FreshBooks review

FreshBooks offers simple setup and invoicing via a friendly dashboard

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Our Verdict

FreshBooks is clearly geared towards startups and small to medium businesses. Its intuitive dashboard allows for rapid and simple invoice creation.

For

  • Context-sensitive content
  • Simple invoicing

Against

  • Lacks double-entry bookkeeping

FreshBooks is an accountancy software package developed by 2ndsite, Inc. It was launched in 2004 and is geared mainly towards small business, freelancers and individual retailers. The platform offers cloud-based accountancy tools which manages invoices, expenses and time management.

Pricing

FreshBooks offers a 30-day free trial so users can test it out before they commit to a monthly package. 

You can opt for yearly or monthly plans. There are three tiers available for each plan.

The monthly price plans start at $15 (£11.39) for the ‘Lite’ package. You get 5 clients, unlimited invoices, estimates, time tracking, expense tracking, online credit card payments and expenses can be imported from your bank account.

The ‘Plus’ package costs $25 (£18.98) per month. It has all the ‘Lite’ tier has to offer plus 50 clients, payment reminders, late fees for overdue accounts, accounting reports, recurring invoice scheduling and can send proposals.

The ‘Premium’ tier costs $50 (£37.96) per month and offers an extra allowance of up to 500 clients.

There's also an optional add-on for $10 (7.59) per person per month which allows you to add team members to your account.

FreshBooks offers a 10% discount for those who opt to pay yearly.

Setup

Setup

FreshBooks is very easy to setup. Once you have chosen your preferred payment or indeed, the 30-day free trial, you will be asked to enter your email address and password. You will then be sent a verification email. When your account’s verified, you can start setting up your business account. 

This is a very quick and painless process. FreshBooks runs you through each step which are easy to follow. As part of the process, the platform asks you about your business, whether you are a start-up, are launching soon, new but with a full-time focus or have been full-time for over a year. 

You can also add members of your team to your account, as well as select how large your team is, if you take online payments and what exactly you will be using the solution for.

After setting up your company profile, you now have access to the main dashboard. This is very simply laid out in blue and white. On the main page you can choose to customize your brand. Simply put this lets you add a logo, choose a color, template and a font style to your invoices.

Once this has been done, you can choose to preview your invoice. There are two templates to choose from. Both are straight forward to use and well laid out.

Interface

Interface

The main dashboard is very easy to navigate. The left column lists all the options available to you such as invoices, estimates, clients, expenses, projects and time tracking. 

You can access support, view outstanding revenue, total profit, spending, unbilled time and access advanced reports from the main page. All you need to do is scroll down the page and you can view all your options as they go by.

There is a drop-down menu on the left-hand side of the page next to your company name. This lists various options such as your profile, company profile, apps and bank integrations. FreshBooks allows you to run multiple businesses.

Overall the dashboard is not complicated and nothing is too hard to find. The interface is only available in English. However, invoices and estimates can be sent in French, Dutch, Estonian, Spanish, Swedish, Italian and Norwegian amongst others.

If you sign up to Stripe or FreshBooks payments you can start accepting credit cards straight away.

Context-sensitive content

While working on invoices and estimates, FreshBooks allows you to make bills recurring or whether to allow credit cards. This context-sensitive feature is very useful and is something that is not offered by most other platforms. You will find creating invoices and estimates much more flexible and easier to use as a result. 

Invoice

Invoices

FreshBooks makes the process of managing your invoices very straightforward. You'll find that filling in details on your invoices takes no time at all. All the choices are laid out in front of you. Each invoice includes the clients billing address, date of issue, due date, invoice number, amount due, description, rate, quantity and total including taxes/discounts.

The ‘Invoice’ section of the dashboard allows you to see past invoices. This includes invoices sent to you or by you. It also displays how much is left outstanding to or from you without having to go into individual invoices. Unlike Less Accounting, FreshBooks does not offer double entry accounting.  However, this does not take away from everything else that the platform has to offer.

Invoices can be customized. However, there is not a huge variety of customization options available. There are two templates: Classic or modern. You can also choose to add a logo or change the color scheme of your chosen template.

Clients

Clients

FreshBooks client details are easily accessed through the ‘Client’ option on the left-hand side of the dashboard. You can view your client contact details through what look like digital business cards. When adding a new client you can add their email, address, company name and phone number. 

Click on this and any interactions with that client will be displayed. This shows any outstanding balances, unbilled time and unbilled expenses. While GoDaddy Bookkeeping allows you to add more client data, FreshBooks certainly covers the basics.

FreshBooks supports mobile apps for iOS and Android. They support invoice creation and you can even use your phones camera to photograph receipts, then add them to your expenses. The apps also allow you to stay in touch with clients and keep an eye on outstanding/paid invoices.

Final verdict

Freshbooks is the perfect platform for small businesses and freelancers. It has an intuitive dashboard which is a joy to navigate. Invoicing, expenses and client details are easy to enter. Support will never be needed as Freshbooks is pretty self-explanatory. Freshbooks very own context-sensitive feature allows you a lot of flexibility when it comes to invoicing. 

While it does not have the functionality, such as double-entry, that larger companies might need, this does not mean it should be overlooked. It's ease of use alone should be a major factor to consider when deciding which accounting platform is suitable for your business.