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FreshBooks 2020 review

FreshBooks is a quick and simple accountancy solution

FreshBooks
(Image: © FreshBooks)

Our Verdict

FreshBooks is a well worth considering if you’re a small to medium-sized business or sole-trader looking to simplify your accounting needs within the convenient confines of an affordable package.

For

  • Extensive features
  • Impressive support
  • Quality iOS and Android app
  • Premium edition packs a punch

Against

  • Less options for high-volume users

FreshBooks is a one-stop, cloud-based accounting service that for a relatively small outlay can provide you with an easy-to-use package that ticks most boxes. Within its browser-based design you’ll find a whole host of options that cover any and all aspects of running a business. It doesn't matter if you're a lone freelancer or someone who’s growing a business and employing staff. 

FreshBooks is a doddle to use, has the capacity to expand with your business needs and, thankfully, keeps those stress levels low as you build up your accounting profile. New features for this year include advanced search, the ability to download your own statements, Dropbox connectivity, new keyboard shortcuts and much more.

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FreshBooks

FreshBooks is easily configured using a step-by-step series of user-friendly windows (Image credit: FreshBooks)

Pricing

FreshBooks comes with a selection of package and payment options that should provide a solution for most. For the self-employed there’s a no-messing $15 per month Lite package (currently available for $7.50) that allows for 5 billable clients. 

Next up, the Plus edition is $25.00 (currently available for $12.50 per month), which is aimed at small businesses and has the capacity for 50 billable clients. 

Premium, meanwhile, has potential for business that are expanding and costs $50.00 per month (currently available for $25.00 per month) with a 500 billable client capacity. 

Any requirements over and above this selection and you’re best advised to contact FreshBooks for a custom deal. FreshBooks also gets a thumbs up for its try-free option, which lets you explore the package and cancel within 30 days if it’s not right for your needs.

FreshBooks

Initial setup takes mere moments thanks to a very straightforward cloud-based design (Image credit: FreshBooks)

Features

FreshBooks comes with an impressive array of features no matter which of the package options you adopt. Even the Lite edition sparkles with the capacity for unlimited and customizable invoices, unlimited expense entries, the ability to accept credit card payments online and ACH bank transfers too. 

Naturally, the beefier the package the more features you get, so Plus adds to the Lite feature set with unlimited proposals, automated recurring invoices, double entry accounting reports and more besides. Similarly, Premium gets all the Lite and Plus features along with up to 500 client capacity and the ability to add team members (at $10 per person). 

Anyone with a custom-priced deal can also enjoy a personal account manager, personal FreshBooks training for you and your team along with other value-added features.

FreshBooks

FreshBooks Dashboard is where you can control all of the features and functionality (Image credit: FreshBooks)

Performance

FreshBooks has had plenty of time to perfect its operation and this cloud-based system is one that works with little to worry about. The service delivers a neat experience depending on what kind of business you run, and if you’re a one-man-band then there’s very little to go wrong it seems. 

Even if you’re operating a large or expanding business FreshBooks seems nicely engineered and rolls with the punches if you’re dealing with large chunks of customer data. 

Freshbooks is also available for iOS or Android and the app edition is a clever supplement to the desktop arrangement. Not everyone wants to do everything on their app, especially if that involves large reams of numbers, but this is a great option if you’re keeping track of things on the go.

FreshBooks

FreshBooks can also be used in expanded fashion as your business grows (Image credit: FreshBooks)

Ease of use

Accounting software can be a long and arduous journey if you’re not au fait with its different sensibilities, let alone the work involved in mastering a new system. However, FreshBooks has been honed and fine-tuned over the years and is now an inviting option, especially if you’re starting out in business. 

In fact, FreshBooks is refreshing in its set-by-step setup, with initial manoeuvres involving little more than picking a package and following the email address and password route so common with cloud-based operations. 

Ease-of-use is enhanced as the system can be adapted to suit what type of user you are. Larger concerns, for example, allows team members to be added. Freelancers and self-employed sole trader-types have it even easier.

FreshBooks

FreshBooks might look simplistic but it comes with a raft of powerful tools (Image credit: FreshBooks)

Support

FreshBooks has a dependable and well-established support system that goes back as long as it has been operating. To start, there’s an excellent online area of the FreshBooks site that offers up a delicious selection of quick fix answers. There are top categories too, such as dashboard and settings, invoicing and payments or handling online payments, which cover the majority of newbie enquiries. 

However, for the more unusual requests you may have, or indeed if you prefer a human to advise you, then there’s an easy-to-find phone number in the same section of the site. Live support is available from Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm EDT (Excluding Holidays) in the US. Alternatively, FreshBooks has a support email address to beef up the contact and support options.

FreshBooks

FreshBooks can be used to seamlessly connect to any or all of your financial institutions (Image credit: FreshBooks)

Final verdict

We’re really pleased with the way the latest incarnation of FreshBooks looks and performs. It’s been around for a while now and that is obviously a strength as the FreshBooks folks have refined the essence of the package, while making it a wonderfully straightforward user experience. 

It’s easy to setup and configure, the menu systems and sections are plain and simple, plus there’s plenty of power behind it to ensure things keep on ticking even if you’re asking a lot of it. All told, FreshBooks seems like a mighty fine way to do your accounting and, depending on your requirements, is actually pretty cost-effective.