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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 trying to avoid extra costs. the problem with the spreadsheet method is the increased likelihood of increased margin of error which often results in revenue loss. I made a few embarrassing mistakes using that method and knew it would not be the best solution for me in the long run.
I discovered bookkeeping software which eliminated the need for me to hand type every single invoice and estimate. The tasks were much simpler than using spreadsheets, allowed for some automation, and reduced my errors. A few of the benefits included allowing me to customize colors and typography on invoices and estimates, adding graphic elements, and others. Progress, right?
Not exactly. It was far from the ideal freelance accounting process.
Inevitably, I realized that a good looking invoice design did not matter as much as easier streamlined functionality. I could only install the software on one computer. I was using my laptop more working a, I became frustrated I had to be at my desktop, where I installed the software, to access my bookkeeping.
I hadn't used anything other than my original method. I considered the software advanced compared to my previous bookkeeping methods.
I was still wasting time and realized I needed a more professional setup.
I continued searching for better small business bookkeeping software. Time kept moving forward, 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
BAM! My First Cloud-Based Bookkeeping Experience
I ultimately switched to a popular cloud-based bookkeeping platform I heard about. 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 in the other. Ultimately, I select software I believed would 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 this service, features I needed were not added, and according to customer support, the features would not be added. I was frustrated. I felt I was still spending too much time managing bookkeeping tasks. I quickly outgrew this software. I was able to work more but there was always extra time required to manage all my bookkeeping. Something Needed to Change!
FreshBooks Cloud Accounting Software Finally Got Me. I was Hooked.
I knew about FreshBooks, but I procrastinated fearing it would take me too long to make the change. I finally switched and began moving my details to FreshBooks. It was faster and easier to use than I thought. I was pleasantly surprised.
What does FreshBooks do?
FreshBooks is an online cloud-based accounting software application. It's an all-in-one solution for accounting needs for freelancers and other small businesses.
What makes Freshbooks different from the competition?
FreshBooks Pros and Cons Short List
It didn't take nearly as long as expected to import my information and quickly noticed I was saving time. I used FreshBooks preformatted csv template and my data was in place. Of course, there is a learning curve since FreshBooks was new for me. Navigating the different features and following the help section helped me quickly determine the best way to make FreshBooks an efficient and useful tool. as with most things, there is always the time spent to learn something new.
NOTE: As with any new platform or software, rarely is there a way around getting things set up without first learning how it works. The initial setup WILL take a little time. Fortunately, most of the tasks are one-time actions.
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.
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? 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.
My dashboard is the first thing I see upon logging in which shows me an overview of my current income to date, 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.
The one thing I was not able to do, is to import my existing timesheets already exported from another third-party app. If you are like me and need to keep track of all your time for each project and task, you'll know this is an important feature. However, I still had access to my time-tracking system, so I decided to wait to use their time tracker until the beginning of the next month.
The 7 Main 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 fulfilled or 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
Users have the ability to create, send and check invoice status from mobile devices making it even easier to manage when away from the office.
IS FRESHBOOKS RIGHT FOR ME? WHAT TYPES OF BUSINESS WILL BENEFIT MOST FROM FRESHBOOKS?
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.
FRESHBOOKS ACCOUNTING BENEFITS SUMMARY
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.