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FreshBooks Review – Background

FreshBooks is an accounting software and finance company that is one of the best, if not the best finance and accounting software companies in the world. Recently, in 2016, they won Best Accounting Software company from FinancesOnline. Additionally, FreshBooks received the awards for Best Accounting Software in 2016 by FinancesOnline. Also from FinancesOnline, they received the Experts’ Choice award, the Supreme Software award in 2016 and the Exceptional Customer Support award in 2016. FreshBooks reputability in the small business world is very high and they are extremely well-respected. There are currently over five million businesses that use FreshBooks for client invoices and time tracking.  Their service makes financial management that is usually difficult for accountants and CFOs, a much easier process that allows you to collect online payments as well. Credit card payments, GoogleCheckout and PayPal are all business systems that it can accept. The flexible pricing plan definitely makes up for some of its lackluster accounting features, which we will get to later on in the article.

New FreshBooks

FreshBooks has an old and new version. The New Freshbooks is said to be extremely easy-t-use and has a beautiful new interface. Their customer service is said to be the best in the business by most of their customers. Currently, they offer a free 30-day trial that does not require any banking or credit card information. If you try this and decide that you like the product, monthly payments are required and they can be made on a month-to-month basis that allows you to cancel the service at any time with no contract required. The older Freshbooks is still available for people who are tied to it, but the newer FreshBooks is extremely easy-to-use even if you have used the old FreshBooks in the past and it is highly recommended. Yet, if you do keep the old FreshBooks, updates will stop. While the interface is prettier and technology is better in the new FreshBooks, they have cut many of the features including estimates, default email messages, reports and inventory. The new FreshBooks will, of course receive technological updates while the old one will not. The cleaner look of the New FreshBooks has an uphill effect while the actual product may have decreased in value by losing estimates, inventory, reporting and default email messaging. At the end of the day though, the world is advancing technologically and they still do most of what they need to do. The client portal could definitely be a bit stronger though.

FreshBooks – Not Entirely Accounting Software

As we touched on earlier, it is important to note that while FreshBooks has an amazing following and has really ramped up its technology with the new version, FreshBooks is actually not true accounting software, like a company like QuickBooks. They do not use the double-entry accounting method and they have a poor bank reconciliation capability that disallows it from offering full accounting features. The invoicing and billing features that go with their time tracking are their strong points. Additionally, customer reviews of their software are extremely good. Their bookkeeping and accounting functions are integrated into their full-featured mobile apps that are vailable in iOS and Android which is extremely good for its customers who work on the go often. With all this being said if you are using it to track your business, time and for client management, FreshBooks is a great option. This being said, the amount of assets offered in the dashboard, with expense tracking and so forth really does help if you also have a program like QuickBooks or you have an accountant who does your taxes because this allows you to seamlessly include all your time management and everything about accounting into whatever software you do use. There is surely a reason that FreshBooks has over 5,000,000 clients so it is worth a consideration.

FreshBooks – Pricing

FreshBooks offers a free 30-day trial as we mentioned before with no banking or credit card information needed. The company comes in with three pricing options. The first plricing plan is FreshBooks Lite. FreshBooks Lite costs its customers $15 per month and allows these clients to bill up to 5 clients, have access to the mobile apps, track expenses, contact management, utilize the service for project management, time tracking, contact management, expense tracking and to use FreshBooks new technologically advanced apps at all times. FreshBooks Plus costs its clients $25 per month, but for an extra $10 customers can bill up to 50 clients, use the mobie applications, track expenses, have both contact and project management, time tracking and invoicing. The top pricing option offered by FreshBooks costs $50 per month and comes with invoicing, time tracking, project management, mobile applications and billing for up to 500 clients. Unfortunately only one user can use each of the plans and each additional user, no matter their position in the company must pay $10 per month. There are no user permissions or an accountant access portal. Recently, the new FreshBooks implemented an affiliate program which offers businesses $55 for each referral leading to a Freshbooks sale and $5 for those ending in a free trial. While it is not a ton of money, it is a nice gesture to offer this to existing customers. The classic FreshBooks comes in Sprout and only allows 1 user, billing 5 clients and the rest of the similar features, just less technologically friendly features. Seedling is $19.95 per month, bills up to 20 clients with 1 user and Evergreen $29.95 per month, $26.95 per month if you get a yearly, billing 200 clients with Mighty oak at $39.95 per month – a yearly subscription goes for $35.95 and allows for 2 users and has timesheets.

Payment Features of FreshBooks: An Asset

The payment features are not where the accounting issue lies for FreshBooks; rather, they are extremely impressive and a large reason they have better than a 100% success rate. FreshBooks allows its users to charge late fees, turn on new online payment options, set invoice due dates. You can track even then your customers have received your invoice email which will help you weed out any customers that say they may not have received an invoice. This will assure you that your invoices are delivered to clients. FreshBooks accepts payments from most of the top credit card companies including MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Google CheckOut and PayPal. They have also adapted to cloud invoicing using an online payment gateway that serves as a great tool for collecting payments. The tool for managing billing history on FreshBooks is one of our favorite options because it keeps each of your clients extremely organized and allows you to track any outstanding invoices.

FreshBooks – The Setting Up Process

Firstly, if you cannot figure it out for yourself, you can be sure that you can call FreshBooks directly and they will be extremely helpful with assisting you in any questions you may have during the setup process for the old or new FreshBooks. FreshBooks Classic should only take about an hour to set up and the New FreshBooks is said to take even less time than that. Once you add clients you are able to connect your bank account or accounts and from that point, the rest is really self-explanatory. All of the tabs within the new FreshBooks are pretty seamless and easy to use. You have a DashBoard, Invoices Tab, Estimates tab, Clients tab, Expenses tab, Projects tab and Time Tracking tab. Time Tracking tab is one of our personal favorites because it makes everything so easy to do in this realm and you do not have to write anything on a sticky note. You can simply just track it within the FreshBooks program.  The new interface is extremely seamless and easy to use. The inability to import existing clients and the lack of add-ons in comparison to the old QuickBooks are definitely not some of the best attributes for the new QuickBooks. The old QuickBooks should really not even be difficult to set up and the beauty of it is that if you were an old QuickBooks member and may have left, they can set it back up any time you need as long as you call customer service. The new QuickBooks is even easier to set up because of the technological advancements they have made over the years. When all is said and done, the small amount of time you put into the setting up of FreshBooks, will save you and be well worth your time at the end of the day!

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Reporting, Expense and Time Tracking

The reporting in FreshBooks is a simple, easy and almost fun process to do. It is definitely more tolerable than filling in a spreadsheet. The ability to create financial reports during the data mining and processing within FreshBooks is truly an asset. This allows you to generate a profit and loss report in addition to being able to create an expense report to keep track of monthly costs and make sure you are on top of your balance sheet. Accounts records are easy to get for when tax seasons comes around and this allows you to create sax summaries and generate tax reports. The tracking of expenses is also extremely easy to do in the new FreshBooks. When tracking expenses in FreshBooks, you are able to log expenses and account for which expense belongs to which client. Expenses can also be added directly to an invoice for any given client. The Expense tool tab allows you to link to your bank or credit card account and directly import expenses from your bank. Day-to-day expense tracking becomes much easier with FreshBooks. The iOs and Android apps now allow you to track time when you are even not in the office as it is usable remotely. Individual or team time are trackable and allow you to calculate a running bill for payment. There are actually two Invoice tracking options that are customizable. The software allows you to automatically save information for each line item that you enter. The more expensive plan allows you to send reminders and receive late frees. The default email automation is available in the classic version, but not in the default email automation version. The dashboard is broken up nicely into graphs showing Oustanding Revenue, Total Profit, Spending.

FreshBooks Customer Service and Support

FreshBooks support team has won countless awards and they are said to be some of the best customer support employees in the entire business. FreshBooks support is available over the phone from 8 o clock AM to 8 o clock PM Monday through Friday. For support worldwide, the telephone number is 1-416-481-6946. The United States and Canadian users can call toll free at 1-866-303-6061. E-Mail support is extremely highly regarded and the new FreshBooks support team can be reached at help@freshbooks.com while the old FreshBooks team can be reached at support@freshbooks.com. Dditionally there is a contact form on the website that anyone can access to put in a ticket for assistance. There is also a webinar on the website when you join FreshBooks. The webinar allows you to sign up to learn about the software and is even funny. The new FreshBooks is not extremely complicated but the amount of help offered in the help center on the website is truly commendable and the demonstrations offered really do help someone new to the program to learn and understand what FreshBooks is about and how to really use it. FreshBooks has a A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau and on GetApp they have 4.7 of 5 stars. Cusomers are thrilled with the customer service, the sime they save on invoicing, tracking expenses and billing so they can focus more on their business growth and the improvement of the app. FreshBooks is also extremely secure with its 256-bit SSL encryption and its Cisco-powered firewalls. Data is backed up on two servers in addition to a physical tape each night. They have Rackspace data centers hang onto and protect their servers.

FreshBooks – Some Detalis of What They Offer

FreshBooks offers an unbelievable amount of offering within each of its features; for example within online invoicing, a few of the things it offers are invoice customization, tracking invoice views, putting business on auto-pilot, payment with deposits, credit cards, customization of due dates. Additionall there are invoice previews, automated sax circulations, offline payments, client credit, sales teaxes, etc. Under projects, they offer project due dates, current project overviews, centralized conversations, collaboration with clients, contractors and employees as well as sharing images and files. Within their expense tracking services, they offer automatic expense import, snaps, assign and rebill expenses, recurring expenses, file import, attaching receipts by PDF or image, expense report filters, easy-to-read categorization, remembering vendors, tracking spending per project and tax spending per project. The time tracking includes a timer, team timesheets, clear breakdown of every single day as well as current project overviews and centralized conversations. The sheer amound of offerings within each of these tabs is astounding and we commend FreshBooks for the amount of work they have put into each category. Under the category we have criticized of Accounting Reports and taxes, the new technologically advanced FreshBooks offeres accounts aging, profit and loss statements, balance sheets, expense reports, itemized sale reports, sales tax availability, the ability to export a CSV into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, invoice details reports, accounts aging reports, filters for report customization, summary of outstanding revenue and clear spending breakdowns.

FreshBooks – The Final Word and Other Attributes.

At the end of the day, we highly recommend FreshBooks because of the slew of positive things that it offers from the expense tracking to time management and beautiful new interface. If you are more of an old school person, you may bet better off even with the older version of FreshBooks because of the things it offered that really did change the way a  lot of people managed their time, expenses and so forth when they first started using FreshBooks and that is what it really allowed it to grow and flourish. The user satisfaction of FreshBooks was cone through a Customer Satisfaction algorithm that takes customer reviews and comments from social media sites. The amount of negative social mentions was an astounging 3 people while the positive reachtions were 207. This really says a lot about a company like FreshBooks because in the social media era, we, as a society have become extremely prone and fearless to complain about a company if something goes wrong and this shows the type of people behind QuickBooks. The CEOs also have set up a boot camp to teach girls to code for free every year and this in itself with the unbelievable reviews, user satisfaction rate and Better Business Bureau ratings, not to go into even the astounding amount of other positive reviews throughout the internet would make me use FreshBooks, again and again and we believe it would be a good business decision to check it out as well.