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What is Freshbooks?

Before we start this Freshbooks review, let’s bring you up to speed on what it is (Just in case you have been on Mars for the last decade).

Freshbooks is a cloud based invoicing and accounting platform that has become one of the biggest names in the market. Freshbooks is the brainchild of Mike McDerment, the software was created in 2003 after McDerment got fed up with the inability of MS Word and Excel to handle financial data. Since then Freshbooks has accumulated over 10 million customers who use the software for their individual and business needs.

The software has a simple user interface that reduces the learning curve and makes it easy for customers to use it. A few years ago they rolled out new features that included the much awaited ability to handle double entry system, bank reconciliation and reporting. This update improved the standing of Freshbooks and took it from invoicing software to a complete package.

Freshbooks Revamped

As mentioned earlier, freshbooks was revamped in 2017 and the revamped version was named “New Freshbooks”. Shortly after being rolled out, customer reviews for the new freshbooks were negative as the user interface was not that easy to navigate.

If you haven’t tried it lately you might be happily surprised that through constant updates, the new freshbooks gained momentum and started getting positive customer reviews thanks to the greatly improved user interface.

The developers, smoothened the navigation and made the user interface easy to work with & added more integrations. The 2018 update introduced double entry book keeping and other accounting features that basically amped up the “New Freshbooks”. Now on to the Freshbooks review…

Pricing and Plans

These plans can be subscribed on monthly or yearly subscription, there is a 10% discount on yearly subscriptions so individuals and businesses that have the intention of using Freshbooks for the long term will benefit from the yearly subscriptions in addition to this there is a 30 day money back guarantee. The referral program pays $5 for each referral that result in 30 day trial and $55 for each referral that ends up becoming a customer on a paid program.

Freshbooks has 3 different paid plans.

  • Lite
  • Plus
  • Premium

Freshbooks Lite

  • $15 per month ($162 per year)
  • No limit on invoices
  • No limit on estimates
  • Expense tracking feature
  • Contact management feature
  • Project management feature
  • Time tracking feature
  • Reports
  • Can bill up to 5 clients
  • Only 1 user allowed

Lite is for users with limited functionality requirement, ideal for personal financial management or startups. It has got all the basic features needed by a small business, however as the business grows, the ability to bill only 5 clients may force the users to move to a higher package.

Freshbooks Plus

  • $25 per month ($270 per year)
  • No limit on invoices
  • No limit on estimates
  • Expense tracking feature
  • Contact management feature
  • Project management feature
  • Time tracking feature
  • Advanced reports
  • Pre formatted proposals
  • Live bank feeds
  • Can bill up to 50 clients
  • Only 1 user allowed

Plus is for users with a small business which is just taking off or at the growth stage. Like the lite package, plus package comes with all the features required by a small business in addition it has advanced reports and pre formatted proposals that make the task of makinga proposal easier for the clients or users. Plus also has live bank feeds which are a crucial feature for any business. However the ability to bill 50 clients may become a constraint as the users business grows and thus they will be forced to move on to a higher package.

Freshbooks Premium

  • $50 per month ($540 per year)
  • Unlimited invoices
  • Unlimited estimates
  • Expense tracking feature
  • Contact management feature
  • Project management feature
  • Time tracking feature
  • Advanced reports
  • Pre formatted proposals
  • Live bank feeds
  • Bill up to 500 clients
  • Only 1 user allowed

Premium is by far the most expensive plan, it is for businesses that are growing fast. Apart from having the functionality of the plus plan, premium plan comes with the ability to bill 500 clients. Tough all three plans only allow a single user.

FreshBooks Select

There is another plan called the “Freshbooks select”, ideally for businesses having more than 500 clients. It also comes with the ability of more users, having advanced payments features and integrations with Quickbooks and Xero. Pricing is not publicly available, interested businesses have to contact Freshbooks directly for a quote on Freshbooks Select.

Extra Costs

Freshbooks comes with some additional costs which are exclusive of the paid plans, these additional costs include the cost of additional users at $10 per month for each user. The Freshbook payments feature allows acceptance of payments from major credit cards at the cost of 2.9% plus $ 0.3 per transaction.

The Freshbooks Platform

Freshbooks was one of the first accounting apps to be 100% cloud based. This means that it does not require any software installation and can work on any system with minimum compatibility issue. It is recommended to have at updated browsers for seamless functionality.

Data Storage

Freshbooks does not charge any extra fees for data storage as some companies might. Create all of the invoices that you want, all of the proposals that you want and etc without having to worry about some random fees. There’s nothing worse than to be nickel and dimed for tiny bits of storage by cloud based companies.

Privacy & Security

The site, and your data, is protected by your standard 256bit encryption that is running on servers that, according to the company, are hosted “in state-of-the-art datacentres, which provide biometric access controls, constant surveillance, redundant power feeds and generators, robust fire suppression, and carefully monitored climate control to protect the servers that store your data and manage your billing.”

Freshbooks Features

As mentioned above, Freshbooks has all the features needed in complete accounting software. Let’s take a look at some of the most used and interesting features below:

The Dashboard: 

Freshbooks Login Screenshot

The dashboard, is simple and easy to understand for the users. All the relevant information such as revenue and profit are displayed on the here. The side menu has quick access tabs for easy navigation.

Invoicing

Freshbooks Invoice Screenshot

Two customizable invoice templates offer users the ability to quickly set up and customize their invoices. There is also a chat feature to engage directly with clients.

Estimates:

Freshbooks estimates screenshot

If we are talking about convenience then Freshbooks has it all covered for the users. Sending estimates and proposals was never easier. Estimates can be quickly converted into invoices, the estimates panel tracks and shows the progress of each estimate that whether it has been accepted or rejected.

Contact Management: 

Freshbooks Contact Management Screensho

The contact management section allows the users/businesses to track their clients and see if their payments are on time or pending. Currency can be set for each client differently with reminders for payments. There is also a data analytics option.

Project Management:

Freshbooks Project Management Screenshot

The project management feature has added a lot of value to Freshbooks. The project management panel also has an internal chat feature that allows employers to communicate with employees and answer their queries. As it can be seen from the image, the project management feature allows teams to collaborate and see the progress. The project itself can be billed as an invoice.

Other Features:

The software offers a feature packed experience to small business owners, features such as bank reconciliations, reports, expenditure and time tracking deliver more than what small businesses require.

Freshbook’s Shortcomings

It’s shortcomings are few. The fact that Freshbooks allows import of data but users cannot import data on their own so the data has to be sent to customer support for them to upload the data for the users is one minor one.

Additionally, there’s no direct or automated tax deduction feature so the users have to do it manually. This might get a little bit annoying for you so if this is important to you take a look at one of the other apps out there.

Is Freshbooks Worth It?

There is no doubt that Freshbooks is a top of the line cloud based accounting application. We have used Freshbooks for years and can personally attest to it being nearly perfect.

Aside from it’s relatively few shortcomings like the ones we listed above, you can probably rest assured that your business needs will be nicely covered by their package.

If you have a small business Freshbooks should carry you to the point where you are ready to hire an employee in house or remote accountant. And even then you still might want to use the platform if only for the familiarity so you can keep an eye on the money.

Hopefully after reading this Freshbooks review you have a better understanding of what to expect. If you are a current user feel we’d love to hear your experiences with it in the comments.

Freshbooks Review 2020
Freshbooks Review (Updated For 2020)
The Bottom Line
Freshbooks delivers a complete package to the small businesses, it may be costly but it makes up for the cost by providing a full set of features and functionality. You can't really go wrong with Freshbooks.
Pros
Great User Experience
Nice Collaboration Tools
Simple Proposal Generator
Easy Project Manager
Fantastic Mobile Apps
Cons
Basic Invoice Customization
No Quarterly Tax Estimates
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