FreshBooks Review

Pros:

  • pros Double-entry accounting
  • pros Well-organized UI
  • pros Excellent mobile apps
  • pros Integrates with 100+ apps
  • pros Superb customer support
  • pros Excellent value for money

Cons:

  • cons No plan between Plus and Premium
  • cons No mileage tracking for Android users
freshbooks review

Score: A-

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Owning a small business can be extremely satisfying, but the job has its disadvantages. Chief among them is responsibility for bookkeeping, a high-stakes chore that most people find both daunting and dull. Luckily, there are programs that can cut the task down to size and make bookkeeping an enjoyable – or at least tolerable – experience. 

FreshBooks may be one of them. This application has emerged as one of the most sought-after pieces of online accounting software on the market. In our FreshBooks review, we’ll tell you all about its affordable prices, intuitive interface, numerous features, and great customer support.  

Overview

FreshBooks was conceived after a 2003 mishap involving an overwritten invoice file and hours of recovery work. For entrepreneur Mike McDerment, that was the last straw. Running a design agency was hard enough without jumping through hoops for his bookkeeping software. He knew he could come up with something better. 

McDerment recruited two software-development experts as co-founders of 2ndSite Inc. In less than a year, the team introduced FreshBooks, a cloud-based bookkeeping solution for small companies. This simple accounting software quickly found an eager audience. The software has been used by more than 24 million people, with more signing up every day.

Early versions of FreshBooks did little more than print and track invoices for freelancers and other self-employed workers. Over the years, the accounting software team added more and more functions. Today, FreshBooks is a comprehensive cloud-based double-entry accounting solution for gig workers, small businesses, and medium-size companies. Judging by the company’s A+ BBB rating and 4.46/5 GetApp score, customers are pleased.

Pricing

2ndSite offers four FreshBooks pricing plans: Lite, Plus, Premium, and Select.

The plans may appear a bit costly at first glance, but with the yearly subscription, your budget won’t be taking much of a hit. The key difference that differentiates the plans is the number of clients that you can bill.  

Lite Plan

The Lite plan allows you to charge five clients. The software costs  $15 per month, with a 10% discount for paying a year in advance. Although it is the simplest FreshBooks package, it offers a lot of value, which is one of the many reasons why we consider it to be some of the best accounting software on the market. Nevertheless, it does have a few limitations.

You’ll be unable to charge client credit cards, accept e-signatures, or create proposals or retainers. Double-entry accounting reports, bank reconciliation, and accountant access are also not a part of this package. 

Plus and Premium Plans

The Plus plan allows you to send invoices to 50 clients and it costs $25 per month – minus 10% if you pay for a year in advance. The Premium plan supports up to 500 billable clients for $50 per month – $45 per month if you pay a year at a time.

As you can see, the number of clients and FreshBooks’ prices increase quite suddenly with the Premium subscription. FreshBooks reviews posted online by current and former clients demonstrate that we are not the first to notice this gap. It seems like there’s a plan missing between Plus and Premium.

The Plus and Premium plans provide almost exactly the same features. The big difference is that it isn’t until you reach the Premium plan that you get a version of FreshBooks that creates financial and accounting reports.

Select Plan 

The FreshBooks Select plan is for companies that bill more than 500 clients. The plan includes “advanced payment” features that must be purchased separately if you choose one of the company’s other plans. 

This FreshBooks cost tier is scaled to meet each company’s individual needs. You can discuss your company’s needs and request a quote at the FreshBooks website.

Add-Ons

FreshBooks can be improved with add-ons. 

The advanced payments package lets you save and charge clients’ credit cards, establish subscription-based billing schedules, and set up a virtual terminal for payments. This package costs $20 per month.

If you’d like to give other team members access to your accounts, your monthly payments will be increased by $10 for each additional user.

FreshBooks doesn’t handle payroll, but it recommends Gusto payroll to US users. Gusto will cost you $39 per month plus $6 per employee per month.

FreshBooks Free Trial

All the best bookkeeping software can be tested before a buying commitment is made – and FreshBooks is no different. The generous 30-day trial allows you to use all of FreshBooks’ features without signing a contract or submitting credit card info.

Ease of Use

FreshBooks’ easy-to-use web interface is an excellent choice for those who are new to self-employment. You can complete the entire setup process within seconds by answering five simple questions about your business, providing some necessary contact information, and adding team members if you have any. When you’re done, FreshBooks will display your dashboard. 

Unlike most other top accounting software, FreshBooks doesn’t walk you through your next steps. It’s up to you to explore its many capabilities with the help of a few notes and links located on the web page. The lack of handholding may sound discouraging, but the software is so well organized that it won’t take you long to master it. 

All the primary categories are displayed in a panel on the left side of your screen: Dashboard, Clients, Invoices, Payments, Expenses, Estimates, Time Tracking, Projects, My Team, Reports, Accounting, and Add-ons. Above these is the Settings icon, which allows you to configure your profile and even add a second business.

You will have no trouble navigating or using FreshBooks accounting software. Its eye-pleasing modern design may not be a vital part of its feature set, but it makes the entire experience a lot more enjoyable.

Mobile App

For those who are frequently away from the office, FreshBooks has a brilliant business accounting app. Aside from a few minor differences, it’s essentially the same as the online software for PCs and laptops, so it won’t take any getting used to. With that in mind, we weren’t surprised to see that it was highly rated on both Google Play and the Apple App Store. You can download FreshBooks apps for Android devices running Android 4.2 or higher and iPhone/iPad devices running iOS 9.0 or higher. 

Even though the apps are quite similar, the iOS version has a convenient mileage-tracking feature that the Android app lacks. We hope Android users will soon be able to record their trips as well.

Features

As you have probably deduced by now, FreshBooks has a wide assortment of features intended to make your life simpler and easier. This part of our comprehensive FreshBooks review is devoted to sketching the most noteworthy of the software’s highlights.

Dashboard

The dashboard will show you all the crucial financial information pertinent to your business. You’ll be able to see who owes you money, what your profit is, how much your business is spending, and much more.

Invoicing  

There are two invoice templates that you can customize – from adding your logo to modifying the colors and fonts. You can send invoices in 15 languages and any currency that you and your client agree upon. FreshBooks will let you add discounts – and it calculates sales tax for you. For more complex invoicing, you have the option of creating retainers.

The FreshBooks invoicing module also allows you to set up automatic payment reminders for clients and customers who make regular payments. These reminders can be individualized for each of your clients.

Expense Tracking

FreshBooks supports more than 14,000 financial institutions, which means the odds of finding your bank on the list are quite good. Once you do so, you’ll be able to import all of your expenses from your bank or credit card statement electronically and have them neatly organized in one place.

Time Tracking

With the FreshBooks time tracking tool, you can type hours manually or use the built-in timer. Thanks to its browser extension for Chrome, FreshBooks lets you import time data that has been tracked by apps like Asana, Basecamp, and Trello.

Estimates and Proposals  

We were especially impressed to see that this bookkeeping software supports you in the creation of estimates and proposals. You can view and comment on the feedback that you get for your estimates, and proposals can be approved with e-signatures, thus saving you valuable time. Both can easily be converted to invoices. 

Payments

If your business offers services or items with fixed prices, you can post checkout links on your website and accept payments without invoicing. All FreshBooks payments are protected with top-notch security protocols, so you and your clients needn’t worry about financial data getting into the wrong hands. After they’ve completed a purchase, your customers will receive automated receipts.

Projects

Organizing projects is a snap with FreshBooks. You can communicate with your team and share files with them from within FreshBooks. You can also set a budget and track the time for your project.

Accounting  

FreshBooks didn’t always use industry-standard double-entry accounting methods, but once the developers added it, it was impossible to deny this cloud-based package a spot on any list of the internet’s best online accounting software solutions. Double-entry bookkeeping gives you a more complete picture of your financial situation, since the system tracks and matches purchases and assets.

Reports

With FreshBooks, you’ll have 14 reports at your disposal. To make accounting as stress-free as possible, you can grant your accountant access to the reports for tax preparation and other purposes. 

Clients

You can give your customers access to a client portal where they can save, view, and comment on your invoices, estimates, and proposals. You can even invite them to participate in projects. They’ll be able to create client accounts by using the FreshBooks login link that they receive from you.

Application Integration

FreshBooks partners with many well-known brands, which means that it can share data with plenty of market-leading applications. We were excited to find Gusto, PayPal, Squarespace, Dropbox, Zoom, and Shopify on this list. However, these six are just the tip of the iceberg, as there are more than 100 other options.

Customer Service

If you’re unsure of how this business accounting software works or which package to get, you can contact the FreshBooks customer service team and get all of your questions answered within minutes. The representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time by phone, email, and live chat.

We contacted the company on several occasions, and each time we were met with polite and knowledgeable responses. The company’s representatives were genuinely interested in assisting us, no matter how complicated our inquiries got.

The FreshBooks website is equipped with a comprehensive help center and a phenomenal blog, so if you prefer resolving problems on your own, just go to FreshBooks.com and locate them.

Conclusion

FreshBooks has come a long way since it was founded.

Our in-depth analysis revealed a few flaws, but they are insignificant compared to all that FreshBooks has to offer. Taking into account FreshBooks’s pricing plans and the features that it provides, we think the software is a good value, especially for smaller companies.

Bigger companies could use FreshBooks. But the current version of this bookkeeping software wouldn’t meet their needs. FreshBooks is optimized for speed and convenience, which is perfect for freelancers and gig workers, but at the end of the day, large enterprises require a bit more than that.

So we stand by our conclusion: FreshBooks may be the very best accounting software for small business.

FAQ

Is FreshBooks easy to use?

FreshBooks has a very sleek-looking and neat user interface, which makes it perfect for accounting software novices. Although FreshBooks doesn’t offer a setup guide, it does provide plenty of useful onscreen notes and links to help you get the hang of it. And the customer support staff is extremely helpful. We think FreshBooks is just about the easiest full-service bookkeeping solution you can find to track income and expenses for a freelancer, gig worker, or small business. Check out our FreshBooks review for more information on this topic.

How much does FreshBooks cost?

FreshBooks offers four pricing plans: Lite, Plus, Premium, and Select. The Lite plan costs $15 per month, the Plus plan is $25 per month, and the Premium plan amounts to $50 per month. The Select plan comes with custom pricing. FreshBooks also gives you a 30-day trial, during which you can test the software to see if it’s compatible with your business. If it doesn’t meet your expectations, you’ll be under no obligation to keep using it.

Is FreshBooks better than QuickBooks?

In the FreshBooks vs QuickBooks debate, there is no real winner. Both programs have strengths and weaknesses. For example, FreshBooks’ starting price is slightly lower, at $15 per month. QuickBooks will set you back $20 per month. 

Then again, QuickBooks offers more reports than FreshBooks. 

We don’t mean to duck the question, but the truth is, neither is the better choice for every user. You’ve got to choose based on your priorities and preferences.

What is FreshBooks used for?

FreshBooks is cloud-based accounting software that is best suited to the needs of small businesses and freelancers. You can use it to send invoices, track time, organize projects, and much more. If this sounds like something you might be interested in, we suggest that you read our FreshBooks review, in which we go into more detail regarding this software’s features.