Freshbooks Review – Cloud-Based Billing and Invoicing

Using Freshbooks for Easy Invoicing and Timekeeping

Trying to keep track of your time, easily send quotes, bill clients, and receive payments? Freshbooks has you covered. Free to try and for small businesses with a few clients, Freshbooks allows you to track your time and bill clients for services. Freshbooks has an easy to use platform that will enable you to receive money from clients. It’s a very easy learning curve, ensuring that anyone can use it.

How to Collect Your First Freshbooks Bill

First, create a Freshbooks account. You’ll get your own personal Freshbooks portal (website) login. Then, you can go to the Invoices tab to create an invoice for a new client. It’s really easy to do. You can then issue an invoice number and choose which payment methods you’ll accept. Paypal and Stripe are popular payment platforms. Sending the client an invoice also offers an array of options. Freshbooks allows you to send your client an email, allowing them to access a client-specific payment website through Freshbooks, or, Freshbooks gives you the option to send paper-based invoices. Freshbooks will literally send an invoice in the mail to your client if you want. They’re covering every base.

Cloud-based Software

You don’t need to install Freshbooks on your computer because it’s completely cloud-based, accessible from any computer or mobile device. If you’re away from your personal computer but want to send out an invoice or log time for a client, you can access your Freshbooks account on any computer or mobile device. Yes, they also have an app for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices.

Should I use Quickbooks or Freshbooks? Both.

Freshbooks is not the same thing as Quickbooks. It’s actually completely different and totally unaffiliated with Quickbooks. Freshbooks is web-based timekeeping and billing software. Quickbooks is desktop-based accounting / bookkeeping software. Quickbooks can help you file taxes. Freshbooks can’t. Freshbooks can help you easily invoice clients and allow them to pay you online using a variety of payment platforms. Quickbooks can’t. The two services can easily be used in tandem. Bill and receive payment from your clients in Freshbooks, then work with Quickbooks to deal with your business’s payroll, inventory, taxes, and such.

Third-Party Software

Freshbooks plays well with others; it’s friends with everybody. It’s like the Ferris Bueller of billing and timekeeping software. Don’t believe me? Check out their addon list. They work with email marketing, live chat programs, payment gateways, Google apps, ecommerce platforms, accounting software, CRMs, customer support, and project management apps. If there’s a particular type of application that you’d think would be great if it could work with Freshbooks, it’s there. It also lets you export to Quickbooks.

Client Portal

When you bill clients, they can pay online via a white-labeled platform thanks to Freshbooks. Upload your company logo and it will look to the client as if it’s your website the client’s using. It’s a very professional look that makes you stand out from competitors who are billing clients with money requests from Paypal.

Mobile App

The mobile app is just as easy to use as Freshbooks itself. Everything you can do with Freshbooks you can do on the mobile app. You can use it to send clients bills or quotes and can even track time, having the Freshbooks stopwatch running in the background while you do other things. One nifty feature is the ability to use your phone’s camera to take pictures of receipts to capture your business expenses.

Pricing

Freshbooks is free for thirty days and free to use if you have 1 client. For up to 25 clients, Freshbooks is $19.95 per month. In addition, you get Freshbooks branding and can automatically charge late fees on overdue invoices. For unlimited clients, Freshbooks is $29.95 per month. And, if you want the whole package, including access to project managers, team timesheets, and team expense reporting, it’s $39.95 per month.

User Permissions

Each Freshbooks user can designate a regular hourly rate for their services, and adjust the rate on a per matter basis.

An administrator user can set permissions so that other users can only work on specific matters and only see certain tabs (e.g. a user can’t bill clients).

Freshbooks also has “contractor” users. Contractor users will never see any information about clients – you can invite them to work on projects and their logged hours can be rebilled to clients. It’s more of a transactional relationship, where a contractor is assigned to matters to perform specific tasks.

Customer Service

While Freshbooks is easy-to-use, there may be an occasion when you need to contact customer service. When I called customer service with help on a particular issue, I was on hold for less than a minute before reaching a representative who quickly helped me resolve my issue.

Drawbacks

Freshbooks doesn’t do batch invoicing or timekeeping. You must create separate, specific time logs for each client separately (not a huge drawback, but this feature is something that some competitors have). You also can’t create multiple invoices at once; each must be created separately (again, not a huge drawback, but this feature is something that several competitors have).

Overall

I personally use Freshbooks in my business and would absolutely recommend it to anyone looking for a cost-effective, easy-to-use way to bill clients and receive payments. I cannot stress how easy to use Freshbooks is for businesses. All I can do is suggest you try it out and see for yourself. Try out Freshbooks free for 30 days.

Andrew Cabasso
About the Author: Andrew Cabasso
Andrew Cabasso is an attorney and co-founder of JurisPage, an online marketing agency for law firms, now part of Uptime Legal. Andrew has given many lectures and CLEs on website design and Internet marketing to legal professionals. He is the author of Search Engine Optimization for Lawyers and The Complete Guide to Attorney PPC. Follow Andrew on LinkedIn, Google+, or Twitter.

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