Freshbooks is one of the most popular financing and accounting software options for small businesses, growing businesses, and freelancers. It has won awards for innovation, efficiency, and user-friendly features. Freshbooks reviews reveal consistently high customer ratings with individuals calling it reliable, fast, professional, and customizable. For business owners looking for approachable finance and accounting software with no previous accounting experience, that is highly customizable and works for all budget levels, Freshbooks may well be the answer.

What Is Freshbooks?

Freshbooks is an online, cloud-based, integrated financing and accounting software system tailored for small, growing, and freelance business. It allows business owners to send invoices, time track projects, manage receipts and expenses, accepts credit cards, and to have their financial information at their fingertips. Customization and automation are vital features, frequently raved about in Freshbooks reviews.

Business owners can customize the interface and all of its pieces to match branding designs, colors, logos, and more. Invoices, due dates, and follow-up can be adjusted to meet business needs. Payment types, currency, language, sales tax, and collecting processes are all adjustable. Users can change reporting to give you the information you (and your accountant) need to ensure ongoing financial solvency. Automatic methods are available for expense tracking, invoicing, payment collection, late payment follow up, and more. Here are some highlights of Freshbooks according to Freshbooks reviews.

black and white image of a calculator and laptop

image via Pixabay

Product Specs

Online Invoicing

Online invoicing is the center of Freshbooks. This feature is highly customizable and can be automated in ways that dramatically decrease the need for business owners to chase payments. Invoices can be customized in look, itemization, discounts by percentage or dollar, due dates, currency, language, and payment options. Client credits are easy to apply when needed, sales taxes are set automatically to location, and invoices can be previewed before sending.

Invoices are centralized in the cloud, allowing the user to automate their creation, distribution, and associated payments and share these steps with clients. Invoices can be created automatically from project plans, related expenses, time tracking, established estimates, or pre-defined recurring invoices. Deposits, automatic credit card payments, and automatic late payment fees ensure timely collection of fees.

For those times when clients do not pay their bill in a timely fashion, Freshbooks makes collections processes transparent and comfortable with their integrated client portal. Business owners know when customers receive and open invoices. Each time a client views their invoice, it is recorded, and clients can communicate directly from the invoice view. Late payment reminders and late fees occur automatically, as set up by the user. Communication about invoices can be made via email or snail mail through the Freshbooks system.

Expense Tracking

Expense tracking includes features designed for simplicity. Like many Freshbooks features, customizing and automating expense tracking is vital. Expenses can be imported automatically from integrated bank accounts and credit card statements. Spending can be tracked per project or client with attached documents and photos. Vendors, re-bills, and recurring expenses can all be remembered and adjusted as needed. Business owners can attach PDF or image receipts to expenditures. Expenses are categorized in easy-to-understand, tax-friendly categories.

Project Planning

With the ongoing goal of keeping all things money in one streamlined place, Freshbooks integrates project planning as an essential component of financial and accounting software. Business owners can collaborate quickly with clients or contractors, give overviews of projects or detailed images, files, and due dates. All associated conversations are kept with financial accounts, so communication between you and your customers are transparent.

Time Tracking

In a similar vein, the time tracking feature in Freshbooks means that business owners can keep tabs on how many hours are going into each project and adjust expenses accordingly. All team members can use a timer with time entry notes to track the time spent by the customer and by the project. Team-based timesheets with daily breakdowns, the ability to assign project managers, and monitoring time as billed or unbilled rounds out the comprehensive time tracking.

Business owners can set up different hourly rates for each project and can elect to automatically invoice and bill for all tracked hours. Or, they can set flat-rate fees and use the time tracking features to know the hours spent per project or customer. If the user uses apps such as Asana, Trello, or Basecamp, they can integrate time tracking into Freshbooks via a Chrome extension.

Payments

Payments are accessible in the Freshbooks platform. Business owners can use the integrated payment system, with the connected merchant services, or connect to their own outside services such as Stripe. Through the integrated payment system, business owners can simply and automatically accept and record payments made by MasterCard, Visa, and American Express.

Deposits to the bank from credit card transactions are quick, safe, and secure. The system automatically records associated fees as expenses for easy tracking. Clients can also use PayPal or Google to pay through the system, and offline payments made by cash, check, or money order are simple to add.

Reporting

Keeping track of your business finances, reporting to the accountant, or filing taxes is easy with Freshbooks. The software has multiple financing and accounting reports available, including profit and loss, aging, invoice details, expense reports, balance sheets, sales, sales tax reports, and spending breakdowns. All the reports are highly customizable and can be exported to CSV or Excel.

Pricing

Pricing for Freshbooks matches the size and needs of various business sizes. Pricing scales up by the number of billable clients with the lowest rates for 5 or fewer clients, and the highest fees for companies with greater than 500 clients. Freshbooks prices are according to active clients, not clients in archived records, and rates range from an affordable $15 per month to $50 per month. They offer discounts for yearly payments. Pricing covers one user login, and companies can add additional team members for $10. At its highest pricing level, it is mid-range for the industry.

FreshBooks Reviews

Freshbooks consistently gets great reviews from small business owners and freelancers. Few complaints are issued from business owners looking for the ideal financing and accounting software.

finance and accounting report on paper

image via Pexels

How It Compares

We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare in this Freshbooks review.

  • Quickbooks Pro
  • Xero
  • Sage

FreshBooks

screenshot of freshbooks site

image via FreshBooks

Features & Functionality 

Freshbooks reviews will all tell you that its features are smooth and even make small business accounting easy. It contains all the elements needed for primary financing and accounting, including invoicing, payment solutions, late payment follow up, time and project tracking, and customer communication. Its functionality is reliable and operates across multiple platforms.


Ease of Use 

Ease of use is a crucial perk according to Freshbooks reviews. It is a simple interface that guides business owners through all steps of business accounting, whether they have any previous accounting or software experience. Freshbooks reviews reflect the ease of set up for every level within the system with integrated tutorials designed to guide the user through setting up. Customer service ensures that they walk business owners through what they do not understand initially.


Usability 

As cloud-based software, it is available from any computer that has internet access. Also, the features of the online software integrate seamlessly with the fully functional Android and iOS apps. Information syncs across platforms to ensure that all information is current. The usability of Freshbooks is further enhanced by integration with multiple online payment systems, including Stripe, PayPal, G Suites, Shopify, and others. Actual users report, through Freshbooks reviews, that the cross-platform software usability is a big bonus for mobile businesses.


Customer Support 

Freshbooks claims responsive and fast customer support through phone, email, or integrated chat window, and this is supported through Freshbooks reviews. Freshbooks offers a 30-day trial, so you have plenty of time to set up and try out the financing and accounting system.

Pros

  • Very easy to use
  • Fully customizable
  • Easy collection of payments

Cons

  • No payroll or employment taxes
  • No inventory

Quickbooks Pro

Quickbooks has a track record of providing business financial software, and the company has worked to match the newer financing and accounting software with Quickbooks Pro. Much like other options, Quickbooks Pro offers some customization of features such as product lists, invoices, and email templates. It allows business owners to track all income and expenses through customer information, banking integration, and payment integration.

Invoices, credit memos, and sales reports are simplified and can be sent via email or printed. All transactions can be memorized for later use manually. Reporting is available at the reports center with pre-made reports created by Intuit or by other business owners or can be easily customized and exported as needed. Business owners can sync bank data automatically, pay bills, and print checks from the software.

Quickbooks Pro offers a couple of features that more straightforward financing software may lack. Business owners can carefully track inventory, set reorder points, and create purchase orders. They can pay bills and print checks through the system. It integrates employee pay systems and tracks 1099s and W2s.

These extras come with extra complexity that may be too much for small business owners and freelancers. For larger companies with complex inventories and payroll, Quickbooks Pro is a good option.


Features & Functionality 

Quickbooks Pro offers all features needed for accounting and financing software, including sales, income, expenses, taxes, payroll, and inventory. Functionality is complex.


Ease of Use 

Quickbooks Pro is more complicated than other financing and accounting software with different “centers” to track things like documents, customers, leads, calendars, reporting, and inventory. It ensures all aspects of inventory, income, expenses, and taxes are covered which is why it can be preferred by accountants but also translates into complexity for the freelance user or someone with little accounting software. Some business owners find it necessary to take courses to understand the software entirely. The dashboard provides some guidance.


Usability 

Up to three users can access Quickbooks Pro; the number depends on the level of payment. Business owners can also elect to make a copy for their accountant. Users can set it up to a local software on Windows, Linux, or Mac on-site or use it as a cloud-based system on the web. If business owners elect the cloud-based version, there are apps available for iOS and Android.


Customer Support 

Quickbooks Pro offers full-time customer support 24/7 and Intuit has an extensive library of help documents. However, customer support representatives assume some level of user knowledge.

Pros

  • A full suite of accounting and financing
  • Inventory tracking
  • Payroll and tax tracking

Cons

  • Complex to learn
  • More than most small businesses need
  • Requires user care and knowledge

Xero

screenshot of xero website

image via Xero

Xero is a financing and accounting software that competes with Quickbooks for companies which need to ensure they have a suite that covers income and expenses, payroll, taxes, inventory, project management, and more. They have tons of features, reports, integrations, and scaling options, all of which change the price point. It is a company that has been around for over ten years and remains a comfortable competitor to Intuit’s Quickbooks.

Scalable pricing changes according to features needed and size of company transactions. All levels include unlimited users. Rates are always monthly and range from about $ a month to about $$$ a month. They have a free trial available for new business owners and discounts for nonprofits, multi-company owners and others.


Features & Functionality 

Xero offers sales overviews or a main dashboard landing page. Its invoicing features custom templates, recurring invoices, reminders to pay automated, saving default payments, bulk invoicing, and copying from previous invoices. Credit notes are equally robust. They attach online payment gateways to all emailed PDF invoices.

Xero has a quoting system for estimates, a customer portal, contact management, expense tracking, bank reconciliation, tax schedules, accounts payable, checks, project planning, reports, and budgets. It allows for expense tracking by the customer, journal entry, class, item, category, and so on. It allows for printing of packing slips, tracing and re-ordering of inventory, tax support, and multi-currencies.


Ease of Use 

Much like Quickbooks Pro, Xero’s ease of use is compromised by its complexity. The learning curve is steep and requires a significant investment at the onset with use getting more comfortable as time goes on. It is not as challenging to learn as Quickbooks Pro but is far from intuitive.


Usability 

Xero is cloud-based, compatible with any device with an internet browser and internet access, and available on Android and iOS apps. Mobile apps have been criticized for poor usability. It has an unlimited number of users, even at the primary level.


Customer Support 

Xero does not offer phone support and provides all support via email and live chat. Emails can take 1 to 2 days to get a response. They have training videos, a blog, and in-software help. Xero has videos and help articles available within the software, a help center, and how-to guides.

Pros

  • Fully featured accounting and financing software
  • Easier to learn than QuickBooks Pro

Cons

  • More expensive than most
  • Too complicated for most small businesses
  • Getting all features requires a higher cost

Sage

Sage is a growing competitor for the small business owner who wants simple accounting and financing software that provides all the needed features. It is compatible with hundreds of add-ons and other apps, offers robust reporting, integrates with banks and credit cards, is fully customizable, works with multiple currencies, and is simple and easy to set up. Unlike Quickbooks Pro, Xero and our featured product Freshbooks, Sage is meant only for small businesses and is not scalable to large operations. At top tier levels, Sage offers features like unlimited business owners, vendor tracking, quotes, and cash flow forecasting.


Features & Functionality 

Sage has all the basics and none of the bloat. It has essential functions such as sales invoices, accounts payable, bank integration, real-time reports, quotes and estimates, purchase invoices, and cash flow statements.


Ease of Use 

Business owners report that Sage is very intuitive and easy to use and set up. There are also guides integrated into the software to help business owners along the way.


Usability 

The system is entirely cloud-based and integrates with hundreds of partner apps. At top levels, Sage can be used by unlimited users. It can be used on any web browser. There are no mobile apps available.


Customer Support 

Business owners report excellent customer support. Sage offers help with setting up and use via phone, email, and live chat.

Pros

  • Simple, easy to use
  • Intuitive

Cons

  • No inventory options
  • Limited payroll and tax options

Freshbooks Review Conclusion

After reviewing comparable products, we give Freshbooks 5 out of 5 stars overall. Users reflect this in many Freshbooks reviews, reporting it as the best financing and accounting software for small businesses and freelancers. Business owners will find that it is intuitive, affordable, and takes care of all the accounting needs of a small business. Business owners would be wise to stick with a simplified software program like Freshbooks unless they grow to be a large scale company with a sophisticated inventory and employment structure.