Accounting & Audit
2020 Review of FreshBooks
Jul. 14, 2020
FreshBooks Cloud Accounting
From the 2020 reviews of small business accounting systems.
FreshBooks is best suited for sole proprietors, freelancers, and consultants who are looking for easy account management and solid invoicing capability. FreshBooks offers complete accounting capability as well as integration with numerous third-party applications. Though FreshBooks also offers a Teams version which is suitable for small businesses with a few employees, the application is best used by individuals who are looking for good accounting capability in an easy to use application.
FreshBooks is easily accessible from a desktop, laptop, or mobile device, with the mobile app supporting both Android and iOS devices. In recent years, FreshBooks has added numerous features that have enhanced its accounting capability, now offering complete accounting, time tracking, retainers management, expense management, projects, estimates, and cash management. But FreshBooks’ best feature by far is its invoicing capability.
Once users choose a plan, setup can be completed quickly. FreshBooks users can quickly create a project, custom proposal, quote or retainer, with clients able to approve an estimate online.
In addition, users can easily convert an estimate to an invoice once approved. Integration with numerous third-party apps allows users to access additional functionality including inventory management or point of sale capability.
Core Accounting Features – 4.5 Stars
With the addition of double-entry accounting, FreshBooks has taken itself from a checkbook style financial application to a complete accounting application. FreshBooks includes a simple default chart of accounts that also supports sub-accounts. Users can now run financial statements such as a Balance Sheet, Trial Balance, and Income Statement, although other reporting options remain limited. FreshBooks now also supports journal entries, though with bank connectivity and month end bank reconciliation capability, the amount of journal entries needed will remain small.
Another handy feature is the ability to snap a photo of a receipt and upload it into FreshBooks for easy management of business expenses. But one of FreshBooks’ most outstanding features is its invoicing capability. Users can easily add a new customer and create a professional looking invoice in less than a minute, with a variety of customization options available, including the option to include a link for customers to pay their invoice online. Automatic reminders will be sent to customers when their invoice becomes past due, and a late fee can be added to any invoice if desired. Any invoice created in FreshBooks can be made recurring, and the application allows users to see when an invoice has been viewed online.
Users can also manage all customer payments conveniently from the same invoice screen, including details on how the invoice was paid. Sales tax information can also be managed in FreshBooks to ensure that the correct tax is being collected and paid. The proper rates must be entered by the user. Time tracking capability is also included in the application, with users able to log time manually or use the included timer. Daily breakdowns of all logged or recorded time is available, and users can easily add any logged hours directly to a client invoice. FreshBooks does not offer payroll capability, but does integrate with Gusto Payroll for those who need to pay employees.
Relationship Management 4 Stars
Basic information can be tracked for both customers and vendors, though information tracked is limited to vendor or customer name, and basic expense details. Users can create a quick expense option to pay bills that do not have a current vendor, though it’s better to enter the vendor information, particularly if a 1099 is required at year end. Customers and vendors can be entered on the fly, with an option to add documents such as invoices, warranties, or receipts to any customer or vendor file.
Cloud Capability – 5 Stars
As a cloud application, FreshBooks users can access the system from anywhere, with mobile apps available for both iOS and Android devices. FreshBooks also includes online payment options, with the ability to accept a variety of online payment types including credit and debit cards. FreshBooks integrates with PayPal and users can accept ACH payments in the application as well. Auto-bill and auto-payment options can be set up in the application. FreshBooks also integrates with Stripe to process payments in a variety of currencies.
Management Features – 4.5 Stars
The FreshBooks Dashboard provides a business snapshot, providing detailed information such as outstanding revenue, monthly recurring revenue, total profit, revenue streams, spending, and unbilled time. The dashboard is completely customizable and offers access to FreshBooks reporting options which include financial statements and a few additional reports such as Invoice Details, Expense Report, Account Aging Report, a Bank Reconciliation Summary, and a Sales Tax Summary Report. Reports offer little in the way of customization, though they can be exported to Microsoft Excel if customization is desired. Frequently run reports can be saved as a Most Popular report, where it can be easily accessed and run in the future. Another nice feature is that FreshBooks users can add their accountant as a FreshBooks user, giving the accountant access to the dashboard and reports.
Tech Issues – 5 Stars
FreshBooks offers integration with more than 100 third-party apps including Avalara, Eventbrite, Salesforce, Mail Chimp, Zendesk, Expensify, Harvest, HubSpot, PayPal, Payroll, Shopify, Square, Gusto, Zoom, eBay, Magento, and Zapier. Users can also import data from other applications directly into FreshBooks using a CSV file format.
FreshBooks users can access support from the FreshBooks Support page, which includes a searchable knowledgebase as well as access to top help categories such as dashboard and settings, invoices and payments, online payment, expenses and bank connections, and projects and time tracking. Clicking on a category displays a variety of help articles that include step-by-step directions for each task or feature. FreshBooks also includes a setup wizard, which guides new users through the entire setup process, with users able to access support from any data entry screen. FreshBooks includes toll-free telephone support, with support accessible via email as well.
FreshBooks is a good fit for sole proprietors, freelancers, or consultants who are looking for an accounting application that offers basic accounting features. FreshBooks offers four plans: Lite, which is $15 per month; Plus, which is $25 per month; Premium, which is $50 per month; and Select, which supports more than 500 billable clients, with Select pricing directly available from FreshBooks. Those interested can also visit the FreshBooks website to download a 30-day demo to test drive prior to purchasing.