No matter what type of business you’ve built it’s vital you find an accounting system or software that keeps tracks of your business income and expenses.
Ensure your small business is using the latest technology in every way possible. Small businesses are losing out on billion dollars a year around the world (including Tonga) because they do not offer credit card or debit card payment options.
According to a recent study by Barclays; 42% of SMEs in the UK currently offer card payment provisions to their customers. Globally we are increasingly becoming a cashless society and its imperative that small businesses free themselves from old inefficient payment systems that are holding them back.
When I started my own business, I already knew the importance of establishing an accounting system. But I had no clue what kind of bookkeeping software to use. I knew I wanted an online bookkeeping program that allowed me to run my business from anywhere and not be limited by a specific operating system (like Windows or Mac). After testing a few different ones, I came across Freshbooks, which also allowed me to track my time and create invoices to all my clients.
Since I am a Certified Freshbook Accountant, I would like to share with you my honest review of FreshBooks and how I use it to keep my own business finances organised and running smoothly.
What is Freshbooks?
FreshBooks is a cloud-based accounting program that mainly focuses on creating invoices, project management and time tracking. But they also make it easy to organise your client list, manage team members, collect payments, sync reports with your accountant and review bookkeeping stats.
As you can see, it does quite a bit and they are constantly improving how it works. One of the cool things I really like about FreshBooks is that you can send professional looking invoices, with your brand colors and logo, right into your clients inboxes or mailboxes each month.
Getting paid on time is one of the most important parts of being a freelance business owner, and FreshBooks makes that happen - for free.
How I use FreshBooks for my Small Business?
1. Make invoicing simple and effective.
As I mentioned, the foundation of FreshBooks is creating and sending professional looking invoices. When you click the Time Tracking button, you’ll be able to clock the hours you log for a client or project. At the end of the month, all of your time can be exported to an invoice automatically, or you can create an invoice summary manually.
You can see when your invoices are viewed, and if they’ve been paid or not. If you receive checks in the mail, you just log into your FreshBooks account (they also have an iPhone and iPad app so you can track it on your mobile device anywhere), and record the payment.
2. Stop wasting time.
The benefit to being able to track your time so easily, is so you can see where you’re spending your time. If a client or project is sucking up too much time, you might want to think about phasing them out.
3. Save hundreds of dollars in fees.
Before finding FreshBooks I was billing all my clients through Paypal, and paying a ton of fees. Since then I only pay .50 per transaction no matter how large or small the payment is. When I compared this to receiving a payment through Paypal directly, I was paying a lot in fees!
4. Share reports with a bookkeeper or accountant.
This is a new feature that was just rolled out and I’m so excited about it. As an ex-accountant myself, I know the value of creating monthly reports and staying on top of the financial part of the business.
Earlier this year I hired a bookkeeper to help me stay on track, create reports and organize my accounting process. We can both see the invoices, clients, reports and discuss them in our monthly meetings. She gets her own login information, and can only see the info I allow her to see.
Here’s a list of accounting reports FreshBooks supports:
5. Integrates with other accounting programs.
FreshBooks seamlessly integrates with other bookkeeping programs, like Outright, QuickBooks, Xero and more. You can set it up to work with a few different types of tax software or payroll systems. It also syncs with task management systems like Basecamp and client proposal software like Bidsketch. Check out their site, for a complete list of programs and add-ons FreshBooks integrates with.
The options are nearly endless for what you can use FreshBooks with to manage your business finances.
6. Create professional estimates.
I have a friend who recently started managing her husband’s construction business and she needed something he could use to create professional estimates for potential jobs and clients. I told her about FreshBooks and they’ve been using it ever since.
Once you’re logged into your FreshBooks account, you just click on the Estimates tab to create a new estimate. You then choose your client, input the information, track time for the project and send the invoice once they’ve accepted the terms. You can even invoice them for a percentage of the job upfront.
7. Sync your bank accounts and expense transactions.
Each day when I log into my FreshBooks account I can see all my transactions at a glance. I have a business checking account that syncs with FreshBooks so I can bill any client expenses and create monthly accounting reports.
Nothing is more important to a successful business than making sure you’re making enough revenue to cover expenses, and spending your money on the right projects.
And the best part is that you get all this from Freshbooks for free!
FreshBooks Pricing Plans A good FreshBooks review wouldn’t be complete without the pricing plans. Yes, it’s true that you can use FreshBooks online accounting for free, but it’s limited in the features it provides.
If you need a more robust version, check out their tiered pricing plans:
This is the number one bookkeeping software I personally use and recommend to other freelancers and business owners. Try Freshbooks out for free and stop wasting time on getting paid.
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Passionate about entrepreneurship, small business and start-ups. Love tackling the issues and challenges that matter and helpful to small business people.