Freshbooks Accounting Software Review

Freshbooks Accounting Software Review

Customer Focused Accounts Software

Freshbooks is a popular form of cloud accounting software targeted at small business owners. Over 10 million people have used the software for their accounting needs. Keeping track of the progress of a small business can be difficult if you do not have an easy way of recording all the information you need. Previous bookkeeping methods included Excel and Sage accounting. However, the problem with these programs was that they could only be accessed via desktop and files could only be saved to the hard drive.

business woman looking for accounts softwarehttp://www.canstockphoto.com

The creation of online accounting software means that users can access the software anywhere, anytime, from any device (e.g. desktop, tablet and mobile). Providing an internet connection is available users can have constant access to their accounts and update them whenever they need to. All this information is then saved in the cloud. This makes accounting much quicker and far easier.

Freshbooks accounting claims it is designed with the customer in mind. The company offer a free 30-day trial and an easy signup process (only requiring name, company name and email address). We will review this software below and see how it performs.

Key Features

Dashboard

The Freshbooks dashboard is clear and bright with a dominant colour scheme of white and blue. The dashboard provides a summary of invoices, expenses, and projects. To the left-hand side are links to popular actions, and at the top of the page there are links to all available actions. This makes navigation very easy.

One of the best features on this page is the handy tips and videos that are provided to help get you started. These appeared around the dashboard and we found them to be extremely helpful when new to the software. We felt like we had instant support instead of simply being left to it.

business men looking at cloud accounting softwarehttp://www.canstockphoto.com

Invoices

Invoices were easily created on Freshbooks. After creation, you have the option to save a draft or send the invoice via email. We particularly liked the extra options available when creating an invoice. You can add your own terms (e.g. please pay within 30 days) and personal notes (e.g. thank you for your custom) which gives the invoice a more personal and professional touch. You can also accept online payments via PayPal or Stripe. This is a great option to have, as it means you are likely to receive payments at a faster rate.

Worried that a client has not received your invoice? No problem as Freshbooks tracks the email and will let you know when the invoice has been viewed. This is a brilliant feature as it gives you peace of mind that an email has reached a client.

Expenses

Expenses are quick and simple to record. You can also assign each expense to a category to enhance organisation and make them recurring if needed. This is an essential function for accounting software as expenses need to be tracked to keep a record of how much a business is spending on certain items.

A search function is provided for when an expense needs to be found, this is convenient and saves you scrolling through pages and pages of expenses.

Projects

Freshbooks allows you to create projects and then track how much time you spend on each one. To accurately track time, you can add tasks to a project and then record the time you spend on each task. Staff members can be added to projects if several people will be working on them.

You can also start a timer when you begin a task. For example, if you plan to spend two hours on a task you can set a timer so you know when your two hours have finished. This is a useful function if you tend to go over your allocated hours on tasks.

Invoices can be sent to clients with this time tracked information and costs.

This is a useful feature as it allows users to accurately record their time and use this to create precise client invoices.

woman using online accounting softwarehttp://www.canstockphoto.com

Support

Help and support is a stand out feature of this software. In addition to phone and email contact, Freshbooks offer access to a free webinar which guides you through the basics of the software. At the time of writing these webinars occur every Thursday between 1:30 and 2:30pm. Within these webinars live chat is provided so users can ask any questions they may have.

In addition, Freshbooks have created some clever how-to videos which show you how to complete different tasks including: creating invoices, adding expenses, and using time tracking. We found these videos to be extremely helpful for learning how to complete tasks and are especially useful for new users.

Limitations

We found one main problem with this software program. It does not have an option to connect with a bank account, to enable automatic bank feeds. This function is only available in North America and cannot be accessed in the UK. This means that you would have to manually import bank statements instead of having automatically imported bank transactions.

This is a limitation of the software, as most other cloud accounting apps available in the UK do have this function. It is an important function as it allows users to monitor their transactions including ingoing’s and expenses. Not having this option means increased time spent manually importing bank statements.

App Features

The Freshbooks app has an impressive user interface, one of the best we have seen on an accounting app. Straight after logging in you are taken to the main page which consists of a blue background with white labelled icons taking you to each task. We like that the features are all available on this page to click onto with ease – there is no scrolling around trying to find side menus. This makes it very easy to navigate around.

Another positive about the app is that it has a large range of features. You can create and send invoices, add expenses, send estimates, create projects, and record time. These are all the main features of the desktop version minus reports. This is a huge benefit of the software as many accounting apps only offer limited features compared to the desktop version. This means that most accounting tasks can be completed on the go from the app.

people using cloud accounting on mobileshttp://www.canstockphoto.com

Ease of Use

Both the desktop and app version of Freshbooks are very well designed. The user interface is bright and engaging and it is easy to navigate around. The tasks are made simple and you are not overloaded with instructions or text. This makes conducting tasks a breeze and enhances the customer experience.

The hints and tips provided on the desktop version are valuable however these are not available on the app.

Our Verdict

To sum up, Freshbooks is a great piece of accounting software which has some excellent features and a brilliant user interface. The software is tailored for the customer, this can be seen in the vibrant user interface which allows users to easily navigate around and complete tasks within minutes.

A high level of customer support is provided, with the webinars and video tutorials being stand out features. This makes the software feel more interactive and visual and enables users to access help when they need it.

We were very impressed with the Freshbooks app which was well designed and extremely easy to use. We found the app had almost all the features of the desktop version, meaning users can really make the most out of the app and complete many tasks on the go.

woman using accounts software on laptophttp://www.canstockphoto.com

One noticeable problem was the inability to connect to a bank account to allow automatic bank feeds to appear on the software. This feature is available on many other accounting systems and it is disappointing that this option is only available on Freshbooks in North America. This means that manually importing statements is required to view transactions.

Overall, we highly rate this software for its superb user interface, customer support and ease of use. The app was well received for having an array of features and an attractive design. The main downfall is the lack of bank connection. Subscriptions range from $12.95 to $39.95 meaning the pricing is competitive.

As the software is so well designed and great to use we would recommend subscribing to the software if you do not require automatic bank feeds. However, if this is an essential feature for your business there are other accounting systems which do have this option. We hope that Freshbooks will make this option available in the UK in the future as it would be very useful.

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