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5 Easy FreshBooks Tricks That Can Improve Your Accounting

Category: B2B News

tpWhat do you expect from a perfect accounting software solution? If you’re running a small business and wish to stay in control of your finances, your first expectations are usually ease of use and accuracy. Years ago, those two things were too much to ask from an accounting solution. Then FreshBooks was introduced and it moved boxed accounting to the cloud, allowing startups to enjoy the functionalities so far mostly restricted to big enterprises that could afford complex software solutions. FreshBooks price is really flexible which makes it a solution within reach of companies of all sizes and types (even freelancers).

Online accounting software has since then undergone many changes and became more competitive. FreshBooks, however, still holds the candle to its competitors as firmly as the first time it appeared on the market. If you’re not convinced that is true just take a look at our FreshBooks vs. Quickbooks comparison.

FreshBooks is nowadays one of the most affordable and widely used cloud accounting solutions, described by many satisfied users as their one-stop-shop for all invoicing needs. FreshBooks price starts as low as $15 for awesome tracking features, in depth reporting, invoices, and expense management. What most people don’t know, however, is that there is a lot that is hidden under the main functionality of this platform, and these assets can significantly contribute to a better user experience. We’ve summarized the five least known FreshBooks tips and tricks that can improve your work process and simplify invoicing, so that even least savvy users will make the most out of FreshBooks capabilities.


1. Easy payments via billing software integrations

This idea makes the most sense for SMB proprietors and service providers who need to transfer their payment operations within the platform, and are therefore struggling to connect it with their billing software. Most of them are still unaware of the fact that FreshBooks has modified its payment functionality to make this possible.

Currently, FreshBooks enables you to accept payments via PayPal, credit cards, but also through a variety of POS applications such as Stripe. In the technical sense, this means that payment transaction fees are imported automatically as the client is paying his invoice, and a business actually gets to save even more time than it originally expected.  

You can also use the New Invoice option to select FreshBooks from the Online Payment list, and you will be able to follow the status of every payment without being forced to abandon the dashboard. On the client’s side, there is an instant field called Pay Now, which will lead them directly to the Secure Payment page of the app, and will accept their transaction without further billing hassle. The complexity of your business simply does not matter here.

2. Tracking COGS and marking profit and loss

This is another of the useful FreshBooks tips: If you’re running a service-based company or selling products online, you most likely must consider accounting expenses such as the carrying value of what you’ve sold in a particular financial period or the Cost of Goods Sold (COGS). FreshBooks allows you to mark this category in order to track profits and loss, which basically eliminates the need for an experienced accountant to supervise the system. You can add literally every fee to the same category, including supplies, custom branding expenses, shipping cost, extra services, and so on.

In order to track all COGS-related metrics, open the Profit and Loss tab in the Expenses section, and add the expense types and categories you need to relate to a charge. The system offers options such as employee benefits, advertising, postage and office expenses, professional services, contractors, travel expenses, and much more. You can also add subcategories by simply choosing to edit the expense list in an intuitive dropdown menu.

Nevertheless, remember to use tax-friendly language while doing so. If you like, you can read more about how FreshBooks uses COGS on their site.

3. Discovering how FreshBooks can manage projects

When an accounting system is cloud-based, it will usually offer more than just classical financial tools, and FreshBooks is a good example of that. While it has mastered the craft of invoicing, reporting, tracking expenses, and summarizing taxes, FreshBooks can also keep in line with your inventory, tasks, and projects, and support your clients without the need to purchase a separate help desk system. The biggest benefit of such subtle functionality is that it keeps the billing process absolutely organized, and helps you estimate pricing easily with all information at your fingertips. Doing so will also help you have a more streamlined workflow, create items straight into your invoices, or to justify fixed values when needed.

The help desk capacity, on the other hand, can be enabled in a very simple way: open the Settings and Permissions page, and activate the Client Management and Ticket Administration option. From now on, you will be able to handle inquiries directly in FreshBooks, and fix them without forcing your clients to use additional channels to contact you.

4. Absolute control of synchronization errors

What users mind the most when it comes to cloud accounting are synchronization errors, but these are unfortunately very likely to occur when hooking your accounting system to other apps and systems. Issues will not always sync the way you expect them, and it may happen that data will be duplicated, or important bookkeeping documents will be lost. In case of FreshBooks, involving other apps may result in damaged time tracking or invoicing, as the changes which are, for instance, made in Amazon won’t always display on its dashboard too. The good news is that you can prevent this.

As a FreshBooks user, you won’t be in control of how FreshBooks changes display in other apps, but you can keep your accounting covered with few receivables and revenue reports created within each app. Basically, you will cross-reference the totals, develop separate checking lists for the clients to follow, and ensure redundancy whenever a sync error appears. There will never be a mismatch between the totals, and you will never skip adding a payment or missing a wrongly adjusted invoice.

5. Customization you had no idea existed

Customization is one of FreshBooks’ biggest advantages, as it allows users to format, personalize, and brand their templates. However, there are many configuration tricks most users don’t know about, and which can help them take client experience to a whole new level. In order to discover them, go to the Setup Options, and chose the Colors & Logs page. There, you can change the appearance of your menu, upload the data, or attach and update your logo. Once the client logs in, he will feel as if he was visiting your accounting site, and not the one of FreshBooks. For more information on how to customize your invoices check out their official site.

The Templates section, on the other hand, will help you modify how invoices look, or customize their titles, credit headings, and estimates to display a real payment stub to appear on printed invoices. The same customization options are useful for the emails you’re sending to your clients, or even receipts and custom messages.

To make matters even better, you can go to the Miscellaneous Settings page, and automatically add invoice links to the emails. The links will look just the way you want them to (you can adjust this by un-clicking the FreshBooks Branding option), and have all the colors, bells, and whistles you’ve had in mind. One of the most visually compelling options to benefit from is adding text below the logo, or designing funny welcome messages for first-time clients. In such a way, you will secure a unique client experience, and make your service memorable, instead of simply driving along with the basic functionalities.

Jenny Chang

By Jenny Chang

Senior writer at FinancesOnline who writes about a wide range of SaaS and B2B products, including trends and issues on e-commerce, accounting and customer service software. She’s also covered a wide range of topics in business, science, and technology for websites in the U.S., Australia and Singapore, keeping tabs on edge tech like 3D printed health monitoring tattoos and SpaceX’s exploration plans.

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