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Pros: Ease of use, clean interface, cloud-based accounting, faster payouts with several gateways, multiple currencies and languages, reliable manager, print support, intelligent time tracking, auto invoice and account updates for payments, useful add-ons and integrations, handy security, iPhone and Android support, diverse customer support options
Cons: Lacks double entry bookkeeping, no attachments to invoices, lacks invoice customization, costly for multiple staff members, no inventory tracking or payroll support, shorter trial period, lacks useful features such as job costing and invoice templates
Overall: A perfect single-entry, cloud-based invoicing system for freelancers and business owners for whom payment is straightforward but lacks to be a full-fledge accounting software for those who follow the double entry tradition
Are you a freelancer or a small-scale firm that cannot invest in a professional accountant? Is it so that you have been using a tracking tool but find it lacking because of its inability to create and track invoices? Well, for both the situations, FreshBooks can prove to be a more than satisfactory solution. It is a simple and efficient tool capable of doing much more accounting tasks than just invoicing.
FreshBooks is the brainchild of the entrepreneur Mike McDerment who mistakenly saved an invoice in MS Word and was frustrated with it for invoicing tasks. Founded in Toronto in 2003 with three founders, FreshBooks is today growing with more than 60 employees. It is one of the highly popular cloud-based programs offering intuitive and easy-to-use built-in tools for invoicing, time keeping, expense tracking, and standard project management.
With this software, you can view the invoices that are sent or are being paid, effortlessly track outstanding invoices, send reminders, and resend invoices automatically at fixed intervals. The program is frequently updated without any charge and that it is available for PC, Mac, and mobile systems.
Once you sign up by simply submitting your name and email ID, you are taken to your account’s core called the dashboard. It is quite neat and smartly organized. All navigation options exist in the top-right grey menu and the blue navigation menu. The Overview sub-menu under Home in blue menu has a snap of all activities for creating new things such as clients, invoices, and teams.
The blue menu is the main one through which you can create estimates, send and search invoices, track working time, manage expenses, see financial reports, and edit client details. The dashboard also allows a personalized URL 'yourname.FreshBooks.com’, which is commendable.
The software supports auto-billing, client statements, auto payment reminders, recurring invoices, and automatic thank you notifications when your client pays. These services are multilingual. It also allows applying late fees and discounts to invoice amounts and accepting partial payments. There are two invoice templates to choose. Well, this restricts customization significantly.
You can even accept payments online through one of the software’s 14 supported gateways. For avoiding processing fees for credit card payments, you can set PayPal for accepting bank payments. Linking to third parties for payments is something that very rare accounting programs offer.
You can track both expenses and time. The software allows importing expenses from bank statements for linking them to invoices although it lacks full bank reconciliation feature. This makes it easier to charge clients for the services associated to their projects. You can even track time dedicated to a project so that you can bill precisely at hourly rate. Even employees and contractors can track their time as well.
You can create a new estimate after logging into your FreshBooks account for invoicing for a percentage of total pay upfront. For this, you need to select your client, submit the desired details, and track time for the work done for the project.
FreshBooks does a quite commendable here with about 20 reports on offer, including P&L, time tracking, estimated billing, user summary, team timesheets, revenue by staff, and annual recurring revenue. A Balance Sheet also exists but you need to fill it manually except for Accounts Receivable. All the reports are downloadable in .XLS or .CSV format.
Apart from payment gateways, FreshBooks can be integrated quickly with other useful apps such as Gmail, Zendesk, QuickBooks, Quote Roller, and Basecamp. Developers can even utilize their own API to design their own apps to be integrated with FreshBooks. This means you can view and manage all accounting details at a single glance.
With all invoicing and tracking tasks done online, the program comes with foolproof 256-bit SSL encryption through Cisco firewalls. It also performs vulnerability scanning on its servers for identifying and resolving a security threat, encryption for database storage, and intrusion detection.
FreshBooks is ideal for those sole proprietorship firms and small businesses whose most income comes from invoiced services. Consider this invoicing and time tracking software if you work by charging your services on hourly basis. For larger businesses that need full accounting, FreshBooks can be a better option when used with a comprehensive accounting tool.