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FreshBooks Accounting Software Review

Donna Fuscaldo
Donna Fuscaldo
Senior Finance Writer
  • FreshBooks is our pick as the best accounting software for invoicing in 2021.
  • It's affordably priced, has multiple invoicing features and is easy to use, making it ideal for business owners who send a lot of invoices.
  • With FreshBooks' automation and customization features, you can send recurring invoices and accept payments online.
  • This review is for small business owners who want to learn about FreshBook's accounting software and why it's our best pick for invoicing.

It's not easy to find invoicing software with accounting capabilities. It's even harder to find great invoicing software and accounting functionality at an affordable price. That's what makes FreshBooks such an ideal option for small businesses.

FreshBooks Accounting Software

FreshBooks Accounting Software

Best Accounting Software and Invoice Generators of 2021

The Verdict

FreshBooks is our choice as the best small business invoicing software because it is affordably priced, simple to use, and it has a feature-rich platform that allows users to quickly and easily send invoices and accept payments.

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Accounting software should allow you to track the status of invoices so you know when customers received their bills and when their balances are due, and it should also facilitate online invoice payments so customers can pay you directly from the invoice. In our review of accounting software, we looked for applications with invoice-related timesaving features, such as recurring invoices, the option to send invoices from a mobile app, and the ability to track billable time and expenses and add them to invoices.

After much research and analysis, we recommend FreshBooks as the best invoicing software for 2021. Check out our best picks page to learn more about other accounting software solutions.

Pricing

FreshBooks offers several pricing plans that are based on the number of active clients you're working with and the included features. The company offers a 30-day free trial so you can thoroughly test the software before deciding if it's right for your business.

Currently, FreshBooks is slashing its prices by 60% for six months. Here are details on the plans and costs for FreshBooks reflecting the discount:  

  • The Lite plan is $4.50 per month, which allows you to bill up to five clients. You can connect with your bank account, accept invoice payments, track your time and access the mobile app. There's no cap on the number of estimates and invoices you can create. 
  • The Plus plan is $7.50 per month, which lets you bill up to 50 clients. It is the most popular plan. You can send recurring invoices, automated payment reminders and charge late fees. Collaboration with your accountant on FreshBooks is free with this plan. 
  • The Premium plan is $15 per month, and you can bill up to 500 clients. This plan includes everything in the Plus plan, plus it has enhanced tracking and reporting features. 
  • The Select plan is for businesses that bill more than $150,000 annually or have more than 500 clients. Pricing is custom for this plan. You will need to call Freshbooks for a price quote.
  • Each additional user you add to your account costs $10 per month. Users include business partners, employees and contractors. There's no additional cost to add your accountant, though. 
  • FreshBooks Payments costs 2.9%, plus 30 cents per transaction. With this service, you can accept online invoice payments. You can also accept payments using Stripe. 
  • The Advanced Payments add-on costs $20 per month, plus 3.5% and 30 cents per transaction. This credit card processing service includes a virtual terminal, so you can accept payments over the phone and in person. It also has a feature that allows your clients to authorize recurring payments.

There's no additional cost to use the FreshBooks mobile app, though you need to subscribe to one of the paid plans mentioned above to use it.

Key takeawayKey takeaway: FreshBooks offers entrepreneurs and business owners several pricing plans. Plans start at $4.50 per month, and support five active clients, and range in price up to $15 per month, which allows you to bill up to 500 customers.

Features

When we asked small business owners what they wanted most from their accounting software, the consensus was that it should save time. Here are some FreshBooks features that help you accomplish your accounting tasks faster.

Invoicing

FreshBooks helps you create, send and manage invoices efficiently. Creating invoices is easy with FreshBooks. The invoice screen shows you exactly how your documents will appear when you send them, so you don't have to click a preview button to make sure they look right. You click on the applicable fields to add new customers, products or services, descriptions, terms, and notes – you don't have to create them on a separate screen and then add them to an invoice. If you want to rearrange lines on an invoice, you drag and drop them into place.

Here are more invoicing timesavers:

  • You can customize invoices and other documents to match your branding by adding your logo or a photo and changing the template, font, and accent color.
  • Converting estimates and proposals to invoices can be done in two clicks rather than creating new invoices from scratch. The software also allows you to duplicate a past invoice and tweak the details, which may be faster than creating a new invoice.
  • Adding a discount, deposit request or payment schedule also takes just a few clicks.
  • You can schedule FreshBooks to automatically send recurring invoices and payment reminders; you can also set it to add late fees to past-due invoices either as a percentage or flat fee.
  • After your invoices are sent, you can see when clients viewed them, so you don't wonder whether the invoice was received or got lost in a spam folder.
  • When you're away from the office, you can use FreshBooks' mobile app to send invoices.
  • FreshBooks supports multiple languages and currencies, which is a useful, convenient feature if you have international clients.

Faster Payments

When you set up FreshBooks Payments or connect your Stripe account and send invoices to clients electronically, you can accept credit card payments through the system, allowing your clients to pay online by clicking a payment button on the invoice. Each invoice records how much your client paid and whether there are any outstanding balances, so you don't have to manually track this information.

Mobile App

Available for both iOS and Android devices, FreshBooks' app includes nearly all of the features found on the browser version of its software. You can track billable time, take pictures of receipts and record expenses, create and send invoices, chat with clients, and accept payments.

Expense Tracking

Using the app, you can photograph receipts and log them as expenses. You can then categorize them, connect them to transactions imported from your bank account or credit cards, and mark them as billable so you can add them to invoices. Expenses can be attached to projects or clients so you can see what you're spending, helping you stay on budget.

Project Management and Time Tracking

FreshBooks can serve as the hub for your projects. After inviting contributors, clients, and employees to projects, you can share files and notes and set deadlines. Your contributors and employees can track their time, allowing you to easily monitor the hours spent on a project. You can also bill clients for hours tracked and expenses incurred on their projects.

Integrations

Nearly 80 apps and integrations are available for FreshBooks, allowing you to add features or connect FreshBooks with other business programs you already use for analytics, scheduling, marketing, tax help and more.

User Roles

When you add users to your account, you assign them a role that determines what features they can access. Business partners can do everything except add or remove apps and integrations. Accountants can access your dashboard, reports, invoices and expenses. Employees can access projects, track their time and additional expenses. Contractors are a little different in that they have their own account. With their account, contractors can only see the projects you've invited them to and track their time against those projects.

Key takeawayKey takeaway: FreshBooks stands out because of its robust invoicing capabilities, but that's not the only reason it's our best pick. You can track invoices, expenses, and projects; run reports; and access more than 80 integrations. Its mobile app lets you create and send invoices when you're on the go.

FreshBooks Pros

FreshBooks is a simple and intuitive cloud-based accounting application that's accessible across all your devices. It's easy to create invoices, view invoice payments and handle all your standard tasks.

FreshBooks offers great functionality, which is a big plus for service-based businesses invoicing clients. Business owners want to focus on running their business; they don't want to spend hours solving problems with their accounting software. A simple, straightforward platform from FreshBooks makes this possible for entrepreneurs and small business owners who regularly send invoices.

Key takeawayKey takeaway: FreshBooks stands out because it's easy to use and is very intuitive. You can quickly and easily create and send invoices, automate accounting processes, and reduce how long it takes to get paid.

FreshBooks Cons

Although FreshBooks offers the best invoicing features for small businesses, it isn't without its drawbacks. For instance, it lacks vendor, inventory management and purchase-ordering features, so it isn't well suited for businesses with inventory. Rather, it's designed for service- or project-based agencies and includes time-tracking and project management tools.

Another drawback of the application is that you can't view reports or manage team members from the app. While you could use the browser on your phone or tablet to access your FreshBooks account to do this, it's inconvenient if you're on the go.

Key takeawayKey takeaway: FreshBooks isn't well suited for small businesses that carry an inventory or  need purchase order features. Also, you can't view reports from the mobile app; instead, you'll need to use the browser on your smartphone or tablet to run reports.

Customer Support

FreshBooks offers customer support by phone and email; there's also an in-program live chat. Support isn't available 24/7, but it has extended weekday hours: Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. There are also resources to show you how to use the software if customer support isn't available.

The company's website is comprehensive and answers to basic questions can be easily found. In addition to FAQs, you can find a searchable knowledgebase, a free webinar, a blog with helpful accounting and business tips, and free e-books.

Key takeawayKey takeaway: FreshBooks provides customers support via phone, email and live chat. It also has a searchable knowledgebase and online tips and help.

Image Credit: AndreyPopov / Getty Images
FreshBooks Accounting Software

FreshBooks Accounting Software

Best Accounting Software and Invoice Generators of 2021

The Verdict

FreshBooks is our choice as the best small business invoicing software because it is affordably priced, simple to use, and it has a feature-rich platform that allows users to quickly and easily send invoices and accept payments.

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Donna Fuscaldo
Donna Fuscaldo
Business News Daily Staff
See Donna Fuscaldo's Profile
Donna Fuscaldo is a senior finance writer at business.com and has more than two decades of experience writing about business borrowing, funding, and investing for publications including the Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Newswires, Bankrate, Investopedia, Motley Fool, and Foxbusiness.com. Most recently she was a senior contributor at Forbes covering the intersection of money and technology before joining business.com. Donna has carved out a name for herself in the finance and small business markets, writing hundreds of business articles offering advice, insightful analysis, and groundbreaking coverage. Her areas of focus at business.com include business loans, accounting, and retirement benefits.