FreshBooks May Be Your Breath of Fresh Air
Updated July 11, 2015
FreshBooks May Be Your Breath of Fresh Air
Score 8 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with FreshBooks
I'm a sole proprietor of an administrative services business as well as its only employee. When I decided to go into business for myself I looked at the list of vendors who I could efficiently use for my bookkeeping needs. I use FreshBooks to track all of my expenses as well as my income (in a round about way). FreshBooks makes it easy to invoice and keep up with billing and also has a nice aesthetic. However, be sure it's what you want to use because it can be pricey. I used the free version for as long as I could, which at the time only allowed you to have three clients (now it's one), and then had to pay the monthly fee of $19.95 plus tax. And that's the cheapest plan they have. Plus, it only allows you to have 25 clients. There are other vendors now out there who will charge you less including Nutcache (which is free) so if you don't need something quite as robust as FreshBooks, then use a free option. However, FreshBooks has a solid reputation and a solid product that I would recommend to anyone.
- FreshBooks is, in general, very user friendly, robust and uncomplicated.
- You have the ability to access FreshBooks via your mobile devices.
- FreshBooks has the ability for you to set up recurring expenses.
- You can track your work with the great timer that you can use online, on your phone or, if you're using a Mac, via a widget.
- Invoicing is very easy and professional.
- Integrates with PayPal for easy payments.
- FreshBooks isn't a full-service solution for your accounting/bookkeeping needs as it doesn't allow you to easily track income. You have to add in dummy accounts (which takes up client spots and counts against your total number of clients) and then manually add in the information.
- FreshBooks doesn't allow you to have staff members on your account unless you pay them at least $39.95 plus tax per month.
- In order to have no limit on the number of clients you have you have to pay at least $29.95 plus tax per month.
- Doesn't allow you to have your payments deposited into your bank account.
- Easy billing.
- Overall increased efficiency with bookkeeping.
- Great tool for creating estimates and tracking receipts.
I'm still a little on the fence about whether or not I'll migrate over to Nutcache. It is very similar to FreshBooks but is completely and fully free. Plus there are no limits on the number of clients you can have or the number of companies. You really have to decide if you need the extra features of FreshBooks like recurring payments and importing expenses from your bank account because at present, Nutcache doesn't have those features.
If you're a small business owner then you may want to consider FreshBooks. But if you don't need the bells and whistles like automatically importing expenses from your bank account or credit card, then try something like Nutcache. FreshBook is a great cloud-based accounting system for businesses of any size. Just know that there are limitations to what it can do. You may need something more robust like QuickBooks. However, I find that as a whole FreshBooks is worth the expense.
1 - The sole proprietor and only employee of an administrative services business. I do everything and anything, a Jane of all trades. I use FreshBooks daily and feel that it's a big aspect of my company's culture and adds to its professionalism. FreshBooks makes it easy for me to keep up with my invoicing and recurring expenses.
1 - You don't have to be particularly computer savvy (even though I am) in order to successfully use FreshBooks. And learning how to use it can take an hour or less depending on what your needs are. FreshBooks doesn't make you feel overwhelmed, it makes you feel like you're in control of how you present yourself to your clients.
- I use it to track all of my income and expenses.
- I use it to efficiently bill my clients.
- I use it to track the time I spend on each project.
- I've been able to use FreshBooks almost like a check register. This way I can see just how much money I'm making and spending.
- I use FreshBooks to also track income from Elance.com.
- I can see me using FreshBooks long-term because of how user-friendly and effective it is.
- If my company grows, so too will my dependence on FreshBooks to keep everything in order. Plus, if I added employees, I could easily do so AND track their time!
I'm really considering switching to Nutcache but am hesitant in doing so because I'd have to manually input all of my prior expense and information if I wanted to have access to the historical data within the system. Additionally, I'm not sure how long Nutcache will be around and if they'll be adding any of the features that I really want like being able to use it as a way to easily track all my business income and expenses.
Evaluating FreshBooks and Competitors
Yes - I used to just use a spreadsheet and templates to do invoicing and expense tracking. It's a lot easier and less cumbersome to do it using FreshBooks. It takes most of the guesswork out of accounting/bookkeeping. Now I can use one product instead of two or more. It is efficient and effective.
- Product Features
- Product Usability
- Product Reputation
I began using FreshBooks in 2011. At the time the only other alternative I looked into was QuickBooks. It became evident very quickly that for my needs, FreshBooks was the better buy. There are a number of tools and resources that makes FreshBooks both fully portable and very easy to use.
I think that now that there are more vendors on the scene with a similar product I'd still be just as critical in ensuring that this was the product for me. I have considered switching to Nutcache and have read reviews on others but I still feel fairly confident that FreshBooks was the right choice.
I think that their online tools and resources are great and concise but would like it more if you knew what improvements were in the pipeline. There are a number of features or tweaks that I've seen suggested but I don't really know if anyone from FreshBooks is listening to them or if they're being worked on.
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
Fortunately FreshBooks provides such a great product that it's unlikely that you'll need to contact them for customer support. Plus, their FAQs are full of information and user cases which makes finding what you need very easy. So, that being said, I think that they provide exceptional support everyday because I don't have to worry about my account.
FreshBooks is very easy to use even for novices. If you're looking for an online accounting software that is full of features, has great aesthetics and is user-friendly, then this is definitely the software for you. I've been using it for several years now and despite being tempted to switch by other vendors, I like the feel of FreshBooks and it's mobile features.