At the end of the year, when tax returns are reaching their due date, most entrepreneurs in the US are reminded they need to clean up their books. If you’re financial records haven’t been kept organized all year, you can find yourself running around like a chicken with the head cut off!
I’ll be honest that our first couple years with my husband’s construction business was very stressful around tax time. We had paper receipts, paper records, we weren’t as organized as we should’ve been, and we were very ignorant about the rules. As a result, we were nervous that we missed something important, we put off bookkeeping tasks thinking “someday” the time would come, and frankly, it all piled up.
Since the beginning days, we’ve realized, there’s an easier way and using accounting software doesn’t have to be that bad. In this Freshbooks review, I want to share my review of one accounting software I’ve tried. To be honest, this accounting software works well for my freelance marketing business, but it doesn’t work well for my husband’s construction business, and I’ll give details why later. I’ll also share:
- What is Freshbooks
- How it Works
- Pros and cons
- a Compilation of other reviews
- and more…
If this all sounds good to you, let’s get started…
- 1 What is FreshBooks? An Overview
- 2 How Does FreshBooks Work?
- 3 The Good & the Bad
- 4 Who is FreshBooks For?
- 5 Common Accounting Features That Freshbooks Doesn’t Have
- 6 FreshBooks Support
- 7 What Are Common Complaints About FreshBooks?
- 8 What Are Common Positive Feedback About FreshBooks?
- 9 FreshBooks Review Playlist
- 10 FreshBooks Price
- 11 My Final Opinion of FreshBooks
- 12 VERDICT: Recommend
- 13 Freshbooks Small Business Cloud Accounting Software
- 14 Pros
- 15 Cons
What is FreshBooks? An Overview
After brimming with frustration from using Microsoft Excel and Word for small business accounting, Mike McDerment set out to create a better accounting solution. He had his first meeting discussing his startup idea in his parent’s basement, and since, has taken the idea and used it to serve over 10 million customers!
- Send invoices
- Track profit/loss
- Set up recurring transactions
- Track Time
- Project Management (keeping things on schedule)
- and Accepting payment (even from your phone)
For many solopreneurs and small to medium size agencies, other accounting software is more complex than necessary. With Freshbooks, the interface and options are very simply, which makes it easier to manage the cashflow, keep the transactions organized, and focus on your primary trade. See More Features or Start your 30-DAY FREE TRIAL.
How Does FreshBooks Work?
1. Create Your Account
There’s no credit card required so there’s really no risk.
Connect Your Bank Accounts
When you connect your bank accounts, Freshbooks will automatically begin categorizing your transactions. Some transactions will show as “unknown” and you’ll need to correct the categories, but it’s very simple to do and use.
In order to have accurate financial reports like profit and loss statements, you’ll need to accurately have the data unput into Freshbooks like your income sources and expenses. You can easily input your expense data into Freshbooks by using the mobile app, taking pictures to capture receipts, and recording your expenses on-the-go.
Track the Time you Spend Working on Projects
How much time you’re spending on projects directly impacts how much you should charge for the service, but what if you don’t know how much time you’re averaging on the service? You could be undercharging or leaving lots of money on the table. Freshbooks has time-tracking that enables you to calculate accurately how much time you’re spending on projects and charge accurately.
Send Estimates & Bill Clients
Freshbooks enables you to draft estimats for upcoming projects and get approval directly on the estimate. When a customer approves the estimates, it turns into an invoice, and they can pay directly on the invoice! What a time saver! Typically, you have to draft an estimate, draft a separate invoice, and get payment as three separate endeavors that each take time–Freshbooks eases that process entirely.
Set up Recurring Payments
Once you’re a little established, you may have clients you work with on a recurring basis who pay the same amount. Subscription services, service contracts, or other arrangements may leave you spending time every billing period sending out an invoice that looks almost the same as the last. With Freshbooks, you can set up recurring payments and reminders for clients.
The Good & the Bad
PRO #1: Integrates with Stripe for recurring payments
PRO #2: Easy to use with Very simple interface
PRO #3: Tailored for freelancers and small to medium size agencies
PRO #4: Helps keep finances organized for compliance
PRO #6: Very good customer support
CON #1: Doesn’t integrate with all payment processors
CON#2: The subscription charges based on how many clients you have, so it can get pricey with more clients
CON#3: Isn’t built for e-commerce or complex service-based businesses
CON#4: More expensive than other cloud accounting alternatives (like Quickbooks Online)
Who is FreshBooks For?
Freshbooks is designed for:
- Self-employed people
- Small to Medium-Size Firms
Common Accounting Features That Freshbooks Doesn’t Have
Unfortunately, Freshbooks doesn’t have ALL of the features of every other accounting software, but you wouldn’t expect that, right? Instead, they’ve mastered having a simple-to-use, functional software that’s perfect for freelancers and small-to medium-size agencies. You’ll know you’ve either grown out of Freshbooks, or you need to continue looking for another solutions if you need:
- Inventory Management
- Payroll (which is why some people use other payroll software to pay Social Security, FICA, life insurance, IRAs, HSAs, and others)
- Complex Invoicing
- Something that can be used off of the cloud
- Additional Integrations (like Project Management, Payroll, CRM, etc.) Freshbooks doesn’t have
- Paypal integration
- More clients than what’s included in their plans
- To manage a large team
- FreshBooks Tools & Training
- Double-entry accounting
- Bank reconciliation
Freshbooks takes their customer support functions very seriously. As a result, they’ve ensured very fast support by email or by phone.
What Are Common Complaints About FreshBooks?
The Features are Limited!
While the simplicity of Freshbooks is it’s most sought for quality, those who are used to a more complex accounting solution are left wanting more. Some people can’t wrap their heads around accounting without certain “perks”, so if this is you, Freshbooks may not be the best option.
What Are Common Positive Feedback About FreshBooks?
It’s simple and easy to use!
On the alternative side, others who are overwhelmed by the complexity of other software solutions like Excel, Quickbooks, Xero, or Netsuite, might find a big relief from Freshbooks. Many of the user reviews suggest ease of use being it’s #1 benefit.
FreshBooks Review Playlist
Here’s a playlist of Freshbooks Video Reviews, so you can see what it’s like and what others think of it:
Freshbooks offers three payment plans: Lite, Plus, and Premium. They break down like this…
My Final Opinion of FreshBooks
Overall, Freshbooks is a great and affordable cloud-based accounting software if you have:
- a small team
- work as a solopreneur
- run a freelance service business
- or operate a small to medium size agency or firm
Freshbooks Small Business Cloud Accounting Software
Ease of Use9.8/10
Good Suite of Features8.0/10
Accurate Analytics Data8.0/10
- Simple and Easy to Use
- Tailored for freelancers and small to medium size firms
- Very good customer support
- Integrates with other very reputable software solutions
- Helps keep the finances organized for compliance
- Limited features
- Fees are based on # of clients
- Not built for e-commerce or complex service based business
- More Expensive than others
- Doesn't integrate with all payment processors