“Client billing first and accounting second.”
That line from the website should give you a good idea of what the Freshbooks software is about.
Beyond being incredibly clear about what they’re best at, they also have a fantastic marketing team, so I’ll bet you heard about them from one of their many sponsors, like Being Boss, or from your favorite life coach.
Personally, I heard about it when I was looking for a recurring billing feature for my clients.
If you’re in the market for software, consider Freshbooks and then check out Xero, WaveApps, Kashoo, and Zoho Books, too.
Overview of Freshbooks
The first thing I want you to know about Freshbooks is that it’s not for everyone, and it’s not trying to be for everyone, which is its strength. Think of it as an add-on to a more powerful accounting and bookkeeping system.
In other words, it fills in the gaps that the big, robust tools don’t address, like automatic recurring billing.
And it’s a product made for service-based businesses, like coaches, copywriters, or designers, that, in the words of Freshbooks, “focuses on slaying the billing beast.”
Like all of the other tools I’ve reviewed, it’s cloud-based, which means that it’s online and all of your information is kept on the Internet as opposed to your computer. Expect to pay a monthly subscription between $15 and $50.
Is it easy to learn?
Since it’s made for people who are service-based (and many who consider themselves solopreneurs), the navigation is intuitive with many people saying that they created their first invoice as soon as they signed up.
Freshbooks is a growing company as well, so expect updates, which always means new features to learn and an updated interface to navigate.
What are the downsides?
There are a few downsides to using Freshbooks as a small business owner, and I’m going to break them down into two categories: light accounting and easy to forget to stop recurring billing,
1) Not standalone accounting software – Since the accounting features are so light with Freshbooks, it can’t be considered a standalone accounting software. That means you’ll have to pair it with something more robust like Wave (free), Xero (paid), Kashoo (paid), or Zoho Books (paid).
2) Easy to forget to stop recurring billing – While it’s very easy to delete a previous client’s profile to take them off auto-billing, it’s even easier to forget to do it if you’re not organized.
Why should I use it?
1) Automatic recurring billing – If you have clients you bill the same amount on a recurring basis, this feature will streamline payment. At whatever interval you choose, your client will be billed for the amount you both agreed on.
2) Can get by on your own without a professional – Since the software is so intuitive and made for service-providers, it’s easy enough to learn and get by on your own without an accountant or bookkeeper guiding the way.
3) Easily accessible library of information – If you’re confused, you have plenty of options for getting an answer with Freshbooks’
4) Contractor collaboration – There is also a light project management system you can use within Freshbooks for communicating with your contractors and tracking the time you spend on client projects. This helps you keep everything organized and ensures that your invoices are accurate.
Quick rundown of Freshbooks
- Started doing business in: 2003
- Based in: Toronto
- Cost: Paid monthly subscription ($15 – $50)
- Free trial: 30 days
Credit card processing fees (via Stripe): For VISA/ MC: 2.9% of the transaction total + $0.30. For AMEX: 3.5% of the transaction total + $0.30
- Automatic billing: Yes
- Payroll available: No
- Multicurrency: Yes
- PayPal payment option: Yes
- Etsy connection: Yes
- Shoeboxed connection: No
- Customized invoices: Yes
- Mobile app: Yes
- Option to collaborate with team members: Yes
- Customer service: Email, chat, and phone
Still have questions about whether or not Freshbooks is right for you? Leave a comment below or send me a message.