- Project Discussion Panel: FreshBooks offers a determined section for discussion of a project with teammates. This section can also be used to share files related to the project to all the teammates in one go.
- Handle Multiple Businesses from one account: In case of more than one business, then also you can manage all of them from a single FreshBooks account. These businesses are kept completely separate, and when you switch to one business, information about the other businesses remains hidden.
- Easily Explorable Mapping: The company has kept the accounting software simple by placing distinct tabs which appears on the menu bar present on the left of the screen. One can find the required feature just by clicking on the related menu. Not much browsing is required.
- Open to create recurring invoices: Whenever there is a need to set a reminder or recurring invoice to a particular customer, you can schedule it while creating the invoice.
- Creating Proposals: Before doing business with a client, company may require sending proposals, and that you can directly do that through FreshBooks proposal. You are free to customize your proposal and can also add attachment(s) to it.
- Bank Reconciliation available in beta version: Using Bank Reconciliation feature, you can directly match the invoices and expenses with the bank transactions. That can be easily done by connecting your account with the banks that are associated with your business.
- Notification for showing alerts: The application will notify you when there is a client who doesn’t make the payment before the due date, remind you about the bills, and display new transactions.
- Charge a client on an hourly basis: When you create a project or add a time entry in the time tracker section for a service, you can set the rates according to the time that the task or the project is going to consume.
- Adding Report to favorite section: This feature may not be an essential one, but through this, you can separate the reports by placing the required ones on the top as the “favorite reports.”
- No option to import invoices: In case, you have locally stored invoices, and you wish to add them to the application, you need to do that manually as there is import feature for invoices.
- Limited options for invoice customization: There are only two templates, and font types are available for customizing the invoices. But the color options for invoice headings and underlining are infinite.
- Limit on the number of clients: A business having more than five hundred clients, needs to pay them extra as the limit for the premium plan is set to 500 clients. In the case of Lite and Plus plans, the limit is set to 5 and 50 clients respectively.
- Third-Party integration Required: For accepting the credit card payments, you need to depend on the stripe for which you need to create a separate account
- Simplicity decreasing the functionality: For people who like simplistic designs FreshBooks is a good software for you, but at some places, you may find lack of information such as a number of a particular product present in the inventory.
- No Vendor List: You can not list all the vendors under a section. There is no way to import information about the vendor. You will come across their list when you add an expense.
- No Advanced Time Tracking Options: Time tracking can be done manually or by an integrated timer while working on a project, but there are no options even to add starting time or the ending time of a particular task.
- Several types of Reports are unavailable: Reports related to fixed assets are not available. You may also not find the reports related to inventory. These reports can only be generated when they are linked to the other sections of the application.
What if you don’t need to track the due payments and bills, and everything gets done automatically? Won’t business be trouble-free? Achieving complete automation isn’t possible, as accounting jobs requires a human touch.
But what we can do is to minimize our tasks by using the accounting software. That would provide you more time to focus on your business rather than spending time in handling the accounts. It will reduce the risk of mismanagement and work would be done at a faster pace.
Bearing that in mind, Mike McDerment, founded FreshBooks, which has the simplistic design that provides easy accounting to its users.
FreshBooks began its journey in the year 2003, and since then, more than ten million people are taking benefits of Mike’s accounting software. According to its website, besides QuickBooks, there is no other accounting software which has these many paid subscribers compared to FreshBooks.
It is specifically targeted to small businesses, wishing to have faster accounting. As it deals with small businesses, it is important for the company to keep the software simple. No doubt, the software is as smooth as butter, but due to simplicity, the functionality has narrowed.
We will discuss that under different sections wherever we have encountered with a limitation. However, when ten million people place their trust in this product, then there must be an exclusive charm that attracts business owners. We will definitely try to bring out that charm to provide a balanced conclusion.
Price can also be a factor that attracts businesses. When one gets all the required options inexpensively, then there is no need to buy products which have a huge number of attributes, which comes along with high price as well.
FreshBooks is comparatively cheaper than most of the other accounting software programs, and the differences are huge. FreshBooks’ Premium Plan only costs $50 per month whereas QuickBooks comes for $160.
However, by comparing the features of QuickBooks and FreshBooks, FreshBooks may not stand above. But before the conclusion, let’s have a look over all the components of the application to judge whether it provides the required features or not.
Ease of Use
It has the simplest user interfaces with the best navigation system. All features are effortlessly discoverable, and it is a piece of cake to learn about the software’s working.
This is the reward of well-structured segmentation. They have kept all the features under different tabs, and their settings are not placed along with them. That may require one to go to the settings multiple times whenever any change is required, but it helps to keep the user interface uncomplicated.
While intending to deliver an adequate exploration map, they made it less informative which could be harmful even if they are only targeting small businesses.
FreshBooks, with no doubt, offers ease, but it becomes too tough when one needs to add specific information. There will be numerous occasions where you consider adding the data, but won’t find a place for it (Example: No Vendor list)
Such concerns are discussed in the later section which will let you know how simplicity comes with the cost of the functionality of the application.
Because of that, even it is marked as uncomplicated software beneficial for small businesses; it comes with limitations that small businesses can’t afford.
The Initial Steps
We would not have wanted to start expressing the negative aspects of the product initially, but that’s the first impression that FreshBooks has provided while we started reviewing this product.
As soon as you verify your email, it asks about a lot of details regarding your business. This was not the case when we signed up for QuickBooks or Xero.
It may not take much time, but we believe this information should be asked at times when needed. The data collected is perhaps to figure out what kind of businesses are taking an interest in their product. It could be related to upgrading the software, and thus, it is not a major concern.
After you provide the information, you can choose to invite the other users or else you can do that later.
The first screen that appears after the sign up is the dashboard. You can click on the “Gear Button” which will open the “Manage Business” dialog box.
If you wish to add more details about the company, you need to open the “Company Profile.”
Before you start working on FreshBooks, you might be using Excel for managing account or any other accounting software. That’s why you may need to import data from external sources.
There is no option to import it directly from the other software programs as the formats of every the accounting software are different.
Thankfully, FreshBooks allow adding CSV files. But some of the data cannot be imported and requires manual additions.
If you go the “Items & Service Section,” you will find the import option. You need to browse the file, and when you select it, the comparison window opens.
On the left side, titles according to which FreshBooks is going to present the data are shown. In front of that, you need to select the “Field in Your File” against the title that FreshBooks presents.
For instance, the first entry that you need to fill in the FreshBooks for the items is the name of the item, but in your CSV file, the name is added in the second one. So, you can choose to have a 2nd column of the CSV file against the 1st entry asked by FreshBooks.
By that, you don’t need to rearrange the column in your local file which you wish to upload. That’s impressive as it makes the importing easier.
However, it may sound confusing to many of the readers, and while using this feature, you may face the same confusion.
That’s why rather than this option, or in addition to this option, they should have allowed the users to download the FreshBooks template, and rearrange the CSV file columns accordingly. This option is almost present in all the accounting software programs, but not in FreshBooks.
You need to import the expenses data and clients’ data similarly. However, the amount of information that FreshBooks asks differs in each case which we will discuss in their respective sections.
Connecting to Banks
The last step before start generating sales and manage expenses is to connect your cloud account to the banks. FreshBooks is known for simplistic structure, and here also we have found the same simplicity.
As soon as you prove that you are not a robot, a dialog box will appear through which you need to log in to your selected bank account.
That’s one way to import all the expenses from your bank account. Make sure that you only select the account which is related to your business.
If you have made any personal expense through that account, FreshBooks would not know about it and import those statements also. It is how generally the cloud accounting software import data, but here we a limitation that can only be removed with the help of a third-party application.
However, for accepting credit card payments, you need to create an account on stripe. This isn’t necessary in case of all the accounting software, but for FreshBooks, it is a necessity to use it.
Manage Your clients
When you add a new client, it doesn’t allow you to gather much information about the purchaser. Such settings are available in Xero which allow your business to assign Sales Settings, Purchase Settings, Discount, etc., for a particular user.
But there are a few other settings which are missing in Xero. For every customer, you can set custom recurring invoice along with exclusive text just for him. That could be done while adding the contact or else you need to edit it later. FreshBooks is capable of doing this, but not its competitors.
You can even add an option to charge the customer an extra fee whenever the payment is overdue. This can be charged in percentage or as Flat Fee. But the fee remains constant after it is charged once.
They could have added a provision of increment in fees after the payment is due over a particular period.
There are multiple sorting options available in the client section. You can choose to list the customers above others, who have not made the payment even after the due date. That’s a nice way FreshBooks has added to identify the users whom you need to ask for the payment.
Next to this option comes the “total outstanding” sorting feature that places the consumers on the top whose payments are yet to be received.
But these attributes and filters are not enough. They can also add a feature to different group of customers by what they purchase, the region, age or gender.
Unfortunately, you can’t smart list your consumers by using FreshBooks. If it is implemented, that will help your company to send them targeted promotions.
For instance, a section of all your consumers do business with you for a particular service, you can group them together, and attract them to other related services also by providing a discount.
Invoices and option to add other income
Invoices are important records for every business. They aid in managing the in the inflow of money from various customers.
By invoices, we can easily identify the clients with outstanding balance, and the ones who are our loyal customers.
Similar to the client list, the first thing that you will notice while you open this window is the “overdue,” “total outstanding,” and “draft” sections. This will let you know that whom you need to send the invoices and recurring invoices.
As we can notice from the UI, FreshBooks believes in keeping it simple, and hence, whichever list you visit, you will find it concentrated towards specific details excluding the ones which are not generally required.
The list contains the client name, issued date, and due date. That informs you that in how many the client needs to make the payment.
The amount is also present in the list, and it is marked paid after the payment is made. Otherwise it will show that the invoice has been sent or it is in the draft.
FreshBooks follows the technique of treating every client exclusively. That’s why, while creating the invoice you can arrange the settings separately for each client.
When you create an invoice, you need to make a choice between the two templates: Simple and Modern. Even though there are only two choices, the Modern one that FreshBooks offers looks better than many invoice templates which other accounting software use.
The theme color can also be selected from the complete range of VIBGYOR. And so, technically, there are infinite color options. However, it is not the same for the font option; choose between Helvetica or Garamond font.
But at least it is better than Sage’s invoice template settings which are nonexistent. FreshBooks has many other settings which are unavailable in other accounting software programs.
When you open the “New Invoice” window, you can choose whether you wish to accept the online payment for the particular transaction or not. Other invoice settings are also present here.
You can create the payment reminder at the same time. For frequent customers, you may not need to create it.
However, who always forget to make the payment on time, it acts like Thor's Mjölnir. Not just this, there are customization options present for this feature. The same feature can also be used as a recurring invoice.
You can select the date when you wish to issue the first recurring message. You can send it multiple times by providing the period that how often you want to send the invoice.
You can choose to save the recurring invoice as a draft and manually send it. Or else, if you believe that you would manage it without fault, you can choose to send the invoice automatically.
If you are using demo or lite version, you need to manually change the status as the reconciliation option is only available for plus and premium users.
Retainers and Recurring Billing
If you're looking to bill client on a recurring basis, you can use FreshBooks latest feature called Retainers. The feature is offered to all Plus or Premium plan and enables to create one retainer per client. A retainer is, in other word, an excellent way to collect income from clients on a recurring basis. It allows to create advanced payments, track allotted time and forecast monthly income.
To create Retainers, you have an option within the Invoice section. Simply click on New Retainers subsection. You can also do this from Dashboard by merely clicking on Create New and then select Retainer. The rest of the steps are pretty much self-explanatory. After you start collecting payment from the clients using this option, you also have an option to generated a detailed report by going to Report > Retainers.
As we have mentioned earlier, Retainers are somewhat different than the way recurring payment works. With retainers, you can reserve a specific service budget or blocks of time on a recurring basis.
If you have other sources of income, you can add them also through FreshBooks. This earning is kept separate from the invoices.
The option of “other income” becomes visible when you click on the invoice option. You manually need to enter the income as we have not found any options to link it with other websites.
As you click on “New Income Entry,” you can provide the data regarding the source of income, assign it a category, and add the amount. There is provision to implement tax details (if any).
This exclusive feature is unavailable on most of the other accounting software programs, so the businesses which wish to track the payments coming from various sources, FreshBooks has a helpful tool for them.
What’s missing in FreshBooks’ Expense Section?
Expenses keep business moving, so they must be done and managed correctly. Smart investment is the key to enlarge the difference between profit and loss. Let’s check if FreshBooks is efficient enough to manage your expenses.
Unlike invoices, you can import expenses from the local drives. Exclusivity and limitations of importing data are mentioned under the “Importing Data” section.
If you wish to import the data directly from the bank, you can go to the “More Actions,” and click on “Manage Bank Accounts.” However. This must be done initially for avoiding any chances of mismanagement.
As soon as you connect to the bank, all the deductions will get synchronized to your FreshBooks account. You can choose multiple banks. The limitation which you will find here is the absence of data regarding the expense.
Description related to the payment would be missing that may be somewhat confusing to identify the transaction. As we were using the trial version, we cannot conclude whether they allow you to edit the expense details or not that you have imported from the bank.
A better option is to import the banks’ statements locally, prepare a CSV file according to the FreshBooks format and then import it.
It is truly a massive manual task which is unavoidable, but you only need to perform it once in the starting.
No Vendor List
Whenever there is an expense, a business needs to find the correct for it. But FreshBooks doesn’t house a vendor list like it has for your clients. That’s why you can’t see the details of all your vendors.
That could be a drawback that can limit your access to the required vendor. When you are not sure that which payee would be perfect for the job, you need to scroll to check all. Well, this solution can’t be implemented in FreshBooks.
You have the option to improvise from whatever is available under this section. When you create a new expense, it asks you to select the vendor, and that time a scroll down option containing “only” the name of vendors appear.
So, that way you can go through all the vendors’ names. We feel that it is an unsophisticated way which professional users may not prefer. Thus, FreshBooks needs to add a vendor list selection similar to the client list.
Creating a new expense, features, and limitations
It is similar to the creating invoice with not many formatting options. Creating an expense record is easy, but at the same time lacks many attributes which must be added.
First, let’s go through the procedure of how an expense is created so that we could explain to you what missing elements are.
Just click on the “New Expense” option that will direct you to the expense addition page. On the left side, you will find the blanks where you need to add the information to generate expense. On the right side, settings for that particular expense are placed.
This is admirable navigation that FreshBooks has. For every new addition, whether it is an invoice or a client or an expense, you can configure the settings along with that, exclusive to the addition.
Now, let’s see the blank spaces where you need to add the information. You need to add:
- Category of the expense
- Date of the deal
- Vendor Name and optional description
- Amount and taxes paid
Just by entering this data, you can add the expense to the list. It looks easy, and the data seems enough, but there would be several cases when you aren't able to create an expense with specific details.
Let us provide you an example of a better conclusion. In QuickBooks you are allowed to add the payment method; you also get separate columns for category description and item description.
Imagine a case where are multiple items, and you want to keep their record as both belong to a separate category. The tax implemented on these items may also differ. For both the item, you need to generate separate expenses as it is not possible to add all the details in the description section.
Consider another instance where have purchased an item whose payment you need to do before the due date offered by the seller.
As there is only provision to add one date, you can either add the date when the deal was done or the due date.
Hence, it is going to be a tough row to hoe for the businesses who are planning to use FreshBooks to keep a record of various expenses.
But you can slightly unburden your task by using the settings provided on the right side of the New Expense Window.
If you want, you can mark an expense billable by checking the mark it a billable option, and choose a client to whom you wish to bill the item. You can also choose to include the receipt in the invoice (when you sell the purchased item to the customer).
By adding a markup (in percentage), you can set the selling price for the buyer. For instance, when you set the markup of 10%, then the difference between the selling price and cost price would be of 10%.
But again, this feature also has its limitation. This will be added to the expenses under the “Unbilled” category. There is no way to generate the invoice for this item directly from selecting it from expenses.
For creating its invoice, you need to go to the invoice section select the client and the item. That isn’t a strenuous task, but if they allow direct billing from the expenses, it may save a lot of time when there are many such customers with whom you deal every day.
Looking on the positive side, their have also set some special elements such as recurring expense which is similar to the recurring invoice.
The only difference that you will find is that money isn’t credited but debited after a certain period that you have selected. You can choose the starting date, the interval after which the transaction takes place and the number of times for which it occurs.
But make a note that you cannot select an interval shorter than one week. That’s the only drawback of this feature.
FreshBooks permits you to manage your transactions for 170+ currencies. For every expense, you can select the currency in which the transaction took place.
Now, there is a very specific implementation done by the developers of FreshBooks which you should know. This settings’ task is to classify expenses which are billable to the clients from the other expenses. Such expenses are called Cost of Goods Sold or COGS.
You can permanently allocate expenses of a particular category as COGS. After which, whenever there is an expense from the selected category, it will be visible in the profit and loss report under income section as the goods sold.
One should take note that it is not necessary that these expenses must be visible in invoices which you create while client purchases any of these goods.
We now know that how FreshBooks manages your expenses, and with what efficiency and limitation. These limitations may affect your business but solution is FreshBooks Integrations where you will find multiple applications that may make your tasks easier.
Create Estimates and Proposals with wonderful layouts
This is one more exclusive section about which users should know. Whenever someone wishes to do business with your company, he would like to know about the estimated price regarding a particular service or product.
It is important to provide the potential buyer, a correct estimate that looks visually professional. Bearing that in mind, FreshBooks has provided this dedicated segment. You can directly create an estimate and send them through email.
However, the estimate uses the same template and format which are used for invoices. Even the options for editing the estimate’s layout are the same as the invoice’s settings. Have a look in the given image.
They could have added different options such as the addition of graph, provision of discount, etc., to make estimate look more calling.
Here, the only difference between invoice and estimate is no particular date for ‘accepting the estimate’ is provided.
After he accepts the payment, you can change the status to “accepted,” and directly convert it to invoice. But there is no option to mark the estimate rejected. You can either delete it or send it to archive.
If the rejected status is also added amongst the listed actions, the scope of confusion may decrease. That way, it will get cleared that to whom we have contacted, but were not satisfied with the estimate.
We have already mentioned above that there could be a lot more features which FreshBooks needs to fit in there estimate section. But there can be businesses who wish to keep the estimates simple, and that’s why the Proposal creating page was introduced about which you can see below.
In a proposal, you can add much more information in comparison to an estimate. It is segmented into distinct sections: Overview, Scope of Work, Timeline, and Pricing. Here, you are allowed to add content as well as images.
But customization options are again the same which were present for estimates and invoices.
Then what’s different here?
You can set headings of your choice as many as you find suitable for your proposal. For keeping a proposal according to your wish, you can send a custom-built proposal as an attachment.
FreshBooks can generate a signature line where the client needs to sign which acts as a proof of approval.
For businesses which require contacting potential consumers on a large scale, this tool would surely be helpful.
Time Tracker (Where you need to add the time manually!)
In every accounting software program, you may find this feature as it is an important part to track time that you or your employees are spending for a particular activity.
The way it is presented on the cloud differs for these software programs. Time tracker could also be customizable; some have more features than others. Because of that, the one with more features delivers more information about how the time is utilized.
If services’ charges are associated with time, then for accurate payment, the businesses may highly depend on time trackers.
In the case of FreshBooks, you may not find the luxury of having a highly customizable time tracker. Due to this, its usability is limited.
You can add the category, client, and the time associated with the task. Now, it can be converted into invoice also.
But how would you charge the consumers?
Well, you can set the per hour charge for every service, but it is not necessary that the consumer may agree with the time taken to finish the assigned job (For ex: You can’t charge the buyer for building a website on an hourly basis). That’s why in such cases, you can only charge them according to the price set in the inventory.
This time tracker could be used for business’ reference, but generating invoices according to it may not present a valid charge.
To support this, we must mention that there is no provision to add the start time and the end time. Only the total time could be entered. When one wishes to maintain a timeline used for this job, that feature is also absent.
Thus, generating the total cost is not possible without the information of actual time consumed. That’s why, unfortunately, FreshBooks time tracker needs immense improvement to compete with the time trackers implemented by other accounting software programs.
However, even if you use it for creating invoices, the status will change to unbilled after you provide the entry. In case, you skip setting an hourly price, it will take you to invoice page and asks for the information that you wish to include. As you send it to the consumer, the status will change to “billed” and it would be visible in invoices.
Projects and Discussion
It is necessary to discuss the time tracker before the project section to show that it is not necessary that time tracking can only be performed for assigned projects.
It can be done for any service for which the consumer would have asked. So, there must be a question in your mind why the project section is additionally required.
Initially, even we thought that it isn’t a useful section, and could be merged with the time tracker. However, after closely examining it, we found that the project section can be used where multiple services are required.
Here, you will find one more major difference that when the time is tracked for an assigned project, it is not added yourself. An integrated time tracker is provided on the screen.
The stopwatch needs to be started and stopped manually. You can write the name of the client and the associated project. There can be multiple projects related to one client, so you need to select the one on which you are going to start working.
Similarly, select one of all the services associated with the selected project and start the timer. In the end, when you stop working, you can log the time. The activity would be discernible when you expand the project.
The data will also be entered in the time tracking section automatically.
Even though it has an integrated timer, and time tracking for the project is comparatively informative. Still, it lacks a high amount of data required to charge customers on an hourly basis.
There are no features which log the start time and the end time. Also, it is not possible for the client to track the work going on while tracker is on.
If FreshBooks wishes their subscribers to take the legitimate benefit of this feature, they must provide an add-on which lets the subscribers share their screen with their clients while the team is working on that project.
You can yourself predict that the present project tracking may not generate accurate time spent on the project which would lead to erroneous billing.
Or else, the best solution to this could be setting the “Project Type” to “Flat Rate Project.” This means that you will charge the user a definite price for the work done irrespective of the time consumed on the project.
Project Review Window
Whenever you expand a project by clicking on it, you will come across two options: Review and Discuss.
The window is segmented smartly; on the left side, the project along with the name of the client is mentioned, and the right side contains the information regarding the progress of the project.
Besides, the total logged hours, it also shows the remaining hours in the budget. The due date aids to the time management so that no one requires to deal with anxiety in the end.
All the time entries are placed in the bottom of the window. You or your employees can easily add a time entry by clicking on the “+” button placed next to the “All Time Entries.”
The Review Window shows dedicated information which the project team would require to get a brief idea about the advancement in the project. The inclusion of more data may make the Review Window complicated.
Discuss the project related queries with other teammates
While working on the project, certain issues may act as barriers to the progress of a project. The best solution to this is to take the help of your teammates to move further.
For that, Discussion Window is present in the project section. You can post your query to which other teammates can reply as comments.
This window is also helpful when you need to share an attachment with other teammates. You can simply click on the “clip” icon, browse the file that you wish to share, and click the post button. Other mates can download it by just clicking on the file.
These are some of the small elements that FreshBooks houses that improve the functionality of the application. However, these features can’t fulfill the tasks of the missing features that we have already discussed in this review.
Reports providing information in the most uncomplicated way
Reports deliver a detailed description of different aspects of one’s business. By various reports, you can identify the growth of the company and the information where efforts are required.
FreshBooks, as we have stated earlier, is inclined towards delivering a simple user interface. Shooting attempts towards this target, they have lost their functionality to some extent.
In comparison to other accounting software, FreshBooks has lesser number of reports. The report section is divided into four sub-sections: Invoice & Expense Report, Payment Reports, Accounting Reports, and Time Tracking Report.
Most of the data available in these reports can be found in the respective sections of the category to which the report belongs. What is exclusive here is the information provided in the summarized format for better understanding.
The reports which are available have a remarkable format that delivers information to the user easily. However, there are some reports which are missing in this section.
If they wish to widen the functionality of the application, they must include depreciation and inventory reports also.
Depreciation reports help to find the decrement in the value of fixed assets over a period. That provides cognizance about the price of an asset at a particular time.
Inventory reports help to keep track of inflow and outflow of items to and from the inventory. That is a powerful inventory management tool which is missing in FreshBooks.
One smart move is instead of diversifying the available reports; they have added filters in it. For instance, if you wish to view invoice report for overdue payment, you can apply the filter of selecting particular invoice status. By applying, “Overdue Status,” a report would be generated that contains only payment that has crossed the due dates.
Now, the question arises- “Why they have not added a separate report for Overdue Invoices?” True, they may have done that, but instead, they implemented a filter option. This is again to keep the user interface plain.
Now, for observing reports for “Overdue and Sent Invoices,’ you can select both the invoice statuses, and exclude the other ones. Instead of this, choosing diversification of these reports considering every possible combination may generate hundreds of reports making the user interface complicated.
They must follow the filter technique, but also add reports for the remaining business aspects.
Inventory can be more advanced
You will find the list of items and list of services (as shown in the image) under the “Items and Services” section present in the settings option.
However, FreshBooks’ “items and services” section is disappointing as it is not linked to any other section of the software.
In the previous section, we have discussed the unavailability of inventory reports. The reason behind this could be the application’s ineptitude in tracking the inflow and outflow of the items.
Proper organization of items reduces the burden significantly, but that can only happen when the accounting software allows you to mention the quantity the items present in the inventory.
If that data cannot be included, the items section is trivial as it is a mere table containing the list of items and their prices. That could be done using Excel also.
Well, it could become consequential to create a link between expenses and inventory. Whenever there is an expense for placing goods in inventory, that data (including the number of items) must be automatically added to the “Items” section.
That’s how the inflow of products can be managed.
For the outflow, they need to link the inventory to invoices. Whenever a client purchases a product, the number of products can be automatically deducted from the record.
For services, quantity cannot be assigned, but service can be assigned to the specific employee(s). As one employee can only work on one service at a time (mostly), the time dedicated to that service can be recorded. For that, they have the time tracker.
This time tracker can be directly linked to the “services.” By that, the owner can track that how much time is dedicated to a particular service and by whom.
If these features are added, reports for inflow and outflow of items can be generated and matched. Also, the service report can be produced which explains the time dedicated to all the services. That way you will know which services are consuming more time, and which are the ones on which more work is required.
Accounting and Bank Reconciliation
The accounting section doesn’t contain detailed information, but what it contains is of high importance. Under this section, you will find the Chart of Accounts which renders the complete summary of your business transactions.
That helps to tracks income and expenses under one roof. As you scroll down, you will find the information about the opening balance and your equity. The information regarding revenue transactions is placed under that.
Overall, this section is useful for going through all the transactions at once, or for classifying transactions related to a specific category.
Bank Reconciliation is a much-required feature that FreshBooks has recently added. Although this feature is still in its beta, you can take full-fledged benefit by connecting your cloud account to the bank.
If you want, you can add multiple banks associated with your business. Before bank conciliation, you needed to manually track the transactions.
For instance, when your client has made the payment, it will appear in the bank account, but not in your accounting software. Now, as soon as the transaction takes place, it becomes visible in the application.
The application automatically relates the invoice and the money raised in your bank account by comparing the transaction amount. Same for the expenses; it will compare the bill and the money deducted from the account.
In both cases, invoice/expense is placed next to the transaction, and you need to click “match” for the recognized transaction. If the transaction looks unfamiliar, you can keep it for reviewing later or delete it for the transaction details.
Please note that it is still in beta, and thus, we cannot comment the accuracy of this feature. Well, the best way to know it is to test it yourself by connecting your own bank after creating an account on FreshBooks.
FreshBooks, the super easy accounting software – as we’d like to call it – is a perfect solution for the people who do not wish to deal with in-depth accounting.
Learning about various elements of FreshBooks is comparatively easier than the other software programs. It is because of the user-friendly design which provides smooth learning curve.
It is a tool which not only its users are using, but the company is itself using it for marketing the accounting software. There is no other accounting application on the web that would be simpler to understand in comparison to FreshBooks.
That attracts the employers of small businesses who wish to keep a record of their various transactions.
A major difference in the design that allured us is the “setting along with the creation,” i.e., while you create an invoice, estimate, proposal, etc., you can customize them every time along with it.
You do not need to go all the way to settings every time to change the layout. This may not look like a big deal, but there could be instances when you need to change particular settings for particular clients. That can be frustrating if you are using accounting software programs other than FreshBooks.
However, where FreshBooks lacks is informative screens. There is no vendor list, no section to add a quantity of a specific product, and multiple instances where you would only be able to add limited information even if you wish to add more.
That directly affects the reports negatively. As there is limited information, no information-rich reports could be generated, and hence, in the end, you will not get the proper vision of your business’ growth.
If FreshBooks really aims to make the businesses better, they need to let the users add information in the accounts while keeping the user interface the same as now.
If they wish to attain the summit by beating the number of paid subscribers that QuickBooks has, the only way is to keep the user interface same but more informative.