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The Ultimate FreshBooks Review: Everything you need to know

by Sean Hamilton

FreshBooks is an award-winning accounting and finance software. It is also among the best cloud solutions for every small business owner. In 2019. FreshBooks won the Best Accounting Software Award by FinancesOnline. This tool was designed with small businesses in mind, and it popular for time tracking processes and also for streamlining client invoicing. This software is a fast and reliable accounting suite, and with it, you will be able to turn complex financial management into an enjoyable experience.

Too busy to read the article? Watch our Ultimate Freshbooks Review on YouTube instead;

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This is an ultimate FreshBooks review, and we will be providing you with all the information you need to know about FreshBooks.

What Integrations are available for FreshBooks?

Fresbooks available integrations

FreshBooks has many 3rd party integration options, among which are Shopify, Gusto, G Suite,  WordPress, Zoom, Squarespace, HubSpot, Stripe and hundreds more!

One of the main focus of FreshBooks is helping owners of small businesses to save time. It achieves this by providing different integrations that allow small business owners to thrive by finding ways to integrate with FreshBooks to allow for an increase in the efficiency of entrepreneurs. This implies that the apps already used by business owners can be integrated (if it is not already integrated).

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There are so many integrations that will help the running of your business to be a lot easier. Our top picks from these integrations are as follows:

  1. Shopify: This is a FreshBooks tested integrations. Shopify is integrated to help in syncing your orders and clients to FreshBooks to ensure that your accounting and business information is in one place.
  2. Gusto: Your payroll transaction will be automatically imported with this integration, and this will help you to track your expenses accurately.
  3. G Suite: This is an all-in-one suite of business applications supplied by Google Cloud. This integration will enable you to create, communicate, and store.
  4. Stripe: This FreshBooks integration will provide you with an easy way to accept online payments.
  5. Fundbox: This is an invoice financing app that allows you to control your cash flow.
  6. Bench: This integration will connect you with affordable, bookkeeping professionals.

There are several other integrations available on FreshBooks, and this includes Squarespace, Dropbox, Zoom, HubSpot, Capsule, OneLocal, Mail Form, Zapier, Yearli, Hurdlr, OneSAAS, Bidsketch, Form Builder, Trello, Basecamp and so on. You will find so many on FreshBooks that will make your business running easier.

How to use FreshBooks

There are so many features offered by FreshBooks, and you would want to maximize the benefits of these features. However, you might not know how to go about this if you do not know how to use FreshBooks. Here is a quick guide on how to use FreshBooks.

Sign up for an Account

This is the first thing to do when you want to get started with FreshBooks. A 30-day trial will be given to you in order to get you familiar with all the amazing features. Here are the steps to follow when signing up.

1. Signing up with FreshBooks

- Locate the signup page

- Fill in your email

- Add a password which should contain at least 8 characters

- Select the Get Started option, after which a few questions about your business will be asked.

2. Signing up with Google

- Locate the signup page

- Select Sign up with Google

- Fill in your Gmail address

- Fill in your password

- Your FreshBooks account will be ready when you select next, and you will be required to complete the set up of the account.

Create an Invoice

Start billing your clients with these few steps of creating an invoice. You can create an invoice in two ways: You can start on the Dashboard by selecting the Create button and selecting the Invoice, which will open the invoice screen. The alternative method is by selecting the invoice section and selecting the New invoice button. From this, you will be able to customize the invoice style, accept credit cards, and also fill out the invoice.

Accept Credit Cards

There are two options for accepting credit card payments on FreshBooks. You can either choose to use Stripe or FreshBooks Payments.

Track Time

You can keep track of hours worked with FreshBooks. This can be done manually or with the aid of an automatic time tracker. Learn more about the steps here.

FreshBooks Pricing: How Much Does FreshBooks Cost?

Freshbooks Pricing and available packages

FreshBooks offers one of the most affordable pricing when compared with other software solutions. They offer different packages, all of which provide features for automatically importing expenses, customizing invoices, quickly sending estimates, and processing online credit card payments.

Here are the pricing packages offered by FreshBooks.

Lite Package

This package is designed for every startup and small company that bills 5 clients every month. This package will give you access to all the basic accounting tools. You can either choose to be billed on a monthly basis for $15 per month, or a yearly basis for $13.50 per month. The features included in this package includes:

- Track Time and expenses

- Unlimited invoices and estimates

- Import expenses to your bank account

- Accept credit card payments online

Plus Package

This is an ideal option for larger businesses that handle 50 clients every month. This package is available on a monthly basis at $25 per month or a yearly basis at $22.50 per month. This package offers all the features you would get in the Lite Package and even more. Here are the features it includes:

  • Send proposals
  • Unlimited invoice and estimates
  • Schedule recurring invoices
  • Track time and expenses
  • Accounting reports
  • Accept online credit card payments with ease
  • Charge overdue invoices
  • Send Payments
  • Import your bank account expenses

Premium Package

This is the best option for big companies and business enterprises that have the capacity for 500 clients every month. This package is available on a monthly basis at $50 per month or yearly basis at $45 per month. Here are the features you will enjoy with this package:

  • Send proposals
  • Unlimited invoice and estimates
  • Schedule recurring invoices
  • Track time and expenses
  • Accounting reports
  • Accept online credit card payments with ease
  • Charge overdue invoices
  • Send Payments
  • Import your bank account expenses

FreshBooks vs QuickBooks: Which is Best for Your Business?

A lot of people are of the opinion that FreshBooks and QuickBooks were designed for the same purpose. This is a huge misconception, and the differences will be highlighted in this section.

FreshBooks works best when used by solopreneurs, freelancers, and service-based businesses that need an easy way to track revenue and expenses. QuickBooks, on the other hand, is for companies that sell products and would need fully-fledged and scalable accounting software. This does not that they are mutually exclusive, and even though FreshBooks offers features, you will not find in QuickBooks and vice versa, the two accounting solutions have many overlapping areas.

These two solutions will be compared under the following headings:

Timekeeping

A built-in time tracker is offered by FreshBooks, and this is useful for case- and project-based businesses where there’s need to track hours for proper billing. There are the project views and also the dashboard, which helps in keeping individual employees and your entire project on the right task and also at the right time. Once your data is compiled, you can import it to the accounting system.

QuickBooks, on the other hand, helps in tracking payroll with the aid of an additional add-on feature. This tracking is made available for both full and part-time employees. It is important to note that this is not as efficient as other time tracking ways, and as such, you might need a time clock or payroll software.

Invoicing

There is a customizable invoice design included on FreshBooks, and this also features a click-to-pay button. Data is directly pulled from the time tracking feature provided the billable hours are marked. FreshBooks also offers different automation for automatic invoicing of billable hours, recurring invoices, and also overdue payments follow-up emails.

QuickBooks, on the other hand, makes use of other time tracking apps like TSheets or Google calendar to track billable hours that will be included in the invoice. It also offers customizable invoice designs and the click-to-pay button to make it possible for your clients to pay from the invoice directly.

Inventory Tracking

There are no features for inventory tracking on FreshBooks. QuickBooks, on the other hand, offers inventory tracking features.

Expense Tracking

FreshBooks focuses on payment collection and invoicing. No expense tracking feature like sales tax management, receipt tracking, and project time tracking is offered. QuickBooks, on the other hand, supports both credits and debits and also offers features to keep you apprised of your profit margins.

Integrations

Both FreshBooks and QuickBooks have so many integrations. However, it is important to note that the integrations of FreshBooks mainly targets small businesses and freelancers. FreshBooks makes it possible for users to connect the app to tax filling tools and human resources in order to round out payroll and tax invoicing circles. Some of the amazing integrations on FreshBooks include Zapier, which helps in organizing and processing different actions, and the Moodle integration for tracking payments.

QuickBooks also has native integration with banks, payment software, e-commerce, CRMs, and other software that helps in ensuring maximum control and visibility of sales processes and financial data. There are other helpful tools, and this includes PayPal and ReceiptBank, both of which help in updating transactions with necessary details.

Accounting

Accounting in the form of an automated balance sheet is not provided by FreshBooks. However, you would be able to fill out data into balance sheets. A drawback of this is that it is time-consuming, especially if you have so many clients.

QuickBooks, on the other hand, makes it much easier to keep track of accounting. There are so many amazing accounting features such as the double-entry accounting that helps in balancing sheets and also in organizing cash flow. The major criticism for QuickBooks comes from the fact that it has so many amazing features, and this has the tendency of making it very difficult to learn. However, users with good bookkeeping and accounting knowledge will find it easy to navigate and use the software. It is easier to balance both sites of your sheets with QuickBooks.

Reporting

The main focus of the reporting system used on FreshBooks is on profit margin, and the periodic input versus periodic output is shown on the dashboard. It is important to note that FreshBooks is better used as a time tracking and invoicing tool, and as such, the focus of reports is usually on some tax-related reports and also on the payment collection. The reports are usually time-based, granular reports can also be designed, thanks to the filters. All of these features help in ensuring that you are at the top of your payment due.

QuickBooks, on the other hand, features so many reporting systems, most of which are dependent on your accounting needs and purposes. Sub-reports are also included in almost every group of reports, and this is to provide you with more details to further aid in proper analysis:

  • Sales tax reporting
  • Accounts payable
  • Employee reports
  • Accounts receivable
  • Expenses and purchases
  • Products and inventory.

This is an impressive list, but you will need tagging and manual-entry for these reports to work.

Determining the best for your business depends on what you want to achieve, and also the type of business you are running. There are also so many integrations in this tool.

Who is QuickBooks Online for?

QuickBooks Online is an accounting solution for startups, small businesses, independent accounting firms, and freelance bookkeepers. This software helps in providing robust tools for invoice management, tax calculation, sales monitoring, and expense tracking. QuickBooks Online was designed with the aim of simplifying the financial and accounting management of small businesses. This will help you to cut down the time spent on difficult accounting tasks, and you will have enough time on business responsibilities that require much attention.

One of the amazing things about QuickBooks Online is in its ability to combine different accounting tools on a single platform. This software every essential accounting tool, including bill payments, invoice customization, profit, and lost reporting. QuickBooks Online can also generate reports and perform finance monitoring, depending on what data visualization is preferred. This helps in providing more insights into expenditures, crucial financial data, and sales performance. It is important to note that QuickBooks Online is compatible with both mobile and desktop devices making it possible for you to have access to your financial data and also to manage it when you are not in your office.

There are so many functionalities offered by QuickBooks, and it functions well with both third-party and native integrations.

Who is FreshBooks for?

FreshBooks is an accounting solution for freelancers, small businesses, and other people with more focus on their receipt and expense management. FreshBooks is also a nice choice for entrepreneurs who would like to benefit from automated reports, clean invoicing, and also amazing time tracking features. One of the benefits that are gotten from using FreshBooks is that the cost of bookkeeping is saved, and it helps in providing an intuitive interface for easy financial transactions tracking.

FreshBooks is one of the first cloud-based accounting software, and also the best invoicing app that every small business owner should use. It is the fastest way to track time, invoice clients, and also to run small businesses online.  This accounting software also provides small business owners with a means of inviting contractors or employees like professional accountants so that they can go through financial data and help the business owner to prepare taxes.

Another amazing feature that users of FreshBooks is the ability to choose from different pricing plans. More information about the different plans to choose from is given above.

Can I create a Budget in QuickBooks Online?

One of the primary functions of QuickBooks Online is to provide support for the creation and preparation of budgets so that you can track, monitor, and also compare expected expenses and income with actual expenses and income.

IF you are still wondering if you can create a budget in QuickBooks online, these few steps will give you enough guidance on how to go about this:

  1. Before creating a budget in QuickBooks Online, it is necessary to ensure that you have a correct Fiscal Year, this is important because every budget begins with the first month of a fiscal year. You can check this by selecting the gear button, after which you will select the Account and Settings buttons. You will also need to click on the Advanced tab, which will reveal the setting for the first month of the fiscal year for you to click on. You will find this feature in the accounting section. You can then proceed to make necessary adjustments if the need arises.
  2. Creating a budget on QuickBooks Online can be achieved by selecting the Gear button, as shown above. You will need to select the Budgeting link afterward. This link can be seen in the Tools sections. Select the Add budget once you find this link. It will lead you to the page where you can create your budget.
  3. Once you are in the window for the new budget, you can fill the name field with the name of the budget and then select the budget’s fiscal year from the fiscal year drop-down menu. Interval can also be selected from the interval drop-down menu.
  4. You will then need to fill in the actual data of the budget, and this can be achieved by selecting the Pre-fill data menu of your fiscal year. The subdivide menu is to create a subdivision of the budget.
  5. Adding a subdivide budget will make you select the classes, customers, and locations you want to subdivide the budget. This feature will also add a View budget drop-down menu for you to make it possible to select different sections of your subdivided budget.
  6. Editing the information in the budget can be achieved by selecting any line you want to edit and filling it with the information you want to include. Clear information can also be done, and this is simply by a click on the ‘x’ button for each information.
  7. Once you are done filling in all the necessary information and also removing unnecessary information, you can then proceed to save and close the budget page. It is important to note that you can always Edit the budget and make the necessary changes if the need arises. This can be done under the Action column. Deleting a budget can also be done under this section.
  8. The Action column can also be used to copy a budget. The Run Budgets Overview report and the Budgets vs. Actual reports command in the Action column will also help you to run a budget overview report and the budgets vs. actual report.

Comparing FreshBooks with Other Solutions

There are several other accounting solutions that also offer amazing subscription rates. However, unlike FreshBooks, some of these accounting solutions do not offer as many functionalities as FreshBooks. They also do not support plenty of users like FreshBooks.

Here is a comparison for FreshBooks and some of these accounting solutions.

FreshBooks vs QuickBooks

One of the most affordable online solutions in the market today is QuickBooks Online. In fact, the most expensive subscription package offered by QuickBooks online is cheaper than the most basic subscription package on FreshBooks. However, the major drawback of QuickBooks is that it can only accommodate a few users in addition to the accountant of a company. This is unlike FreshBooks that can accommodate up to 500 users at a time. With the Simple start plan on QuickBooks, a user can benefit from the amazing features for €4.20 per month. Three users are accommodated on the Essential plan, and this is at a monthly price of €6.30, while the Plus plan can support five users at a time for a monthly fee of €8.70. These fees are far cheaper than FreshBooks fee, but they cannot accommodate many users. The major similarity of these two accounting solutions is that they all offer clients with a 30-day free trial so that they can learn all they need to know about the platform.

FreshBooks vs Xero

One of the major competitors of FreshBooks is Xero. This accounting solution offers enterprise and SMB pricing plans that depend on the number of bills, payrolls, invoices, and bank transactions that are needed every month. On the Xero platform, startups and small businesses can enjoy the starter plan at a monthly fee of $9. This starter plan can take up to 5 quotes, invoices, and bills. It can also take up to 20 bank transactions. Xero also offers more flexible alternatives that make it possible for users to handle an unlimited number of transactions. This feature can be gotten from the Standard Plan, which is available at a monthly fee of $30 and the Premium 10 Package, which is available at a monthly fee of $70. The man difference between Xero plans is in the number of payrolls they can accommodate. The first Xero plan can accommodate 5 payrolls, while the last two can accommodate 10 payrolls every month.

FreshBooks vs Wave

The major difference between Wave and most other accounting solutions is that it is an entirely free accounting solution. Wave is widely used by so many business owners, and it has grown its capacity to deliver solutions to over 3 million users across the world today. Wave is one of the strongest accounting solutions, and it offers ample features that include invoicing basic ecommerce tools and project management. It is important to note that there are only two accounting solutions that offer lending services to users, and that is Wave and QuickBooks Online.

FreshBooks vs Zoho Books

The major difference between these two accounting solutions is in their subscription rates. However, Zoho Books and Xero have similar subscription rates. Three subscription packages are offered by Zoho Books. The pricing of these packages is with respect to the number of contacts intended for the system, as well as the users intended to use the platform. Another unique thing about these packages is that they all come with bundled features that depend on the operation to be carried out. The three packages include the Basic plan, which is available at a monthly fee of $9, the Standard plan is available at a monthly fee of $19, and the professional plan is available at a monthly fee of $29. It is important to note that a monthly fee of $2 is charged for every additional user. Unlike FreshBooks that comes with a 30-days free trial, Zoho Books comes with a 14-days free trial.

FreshBooks vs Quicken

The major difference between the two is that FreshBooks is accounting software for running small businesses in a fast and secure way. With FreshBooks, little time is spent on processing accounting data. Quicken, on the other hand, makes it easier to bring accounts together. It creates an easier understanding of the money you have. This is basically a money management tool that will give you an idea of where your money goes to. Unlike FreshBooks, Quicken can be used for large enterprises. Another thing to note is that Quicken is more expensive than FreshBooks, the starting price for Quicken is $50 per month, and no free trial is made available for users.

FreshBooks vs Harvest

FreshBooks and Harvest are both cloud-based accounting solutions that provide help to owners of small businesses so that they can efficiently manage their finances. The major differences are that Harvest’s main focus in on activity and time tracking. Document approval sign-off is offered by Harvest and not FreshBooks. There are more customizable reposts on Harvest and only basic reports on FreshBooks. Another thing to note about Harvest is that it is tied mainly to Projects Managers and Project Management.

FreshBooks vs FreeAgent

This is one of the accounting software solutions that offer a very straightforward pricing scheme. Only a single universal plan is offered by this vendor, and this plan includes all the accounting tools offered by this platform in addition to sales tax reporting, multi-currency invoicing, and customer reporting. It is important to note that no money is charged for the first month you use this platform. The monthly fee of this platform for the first six months is $10, while a monthly fee f $20 is charged for subsequent months. Another flexibility in the pricing of FreeAgent is that the monthly fee will be $5 if you pay upfront for the first 12 months, after which you will get a monthly fee of $10 for every 12-month payment.

FreshBooks vs Sage 50cloud

The pricing packages offered by Sage 50cloud is the most expensive accounting software solution compared to the other solutions mentioned above. Just like some of the solutions mentioned above, they also provide three different pricing plans, all of which are expensive, and they all depend on the type of features that are offered. The Sage 50cloud Pro Accounting plan offers all the essential accounting tools at a monthly cost of $45. The Premium accounting plan and also the Quantum accounting plan is for people who want access to more advanced tools. These plans are available at a monthly fee of $70 and $176, respectively.

Features and Benefits of FreshBooks

Investing in the right accounting solution is the major decision to be made by every small business. FreshBooks is a cloud-based accounting solution that was designed with small business owners in mind. Are you still wondering why small businesses should make use of this accounting software solution?

Here are the benefits of FreshBooks:

Easy Invoicing

This is one of the biggest benefits of using FreshBooks. FreshBooks will provide you with solutions that will make it easy for you to accept online payments, create recurring invoices, customize invoice layouts, and also send invoices through email. Another amazing feature about FreshBooks is that you would be able to track invoices you send via email, and this will let you know if the customer has opened the invoice or not. This simplifies the overall payment process for small businesses.

Effective Time Tracking

Keeping track of time is a major problem that is faced by most businesses. However, this problem can be eliminated with the help of FreshBooks. You are probably wondering how this is possible. FreshBooks is a unique software solution that offers a dynamic and amazing time-tracking feature. This feature makes it possible for both employers and employees to keep track and also to manage every minute so that payments would be made appropriately. Invoices with respect to the time that is billed can be created with just a single click.

Simple and Intuitive Interface

FreshBooks has received so many integrations from small business, and the major reason why this is so is that this accounting solution provides an intuitive interface that is not only simple to use but is also easy to understand. FreshBooks boasts of over five million people that make use of its paperless billing method. This is also one of the reasons why it has grown its popularity among small businesses.

Cheaper Pricing

The pricing system used on FreshBooks is shown in detail above. You will find out that FreshBooks offers one of the cheapest pricing systems when compared with other similar accounting software solutions. While there are three packages at different monthly prices depending on the features you would enjoy, the is also important to note that there is also a forever free option. However, this option comes with limited features. All the packages offered by FreshBooks are very affordable, and they are perfect for every small business.

Accurate Payroll Information

The ability to accurately pay staff is probably one of the best features of FreshBooks. You are probably wondering how this is possible. This is aided by the feature used on FreshBooks that makes it possible for employees to log in their time using the mobile app that has a very simple user interface. This feature can then be synchronized with the payroll expenses, and this makes it possible to calculate employee’s payroll within a short period.

Integrated Payment Processing Options

One of the integrated payment processing options of FreshBooks is the PayPal integration feature that is automatic. This feature eliminates the need to manually set up PayPal through the complicated process, usually through PayPal Payment Request or Simple Port Wizard. Direct merchant account integration is also supported on FreshBooks for larger companies, especially those that have gone above PayPal and are processing more payments and transactions on a regular basis. These companies would want to avoid the fees that are usually charged by PayPal.

Bank Reconciliation

FreshBooks makes it possible to easily reconcile your bank through the automatic synchronization of your credit card information with that your bank account.

Budgeting and Forecasting

Remember that FreshBooks is also a bookkeeping software, and as such, it provides the user with an excellent and amazing tool that simplifies the whole process of budgeting and forecasting. This is further enhanced by other features it offers, and this includes the invoice, expenses, and time trackers.

Auto Billing

FreshBooks makes it possible for users to charge the client’s credit card and also send invoices automatically. This can be done on a regular basis, and it can be achieved with the aid of a recurring invoice template that you would need to set up in your account. This is an amazing feature for owners of small-scale businesses.

Payment Reminders and Personalized Invoices

This is another amazing benefit you will enjoy when you use FreshBooks. You would be able to set up pre-written emails and use them for follow up to serve as a reminder for clients that pay late. FreshBooks also allows users to design invoices with a professional look within a short time. You can also design an invoice such that your clients can choose to use their credit cards to make payments.

Access

This is one of the most accessible accounting software solutions. You can use FreshBooks on many platforms and different devices. This is possible because of the automatic synchronization feature that makes it easy for users to switch devices without losing their information.

Support

All the amazing features will mean nothing if the customer support is poor. FreshBooks has one of the best customer support services. This company will offer you the best customer experience, which is further enhanced by webinars and the resource pages it offers. The customer service offered by this company has a 24/7 availability. You can either contact them via email, phone, live chat, or even through the knowledge-based platform they provide.

Drawbacks of FreshBooks

This review is filled with so many amazing features, which leaves one to wonder if there’s a bad side of the FreshBooks accounting software solution. It is hard to pinpoint a major drawback of using this platform, and this is due to the fact that they are open to suggestions from users, and they have a rapid response to user complaints. Therefore, immediately a drawback is identified by a customer, the company rapidly responds to it, and necessary changes are made.

Despite this, there are still a few complaints that received, and this is with respect to goal settings, metrics, and reporting, all of which will be better soon. FreshBooks is a top-notch accounting, and most of the drawbacks highlight by customers are usually due to minor and insignificant glitches that can be ignored.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Freshbooks free?

Unfortunately not. But they do offer a 30 days risk free trial period where you get to play around with all their features and products. After your trial ends, you need a subscription to take more advantage of this accounting software.

Who Owns FreshBooks?

The amazing features offered by FreshBooks leaves one to wonder who owns the software. This accounting software is owned by Toronto based 2ndsite Inc. The products delivered by this company utilizes a web-based software service model, which eliminates the need to install and maintain their software locally. This implies that the software can easily be accessed through a mobile or a desktop device. FreshBooks is also a cloud accounting software, and it is geared with the main aim of delivering its amazing features to both small-sized and also to medium-sized businesses.

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