Jan Brass Takes a Hard Look at the Cloud

FreshBooks Review – Cloud Accounting and Invoicing Software

Invoicing can be a tedious process. Many entrepreneurs and small business organizations today still use outdated tools such as a word processor to bill their clients. They typically have an existing template that they reuse and save them as separate files that are then printed out or e-mailed. While this piecemeal solution might work if you have just three or four accounts, it can quickly get overwhelming as your business grows. In the service industry, FreshBooksand especially with those that are Internet-based, a firm can have a large number of clients and still employ just a handful of people. A file-based invoice system is cumbersome and prone to problems like accidentally overwriting an old invoice and losing data when a hard drive crashes. Moreover, tracking expenses, attaching timesheets and other related activities take time that prevents you from focusing on your core business activity.

FreshBooks is an online solution that takes the headache out of invoicing and presents you with a clean and simple graphical user interface for all your bookkeeping needs. Quickly bill your clients with professional looking invoices, manage timesheets, and even account for unexpected expenses by taking a snapshot of receipts with your smartphone. It’s a cloud-based accounting solution, which means that you never have to worry about your computer crashing, and you can access it from anywhere and from any device, thereby allowing you to work whenever and wherever is most convenient for you.

FreshBooks also integrates with online payment systems, and this makes it easy for clients to pay you using popular electronic systems. You can also set up items such as late payment fees. It allows contractors to generate reports such as whether or not an invoice was viewed – something all of us would have liked to know at some point in time! It also takes into account details such as sales tax, which you will definitely need to account for before the government comes a-calling.

FreshBooks also has one of the most user-friendly pricing structures I’ve seen for online accounting solutions. You can use it entirely for free, and manage up to three clients at the same time. There are, however, a few disadvantages, such as the inclusion of the FreshBooks logo on your invoices. But FreshBooks Logothe paid plans are reasonably priced – starting at $20/month, allowing you to manage up to 25 clients simultaneously. If you’re working as a team, however, and require functionality such as group expense reporting, you’ll want to purchase a full package for $40/month and $10 extra for each additional staff member who needs access.

In short, if you provide services of any kind, and especially if you work alone, there is no reason whatsoever for you to not give FreshBooks a whirl. Who knows? As your business grows you may find it invaluable for saving you time and keeping you focused on your core business responsibilities.

About Jan Brass


  1. Hi Jan – Faraz from FreshBooks here dropping a quick line to say thank you for the awesome write-up! What really struck me was your opening paragraph – especially the part about file-based invoice systems and how prone they are to accidents – because that’s exactly how FreshBooks started! Quick story – FreshBooks CEO and Co-Founder, Mike McDerment, saved over an old invoice and watched helplessly as information he needed for his bookkeeping records disappeared into a black hole…so out of his frustration (read, anger), he decided to build something for himself so it never happens again – believe it or not, that something eventually grew into FreshBooks. If you’re interested, the full story is actually on our website: http://www.freshbooks.com/story.php

    Thanks again Jan for taking the time to write about us – it’s people like you who keep us going :).

    P.S -> If you’re ever in Toronto, give us a shout! You can reach me directly via email (faraz[at]freshbooks[dot]com) – we’d love to say hi! :)

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