In case you’re still not a member of the 5-million-and-counting FreshBooks family of users, we’re inviting you to reconsider your decision. FreshBooks as we know it is now becoming FreshBooks Classic, soon to be absorbed by a completely new version of this excellent small business-friendly accounting system. The efficiency and the power of the old system will remain intact, but in the FreshBooks update, invoicing and billing features become much simpler and more streamlined. In this article we take a look at all the changes in the FreshBooks update and go over all the extra new features and how they will improve your work with the software.
But first, let us introduce FreshBooks the way it deserves. This incredibly simple yet efficient accounting system is a very popular solution used by millions of small businesses and individual accountants around the world. Our team prepared a detailed FreshBooks review a long while ago and with every update and tweak their software rose higher and higher in our accounting software category where it is one of the leaders.
FreshBooks is a genuine leader when it comes to small business accounting, ideal for teams and independent accountants and allows companies to effectively streamline billing and invoicing procedures. It is also integrated with other apps to an extent where it won’t require a single modification of your productivity landscape once you implement it. Long story short, FreshBooks is fully usable from the very first moment you log in and the best definition for FreshBooks is an all-in-one comprehensive accounting suite. If you haven’t used their service yet they offer a great 30-day free trial plan that allows you to check out all the key features.
Being aware of all the features the system offered so far we were very curious what awaits in the latest version of FreshBooks. Let’s see what has changed.
FreshBooks introduced a brand new version of their accounting system on September 20th, and annouced it as the simplest accounting abode with enterprise-grade functionality ever to be presented on the market. Their ultimate idea is to transform the product in a way that will make it suitable even for midmarket and enterprise users. For the purpose, all features were gathered into three pricing packages, and integrations were enhanced.
FreshBooks team also revealed that this is only the beginning of their transformation, and that there are many advanced features that will be introduced in future. At the moment, both systems (FreshBooks Classic and the new FreshBooks) are active and available for purchase, but the overall plan is to unite them into a single system once all planned functionalities are introduced.
How will the new version transform accounting for the current users? Being completely honest, FreshBooks doesn’t deviate that much from traditional accounting features, and cares to preserve all essential billing and invoicing power, but that doesn’t stop it from transforming this into an enjoyable experience. Running the new version, you’ll be acquainted with a colorful and intuitive dashboard, where all critical operations can be performed within seconds, and data flows seamlessly from whatever program you may be using at the same time. The objective, according to the company, is to modernize and simplify billing, deliver improvements rapidly and frequently, and to introduce an even more advanced collaboration suite for teams to exchange experience.
The first noticeable change is measuring progress: FreshBooks focused and still focuses on simplicity, but the team was well aware that it takes time to simplify progress measurement. The new product will include numerous improvements to business management, such as the redesigned dashboard which looks and works impeccably. It seems that with the new FreshBooks users are much more likely to save more time than with the old version.
The users also get introduced to completely new and customizable invoices. Within the new version, each invoice is accompanied by a settings bar where you can set due dates, enable alerts and online payment notifications, and charge late fees.
The biggest innovation is the Projects suite, which represents a whole new haven for communication and collaboration. All meaningful documents and conversations are now stored in a single location, from where team members can easily access it, share or discuss important improvements. The advanced time tracking will help you keep an eye on each employee separately, and know who is doing what at any moment. Needless to say, this will make accounting operations more transparent.
Redesigned underpinning technology should allow FreshBooks to deliver new improvements faster and more often, which can be seen in their updates roadmap. Starting with January 2016, the company has introduced innovations at least ten times faster than it did in past years, and is likely to keep up the same pace in future. As time goes by, and you should get more value on the price you pay for their service.
Let’s take a look on some of the features that were missing from the previous FreshBooks version. As of now FreshBooks enables you to track multi-currency expenses, manage multiple businesses from a single dashboard, record and store invoice conversations, notify users, and much more.
In case of online invoicing, users can now work with upfront deposit payments, automated tax calculations, invoice preview, and several other customization features.
In terms of payments, a user will be able to make quick deposits to his or her bank account, record different fees as expenses, record payments, and rely on the fact that all financial information is safe and secure.
Speaking of expenses, you should also consider the practical organization this system delivers, and the features such as: receipt snaps, memorized vendors, tax friendly categories, and business editing. The company also introduced a remade time tracking module, enriched with daily breakdowns, automated hourly bills, team tracking, and detailed time entry notes.
Last but not least, the company did a considerably good job with collaboration. The Projects module provides users with centralized conversations, project due dates, contractors’ conversations, and files/imagery sharing. You can also take a look at their advanced reporting features, and check out the new filters, outstanding revenue and sales tax reports which can all be downloaded in any format you require. Just as before, FreshBooks offers a very detailed 30-day free trial plan where you can examine all features first (no credit card is required to sign up).
Currently, the old and the new FreshBooks version will remain active, and there will be a special offer for Classic users to try the new version on their existing data, and experience its benefits. In case they still prefer the old one, returning to it won’t be an issue. In the future, the two versions are planned to be united into a single comprehensive package that will gather old and new users.
What most companies do when introducing a new product is to transform their pricing scheme, but that’s not the case of FreshBooks. The recently transformed pricing scheme remains the same for both packages, and paying for extra functionalities is left up to the user.
There is a reason why the FreshBooks team named the launch of their new version Act I. In the upcoming months many things are expected to change. First of all, users should benefit from some more advanced accounting features, such as recording non-invoice income and reconciling bank accounts within the system.
Billing should become even simpler, having in mind the improvements of online invoicing that have been introduced so far. Once confirmed, the effectiveness of easy billing may inspire even midmarket and enterprise-grade users to consider this product for their accounting needs.
The cherry on the cake will be new partner integrations, thanks to which users should be able to manage their books more easily and time-efficiently. The ecosystem of partner applications is planned to become so wide that there should be no software infrastructure where FreshBooks won’t be possible to incorporate.
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