FreshBooks Review: Best Invoicing & Accounting Software for VA’s And Freelancers

online accounting software freshbooks for virtual assistants and freelancers by belinda owen

In a new mini-series of blogs, I’m going to delve into some popular online accounting software tools.

If, like me, you’ve spent countless hours researching the internet, you’ll know there are quite a few to choose from. It can be a little overwhelming and all you achieve is 37 tabs open in your browser.

To save you the pain of going through that again, I’m going to give you the highlights of each one.

Today, we start with FreshBooks. (Hint: read through to the bottom for a special little secret that you won’t want to miss if you’re considering FreshBooks!) 😉 

Overview:

FreshBooks is an online accounting software that had a bit of a revamp in 2017. It has a lot of features a small business, freelancer or sole trader would find very useful. The primary features that set FreshBooks apart is: easy invoicing, time tracking, project management, expense tracking and mobile interface.

Invoicing.

This is probably the most important feature in any accounting software. As business owners, we want to get paid. It’s pretty simple. Whilst all accounting software platforms place a lot of focus on invoicing, FreshBooks has some very handy options for freelancers.

  • Recurring payments: I use this feature a lot in my business and it’s amazing how much time you save. FreshBooks allows for recurring payments to be invoiced on a set cycle so you don’t have to!
  • Reminders: Don’t miss out on getting paid again. FreshBooks will send reminder notices to your clients until the invoice is paid in full.
  • Deposits: If you’re not taking deposits as a freelancer or VA, firstly why not? You run the risk of your client cancelling on you at the last minute and you being out of pocket. As a small business owner, that could be detrimental to your weekly income targets. FreshBooks allows for deposit amounts to be set on the invoice so you are paid before starting any work.
  • Credit Card payments: A lot of clients pay via credit card. FreshBooks allows payments via credit card without you having to lift a finger.
  • Charge late fees: Want to encourage your clients to pay on time? With FreshBooks you can. Place some late fees on your invoices and see how quickly the dosh rolls in!
  • Customisable invoices: Keep your branding consistent with customisable invoices.

Time Tracking.

As a VA or freelancer you most likely track your time so you can charge accordingly. How many of you use a third party app or just watch the clock? That is counter-productive and wastes valuable time. FreshBooks allows you to track your time with FreshBooks Chrome Timer and invoice immediately for every minute you worked on the job. That’s a win!

Project Management:

Do you use Asana for your project management or team collaboration? FreshBooks has a built in project management tool that allows you to store emails, files and notes on each project. Your team can keep track of a project just as easily as you can. Even if you don’t have a team, having your email chains, files and images in one place has to be a time saver.

The project management tool can also assign due dates, display an overview of the project, store images and files and allow you set a certain amount of hours per client.

Expenses Tracker:

Ok, hands up if all your receipts are in a shoe box. No judgement here. But how much better would it be if your work related expenses were stored in your accounting system. And how much easier will that make tax time! Connect your bank account and credit card to your account and let FreshBooks keep a record of your expenses in real time. You can also bill your client for expenses relating to a project. i.e. for web designers you may need to bill for hosting purchases or a plugin purchases.

PS: the mobile app will also allow you to photograph your receipts! No more paying for a work lunch and forgetting to claim it at tax time!

Mobile App.

As I mentioned, FreshBooks has a mobile app that allows you to invoice on the go and even snap your receipts. This is a big time saver as well as money saver. Your tax time self will thank you for it.

Summary:

FreshBooks is a great online accounting software tool for VA’s, web designers, small business owners and sole traders. It is perfect if you have a few set clients each month who you invoice regularly. The time tracking feature and recurring invoicing feature is something not all accounting programs have, so this is a win. The project management tool also sets it apart from competitors like QuickBooks or Wave.

Do you use FreshBooks? How do you find it? Let us know in the comments.

If you’d like to know more before signing on the dotted line, check out FreshBooks and see how you can use it in your business.

Ps: I’m going to let you in on a little secret. FreshBooks has a very enticing pre Christmas gift for you with a massive discount attached!

FreshBooks 50% Off Sale is for 3 days only 3 – 5 December 2018. What better way to jump in than with a huge saving!

Do you know Gutenberg? He’s coming, but are you ready?

 

**Note: Affiliate links are used in this post, so I may get a small Christmas bonus if you choose to click and sign up 😉 I can guarantee all reviews and opinions are mine.

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