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FreshBooks offers what they like to call “painless billing”. With the service, you can bill your clients with just a few clicks.

A catch phrase on their site states that ” We wanted something better, so we built it.” And as far as I can tell, they did. Their so called “un-accounting” services save you time, they’re easy to use, they give your business an air of professionalism, they let you manage your books without an accountant, and their service is fully secure, safe and available 24/7.

One thing I can tell you is that I absolutely hate dealing with accounting side of business. I do not generate enough revenues to able to hire someone to handle all of it, so I am basically the accountant. Truth be told, I Dread spending my time on this stuff. What I’d rather be doing is concentrating on ways to grow and expand my business. FreshBooks can help you do this.

FreshBooks allows you to streamline your entire invoicing process. Some of the awesome features include:

  • You can set up auto billing to automatically charge your clients’ credit card
  • You can collect payments online using a variety of different online payments services
  • Your data is backed up and secure
  • You can bill your clients in any currency
  • You can generate invoices based on a variety of factors (times, expenses etc.) and can even send your invoices via snail mail should you desire

FreshBooks clients on average get paid about two weeks faster according to the result of a recent survey. The product also helps to make your business more legitimate since it can give your clients online access to their invoices and account history.

A great feature of the site is time tracking. With it, you can keep track of your time as well as your team’s time as you go.You can keep track of your staff and what they are doing to give you real time updates on the progress of your projects. Your clients can utilise this to make sure they are staying on budget. You can easily generate reports based on these time sheets. Basically, this time tracking feature allows you to stay on top of your business. FreshBooks also offers you a MiniBooks applications which allows you to track all of this from your phone.

With FreshBooks you can create professional looking estimates and email them to your clients for their approval. You can manage and track the estimate acceptance process. You can easily convert these estimates into invoices, and the estimates are reusable for repeat projects.

With their expense tracking capabilities, FreshBooks allows you to easily keep track of your expenses so you can see exactly where your money is being spent. You also have one touch accessibility to those expense reports.

Another small business-focused benefit to the site, FreshBooks minimises the time you spend keeping track of your clients and your staff, and lets you concentrate on growing and expanding your business. You can run reports to see who you’re most valuable and profitable clients and staff members are. They have a dashboard tab which gives you an overview of what your clients and staff have been up to in a snapshot. And, as mentioned earlier, FreshBooks give you the ability to give your clients access to their own accounts so they can view their estimates, invoices, support tickets and more.

FreshBooks has an entire section devoted to contractors. There, you can invite your contractors into your projects, while never giving them access to your clients list. There, they can track their time on your project from their very own FreshBooks account . You can also receive all of your invoices from your contractors in one place.

The Term “branding” is obviously one of the new catch phrases of building a new and successful business. You see this term bandied about in just about any conversation dealing with a new small business. FreshBooks has got you covered here. You can look and feel more professional as your business grows and expands with your logo. You can personalise your emails and other communications to your clients. You can “brand” your login page by removing the FreshBooks logo there and replacing it with your own. You can also look like a bigger company than you are by customising your account with your corporate colours or design your own with a variety of present colour schemes. You can even design your very own, customised log-in page with the help of FreshBooks (for a one-time fee of $279).

They have a bunch of catchy names for all the different levels that you can sign up for. In a nutshell, you can go as low as an absolutely free account if you only need to manage three or less clients. Or you can go all the up to $39.95 per month. This level gives you the ability to have one additional member of your staff gain access to your records, and it give gives you access to project managers, team timesheets and the ability to track expense reporting. There is never a long-term contract involved that will tie you down; it is month-to-month forever. You can cancel at anytime and there is a thirty-day money-back guarantee for any and all accounts.

Summing up, I think that FreshBooks would be an asset to any business. There just seems to be too much here to simply dismiss. It seems like they’ve done their homework in finding out exactly what their clients need and they deliver. I’ve been using FreshBooks for over a year now and find myself enjoying business again.

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Reviewed by Matt on 17 February 2011

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