Freshbooks Review: #1 Accounting Software for Small Business

Home/Product/Service Reviews/Freshbooks Review: #1 Accounting Software for Small Business
Freshbooks Review: #1 Accounting Software for Small Business 2017-01-13T18:32:36+00:00

FreshBooks

FreshBooks
9.3

Invoicing

9/10

    Expenses Tracking

    10/10

      Reports

      9/10

        Managing Accounts Receivables

        9/10

          Customer Service

          10/10

            Pros

            • 1 accounting software for small businesses
            • Ease to use

            Cons

            • Limitations to inventory tracking

            Freshbooks Review: #1 Accounting Software for Small Business

            Sometimes I read through my past reviews and think, how is anyone going to get through this? So, I’ve decided to change things up a bit with my Freshbooks review. I’ve simplified it a bit so it’s an easier read. So, let’s look at this accounting software for small business.

            Company Overview


            FreshBooks
            FreshBooks is a Canadian based company, founded by Mike McDerment in 2003. Prior to 2003, Mike had been creating invoices with Word. That January, he accidentally overwrote one of his invoices and found himself inspired to develop a better way of accounting. Thus, FreshBooks was born. FreshBooks is the #1 accounting software for small businesses and #2 in the United States, after QuickBooks.

            The Challenging and changing business environment in the modern world calls for a simple, interactive and flexible tool that can help the small and medium-sized business owners keep track of their activities. FreshBooks is one such cloud accounting solution. The biggest benefit of having FreshBooks is that it does not weigh you down with too much complexity or data. The users have the capability of selecting what they wish to see and how they wish to see it. Below covers some of the key features of FreshBooks.

            Invoicing

            FreshBooks Invoice
            The biggest boasting point for FreshBooks is its simplicity and ability to do more without requiring a lot of inputs from the user. Integrating simplicity and intuitiveness, FreshBooks enables users to create customized invoices with their own logos and prices. FreshBooks reduces the administrative burden by introducing the Auto-invoicing feature that can be used to create recurring invoices automatically. This automation enables users to direct their focus towards running their business rather than keeping records of it.

            In addition to creating and managing invoices, FreshBooks also assists users with getting paid. The credit card acceptance feature is easy to use and very effective for a small- or medium-sized business. Using the mobile feature of FreshBooks, the users can create and send invoices electronically, no matter where they are.

            Managing Accounts Receivables

            FreshBooks PaymentsInvoicing and payments go hand in hand. When it comes to handling payments, you may struggle to find software that beats the flexibility and capabilities of Freshbooks. It is an ideal platform to receive payments from your customers in a hassle free and painless manner. Freshbook’s ability to handle payments from and through all major credit cards make it an awesome tool for your accounts receivable guru or bookkeeper. It also provides clients the ability to pay their invoices through their mobile device or credit card in a very easy manner.

            All the payments made are securely deposited in your bank account without any issues. In addition, to receiving payments, Freshbooks also provides you with detailed reports and analysis about how your customers pay and where the money is being accumulated based on line items.

            FreshBooks also includes an auto-billing feature that allows you to set up automatic payments for recurring customers and clients. Finally, FreshBooks has a tracking feature that allows you to monitor the funds receives and unsatisfied accounts receivables. With proper setup, any payment that the users make through their credit card or bank account is automatically recorded in Freshbooks without requiring any manual entry.

            Expenses Tracking

            Expense TrackingThe biggest issue with most accounting solutions is their lack of ability in handling different bills and papers. Freshbooks introduces some nifty tools that help users to painlessly keep track of bills and receipts. The snap feature can be used to create a backup for all your receipts and bills in a single location. It can also load all the expenses directly from the bank account or credit card, eliminating the need to manually enter everything.

            In addition to helping users keep track of their bills and receipts, it also provides detailed analysis report, which can be greatly helpful in understanding where the money is being spent and how it is affecting the profits. These handy tools make life a lot easier for the business owners and accountants.

            As a side note, I read FreshBooks does not integrate with Shoeboxed due to some integration issues they were unable to solved. Even so, files can be imported/exported between the two platforms, using CVS files.

            Reporting

            FreshBooks ReportsReports are key towards understanding how the business is performing. Reports also help business owners determine the actions that need to be taken in order to grow a business to the next level. Compared to many other solutions on the market, Freshbooks provides a highly intuitive, flexible and simple reporting mechanism. The software comes with a plethora of different reports that users can generated with a single click.

            Freshbooks also has a collaborative feature, which allows users the ability to send the entire company file to the accountant. This feature allows accountants to make the necessary adjustments to reconcile accounts, as well as keep the records up to date and relevant for the tax authorities. All of these features combine together to create a hassle-free reporting experience that is highly valuable to a business owner.

            Customer Service

            As I’ve mentioned in the past, Customer Service is huge to me. A product can have all the bells and whistles, but when something breaks and customer service is non-existence, all the show is for naught. FreshBooks’s normal business hours are 8 am – 8 pm EST. However, they also have toll-free numbers available for the US, Australia, UK, and Ireland. FreshBooks can also be reached via the contact form on their webpage and email. What I find fascinating about their customer services is their willingness to helping small business owners setup FreshBooks, and even assists owners in finding qualified accountants.

            Final Thoughts

            FreshBooks is a complete and high-quality accounting solution for small and medium sized business. It includes some amazing features that greatly reduce the administrative burden of the users. Its report-generating ability simplifies the bookkeeping process and provides users with detailed analysis about financial aspect of the business.

            One of the greatest benefits I find in Freshbooks is its flexibility. The platform is cloud-based and can be controlled from anywhere in the world you have internet capabilities, while mitigating security risks.

            The only issue that some users may experience would come in form of its inability to handle large Inventory volumes and complex billing scenarios. If your business does not require maintenance of complex or integrated inventory records than Freshbooks is a great choice for a small and growing business.

            Pricing

            All accounts come with…

            • No setup fees or contracts
            • Award winning email & phone support
            • Security Safeguards
            • Customized & branded invoices
            • Identify customer viewed invoices
            • Recurring invoice profiles
            • Credit card acceptance
            • Host of integrations
            • Completely cloud-based solution
            Sign up for a 30-day free trial



            Are you eager to go to the bank with your project idea but not sure you're ready? Tune into my Small Business Funding Webcast on "The 5 Key Elements to Turning a Bank "NO" into a "YES!"

            Discover the 5 Key Elements of Turning a Bank "NO" into a "YES!"



            Share

            12 Comments

            1. Diana Worley March 14, 2016 at 12:42 am - Reply

              Renee,
              I am really blown away by your website and am bookmarking it. It is an awesome reference for the small business owner. Your review of Freshbooks is very thorough and helpful and I think your tools and templates tab is fuly of really essential information.
              Thanks for your fine work.

              Diana Worley

              • Renee March 14, 2016 at 12:59 am - Reply

                Thank you, Diana. When I first decided to review FreshBooks, I had no idea it was so popular. I hear so much about QuickBooks, I figured it dominated the market. That’s not to say, QuickBooks isn’t great (it’s the #1 accounting software in the US, small business or not). However, I love competition, as companies tend to strive for better products all around. That means customers win. Hopefully, I’ll have a review on Xero sometime in the near future.

            2. Eddy March 17, 2016 at 1:51 pm - Reply

              Thanks for your review on Freshbooks! I’ve always wanted to find an alternative to Quickbooks and your article gave me a deep understanding on how Freshbook works. I am all for simplicity. Can I ask if there is a video that shows how Freshbook works? Would like to have an inside view to get a clearer picture. Thanks.

              • Renee March 18, 2016 at 2:07 am - Reply

                Thanks for stopping by, Eddy! I personally don’t have any videos of FreshBooks in action. However, FreshBooks provides a virtual tour of their software on their website. I encourage you to check it out.

            3. Ashley March 21, 2016 at 8:08 am - Reply

              Thank you for this information. I am currently in the set up stages of my small online boutique, and have been struggling to find a good accounting resource. My budget is incredibly limited right now so I love that FreshBooks offers different subscription levels. I am wondering how well this would handle a small retail business which occasionally has return/exchange/defective products and a lot of inventory… Does the payment platform handle returns well? Also, is there an additional email feature which I can use to keep my customers informed of their order processing?

              • Renee March 21, 2016 at 11:28 am - Reply

                Great question, Ashley. I’m not sure how exchanges or defective products work with FreshBooks. However, FreshBooks does allow you to do refunds, which I would think works along the same lines as a return. It seems to require some manual entries though. However, if you use the FreshBooks payment system (WePay), it’ll automatically update your records for you when you issue a refund. FreshBooks also has an email system which will allow you to email clients individually or in bulk.

            4. roamy March 21, 2016 at 3:15 pm - Reply

              Thanks for your review on Freshbooks,you have expalined things so well, covered every part of the program and now l have a better understanding on how Freshbooks works.
              Just a shame they have limitations when it come to inventory tracking but im sure they are working to improve this.
              im one who like to use things which are not too complicated to use and after reading your review, im tempted to try Freshboos for the one month free trial they offer, sfter that l will be in a better position to decide if it`s for me.
              Once again,thanks for a very well written review.

              • Renee March 22, 2016 at 2:25 am - Reply

                Thanks for stopping by, Roamy. If you’re running something like a brick & mortar retail store, I can see where FreshBooks might not be the right accounting software for you. You’ll want to be able to track what’s on the shelf, what’s selling well, and what should be discontinued. If you only have a few products, this isn’t an issue. If you’re carrying quite a few products, then not being able to track inventory on a large scale can be a hinderance. Really, I think it’s about determining your needs, as each accounting software has it’s high and low points.

            5. Gloria March 21, 2016 at 3:16 pm - Reply

              This sounds like a really great software. I have never heard of it. It appears to have everything a small to medium would need. I personally prefer a software that is downloaded to your own computer with online access for banking needs. However, I do like a lot of the features on this software and the fact that it has a 30 day trial makes it even more tempting to try out.

              • Renee March 22, 2016 at 1:14 am - Reply

                I’m with you on downloadable software, Gloria. When it comes to cloud technology, I’m one of the resistant ones, particularly if I’m used to having my own copy. For example, when Adobe went cloud based, I thumbed my nose up at it. I’m still using CS5.5 and that was released in 2011. On the other hand, I pay yearly registration fees for my domain and hosting and have never thought of it as unfair. I think it comes down to perspective. In the past accounting software has always been something located on your computer (or paper… ha ha). If that’s what you’re used to (like me), it’s hard to make the switch.

                A lot of companies are choosing to go the cloud route. Lately, I’ve been trying to loosen my grips a bit on those copies and see the benefits of cloud-based software. For one, I know my software will always be up to date. With technology changing so quickly these days, it’s sometimes hard to keep things compatible. Consider the iPhone. I think I receive multiple updates each month on the iPhone, plus the updates that come with the apps I run. The other thing is it’s accessible anywhere, which is very much in line with the way we as a society are going. It’s slightly annoying to think about something while out and about and know I have to return home or the office to address it, as the program I need is only on that particular computer.

                But like I said, I’m totally with you with wanting something that’s all mine without worrying about maintaining a subscription.

            6. Stephen March 21, 2016 at 3:17 pm - Reply

              Thanks Renee, for this this wonderful ‘Backbone America’ site where, evidently, you’re doing a great job mentoring entrepreneurial start-ups. This review about Freshbooks is just awesome! I’m more familiar with Quickbooks – but here you’ve just opened me up to a great, user-friendly novel option I may now want to consider. I’ll simply be coming back now to your site because I’m just one person here who’s gonna want to have a lot to do with your great tips!

              • Renee March 22, 2016 at 1:01 am - Reply

                Thanks for dropping by, Stephen. I don’t know about other countries, but QuickBooks is definitely the most used accounting software program in the United States. So much so, often other programs may find themselves overlooked. It’s nice being able to explore other options, like FreshBooks. We may find that just because a brand is highly used, doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. Not that I’m knocking QuickBooks. Rather, I’m cheering options. Typically the more options a consumer has within an industry, the harder the industry will work to earn the consumer’s business… and that’s good news for the consumer.

            Leave A Comment