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  • Pros and Cons of FreshBooks: Is It The Best Accounting Software?

Pros and Cons of FreshBooks: Is It The Best Accounting Software?

Category: B2B News
What is Freshbooks?

FreshBooks is one of the best cloud accounting apps out there. It was designed to help companies handle their finances in a secure and easy manner. FreshBooks offers a simple yet efficient way to manage expenses, invoices, reports, and time tracking. The product was designed to help you save the time spent on difficult number crunching, and to automate and streamline the accounting process.

Accounting software technology has not only made financial transactions easier but has also totally transformed the field and function of accounting as we know it. From providing basic bookkeeping and recording of financial transactions, the current crop of accounting apps now offers a wide array of features and possibilities that had paved the way for higher computational accuracy and even evidence-based analytics that help business owners make more informed decisions. Trailblazing the path among these disruptive accounting technologies is Freshbooks.

In this article, we will evaluate the major FreshBooks pros and cons to help you decide if it’s the right accounting software for your company. We will look at its highlights, main features, and user experience, and also compare it with two other top accounting apps: QuickBooks Pro and Intacct.

freshbooks pros and cons

The key advantages of FreshBooks are its extensive features and affordable pricing plans that were appreciated by both our review team and actual customers who used the app. Our experts also noticed the exceptional level of customer support which is always a strong factor that impacts our opinions about SaaS products. You can also test FreshBooks on your own with a great free trial plan it offers and check whether it’s a tool that can actually save your team some time and make your finances more streamlined. You can easily sign up for a Freshbooks free trial here.

FreshBooks

This award is given to the best product in our Accounting Software category. It highlights its superior quality and underlines the fact that it's a leader on the market.

FreshBooks won our Best Accouting Software Award for 2018

Our score
9.8
User satisfaction
99%

FreshBooks at a Glance

  • It is a very popular cloud accounting app for small business, used by about five million customers worldwide.
  • It offers a wide range of features, from cloud-based invoicing to an online payment gateway.
  • You’ll benefit from its robust reporting functionalities that offer insights for making more informed decisions.
  • Users can snap a picture of receipts or link to the bank for quick expense tracking.
  • You can transfer your timesheet data to invoice and collect payments more quickly.
  • Its customer support received the Gold medal at the 2014 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.

 

Main Features of FreshBooks

Excellent Invoice to Payment Functionality

FreshBooks offers excellent invoice to payment features that can be very useful to small companies. It enables you to track exactly when your client has opened your invoice email. This helps a company deal with customers who claim they didn’t receive the invoice. FreshBooks also makes sure your invoices are properly delivered to clients.

It is easy to manage your billing history as the app provides a lot of tools to help you keep track of past and current invoices. For instance, you can quickly find any unpaid invoices from past months. You can also send automatic payment overdue reminders to your clients.

Managing payments is flexible as you can settle accounts with Visa, Mastercard, or American Express for credit card processing or use PayPal for online payments. FreshBooks streamlines cloud invoicing with an online payment gateway to provide an efficient tool to collect payments without the need to discuss the issue directly with a client. You can automate the recurring billing process to save time. FreshBooks also offers multi-currency invoicing to enable you to bill customers in local currency.

FreshBooks’ main features

You Can Track Expenses Easily

This feature is especially useful if you need to liquidate expenses after a client meeting: simply take a snap of the receipt and attach the picture to an item in FreshBooks to log the expense. You can easily track which expense belongs to which client or add the expense to an invoice as a reimbursement deal with a client. Plus, FreshBooks allows you to import expenses directly from your bank by linking the Expense Tool to your credit card or bank account. All this can help you track the amount of money your company spends each day.

Detailed Time Tracking of Work and Payments

FreshBooks makes charging fees a detailed and verifiable process that can be helpful if you need to dispute a payment. If you are in the field, you can use FreshBooks’ Android or iOS app to precisely record your working time, down to every billable second if need be. It is also simple to change your work timesheet to an invoice and send it to your clients. FreshBooks’ billing features are flexible: you can set time tracking to an hourly or flat rate depending on the project stipulations. Your team members can log in their time separately for each project to help you track individual and overall time progress and easily calculate the bill for your clients.

Supports Seamless Project Collaboration

With FreshBooks, you and your team can effortlessly work together to ensure each task is done, targets are met more quickly, and outcomes are delivered more efficiently. This platform is designed mainly to help small businesses enhance their productivity. To start putting everyone on board towards seamless project collaboration, you should invite your team members, business partners, and third-party providers to handle projects together and reach a decision on the files that can be made accessible using the app’s team permissions setting. Because all project files, messages, and other important project information can be conveniently kept in a single place, you can be sure that every team member and business partner is in sync and all schedules will be met. FreshBooks’ project-related features are extensive, which include live chat, task deadline dates assigning, project status overview, file sharing, client rate/hour assigning, and many more.

FreshBooks Makes it Simple to Create Reports

FreshBooks enables you to generate financial reports by simply processing data that has already been entered. You can generate a profit & loss report with just a few clicks. You can also quickly create an expense report allowing you to view things like this month’s total costs, or monitor your balance sheet in real-time. FreshBooks also simplifies the taxation process. It enables you to filter through your financial records and generate accurate tax reports. You can also export your reports to a CSV file or other formats to share with a tax adviser or accountant.

Work Anywhere with the FreshBooks Mobile App

The FreshBooks mobile app allows you to remain in touch with your customers and team members and manage your accounting and project concerns anytime, anywhere. You can practically do all FreshBooks functionalities with its robust mobile app. You can create professional invoices even when you’re outside the office, and quickly capture and record your expense by just taking a picture of the receipts. You can use the mobile app to immediately respond to any client or team member query, allowing you to always be on top of things even when you’re making a client call. Aside from being able to keep all conversations in a single place, you can also know at once when an invoice becomes overdue or when a client has checked their invoice. Moreover, all actions or updates are automatically synchronized in both mobile and desktop devices so you are assured that everything is up-to-date.

What Customers Think About FreshBooks

Customer reviews about FreshBooks reveal very positive user experiences with the tool. FreshBooks is mostly used by freelancers and small businesses, and one of the common opinions is how easy the app makes billing for recurring invoices. Liza, a designer clothing consultant in Chicago, reveals she bought FreshBooks as she has more than 100 recurring monthly invoices. She used to spend a week to process and track these bills in a spreadsheet. FreshBooks helped her drastically reduce the invoicing to payment process time. Liza uses a template and schedules the email and late payment alerts. Now, all she needs to do is check her PayPal account in the weekend to see how much payment she has received.

Another feature of FreshBooks that has received high praise from users is how it helps a small business project the professional image of a large enterprise, which is critical to bag big projects. FreshBooks allows you to put your company logo on the invoice. A FreshBooks user who owns a small publishing house in California states that the product helps his business look professional. He can not only put his logo in his invoice but also send reminders to late payers. This user does not like the hassle of arguing with clients for payments. FreshBooks eliminates that stress. Now, he does not have to call his client to collect money, only to discuss a project.

Some Drawbacks of FreshBooks

Despite a wide range of excellent features, users have pointed out a few minor things that can be improved in FreshBooks: its metrics, goal setting, and reporting features can be better. One user also found bugs in FreshBooks’ email click-throughs and automated expenses which did not function to his liking. Apart from these insignificant glitches, however, there is no doubt that FreshBooks is a top-notch accounting product that can bring a lot to your accounting department.

Freshbooks vs. QuickBooks and Intacct

Besides FreshBooks, the other two popular accounting solutions are QuickBooks Pro and Intacct. Let’s compare the three products against each other to see which one is the best:

In our test of top accounting software services, QuickBooks Pro got a high rating. It is an entry-level accounting product that offers standard but solid accounting tools and features. The platform’s financial reports include Trial Balance, Statement of Cash Flows, and General Ledger. The app’s report frameworks are also refined and customizable. Other main features are transaction categorization, automated recurring payments, and configurable sales forms. You can find more information about this software in our detailed review of QuickBooks Pro.

Intacct is a much more sophisticated and powerful accounting tool for small companies and developing organizations. It is not an entry-level accounting product, however, and you are recommended to have an internal accounting professional on your staff to be able to fully utilize Intacct’s features. Otherwise, you’ll find FreshBooks much more user-friendly and flexible. Intacct is used by companies in a wide range of industries including education, healthcare, hospitality, franchises, software, retail, wholesale, and professional services. Its main features include project accounting, time tracking, task management, subscription management, fund accounting, revenue recognition, point-of-sale, and recurring invoices. On the flip side, Intacct lacks a module for payroll operations.

In comparison with QuickBooks Pro and Intacct, FreshBooks comes out on top partly because it is so easy to use and yet offers a wide range of robust features. FreshBooks’ outstanding qualities have been already discussed above and its award-winning customer support is yet another reason why we think it’s the top accounting software solution out there.

Is Freshbooks the platform for you?

After a thorough analysis of the FreshBooks pros and cons, our experts are certain the app will offer you top-quality accounting solutions combined with great customer support and flexible pricing. You can easily try out this app’s outstanding features yourself by signing up for a Freshbooks free trial here.

We’ve discussed the key features, strengths, and other aspects of Freshbooks, including some comparison with the other top accounting software in the market today. Indeed, both experts and users agree that Freshbooks is But to help you further if indeed it’s best that you choose Freshbooks or another tool, consider these:

  • What are your accounting needs? An efficient way to select the correct accounting solution is to determine how your business operates, and then use this practical information when searching for the accounting tool that you’ll use. You should also consider the level of accounting skills of those who’ll use the software, there should be some degree of congruence between the two.
  • Choose and work within your budget. Always keep in mind the financial aspect because accounting software of all sizes are available in the market and you should choose the one that suits your budget. Small businesses have the option of starting with free accounting solutions and then, later on, upgrade once the operational expansion deems it necessary to do so.
  • Check the add-ons. If you think one accounting software is already compatible with your business but you need some further functionalities, you must also examine the add-on features that others offer. Select solutions that address your basic and additional needs, such as those that provide or handle remote access, online payments, tax, integrations with your other other business tools, etc.
  • Decide with your accountant on hand. If you’re an accountant and a business owner, you can readily make the decision. However, if your expertise is in non-financial fields like marketing, sales, or programming, it is highly suggested that you seek the advice of your accountant before deciding which accounting software to choose.

By Louie Andre

B2B & SaaS market analyst and senior writer for FinancesOnline. He is most interested in project management solutions, believing all businesses are a work in progress. No stranger to small business hiccups and drama, having been involved in a few internet startups. Prior to his for-profit ventures, he has had managed corporate communications for a Kansas City-based Children International unit.

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