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FreshBooks Review

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Date Established
2003
Location
Canada

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Excellent customer service
  • Good mobile apps
  • Well-designed UI
  • Attractive invoice templates
  • Numerous integrations

Cons

  • No double-entry accounting
  • Limited features
  • Expensive monthly cost

Overview

FreshBooks, one of the biggest names in the invoicing and accounting scene, was created by Mike McDerment after he became frustrated with Word and Excel. The software has come a long way since its first meeting held in Mike’s parents’ basement. Since its inception in 2003, the software has been used by over 10 million customers.

In 2017, the software was completely redesigned and relaunched as New FreshBooks. Classic FreshBooks isn’t going anywhere and existing users can still opt to use the FreshBooks they know and love, but the company’s focus is now on improving their new version of FreshBooks. This version is easy to use and features good invoicing automations, built-in project communication, expense tracking and more. FreshBooks also offers incredible customer service, 70+ integrations, and hundreds of positive customer reviews.

While there are many content users, there is one huge drawback to FreshBooks: it’s not actually accounting software. FreshBooks does not use double-entry accounting, offers limited reports, and has no bank reconciliation feature. For companies seeking full accounting features, FreshBooks might not be the best choice. That said, if you’re looking for strong invoicing and billing features, unique time tracking and client management tools, and some light bookkeeping/accounting functions, FreshBooks is definitely worth considering. The customer service alone makes this software worthwhile, and the company’s developed, full-featured mobile apps are a joy to use.

Read on to see if FreshBooks is right for your business.

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Strong invoicing and billing features, unique time tracking and client management tools, and some light bookkeeping/accounting functions

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Pricing

FreshBooks offers three different pricing levels. You can make monthly payments or purchase a yearly subscription; a yearly subscription will give you a 10% discount. There is a free 30-day trial. No credit card or banking information is required and the service can be canceled at any time.

FreshBooks also offers a generous referral program where you can receive $5 for each referral that ends in a free trial and $55 for referrals that end in a paid subscription.

The three pricing plans for FreshBooks include:

Lite

  • $15/month
  • Unlimited invoices
  • Unlimited estimates
  • Expense tracking
  • Contact management
  • Time tracking
  • Reports
  • Bill up to 5 clients
  • 1 user

Plus

  • $25/month
  • Unlimited invoices
  • Unlimited estimates
  • Expense tracking
  • Contact management
  • Time tracking
  • Advanced reports
  • Proposals
  • Live bank feeds
  • Bill up to 50 clients
  • 1 user

Premium

  • $50/month
  • Unlimited invoices
  • Unlimited estimates
  • Expense tracking
  • Contact management
  • Time tracking
  • Advanced reports
  • Proposals
  • Live bank feeds
  • Bill up to 500 clients
  • 1 user

Note: Each of the plans above only supports one user. Additional users cost $10/mo per user, and no user permissions are available at this time. You can add contractors for no additional costs. (The contractors will have to pay for the software if they invoice to more customers than just your business.)

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Strong invoicing and billing features, unique time tracking and client management tools, and some light bookkeeping/accounting functions

Cloud-Based Or Locally-Installed

Cloud-based. No downloads or installation required.

Hardware & Software Requirements

As cloud-based software, FreshBooks is compatible with nearly any device so long as you have internet connection. FreshBooks also offers mobile apps for iOS (10.2+ ) and Android ( 4.2+) called FreshBooks Cloud Accounting.

Specific Size Of Business

First and foremost, FreshBooks is not accounting software. This software is not a good choice for companies in need of accounting. Instead, FreshBooks is ideal for businesses looking for invoicing and light bookkeeping tools like basic expense tracking and invoice tracking. The software is best for micro to small businesses and is not scalable for larger businesses. Each of FreshBooks’ pricing plans only supports one user and the software does not support multiple businesses. In addition, there are no user permissions, which could rule it out for many larger businesses. FreshBooks does not offer native payroll but does integrate with Gusto for businesses in need of payroll services.

Accounting Method

Both accrual and cash-basis accounting.

Ease Of Use

FreshBooks has always been incredibly easy to use and the newly redesigned software is no exception. The software is easy to set up and use and requires little previous bookkeeping experience. The organization of the software could be more intuitive. For example, there’s no settings section, items tab, or reports tab so navigating these features can be tricky. Luckily, there is strong customer support if you need help navigating FreshBooks.

Features

FreshBooks offers invoicing and basic accounting features to help small businesses manage their finances. Here are the features you can expect to find with FreshBooks:

  • Dashboard: FreshBooks has an attractive dashboard where you can quickly view important financial information about your business. The dashboard is organized by graphs for Outstanding Revenue, Total Profit, Revenue Streams, Spending, and Unbilled Time. There is also a selection of advanced reports at the bottom of the screen and a quick-create button at the top.

FreshBooks Review

  • Invoices: FreshBooks offers two basic invoice templates that are customizable. You can change the colors, font, and logo. Premium users can send reminders, charge late fees, and set recurring invoices. You can add terms and notes to invoices (which is a nice improvement since our last review). There’s still no way to create default email messages. One really coolest parts about FreshBooks is the built-in chat feature. If you click on the small cloud-bubble icon, you will be taken to a screen that shows any recent action(s) on that invoice, as well as messages from your client.

FreshBooks Review

  • Estimates: FreshBooks makes it easy to send estimates and proposals as well. You can create duplicate estimates and quickly convert them to invoices as well. The proposals feature is particularly well-developed. You can request electronic signatures and even add images to your items or services (it’d be nice if that carried through to invoices as well).
  • Client Portal: FreshBooks offers a beautiful client portal where your customers can accept, save, print, or comment on estimates and pay, print, save, or write messages on invoices.

FreshBooks Review

  • Contact Management: The contact section allows you to add basic client information as well as internal notes and a relationship status (not the Facebook sort). You can also set a default currency and language. There is a nice client page that features graphs that show total money overdue, amount outstanding, and money in draft. Underneath this chart is a list of recently active clients and a full client directory. There is no way to manage vendors.

FreshBooks Review

  • Expense Tracking: Expense tracking is made easy with FreshBooks. You can enter expenses manually, import bank statements, or connect to live bank feeds (FreshBooks live bank feed are not automatic like you would expect and are updated once daily). When you enter an expense manually, you can add a receipt image, a vendor, description, total, and a category. Categories are set up to closely resemble IRS tax filing categories, which will come very handy come tax season. There is no way to mark these expenses as deductions, but you can separate business and personal expenses. However, if you’re looking for bank reconciliation in addition to expense tracking, you won’t find it. Note: Like almost all software using live bank feeds, FreshBooks partners with Yodlee, which may violate some banks’ Terms and Conditions. Consult with your bank to see whether live bank feeds are a good choice for you.
  • Chart of Accounts: FreshBooks offers a basic chart of accounts. There is no way to edit the existing accounts or add new accounts.
  • Items: You can add items and services to FreshBooks. While there isn’t an items tab, having a place to view items is a much-needed improvement from our last review. You can enter basic information such as the item name, description, rate, and any default taxes.
  • Project Management: With this feature, users can create hourly or flat-rate projects and assign them to employees or clients. You can set a time budget and due date as well. FreshBooks sets itself apart by offering an internal communications tool called “discuss.” This feature allows users to communicate internally with employees and clients. You can send messages, reminders, and even attachments with this tool. When a project is completed, FreshBooks makes it easy to bill projects as an invoice.

FreshBooks Review

  • Time Tracking: You manually log time in FreshBooks or use the built-in timer. You can also review all of your employees and contractors logged time. Time can be added to projects and billed as an invoice, or you can choose to record unbillable time as well.

FreshBooks Review

  • Reports: FreshBooks offers nine reports. While this is two more reports than the last time we reviewed the software, FreshBooks Classic used to offer 22 reports. Additionally, there is no reports tab and you have to access them from the bottom of the dashboard.
  • Sales Tax: Since there is no settings section, you have to add sales tax manually on each line item of an invoice. FreshBooks does save the sales tax rates that you add, but you still have to manually select them.
  • Multi-Currency Support: FreshBooks is compatible with nearly 150 different currencies.
  • Importing & Exporting: You can import clients, expenses, items or services, and taxes via .csv. You can export reports via .xls, but that’s about as far as FreshBooks’ exporting capabilites go.
  • API: API is available for developers.

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Strong invoicing and billing features, unique time tracking and client management tools, and some light bookkeeping/accounting functions

Customer Service & Support

The one thing that hasn’t changed over the years is FreshBooks’s great customer support. FreshBooks highly values their customer service, so much so that every FreshBooks employee spends their first month in customer support. The company has also won numerous customer service awards. One user put it like this:

No matter the issue, big or small, the FreshBooks Support Team is your own tiny army of helpful humans just waiting to make your day easier.

And they were right. Phone calls are answered right away, and in my experience, representatives are friendly, informative, and helpful. Emails are also responded to quickly and there’s a well-developed help center, as well as an expansive blog. Here are all of the support options available to FreshBooks users:

  • Phone: FreshBooks phone support operates Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm EDT. Calls are answered quickly, making it a great go-to support option.
  • Email: You can contact the FreshBooks support team via email. Emails are generally responded to within a few hours.
  • Support Form: FreshBooks also has an online support form.
  • In-Software Help: FreshBooks offers an in-software help section where you can search the built-in help center or leave a question for the FreshBooks team. You can also access FreshBooks’ FAQs, email, and phone number from within the program.
  • Help Center: The help center features a large number of help articles. The articles are well-written with step-by-step instructions. There are two separate help centers — one for FreshBooks Classic and on for FreshBooks — so be sure you’re using the correct one.
  • Webinar: FreshBooks offers free introductory webinars to help you become acquainted with the software.
  • YouTube: Freshbooks has a well-developed YouTube channel featuring how-to videos, getting started demonstrations, advice for small businesses, and customer testimonials. The only downside is that it’s not always clear if the videos are referring to FreshBooks or Classic FreshBooks.
  • Blog: Much like the help center, FreshBooks’ blog offers a ton of articles which offer business advice and introduce product updates.
  • Press Center: There is also a FreshBooks Press Center if you are curious about the company’s business news and coverage.
  • Social Media: FreshBooks maintains Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram accounts.

Negative Reviews & Complaints

In past reviews, FreshBooks has received almost all positive feedback across the board. While there are still many positive reviews, recurring complaints are slowly increasing. Here are some of the most common issues users have with the software.

  • Not Accounting Software: Despite the name, FreshBooks simply is not “cloud accounting” software. FreshBooks lacks double-entry accounting, has limited reports, limited accounts payable features, and no bank reconciliation. For some smaller companies this may not be an issue, but for customers looking for true accounting software, this could be a huge drawback–especially because without double-entry accounting and the ability to reconcile your bank accounts, there is no way to get a real look at your total financial state. Some customers want FreshBooks to be called what it truly is, an invoicing or billing software. Others complain that the software is too limited for their business and switched to a different program.
  • Limited Features: Users commonly call out for better reports, a QuickBooks Online integration, more invoice templates, and more supported currencies. While FreshBooks has listened to some complaints like the lack of a PayPal integration (which they’ve reinstated), other requests seem overlooked.
  • Miss FreshBooks Classic: A few users like FreshBooks Classic better than the new version of FreshBooks, especially since the new version offers far fewer features. A few users note that they appreciate that FreshBooks allows them to revert back to the CLassic version still.
  • Too Expensive: Many people find FreshBooks to be far too expensive, particularly when considering free competitors like Wave offer more features and true accounting for $0.

Positive Reviews & Testimonials

Overall, customers seem to like the FreshBooks product. FreshBooks has an A+ rating on BBB and receives 4.5/5 stars on GetApp, 4.6 stars on G2Crowd, and 8.4/10 stars on TrustRadius. FreshBooks also features customer testimonials on their website and YouTube channel.

Some of the aspects customers love most are:

  • Ease Of Use: This is by far the most common point of praise. Users like that FreshBooks is simple to use and saves them time on expenses tracking, invoicing, and billing. Users also like that they don’t have to be accountants to learn how to use the software successfully.
  • Amazing Customer Service: FreshBooks’ customer service is highly praised. Users particularly appreciate the fast email responses and that they can talk to a representative on the phone right away without waiting.
  • Strong Mobile Apps: Despite a few reported glitches, most users find the mobile apps convenient and well-designed. While not capable of all desktop functions, FreshBooks seems to have one of the most developed mobile apps in the cloud accounting world.
  • Professional Invoices: Users appreciate that FreshBooks makes their invoices look professional and appealing. Freelancers especially appreciate this aspect of the software.

Here’s what a few customers are saying about the software:

FreshBooks is hands down the simplest and easiest to use billing software for freelancers and small businesses of any size. The part I like the most is their outstanding customer support.

The biggest benefit to me about FreshBooks is the transparency it offers my clients. My clients can see when I’ve logged into FreshBooks and I’ve done work for them. I do believe that FreshBooks has helped my business grow in the simple fact that it gives us a more professional look to our business versus me just typing out an invoice and mailing that to my client. I could not imagine doing what we do today without FreshBooks.

I don’t spend hours doing accounting stuff when I’m not an accountant. I can give my clients what they need and work with them on their projects instead of stressing over expenses and invoicing.

Integrations & Add-Ons

One of the big issues I had with the redesign during our last review was the drop in integrations. The software had gone from 40 integration to 25. Now FreshBooks offers over 70 integrations to cover just about any need businesses might have. They’ve also reinstated their PayPal integration which many users had complained about.

Interested in accepting online payments from your customers? Read our comprehensive merchant account reviews to learn the pros and cons of popular providers and see which payment processing option is best for your business.

Security

FreshBooks is secured by 256-bit SSL encryption as well as Cisco-powered firewalls. Data is backed up on two servers in two separate (undisclosed) locations and is also backed up nightly onto a physical tape. FreshBooks has intrusion detection and vulnerability test programs that run frequently.

In addition to cloud-based security measures, FreshBooks servers are housed in Rackspace’s data centers. To learn more about FreshBooks’ security and their partnership with Rackspace contact the FreshBooks team.

Final Verdict

FreshBooks is a popular invoicing and accounting choice for businesses, but when it comes to accounting, the software just doesn’t cut it. Marketing itself as “FreshBooks Cloud Accounting” is deceptive when there’s no double entry accounting, no bank reconciliation, limited accounting reports, and limited accounts payable features.

For businesses in need of invoicing and basic expense tracking, FreshBooks could be a good solution. FreshBooks offers invoice automations, unique built-in communication features, and a decent proposals features. The software also covers the basics where contact management, time tracking, and project management are concerned. The real allure of FreshBooks is its ease of use, amazing customer support, and good mobile apps. Plus the software offers 70+ integrations, which is more than any other invoicing software I’ve seen.

However, the software is incredibly expensive when stacked against the competition. I’m also not convinced that the new version of FreshBooks has done the company any favors. Considering the large price jump from Classic FreshBooks, I would expect a lot more features. Previously, customers cried out for a better inventory feature, a mileage tracker, more accounting reports, more invoicing templates, separate shipping and billing addresses, and the option to send estimates via snail mail. Not only have these features not been added to FreshBooks Classic, but they have also been completely stripped from the new version. While FreshBooks is handling the transition honorably and maintaining FreshBooks Classic, the company needs to step up its offerings, especially considering that free software like Wave does twice as much as FreshBooks for $0/month.

It’s worth noting that since our last review, FreshBooks has been making improvements like adding terms and conditions to invoices and adding more integrations. So hopefully, the company will continue to progress and become a better solution for small businesses.

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Strong invoicing and billing features, unique time tracking and client management tools, and some light bookkeeping/accounting functions

If these pros sound like they might outweigh the cons for your business, give FreshBooks a try with the free 30-day trial. To explore all of your options, take a look at our other top invoicing programs to get more bang for your buck. Or, if you want to upgrade to true accounting software take a look at our top accounting picks.

Chelsea Krause

Chelsea Krause

Head Accounting and Invoicing Writer
Chelsea Krause is a writer who has specialized in accounting for two years. She has a BA in English & Creative Writing from George Fox University and studied at the University of Oxford as well. She has been quoted in Forbes and her work appears in Startup Nation, Small Business Bonfire, and Women on Business.
Chelsea Krause
Chelsea Krause

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30 Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the vendor or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the vendor or bank advertiser. It is not the vendor or bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

    Bryn Michael Howlett

    Organization Name: Brynhowlett.com, LLC

    I love Freshbooks classic. I have 2 businesses. One still on Freshbooks Classic and I can’t convert to the new version. For my other business it wasn’t an option and I was kindof excited to try. It is horrible.

    1
    • Organization Name: Brynhowlett.com, LLC

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Drew McManus

    I’ve been a long time Freshbooks user and can say that while the recent major update introduced needed features, they cut out quite a few features I found critical. Two critical features that no longer exist include:1) No auto currency conversion. In the old system, you could apply the current currency conversion rate to an invoice at the time it was sent. Now I have to do those calculations manually and with several non US based clients, each with a dozen or more line items, what used to take seconds is now a huge time suck. I’ve been told by Freshbooks that there are no plans to bring this feature back.2) No more per client credit feature. In the old system you could apply a credit to any client that in turn could be used on any invoice. The client could even apply it where desired for future charges. In the new system you must create an invoice then apply the credit there. It can then only be used for that invoice. I use client credits all the time for referrals and allowing them the ability to apply to invoices as desired in whatever amount they wanted was a huge asset. That’s complete gone as is the dedicated credit dashboard.3) Reporting requires more clicks to filter than the old system and while it isn’t as big of an issue as above, I don’t understand how they could determine that requiring users to click more was a smart move.

    3

      This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

      Brad

      Organization Name: Foothills Integrity

      Freshbooks is amazing to use. I have been using this for a couple of years now and it works really well. I am a consultant so tracking projects and hours is a big thing. Creating invoices is a dream and my accountant has a login and she gets her data whenever she likes. I am not crazy about moving to the new version as the classic does what I want very easily. I wish they had a way to export and import projects so that you could update large numbers of these whenever you liked.There are small things that are an annoyance, not being able to see my whole project name in the day to day “time tracking” etc…….but other than that it does what you need it to do. Agreed not a full accounting module….but for time tracking and invoicing its amazing.

      4
      • Organization Name: Foothills Integrity

      This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

      Christopher Mead

      Organization Name: Test Lab Automation

      The site is great until you need to cancel. The cancel functionality on the site does not function so you are required to contact support in India. They, however, seem to try and prevent anyone from cancelling so you will need to work with your credit card company.

      2
      • Organization Name: Test Lab Automation

      This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

      KT

      This is a fantastic review write up! That said, just think about how much time you’ve spent reviewing a product that has split themselves into two halves. You would have saved so much time if they would just have spent time further developing the classic version. I’ve been a customer of Freshbooks Classic for going on 4 years now and I have absolutely NO intention of switching over to their “All New” Freshbooks version. I can’t understand for the life of me why a company would do this to their customers. I’m nervous to hear they may not be further updating the classic version as there’s absolutely no other alternative their newer version can persuade me into joining. It’s absolutely baffling why they did this and introduced a much much more limited version of something they already made successful.

        This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

        melissa

        Can anyone verify whether Freshbooks is still going to offer the Paypal Business Payments flat 50-cent fee for invoices? I’ve searched high and low and can’t find the answer.

          This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

          Chelsea Krause

          Hi Melissa,

          Thanks for reaching out! This is going to depend on which version of FreshBooks you are using. FreshBooks Classic sill offers the PayPal Business Payments integration with a flat fee of $0.50. However, New FreshBooks does not. Let us know if we can help with anything else!

          Best wishes,
          Chelsea Krause

            This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

            Aileen Bailey

            Organization Name: Housecleaning Business

            Hello Chelsea:

            Thank you for bringing that issue to my attention – it is very critical to my business invoicing. I have decided to look elsewhere for an accounting app.

            AB

            • Organization Name: Housecleaning Business

            This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

            Chelsea Krause

            Hi Aileen,

            I’m glad to help! I hope our other reviews can assist you in finding the perfect software for your business. If you’re looking for great invoicing features, Zoho Books can’t be beat and Wave has a pretty good selection of templates and invoicing features as well. Both are easy to use like FreshBooks but are true accounting programs. Best of luck!

            -Chelsea Krause

              This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

              P M

              Changes to Freshbooks have (I can hardly believe I have to type this) removed your ability to remove a credit card from your auto-pay profile. That’s right, if you discovered your credit card number is overdrawn there is NO WAY to remove that card from auto pay other than completely canceling your freshbooks account. What’s more their console no longer even shows which credit card they have on file so if you put in a test credit card number like 1234-1234-1234-1234 which used to be a way to prevent auto-charge, it will not only not accept that number but not show that it hasn’t accepted that number and will continue to ding whatever card it successfully charged last. Nothing like having an overdrawn bank account and having no way to remove your card. This is likely not even legal. It’s obviously unethical. Their nice support staff will undoubtedly apologize but it won’t change the fact that their system will screw you. Truly infuriating.

              1

                This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                tmama

                Very disappointed the new version has eliminated customers ability to pay via paypal. A lot of small businesses have small clients who bark at the idea of having only one means of online payment. Paypal was convenient for many of my clients an the $.50 charge per echeck was easy on the pocket. Surprised this article mentioned nothing about that.

                2

                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                  Donna

                  BEWARE. As a small business I was looking for an easy to use invoicing program. Fresh books offered that. However, one very important drawback is that following log-in, the user can actually be thrown off-line for what Freshbooks has explained is “likely” the user’s own server issues. This means that after four hours of solid work today, upon attempting to send an invoice – it didn’t exist and it is not recoverable! Freshbooks has cost me time and money not to mention unnecessary frustration. The solution – save as you go, save, save, save. You will get no warning and no apology from the customer service team. I have used the program for nearly two years – I have lost invoices in the past but was assured that the “new” Freshbooks would address the issue – clearly it has not and clearly I’ve purchased the wrong program.

                  2

                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                    Michael L. Parmley

                    My company has used Freshbooks for a long time and do all of our billing via their API. We bill in both US and Canadian dollars and Strip allows that, which Freshbooks supports, however, a few years ago, they got a bug in the API that prevents recurring profile updates in anything except your base currency. As a work around, they suggested I just do item adds and deletes. That worked until recently during the PCI compliance upgrade, they got a new bug that prevents line adds and deletes on some accounts. Now I am trapped between two bugs and having to do a lot of billing by hand. If you call, you can never talk to anyone in the API development team or a supervisor who can put pressure on them. It will be very painful to switch to another company because I don’t store any customers credit card info. But that may be what I have to do. Stripe has an API now, stores customer information for you and will do recurring billing with invoicing. I wish it was not necessary, but nobody at Freshbooks seems to care about a little guy who only bills one million per year.

                    3

                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                      Majid

                      On Nov 16 I did instal FreshBooks and did download all information from that time .Since about 20 days that passed already , I did try to refresh my page but the bank informations is still from Nov 16 ! I tried couple times to countact the FreshBooks customer service and everybody just puted note To follow up this problem but I have this issue!!

                      1

                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                        Todd

                        I’ve been a long time Freshbooks customer. Overall, it’s been a good experience. Freshbook support has been excellent, the product itself has been easy to use and reliable. I have no regrets.That said here are my biggest critiques:Expenses – It’s easy to miss but % discounts put on an invoice apply to EVERYTHING including expenses that have receipts. This makes no sense and was obviously an oversight on their part. It will make your accountant furious to deal with expenses with receipts that were only partially reimbursed. The Expense feature has been out a long while, this should have been fixed by now, but last I checked it still wasn’t. It cost me a significant amount of reimbursements before I caught the design flaw. The workaround is to always put expenses into an invoice that doesn’t have a discount applied to it. So if you routinely discount a customer’s invoice, then you’ll have to make a separate invoice for Expenses reimbursements. Not elegant but it works.No longer has a public forum — Freshbooks used to have a public forum, but somewhere along the way it disappeared. I immediately lose a degree of trust for any software service company that doesn’t have a public forum. To me it means they’re the bad kind of control freak, and more importantly it means I will have a difficult time finding out if other users are having problems or what pitfalls to watch out for. I get there’s an overhead and PR risk to having a public forum but trust doesn’t come for free…No weekend or night time support — Work doesn’t always happen during the 9-5. Invoicing means getting paid…staying in business. It’s time sensitive. On the otherhand it would cost Freshbooks more to have off hours support, so we customers would have to pay more. Do I want to pay more? Maybe a compromise is possible here: What about an option to purchase add-on weekend support?Wepay partnership — Freshbooks partnering with WePay to start doing their own credit card processing is worrisome to me. WePay rates seem to be slightly lower than the equivalent Paypal service, but those lower rates come at the cost of some important features. In my experience WePay is slooow to post money back to my bank. They also have no option for a debit card. With Paypal money is in my (Paypal) account and available for me to use via debit card the same day, even on weekends. With WePay you have to wait until it posts to your bank account, which takes 2 – 5 business day. That means you often won’t see the money for a full week. With local customers picking up and manually depositing a check often posts to my bank faster than WePay. This feels like a big step back techwise. But my real worry here is that by monetizing off their credit card processing partnership with WePay, Freshbooks is going to be incentivized to limit or drop their Paypal payment gateway integration. If that happens I’ll unsubscribe the same month. Rumor from another review here states that Freshbooks already plans to drop the Paypal Business integration later this month. (Paypal Business integration is a low flat rate fee for transactions through Paypal that don’t use credit cards.)—————————————————————————————————-Regarding the critic that Freshbooks is not real full fledged accounting software: It’s a mistake to see this as a Con. Whether this is a Pro or Con really depends on your use case. Pros:Simpler more efficient at invoicing, not needing costly user licenses for full fledged accounting software for users who only need invoicing, automatically creates a some separate from accounting or booking features that you might not want certain staff to access.Cons: You’ll need another solution for your accounting needs. You’ll need to integrate or feed Freshbooks into your accounting solution.Freshbooks seems to be on a slow path towards becoming a full fledged accounting platform. They already have ton more accounting features than when I first started using them. This means smaller businesses or consultants might now be able to get away with just Freshbooks and not use a full fledged accounting solution. But overall I feel like this in between space is undesirable and a mistake. Accounting feature creep has reduced some of the elegance of the invoicing features, but the lack of full fledged account features means you’ll likely still want accounting software. Essentially, I see this middle ground as the worst of both worlds.

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                          This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                          Katherine Miller

                          Hi Todd,

                          Thanks for your detailed and insightful review! I wasn’t aware of the expense reimbursement problem–and that’s a significant issue, one we’ll want to keep an eye on in our next review update. Your insights on WePay are also likely to be helpful to prospective users, so thanks for taking the time to write all of that up! I agree with you that invoicing software serves a different purpose than accounting software, and FreshBooks is well-suited to some businesses looking for the former. (My objection on that count is that FreshBooks advertises itself as accounting software, and as a result, I’ve heard complaints from a number of people who assumed it was full accounting software when they signed up.)

                          As cloud-based accounting solutions continue to expand their invoicing features (along the lines of what Zoho Books and FreeAgent have done), I think we’re likely to see more companies opting for a combined invoicing and accounting solution. Most good accounting software allows for invoice-only access permissions, and the user license issue you raise is becoming less of an issue with the emergence of plans that offer unlimited user licenses with a single subscription (Xero and Zoho Pro, for instance). For that matter, even QuickBooks Online offers more users at a lower rate than FreshBooks.

                          FreshBooks could definitely become an important player in that space–if they can expand to cover full accounting. It’ll be interesting to see what happens.

                          Best,
                          Katherine

                            This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                            Thomas Black

                            Freshbooks decision to drop Paypal pro payment gateway as of July 31 2016 has me looking for another invoicing system.

                            1

                              This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                              tmama

                              Thomas I know!!! So disappointed the new version does not have the paypal option. I’m staying on the old version but my fear is that EVENTUALLY they will notify us we must move over to new version.

                                This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                                KT

                                If they do this, they’ll lose more than half their user base because they promised us time and time again, they would never remove the classic version.

                                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                                  Andrew Chang

                                  I like accwing online invoicing. it have different invoice field, multiple payment, statement individually or in batches. and 60 days free try.

                                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                                    Chris

                                    I am so thankful to have found this company. I tried it free for 20 days and found it was perfect for my small business. All I needed was to create invoices and input my expenses. That’s it. Customer service responded to my questions very quickly and helped me with the sprout sign-up procedure for $9.95/month. Well worth every penny.

                                    5

                                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                                      Katherine Miller

                                      Excellent! I’m glad it’s working out so well for you.

                                      Katherine

                                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                                        Steve S.

                                        A LENGTHY REVIEW FROM A DAILY FRESHBOOKS USER:

                                        I’ve been using Freshbooks for the last couple of years, and at first it was a breath of fresh air after getting away from Quickbooks (both online and desktop version prior to that). If you don’t have a proficiency for accounting, systems like Freshbooks are great, so I enjoyed the simplicity of it. The problem is – it’s just way too simple and there are some major gaps in functionality. Additionally, it’s a stagnant system. Very little improvements or features were tweaked or added in the system during the entire time I used it which is pretty unsual for a web based service.

                                        Freshbooks shouldn’t even call themselves accounting, because their forte really is in time tracking and invoicing. I now use Freeagent and wish I’d switched sooner.

                                        If you don’t care about tracking profit margins on projects or really tracking expenses accurately at all, then Freshbooks might work for you.

                                        Freshbooks gets plenty right. Tracking billable time against customers or customer projects is a breeze, and their invoicing and methods for collecting payments is really hard to beat. Plus, they integrate with so many other services, it makes it really easy to get addicted to.

                                        The things I love most – and the main reasons I’m glad that I left Quickbooks for Freshbooks years ago is:

                                        Automated invoice reminders, which are totally flexible. This alone saved me a lot of time chasing down late payers.

                                        Your customers get a really nice interface for viewing all their invoices online – although I will say I think I only have one or two clients who ever even used the client portal for doing that. Most of them just go to their email to retrieve the links for invoices or statements, but it is still a really nice feature.

                                        No connections to your banking / credit card accounts. You can do this with expenses to some extent, but it’s just awful to work with, when compared to Quickbooks, Xero, FreeAgent – pretty much anyone else. In order to use Freshbooks, you have to have some other software or service for managing the accounting aspects of your business. This ended up being a bad thing for me. I like having it all connected, and there are plenty of great alternatives for that, and some even charge less than Freshbooks.

                                        My reasons for leaving Freshbooks? Freshbooks is downright awful at expenses…

                                        You can’t record non-billable expenses against a customer or project. If you want to record the expense without billing the customer for it, you cannot assign it to the customer or project. No easy way around that without messing up your accounting records.

                                        And with expenses that you DO want to rebill the customer for, there’s no easy, intuitive way to handle marking up those expenses for goods or services to make a profit on. In order to do that, you must first add the expenses to the customer invoice, and then modify each line item expense amount up to the amount you want the customer to pay.

                                        You cannot record bills as you receive them your vendors. Say for example, you get an invoice from a programmer who did work for you on 4 different projects in a given time period. Most vendors will just send you an itemized invoice with all the billable time across the various projects. Well, you can’t record it that way in Freshbooks. Each line item on your bill must be entered into freshbooks one line item at a time, and you cannot correlate them easily to know that they are all part of one bill/invoice. Freshbooks also can’t help you with managing when your bills are due. That’s accounting, which Freshbooks doesn’t do.

                                        Freshbooks solutions to their shortcomings with expenses is all handled with hacks and workarounds for how their system is currently built. They are not easy or intuitive and they also throw things off with your accounting reports.

                                          This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                                          Katherine Miller

                                          Hi Steve,

                                          Thanks for your review. You’ve pretty much hit the nail on the head with my major gripe with Freshbooks: It’s not accounting software. Why the company has chosen to market itself that way is beyond me. Freshbooks is excellent invoicing software, for many of the reasons you mentioned. But as for accounting . . . the software simply doesn’t support it, at least not yet.

                                          Glad to hear that FreeAgent is working out for you so far!

                                          Best,
                                          Katherine

                                            This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                                            Tommy

                                            Here is answer from FreshBooks:
                                            —-
                                            Sorry about the confusion on this! We actually run price tests all the time and in this case, that review is referring to one. That said, I’ve moved your account over to the test group so you should be able to see it now.
                                            —-
                                            So it looks like they could have different pricing pages. Since they applied the change to my account, now I can see the Sprout plan on the “upgrade” page of my account (using Safari on Mac – yesterday the first upgrade plan available was Seedling at $19.95). When I access the public pricing plans page, I still see the Free plan and the first plan starts at $19.95. I tried with Firefox, and yesterday I was able to see the Sprout plan but today there is no more Sprout plan even when I clear my cache. There is no more Free plan with Firefox, but there is a Free plan with Safari. Anyway… if someone is confused, the best thing will be to contact FreshBooks. They answer very quickly.

                                              This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                                              Katherine Miller

                                              Thanks for posting this info, Tommy! That’s very good to know.

                                                This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                                                Tommy

                                                Hi Katherine,

                                                Thanks for the quick follow-up. I tested the link with Firefox (Mac) and I was able to see the same page (with Sprout plan for $9.95 – no free plan). With Safari, even when I cleared the cache, I was unable to see the page with the Sprout plan. There was a free plan, and other plans starting at $19.95/month. With Chrome (Mac), there was no free plan anymore (except for 30 days), and no Sprout plan. Even with a complete clear of the cache, impossible to see this plan. Plans started at $19.95. So, three different browsers, three different results. I wrote to FreshBooks to ask for the real information and to let them know that their pricing pages were displayed with random content and different information.

                                                I’ll keep you updated…

                                                Tommy

                                                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                                                  Katherine Miller

                                                  Interesting. The prices are displaying consistently across all 3 PC browsers I tested (Firefox, Chrome, IE), so perhaps this is a Mac issue. Very odd. I’ll look forward to hearing what you find out.

                                                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                                                    Tommy

                                                    The Sprout plan at $9.95/month doesn’t seem to exist. There is no information about it on the FreshBooks website. Plans starts at $19.95/month (Seedling). That’s a bad thing, as the Sprout plan would have been perfect for my current needs.

                                                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                                                      Katherine Miller

                                                      Hi Tommy,

                                                      Good news for you! The Sprout Plan does exist. It’s fairly new. Check the FreshBooks pricing page here and click the link on the right side of the screen that says “Pricing Packages start at $9.95/month.” That will pull up a pop-up box with the information. Only reason I can think of that you wouldn’t see it is if you have an old version of the page cached. If you don’t see it when you follow the link above, clear your cache and cookies and try again.

                                                      Let me know if you run into any problems. Also, if you only have 5 clients, you might want to check out Zoho Invoice – they have a free subscription that might be appealing, depending exactly what you need.

                                                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

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