This is my review of top business invoicing software FreshBooks.
FreshBooks is secure, online software with powerful but simple billing features that can be used world-wide.
It was developed over 10 years ago by a businessman looking for a smarter way to invoice customers after he accidentally wrote-over a customer invoice in his spread sheeting software.
FreshBooks is recommended by 97% of small business owners.
The FreshBooks software is fresh, simple and fast.
Skip the free trial and get 50% off the usual price for 3 months:
US$15 Now US$7.50 per month on the Lite plan – this lets you bill up to 5 clients. Pay monthly or save 10% on one annual payment US$25 Now US$12.50 per month on the Plus plan (the most popular plan) – lets you bill up to 50 clients and to send proposals and includes all Lite features. US$50 Now US$25.00 per month on the Premium plan – bill up to 500 clients - includes all features from Lite and Plus plans.
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FreshBooks is perfect for helping you with customer billing and sales invoice tracking, after all this is where your potential income and survival is at!
This feature makes it ridiculously easy for you to prepare sales invoices and stay on top of customer payments, and free up your time to do what you need and love to do.
You will not consider these a disadvantage if your focus is on getting easy-to-use top invoicing software…
There are several features in other bookkeeping programs that you will not find in FreshBooks business invoicing software (see important update* below). They are:-
Also, customer payments do not automatically import to FreshBooks. You must check your bank account and manually apply the payments received against the sales invoices in FreshBooks.
*Important Update: March 2019 - FreshBooks announced that they are now introducing these double-entry features: the cost of goods sold; a general ledger, balance sheet, and chart of accounts; "other income" received outside of invoices from FreshBooks, a trial balance to help users find errors, bank reconciliation and accountant access. Read more about it here.
FreshBooks business invoicing software is best for:-
It can be used by small business owners world-wide because there is a sales tax feature.
Update March 2019: With the new double-entry additions that have been introduced by FreshBooks this software will be great for most small businesses except for Accounts Payable (tracking unpaid bills) and in-depth inventory records.
Here is a list of most things you can do in this business invoicing software:
One negative point I see is that sales tax is not calculated automatically by FreshBooks.
The sales tax on every expense or income transaction has to be manually calculated by you with a calculator and then entered against the transactions.
Email to your clients estimates or proposals of work, listing the services you will provide and their cost.
Connect your bank accounts to FreshBooks business invoicing software to automatically import all expenses.
Note: this does not give FreshBooks access to your bank account to make payments or transfer money – all it can do is import expense transactions from the bank statement.
The monthly subscription price of FreshBooks is a deductible business expense.
There is an option within each expense transaction to add an image of the receipt.
Snap a photo of it with your phone or scan it in to your computer, and then drag or find the image file to add.
If it is a PDF it will display the PDF logo or if it is a shop receipt it will display that.
It is easy to delete if you find you have attached the wrong image.
This feature is great for three reasons:-
Maintain a database of client details which includes contact information and the current balance owed to you by them.
Easily track how much your clients owe you so you can start chasing in the over-due payments.
The reports make it easy for you to see at a glance who still owes you money.
The App integration (more on this below) means you can use something like CollBox to automatically identify overdue payments and pair that debt with the best collection agency – all you must do is approve them – and then get on with your customer service while they collect your money.
You can integrate outside Apps into FreshBooks business invoicing software to provide you a more rounded experience like:
Check out all the Apps available here.
If you run more than one business, you can connect them to the one Login for easy access, but you will pay a separate fee to FreshBooks business invoicing software for each business.
Wages information can be automatically imported and assigned to an expense categorization using an App integration (like Gusto) so that you have all your expenses in the right place on the Profit and Loss report.
There is a mobile App so you can access FreshBooks business invoicing software wherever you are:
You can email or phone FreshBooks business invoicing software with your questions, and from my experience they are very fast to reply.
There is a handy little blue circle on every page within FreshBooks providing a fast link to enter a keyword relating to your question to search their database, or you can go to the ‘Need Help’ link on the menu options for other help options like email or phone support.
Keep in mind that I am a Professional Bookkeeper so these things will not bother a small business owner who wants to keep their accounting simple and who can use a bookkeeper or other software to do these things:-
Whilst the Profit and Loss report in FreshBooks business invoicing software can help you see if your money is in the black i.e. bringing enough income in to cover all the expenses you pay for out of the bank and leave you with a profit, there will sometimes be expenses that should not be on a P&L but should be on a Balance Sheet.
Here are some examples:
The above-mentioned expenses are not tax deductible.
Tax is calculated on the final profit, which is calculated within the P&L.
Leaving these expenses on the P&L decreases your profit meaning you pay less tax, but if it is ever found out that you have included non-deductible expenses you will suffer penalties by the government.
Moving these expenses to the Balance Sheet* avoids this problem.
Update: As of March 2019 FreshBooks introduced a Balance Sheet so you will be able to use this to track non P&L type expenses.
A monthly bank reconciliation will uncover missing income or expenses.
Wouldn’t it be awful if several months down the track you discover a missing billable expense transaction and now it’s too late to charge the customer and you’ve lost out on income?
Or what about income that has not been included on the P&L and is not declared on your tax return thus meaning you pay less tax; you will pay penalties by the government for not declaring income and paying tax on it.
Use the reconciliation feature at least once a month.
With FreshBooks you won't spend abundant time learning accounting just to bill your clients or keep your eye on expenses.
And you won't be stuck using Microsoft Word or Excel to produce and track invoices.
FreshBooks' main goal is providing easy accounting software for billing clients and tracking expenses.
This is good news if you are a non-accountant, small business owner because you can skip the complicated accounting, but it is there if you want it.
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