February 6, 2009

Freshbooks – Painless Billing


It seems like there’s a plethora of new accounting tool websites that cover one accounting issue, but not another. For example, covers expense accounts, but not much more. Freshbooks is very good at what it does, but it too is limited. That said, what Freshbooks lacks in variety, it makes up in effectiveness.

At its core, Freshbooks is an online invoicing program. If you’re a freelancer with a number of clients you can use Freshbooks to organize and send invoices to each client, ensuring that you’re paid accurately and increase your chances to get paid on time. Freshbooks has tight integration with several key online payment providers such as PayPal,, and 2CO, meaning you don’t have to wait for a check in the mail. However, because not every client will pay by credit card, Freshbooks also offers the ability to print and mail your custom-designed invoices on your behalf thereby further reducing your accounting workload.

Practical Uses:

  • Prepare professional-looking invoices for a variety of clients within your freelance business
  • Provide your team-members or co-workers a method for tracking their time (especially billable time)
  • Save money and time by letting Freshbooks print and mail your invoices on your behalf

Insider Tips:

  • Automate late payment reminders so you never have to worry about clients not making payment – or at least being alerted to making a payment
  • If desired, use the service to send invoices through the mail, for a nominal extra fee
  • Setup a login for each of your employees and team members – being sure to set the correct permissions for each

What we liked:

  • Virtually effortless to use
  • Professional-quality templates that automatically lend credibility to your company
  • The community is vibrant with a lot of participation
  • The ability to send unlimited invoices with a free account – though free accounts do include an ad for Freshbooks

What we didn’t like:

  • Somewhat pricey as compared to other, more comprehensive finance applications
  • As touched on, the program is limited and users will need to supplement it with other programs, such as advanced accounting
  • Doesn’t support different currencies in the same account – which is a major oversight


Company Info:

  • Launched: 2007
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: Toronto, Canada
  • Founded by: Mike McDerment and Joe Sawada
  • Web site:


  • $0 – $149/month

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