This post contains affiliate links, and we may receive a commission for purchases made through these links
FreshBooks is the best online bookkeeping solution I have found to help me manage business finances.
Over the course of my career, I have used many bookkeeping methods (no matter how bad they may have been). I started by creating a system using spreadsheets, manually creating and tracking invoices. It can best be described as “…it really seemed like a good idea at the time…” and ultimately was NOT.
I know many others who have done the same, especially when first starting out as freelancers. Everyone was trying to avoid extra costs. The problem with spreadsheet bookkeeping is the increased margin of error resulting in embarrassing errors and revenue loss.
I’ll admit, I made a few mistakes using the spreadsheet method and knew it wasn’t going to be my best solution in the long run.
I discovered bookkeeping software which eliminated the need for me to hand type every single invoice and estimate. It as a long time ago but I think it was called “Billings”. It was great considering I was doing everything manually, so the tasks were much simpler, allowing for more automation reducing errors. A few key benefits included allowing customized colors and typography on invoices and estimates, adding graphic elements and other cool features. I was making progress.
Not exactly. Billings was far from the ideal (at the time) to manage my freelance accounting processes.
Unavoidably, I realized that a good looking invoice didn’t matter as much as streamlined functionality.
I did a quick search to find out what may have changed and I can’t find a trace of the software anymore. Perhaps they didn’t make it after all.
However, at the time I used it, I only install it on one of my two computers. I used a desktop and laptop and became frustrated I always had to be at my office desktop, to access my bookkeeping.
This is a problematic process considering I was starting to work in multiple places at random times.
Since I hadn’t used anything other than my spreadsheet method, I considered the software advanced. I realized I was still wasting time with all the customizing and admitted I needed a more professional setup.
I searched for better small business bookkeeping software. Time moved on, and technology advanced faster. More online bookkeeping options became available, but nothing seemed to work for me.
Every small business needs to spend more time on work and less time managing bookkeeping and accounting
After a few years using another system, I finally discovered FreshBooks Cloud-Based Bookkeeping.
After using a different cloud-based system, Harvest, I immediately noticed I was more productive and performing bookkeeping tasks faster. I was able to access my account from wherever I was working; a huge improvement. The platform had fewer customizing features, but it was more advanced and I was able to work more.
It is typical to research software options, compare features and pricing in order to decide which to choose. I found features included in one but not the other. I select the software I believed could increase my productivity, save time and money, and provide excellent customer support.
Other than accountants, I don’t know many people who enjoy managing bookkeeping (aside from recording payments), but if it’s easy to use and allows us to work for efficiently, we’ll choose that route.
Small Business Bookkeeping Constantly Changes and Becomes More Complicated as Your Business Grows.
After more than two years using Harvest, features I needed were still not added, and according to repeated requests with customer support, I was told the features would not be added.
Frustrated, I was still spending too much time managing my bookkeeping tasks. I outgrew Harvest (after 2 long years). Sure, I was working more but there was always extra time required to manage all my bookkeeping. Something Needed to Change!
FreshBooks’ features got me hooked.
After procrastinating far too long to make the switch to FreshBooks, I finally got started with my FREE TRIAL and began moving my information into my FreshBooks account. I was surprised to discover the whole process was faster and easier to use than I expected.
Why should I switch to FreshBooks? How will I benefit and what will I receive the competitors aren’t offering?
You already know FreshBooks is an online cloud-based accounting platform. Becoming a FreshBooks customer means you receive an all-in-one accounting solution perfectly suited for any type of freelancer, service provider, and small business. The platform offers many of the common features you’ll need, as well as many other added benefits which allow you to spend more time working.
FreshBooks is different from its competitors since first and foremost due to its long-standing reputation and large user-base. Anytime I have a question (big or small), I can call and speak to a live person who answers the call quickly and provides easy to follow solutions.
FreshBooks Pros and Cons Short List
- It does not take as long to import existing information and quickly noticed I was saving time. I used the FreshBooks preformatted csv template and my data was in place, exactly where I needed it.
- As with any new software, there is a slight learning curve. Navigating the different features and following the help section helped me quickly determine the best way to make FreshBooks an efficient and useful tool.
NOTE: When starting to use any new software, there is alwyas a period of time spent getting things set up. This WILL take time to get acclimated but fortunately, most of the tasks setting up Freshbooks only neeed to be done one-time.
Focusing on long-term benefits such as saving time and money alleviates stress and allows the user to spend more time working on actual projects. The time to learn how to do the initial setup is well worth it.
- All the features FreshBooks provides combined with the time I saved helped me work more efficiently and focus on bookkeeping less. Removing the step of having to customize the design of the invoice just added to my lack of productivity so this helped simplify my workflow.
- I don’t have as much control over the design and layout of my invoices. I prefer to make my invoices and estimates mirror my other branded materials. Yet, I didn’t mind. WHY?
- The dashboard is the first thing seen upon logging in showing an overview of current income to date, any expenses, paid and overdue invoices, and other helpful overview details
- If a client has a question or comment, messages in the form of conversation on individual invoices are in one place. The efficient use of the messaging capability reduces time spent since additional emails aren’t necessary.
- If selling taxable physical products, you can automatically calculate the tax amount based on the information entered in your profile based on the state(s) in which you work.
- Time tracking is still lacking in easy functionality. Importing clients, invoice data and a few other things is relatively easy but you are not able to import timesheet data, no matter how it is formatted. I’ve been using a 3rd party app for several years (Tyme2) and while nothing is perfect, I absolutely love it.If you are like me and keep track of every single minute of your day no matter what the time is for (and I mean meticulously broken down into projects, tasks, subtasks and then the personal and administrative time), you will understand andn appreciate the imporance of this feature.For now, I remain loyal to Tyme and will wait to use the FreshBooks time tracker at a later date.
- Although FreshBooks does allow for you to keep track of time spent on each project, I hadn’t gotten that far in the beginning so I put it off. It’s not really a “con” per sé, but it is different and certain changes are hard to adapt
Our 7 Reasons FreshBooks Cloud Accounting Will Benefit Your Small Business
- Easy branding by a simple upload of your logo
- Choice of templates based on the type of business or service you provide; you can choose from a detailed product sales invoice layout or a more simplified service based layout
- Ability to set standard payment terms which will show on every invoice (at the bottom)
- Schedule automatic reminders for invoice payments and add overdue invoices, all based your settings
- Duplicating previous invoices reduces the need to re-create new invoices from scratch if only a few things need to change
- Creating preset items and saving them with descriptions and set costs making invoicing even faster
- Discounts can be offered to clients easily by selecting a percentage discount, or if you are offering a fixed dollar discount amount
- Expenses can be assigned to a client’s project and added to an invoice according to your personal preferences
- Tracking expenses help monitor your profitability on each project, especially if there are costs associated with your team members performing work for you
- The time tracker allows for individual entries to be assigned to tasks within projects.
- This feature helps you keep track of work performed and to which project it is associated.
- Creating projects help manage tasks if you work on multiple deliverables for the same client
- The process is easy, and different tasks (or items) can be set up in advance and applied to each project
- Project tracking helps monitor time already applied to a task and if you have exceeded the budgeted time
- Creating detailed Estimates and Proposals can be sent to clients, accepted online and easily converted into a project or invoice
- Credit card, check, and bank transfer payments are easy to implement and setup, making accounts receivable streamlined
- Various reporting features allow for a birdseye view of monthly, quarterly, and yearly income status
BONUS: MOBILE ACCESS
- Mobile access is a huge benefit so I can check the status of invoices when I’m “on the go”. All users can create, send and check invoice status from mobile devices making it even easier to manage when away from the office
You may be asking yourself:
“IS FRESHBOOKS RIGHT FOR ME?”
WHAT TYPE OF BUSINESS WILL BENEFITS MOST FROM FRESHBOOKS?
Simply put, the main types of businesses that will most benefit from using FreshBooks to manage their bookkeeping are:
SELF-EMPLOYED FREELANCERS & ENTREPRENEURS
- FreshBooks accounting software helps self-employed freelancers and entrepreneurs increase profits by streamlining the process and creating a painless process making bookkeeping functions simple
- Spend less time on accounting and you’ll have more time to follow your passion
AGENCIES & CONSULTANCIES
- With so many things to focus on in an agency environment and consultants workflows, FreshBooks will eliminate the stress from spending so much time managing the bookkeeping
- These benefits allow for agencies and consultants to grow to allow them to spend more time on work
What will You get out of using FreshBooks for your small business accounting?
Simply put, managing a few or a larger number of client projects is easy. Automating your functions and preset service items populate automatically when creating estimates and invoices. There are a few different packages to choose from to suit the size and budget for your business and even if you have to track employee and contractor work, everything does flow seamlessly.
Are you ready to take it for a FREE TRIAL? TRY FRESHBOOKS TODAY!