FreshBooks is one of many cloud accounting apps that have entered the market over the past few years. While cloud accounting has not grown as quickly as cloud solutions have in other industries, recent arrivals on the market show that the trend is definitely upward. After Quickbooks Online, FreshBooks is the most popular cloud-based accounting software in North America with nearly 5 millions users.
When it comes to usability and based on online reviews, FreshBooks has one of the cleanest interfaces. The navigation is right on the top of the screen and I have to admit that the designers have done a fantastic job. The frontpage shows the recent activity and includes shortcuts that you can use to create invoices, record expenses, track time spent on projects, export financial reports and much more.
But enough with the way that FreshBooks looks! If you are a small business owner, an accountant that is serving a client or a bookkeeper, it’s the functionality that you would be most interested in. So, what can FreshBooks offer to you?
There are so many software solutions, both cloud-based and self hosted, that can create invoice and track whether there are payments that are due. However, that’s not what a complete accounting package should be limited to.
Freshbooks is much more than just an invoicing solution. You can of course invoice your customers, receive and record payments but you can also perform other tasks such as expense tracking, reports generation, tax calculation and much more.
You can connect FreshBooks with your bank or your credit card and start tracking and recording your expenses automatically. That’s something useful for the small business owners that do their own bookkeeping and prefer to spend more time running their business than record transactions all day long.
FreshBooks Time Tracking Feature Review
One of the most useful features that FreshBooks offers is the time tracking. I think it’s a fantastic tool since it allows companies that offer services for example to track how much time each member of a team spends on a project and compare the cost incurred to the revenue that the client generates. You can understand that this is very crucial since accepting loss making jobs can not be part of a long term strategy. Freshbooks also offers the opportunity to directly charge and invoice a client based on the billable hours spent on a project. That is a fantastic feature for accountants, designers, lawyers and many other professionals that sell services and charge by the hour.
Financial Reports and Taxes
Another important feature that Freshbook offers is the ability to generate reports that should included in the analysis of every small business owner. You can run monthly income statement reports and track sales and expenses, understand your margins and be able to see what expenses you should be cutting.
Speaking of expenses, FreshBooks can also run an expenses report so that you can save them in excel files, plot graphs or create pivot tables to see how much you are spending and where.
Another report that you can generate is the aging report. The debtor aging report can basically tell you how much your clients owe to you and if there are amounts that are past their due date (and how long). You should be keeping track of such things and you should never let your sales turn into bad debt. The best thing to do is invoice fast and cash in faster!
FreshBooks and Third Party Addons
In my opinion, what sets FreshBooks apart from other accounting cloud-based software is the ability to integrate it with third party professional software. The list of addons that are supported is endless but briefly, you can integrate FreshBooks with CRM software such HighRise or Batchbook, specialized time-tracking software such as ChronoMate, marketing tools such as MailChip, workforce management tools, project management software and the list goes on!
Finally, something that every business owner should be looking (actually before looking into anything else) relates to data security. FreshBooks is a cloud-based software which means that you have no control over the way that your data are stored on the FreshBooks servers. The goods news is that you can export your data. In addition, FreshBooks creates backups and stores them in different locations. They use RackSpace (a big name in the hosting industry) with very big clients such as GE and Cisco so that you can be sure that your data will be safely stored.