Small businesses used to have two options for accounting and invoicing: general-purpose tools like Excel and Word, which weren’t designed for the job, or software designed exclusively for accounting professionals at large enterprises. When Mike McDerment was running a design agency in 2003, he chose the former approach — until he accidentally saved over a long, detailed invoice and instantly lost hours’ worth of work. Rather than spend many more hours learning how to use complicated accounting software, he instead built a simple solution and called it FreshBooks.
Since then, more than 24 million people in over 160 countries have used FreshBooks to exchange billions of dollars worth of invoices and payments, and save 553 hours a year on financial management and running their business. The latest version of FreshBooks also lets you automate billing, create estimates and proposals, track time and revenue, manage expenses, accept credit card payments and even understand profitability. The user experience remains as simple as ever.
“Our biggest differentiator in the market is the intuitive look and feel of FreshBooks coupled with an incredible in-house support organization,” says channel development manager James Nicholson. “It allows business owners to make very professional invoices, with embedded payment options, and get paid quickly.”
Your accounts settled in seven minutes or less
Prior to joining FreshBooks one year ago, Nicholson was doing freelance work and using traditional spreadsheets for billing. A friend of his — now his boss at FreshBooks — introduced him to FreshBooks as an accounting software built for business owners.
“Within seven minutes, I had uploaded my logo, entered my services, added my client information, embedded payment info into my invoice and was done. I got paid in eight days. Now I play a game with new clients where they time me to prove that all of this can actually be done in seven minutes or less.”
It can also be done from anywhere, thanks to the robust FreshBooks mobile app.
“Being able to create invoices and estimates on the go lets you be productive whenever you have downtime, wherever you are,” Nicholson explains. “The mobile app has a terrific user-interface experience, and both iOS and Android users can use it to track their mileage for work.”
How it works
FreshBooks does most of the heavy lifting for you. You enter information about your clients, products, services and pricing. Then when you need to send an invoice, you just select the customer and applicable services from a drop-down menu. You can also set a due date, add late fees and embed payment options — including FreshBooks Payments, which accepts major credit cards or other digital payment methods such as Paypal and Stripe.
If you have regular customers who receive the same invoice every month, you can mark their invoices as recurring in FreshBooks. This hands-free functionality lets FreshBooks send invoices for you, automatically. You can also send forgetful customers an automated payment reminder a few days before and after the invoice due date.
Creating estimates and proposals works much the same way. You add the customer’s information and select relevant services, and FreshBooks takes it from there. You can also add e-signature fields to your proposals. When the work is complete, it takes one click to convert both estimates and proposals into invoices.
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FreshBooks also makes it easier to manage your expenses. Connect your bank account and credit card accounts, and upload individual photos of receipts — then assign expenses to individual customers for billing purposes.
Now, when tax season rolls around, your books will be neat and tidy, and ready to run all the necessary reports for your CPA or give them Accountant Access to your account, at no additional charge.
Setting up FreshBooks is simple, thanks to the intuitive user interface and the team’s award-winning customer support. The app’s self-guided orientation asks you a few questions and helps you get set up. You can also engage the support team for help getting started and adding integrations.
“We call our in-house support team The Rockstars,” says Nicholson. “They win Stevie Awards virtually every year. If you call in, the phone can only ring 2.5 times before a live person answers the call, and every issue is resolved to the fullest.”
“Most customers learn to use FreshBooks quickly,” Nicholson adds. “After all, the accounting software was built by business owners for business owners, with simplicity as its primary goal.”
“Since the start of the pandemic, many small business owners have realized they need more sophisticated tools to make their business successful,” says Nicholson. “Entrepreneurs and freelancers are adopting FreshBooks to bring more structure and efficiency to their business — helping them get organized and get paid quickly. That’s pure gold for a small business owner.”
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