Starting out as an invoice management tool, FreshBooks has quickly grown into a comprehensive accounting platform suitable for freelancers and small business clients. Today, the Toronto-based company’s product is successfully used in over 160 countries and absolutely loved by its users.
FreshBooks is a reliable accounting platform suited for a broad range of customers, from small businesses to independent contractors and freelancers. Among the competitors, FreshBooks stands out with its customizable invoicing features and excellent customer service.
While the platform may not be ideal for larger companies due to its user and client limits, FreshBook’s simplicity and solid functionality make it a great choice to consider for smaller business owners and entrepreneurs. In this FreshBooks review, we are going to further discuss the platform’s pros and cons to help you make a well-informed decision.
FreshBooks Is Best For
Small businesses, independent contractors, and freelancers
Clients looking for extensive invoicing functionality
FreshBooks Is Not Recommended For
Large or fast-growing businesses that need unlimited users and clients
Pros and Cons of FreshBooks
Editor’s Note: FreshBooks is a good option for an online accounting service and one with a nice set of features. This platform comes at a higher price point than most of its competitors, but they have a constant 60% off for the first six months. The people who’ve tried FreshBooks accounting find its features quite useful. The big downside is the lack of an integrated payroll feature.
What Is FreshBooks Accounting?
FreshBooks is a capable cloud-based accounting and invoicing software ideal for solopreneurs, freelancers, and small business owners. With FreshBooks, you can easily prepare an invoice and receive the payment through debit or credit cards, Stripe, Paypal, or automated clearing house (ACH) transfers. Furthermore, FreshBooks includes time and expense tracking functionality, as well as automated financial reporting.
How Does FreshBooks Work?
Getting started with FreshBooks is easy. If you are ready to sign up (or try the software for free for 30 days), head on the FreshBooks sign up page, enter your email and click on “Get Started”.
You will then be asked a few basic questions about your business before you can start exploring the platform. You can select one of three FreshBooks plans, depending on the size and complexity of your businesses.
Once the sign-up process is complete, you can choose to start fresh or import existing data into your FreshBooks account, including information like clients, expenses, taxes, items, vendors, and more.
FreshBook’s main dashboard is the most important page, which includes visual summaries of your invoices, profits and losses, as well as spending and revenue streams. Several video webinars and a support page are available to help you further with setting up your account and getting started with FreshBook’s bookkeeping features.
FreshBooks also comes with a mobile app for iOS and Android that provides access to software’s core features and allows you to track time and mileage on-the-go.
Currently, there are 21 categories of apps that integrate with FreshBooks, including payroll, payments, analytics, lead tracking, marketing, tax assistance, and more. Some of the most popular integrations include Stripe for easy online payments, G Suite to quickly invoice Google contacts, and Fundbox to provide payment advances for outstanding invoices.
To keep your data safe, FreshBooks employs a 256-bit SSL security on their website, firewalls, strong encryption protocols, regular vulnerability scans, and more.
FreshBooks Main Features
FreshBooks includes many features that make it an excellent option for accounting and invoicing tasks. With all the pricing plans, you can easily put together customized invoices; plus, you can always track your time and mileage through the mobile app.
FreshBooks’ suite of invoicing features is what truly sets it apart from the competition. With FreshBooks, you get an option to choose from multiple invoice designs and further customize them. You can then set up recurring invoices, easily include promotions and discounts, and get automatic updates when invoices are opened or paid online. For the ultimate convenience, you can access these features on-the-go through the FreshBooks mobile app.
Time and Mileage Tracking
Even the most basic FreshBooks plan includes time tracking and mileage tracking features, which can also be accessed through the mobile app. This means that if you have multiple employees, you would not have to pay for a separate time-tracking app.
Once you connect your Stripe account or set up FreshBooks Payments, you will be able to not only send out electronic invoices, but also accept credit card payments directly through the system. With this feature, your clients will be able to quickly pay online by simply clicking on the payment button on your invoice. Each digital invoice stores the information on how much the client has paid already and whether there is any outstanding balance.
Using the FreshBooks mobile app, you can take photos of the receipts and log them as expenses. You can also sort and categorize the receipts, connect them to transactions imported from your credit cards or bank account, and mark them as billable to be added to invoices. Expenses can be connected to clients and projects, so that you can see how much you are spending and stay on budget.
Because Freshbooks started out as an invoice software, it still offers unlimited and customized invoices even with the most basic plan. Unlimited time tracking and mobile mileage tracking are also included by default.
The pricing tier of your choice will determine other features you can make use of. For example, the Lite plan covers only five billable clients, while Plus expands this number to fifty, and Premium is unlimited.
While there are three standard pricing tiers offered by FreshBooks (Lite, Plus, and Premium), you can request a “Select” plan with a personal account manager, customized training, and access for two team members. This plan comes with custom pricing, depending on your specific needs.
When to Use
$15 per month
If you are a self-employed professional with up to 5 billable clients.
$25 per month
If you own a small business with up to 50 billable clients.
$50 per month
If you are a growing business that needs unlimited billable clients.
If you are a business that needs dedicated support and customized training.
Additional FreshBooks Costs
FreshBook allows you to add additional users to your account, at an extra cost of $10 per month. Such users could be your employees, business partners, and contractors, - but your accountant can be added for free. In addition, expect to pay 2.9% plus 30 cents per credit card transaction, which is typical for the industry.
Finally, if you choose to include the Advanced Payments add-on, you would be charged extra $20 per month, plus 3.5% and 30 cents per transaction. This convenient credit card processing service features a virtual terminal that allows you to accept payments over the phone and in person. It also allows your clients to authorize recurring payments. The good news is that the FreshBooks mobile app comes at no additional cost, - given that you subscribe to one of the paid plans mentioned above.
FreshBooks Ease of Use
FreshBooks is an incredibly simple and intuitive accounting software that can be easily accessed from any device. It is easy to create invoices and view payments; plus, the mobile application allows you to handle your accounting tasks on-the-go.
Should you have any questions, the company’s website is comprehensive and answers many typical questions through the FAQ section, free webinars, and helpful blogs.
FreshBooks Customer Service
FreshBooks’ customer service sets it apart from the competition and is rated highly across several online review sites. You can reach the customer support team by phone and email, or make use of the in-program live chat. Emails are typically answered within 90 minutes, and phone calls are responded to within three rings.
Customer support is available Monday through Friday, from 8am to 8pm ET. If you can’t reach customer support or like to figure things out by yourself, you can always make use of helpful resources available on the website.
FreshBooks User Reviews
FreshBooks reviews on independent review websites are split between good and bad. For example, Trustpilot rates FreshBooks at 3.7 / 5 based on 713 individual reviews. Negative reviews mention poor bank connections and subpar customer service.
Software Advice, on the other hand, has nothing but excellent reviews. Here, nearly four thousand users rate FreshBooks at 4.47 / 5, highlighting the platform’s ease of use, excellent customer support, and a convenient mobile app.
The G2 website, which is dedicated specifically to business software reviews, also ranks FreshBooks highly. With 655 total user reviews, FreshBooks receives a 4.5 / 5 rating, with generally positive user sentiment.
QuickBooks Online is probably the most well-known competitor of FreshBooks. Starting at $25 per month, QuickBooks is better suited for larger companies, as it offers more flexibility and customization features. FreshBooks, on the other hand, provides the basic accounting tools with a simple, intuitive interface that is ideal for smaller businesses.
Among the competitors, FreshBooks is a more affordable, yet a more basic platform. For example, FreshBooks competitors like Patriot Accounting and QuickBooks Online use both cash-basis and accrual accounting methods, while FreshBooks only employs the accrual method. In addition, FreshBooks’ standard plans only allow one user, while Patriot has no user limits, and QuickBooks can be used by up to 25 people.
Among other budget-friendly options, Sage is likely the closest alternative to FreshBooks. With prices starting as low as $10 per month, Sage is, indeed, quite affordable. However, its outdated user interface surely loses to FreshBook’s attractive and user-friendly layout.
To summarize, FreshBooks is the best option for you if you are looking for an easy-to-use, budget-friendly accounting platform that will simplify your basic accounting tasks.
Without a doubt, FreshBooks has created a solid invoicing and accounting system ideal for smaller businesses and solopreneurs. As seen in this FreshBooks review, the platform presents an affordable, easy-to-use, and reliable solution for customers who aren’t ready to spend a fortune on their accounting tools and those who would benefit from using a mobile app on-the-go. Plus, FreshBooks offers a couple of additional bonuses like time tracking, mileage tracking, and incredibly customizable invoices.
All-in-all, unless you a running a large business with over 500 billable clients, FreshBooks might be just the right option for you.