This general overview of Freshbooks is my own personal opinion and I was in no way paid to write this blog post, nor does the article consist of affiliate links. This review is made in June 2013.
Before becoming a limited company I used Freshbooks to send invoices, track expenses and generate basic financial reports. This was when the tagline for Freshbooks was ‘painless billing’. I stopped using Freshbooks in February 2013 and by that stage the company had rebranded to ‘Freshbooks Cloud Accounting’.
Freshbooks started out as an online invoicing system and over time, has evolved into a user-friendly, not quiet there yet, online accounting system. I say ‘not quiet there yet’ because it doesn’t offer all the reporting I need for auditing purposes as a limited company and it is missing some core functionality that accountants require such as setting up a proper chart of accounts or completing an online bank reconciliation – these are important when using an online accounting system that complies with Hong Kong tax requirements.
In saying this, if you’re a sole trader Freshbooks is ideal for you to generate invoices and track your expenses.
The system is very user friendly and you can archive invoices once they’re paid. I really liked the ability to create a template email so when an invoice was sent, I had a standard message and didn’t have to type it each and every time an invoice went.
Another feature I liked was the automatic reminders. If a client hadn’t paid within a certain timeframe, an email was automatically sent and I had three different reminders based on how overdue the invoice was. My lovely accounts person, Dawn liked that when an invoice was paid, the system sent an email and receipt acknowledging payment.
Entering expenses was easy peasy and at the end of each month, generating a profit and loss report was as simple as a click of a button.
Today there are more reports available such as ‘Revenue by Client’, ‘Expense Report’ and reports that allow you to analyse how long clients take to pay, what services/products are the most popular etc.
Freshbook has an ‘Estimate’ option and a ‘Time Tracking’ feature. The Estimates allow you to create a quotation which once approved by the client can be converted into an invoice. I used this feature for our website design services as it was a project, whereas our ongoing clients were best created as ‘recurring invoices’ as the monthly package is the same, month in and month out. I didn’t find Time Tracking relevant because again we don’t always work from a ‘project’ perspective and if I’m completing a lot of small task, it was easier to just track my own time from when I started working on client work, until I finished.
We have clients that use Freshbooks and using the system makes it easier for their assistant generate invoices and add expenses and run a profit and loss report at the end of the month. Freshbooks makes delegating easier.
If you’re interested in exploring Freshbooks, take advantage of their 30 day free trial, their website is: www.freshbooks.com.
If you’re overwhelmed, struggling to get things done, or recognise you need some assistance, organise a call with me to discuss your business support needs.