(Note: I am reviewing FreshBooks which is cloud accounting software. I am not being paid for my review nor do I receive referral compensation. The links I provide are for your convenience only.)
As I was in the process of planning my business one of the first things that I looked into was accounting software and how I was going to invoice clients. I wanted something that was easy to use, had the potential to grow with me, and be cost effective. Naturally, I went off to the internet to look at what options were available and landed on several review round ups from various magazines, and one that I liked was from Business News Daily. (note the link will take you to the updated 2019 article and not the one I had initially read.)
One of the software programs that was mentioned in the round up at Business News Daily was Wave Financial, this is a free program and it was also mentioned at one of the programs I attended at a local SCORE information session. It was not quite what I was looking for however that doesn’t mean it might not be right for you.
One of my main priorities for the software was that I would be able to send invoices to clients and have them pay online. While I do meet clients in person and I have my business banking account I did not want to have to hassle with checks, I wanted my clients to pay online which I feel is easier for both the client and myself. Additionally, due to the nature of my business, I can have clients anywhere in the country and I didn’t want to wait on someone mailing a check and I didn’t want to have a card reader myself. Using FreshBooks for payments allows me to accept credit cards as well as ACH payments. I could have gone with using PayPal to accept payments and I did look into that, however, their rates were the same as what I found on FreshBooks and by using FreshBooks that meant one less thing that I had to integrate and reconcile, which was a win win for me.
Another item with invoicing is how easy it is to create an invoice and request a deposit. You can easily indicate that you require a deposit of a specific percentage of the invoice or a flat fee. For the way, I structured my business I have done this both ways. If I am doing the design work as well as the hosting I will indicate a flat fee that I calculate. However, if I am just doing the design work and delivering the completed files then I will use a a percentage of the total invoice as a deposits amount. There are additional features that I use with invoices such as recurring billing and reminders as well.
I felt that Fresh Books was the best solution for me, and I liked the look and ease of use of the interface. At this point in my business it certainly has features that I have not yet used, however, I see myself using them as my business grows. I have been recently been exploring the the third party apps that have integration with FreshBooks, specifically, I am looking at adding a mileage tracker so that I can make it easier for myself and let's be honest my accountant when it comes to tax prep.
I have been using FreshBooks for just over 6 months now and I am sure that I can use the software in a more robust manner but for now, I find it very easy to use and accomplishes what I want it to, and I feel confident about using it more as my business grows. There is a comfort to that and takes some stress off my future self since I will not need to find new software, and do the whole import old data and learn a new system dance. And finally in the small amount of time I have used it I have gone through my first tax prep and I was able to grant my accountant access at no additional cost and she reported that she liked the experience.
(Note This blog like a business it will evolve over time I am sure you will see changes as I add blog posts and incorporate things like categories etc. I am making the decision to exclude comments within the blog at this time, you can always start or join a discussion on my Facebook Page.