
  • Braintree
  • FreshBooks Payments

On the other hand, the FreshBooks New versions only support Stripe and FreshBooks Payments at the time of writing this review.

Expense tracking

FreshBooks simplifies expense tracking by making it possible to import your bank statements and connect to live bank feeds.

The only caveat is that FreshBooks partners with Yodlee, just like most software that uses live bank feeds. This may violate some Terms and Conditions of some banks. You should consult with your bank about using live bank feeds.

Receipts can be added and organized in the software by capturing the receipt image, description, total, and its category. These categories closely resemble IRS tax filing categories. So you’ll be thoroughly prepared come tax season.

FreshBooks also helps you to track expenses from different clients or add the expense to an invoice as reimbursement with a certain client. It is possible to separate your business expenses from your expenses.

Besides, the inclusion of the double-entry accounting technique makes it possible to reconcile your bank accounts in FreshBooks.

Project management

If you need to collaborate with clients, contractors or employees, FreshBooks might be the best solution for you. The software allows you to share images and files, set project due dates and chat with team members.

The project management feature lets users create flat rates or hourly projects. It also offers "Discuss," an internal communications tool where you can deliberate on project issues with selected team members.

Time tracking

FreshBooks comes with a time tracking feature that you can use to clear breakdowns for each day or create team timesheets.

You can also use it to track time against specific projects and bill clients an accurate hourly rate for services. If you’re working as a team, you can use this feature to log in and track the time each member worked. You could also track unbilled time.

Accounting reports and taxes

FreshBooks provides an easy way to generate the financial reports you need to determine what’s working for your business and what isn’t. You can generate profit and loss reports either quarterly or yearly.

It also helps you create expense reports, invoice details or even time entry details. Consequently, you can come up with sales tax summaries by filtering your account records and generating tax reports.

Mobile app

The New FreshBooks version led to the release of an improved mobile app. This app is available on both Android and iOS devices.

You get to do everything you can using the desktop version such as recording payments, sending invoices, managing projects, track, and import expenses. The only feature that’s missing here is Reporting.

Security

Data in FreshBooks gets backed up on two separate servers. It is also secured by 256-bit SSL encryption as well as Cisco-powered firewalls.

Apart from this, FreshBooks frequently runs intrusion detection and vulnerability tests programs.

FreshBooks partnered with Rackspace data centers as an addition to its cloud-based security measures.

Customer support

FreshBooks prides itself in offering high value in their customer service. They even have numerous awards to prove it. Users have a variety of customer support options to choose from.

This could be phone support, email, in-software help, support form, their help center, blog, webinars, press center, or through their social media accounts.

Pros and Cons


Even though FreshBooks has immense feature offerings, it also has its fair share of less desirable features. No FreshBooks review would be complete without mentioning both.

Let’s dive in!

Pros

  • User-friendly
  • Project time tracking
  • Team collaboration tools
  • Double-entry accounting

Cons

  • Reporting needs improvement
  • Occasional bugs

What FreshBooks Users Have Been Saying


Now that you know what FreshBooks has to offer, let’s consider the FreshBooks review from those who used the software.

Capterra

The FreshBooks review on Capterra had an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. Most users were impressed with its simple and straightforward setup. They also liked its friendly customer service and the addition of the double-entry accounting technique.

However, one user mentioned that its reporting needed some improvements. Another user said that FreshBooks wasn’t good for businesses that have to factor in inventory management.

GetApp

On the other hand, the FreshBooks review on GetApp had an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. Users loved the stellar customer service and billing features. A good majority cited that the ability to send invoice reminders to clients was a huge plus.

 

Unfortunately, some users complained that FreshBooks offered limited customer records and it needs better reconciliation for balances.



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