FreshBooks, incepted in 2003 and redesigned in 2017, is one of the most popular accounting and finance software with invoicing solution that gained its current popularity due to high customer satisfaction rates. With its continually added features and expansion of the type of services FreshBooks provides, there has been a recent buzz whether one can compare it to be a free QuickBooks alternative.
Now here’s a fact- while the similarity in their names may suggest a similarity in the services they provide, FreshBooks does not work quite the same as QuickBooks. There’s a lot of difference between them, and in this blog, we are going to talk about FreshBooks review 2021, pinpointing every feature of it to clear your misconceptions and help you decide if you want to switch between either of the options for your business.
But first things first, let me tell you in brief about invoicing and cloud accounting.
What Is An Invoice?
One can define an invoice as a written affirmation of the agreement between a service provider and its customer comprising of name, date, address, etc. It is a written record that builds an obligation on the buyer’s part to pay for it, thus making their account more reliable. Billing and invoicing is one of the most important parts of accounting because it keeps a record of all the sales transactions.
What Is Cloud Accounting Software?
You might have come across this term quite frequently. This type of software is similar to the usual accounting software. The only difference being that one can host it on remote servers. In other words, cloud accounting is a way to access your accounting use, such as online software in the form of emails, e-banking, doc files, etc.
What Makes FreshBooks The Best Cloud Accounting Software Of 2019?
FreshBooks initiated as an invoicing solutions provider and was completely redesigned and relaunched in 2017. The users can still access its old website, FreshBooks Classic, but now the company primarily centers on improving the new site.
Beyond the continuous tweaking and adding new features, this tool has undergone one very notable change. Here are some of the features I particularly love about FreshBooks:
1. Responsive and Simple Design
The biggest perk of using FreshBooks is the ease of management that comes along. It has an attractive dashboard organized and optimized to be easily accessed by any device. The side menu has options for quick reports. There are also Create and Help buttons present right at the top and bottom, respectively.
2. Time Tracking
It offers a built-in timer for tracking billable hours for your employees. You can feasibly look into the login and out times of your teams and co-workers along with importing this data into your accounting system after compiling. You can record their unbillable time as well.
It offers customizable templates, font, color, header, logo, etc. You can add notes into your invoices, set reminders, and set recurring invoices. The built-in chat feature is one of the best FreshBooks features. Also, the small cloud-bubble icon redirects a user immediately to a screen that displays the recent actions as well as your clients’ messages.
4. Double-Entry Accounting
With the recent addition of this feature, FreshBooks has become a sound free QuickBooks alternative. Being ideal for smaller businesses, accounting firms, freelancers, and solopreneurs, it offers simple accounting solutions like accounts payable, budgeting, tax support, etc.
The central dashboard of FreshBooks displays your periodical input vs. output. It focuses on profit margin and assists a user to generate even the most detailed reports to help a business understand what they exactly need for accounting purposes.
6. Contact Management
You can add basic information about your clients’ contacts along with the private notes. You also get an option to set the default language, currency, default reminders, etc. You can also add a list of your active clients to send the statements to them directly.
7. Expense Tracking
FreshBooks focuses mostly on payment collection and invoicing, which means that one has to connect to another accounting system for tracking the expenses. But it does offer some special expense features, for instance, tax management, receipt tracking, etc.
8. Project Management
This feature is extremely useful for employers to create hourly projects and then allocate them to their clients or employees. You can also set the due date, and discuss your project with your team internally using a tool named discuss. It comes with an option to send images, attachments, answer questions, etc.
9. Customer Support
FreshBooks has a high value of its customers, something that is evident from every person who has worked with them. Not only are their representatives friendly and informative, but they also respond quite promptly. It’s good to see how these people have made it feasible for the micro-businesses to understand what they should do.
Some Setbacks Of Using FreshBooks
FreshBooks has proved to be an incredible customer service provider with an extremely easy to use interface. Yet, it comes with some cons that I have listed below:
1. Higher Pricing
FreshBooks offers the option for both monthly and yearly payments. There are a total of four plans, only two of which come with double-entry accounting and automated invoicing. The best part is that no bank information is required, and you can cancel their services at any time, but FreshBooks pricing still seems a bit too high for small to medium businesses.
2. No Inventory Tracking
Good accounting software must let a user enter the payments made to a supplier previously, and make further orders based on inventory output. FreshBooks doesn’t come with any such inventory features that can assist the small or medium retailers to understand the complex accounting procedures.
3. No Balance Sheet Automation
FreshBooks doesn’t give you the option to perform accounting by automating your balance sheets. You can fill your data in the balance sheets, and put in some work to organize it. This process is a bit lengthy, monotonous, and time-consuming and requires an input of a lot of work depending on your projects and number of clients. Thus it is not very suitable for accounting firms of all sizes.
50% Off For 3 Months
Even though, as mentioned earlier, FreshBooks pricing may seem a bit high for small business owners, it still comes with a cheaper alternative. They are offering an exclusive 50% off on all the plans for a limited time. Buy their plans now to devour the discount.
Is FreshBooks Better Than QuickBooks?
Just like most of the people initially, my conclusion was that FreshBooks offers more or less the same services as QuickBooks with a tad bit of differences. But after digging deeper into its features, I can honestly sum up that both of them have a very different set of target consumers.
QuickBooks would be fit for the large scale, product-based companies, and comes with a bit of complication to use. In other words, not very suitable for a noobie or small business.
On the other hand, FreshBooks not only comes with an extremely easy to use interface, but its services are also quite easy to understand for even a person owning a flower shop. Basically, it’s better for the people who are new in the business game- small businesses, startups, service-based companies, freelancers, etc.
All-in-all, FreshBooks can be considered as a notable free QuickBooks alternative, depending on the size and requirements of a business venture.