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FreshBooks is our choice for the best accounting software for invoicing. It has extensive features that allow businesses to manage clients and projects, track time, create and send invoices, accept online invoice payments and more.
Invoicing is one of the most crucial small business accounting tasks, helping business owners manage cash flow and all elements of financial tracking. FreshBooks is an ideal accounting solution for small businesses that generate numerous invoices. With FreshBooks, you can create professional invoices in seconds, track and bill expenses, send automatic reminders, produce various reports and much more. For these reasons, FreshBooks is our choice for the best accounting software for invoicing.
9.1 / 10
When we tested FreshBooks, we found that it offers all of the essential accounting features that small businesses need. We were particularly impressed by the software’s invoicing capabilities, which we found far superior to those of many competitors we reviewed. We tested the software extensively and found creating and sending professional invoices straightforward and effortless. FreshBooks lets you set up recurring invoices, schedule automatic payment reminders, and accept credit and debit card payments online — features that can help a small business head off cash flow problems.
We like that FreshBooks monitors an invoice’s status after you send it, showing you when customers receive and view invoices. It tracks billable time and expenses and allows you to add them to invoices — a feature lacking in many competitors we reviewed. This capability makes FreshBooks an excellent option for freelancers, self-employed professionals, and agencies and firms that provide professional services. All of these benefits and more make FreshBooks our top choice for businesses that need robust invoicing capabilities in their accounting solution.
FreshBooks helps businesses customize invoices, create recurring invoices and accept payments online. Source: FreshBooks
Business owners aren’t usually accountants or bookkeepers, so they need a straightforward accounting solution. One of our favorite things about FreshBooks is its ease of use. After testing FreshBooks, we feel business owners will have no trouble navigating and learning the software. The user interface is attractive and clearly labeled (see the screenshot below from our demo). A central dashboard displays vital business information and statistics, including unpaid invoices, profit, revenue and expenses. Unlike on some competing software we reviewed, the main dashboard widgets are fixed, although the information displayed within them can be customized.
On the left side of the screen, you’ll find a menu of the software’s primary categories. Each feature’s individual screen is well designed for simplicity and ease of use, with color-coded buttons and text that help direct the user’s attention.
The FreshBooks dashboard is clean and easy to navigate. Source: FreshBooks
FreshBooks has several must-have accounting software features to make your accounting tasks easier and faster. Here’s a rundown of the features we found the most compelling.
A professional-looking invoice is essential for getting paid. We were impressed that FreshBooks allows you to quickly customize the look of your invoices to match your branding. You can easily upload your logo and then choose a template, font and accent color. We like that you can also customize your payment terms, add a note to your customer, request a deposit and create a payment schedule.
We were impressed that FreshBooks lets you convert estimates and proposals into invoices in two clicks. Additionally, we found it easy to duplicate and modify past invoices instead of creating new ones from scratch. In our opinion, FreshBooks’ invoicing features surpass those of competitors such as Xero and QuickBooks, which aren’t as intuitive.
FreshBooks’ invoicing tools make it easy to bill clients and get paid. Source: FreshBooks
One of the coolest FreshBooks features we found is the time-tracking tool in the mobile app. For example, contractors can add billable time to an invoice on the spot, enabling you to bill a customer on-site. Additionally, you can easily add billable expenses to invoices instead of using clunky manual methods, such as tracking time on a separate sheet of paper or a spreadsheet. To us, this tool solidifies the software’s superior invoicing capabilities.
We like that FreshBooks Payments can sync to a PayPal or Stripe account (read our review of Stripe to learn more), allowing users to track payments through FreshBooks. You can email invoices and receive updates when your clients view and pay them. Your customers can click a button on the invoice to pay it, thus eliminating the time it would take for paper invoices to arrive in the mail and helping you get paid faster. This is a crucial feature for getting paid quickly, and many competitors don’t offer it.
During our demo, we noted FreshBooks’ ability to schedule recurring invoices to go out weekly, monthly, annually or as frequently as you choose. You can send automatic payment reminders before or after the due date to encourage customers to pay their bills promptly. We like that you can set up the software to automatically charge interest and late fees on past-due invoices as either a percentage or a flat fee.
We were impressed with the FreshBooks mobile app, which is available for iOS and Android. The app assists with time tracking and on-the-spot invoicing; you can create invoices immediately after meeting with a client. You can also use the app to capture receipts, chat with customers and check the status of an invoice. The FreshBooks Accounting app is rated 4.7 out of 5 on the Apple App Store, indicating a high degree of customer satisfaction.
Like other popular accounting software, FreshBooks connects to your business checking account and credit card accounts and automatically imports your expenses daily. We like that FreshBooks includes bank reconciliation tools, so you won’t have to manually reconcile your business bank account. The Premium and Select plans use double-entry accounting, allowing you to create a chart of accounts and run new reports, such as a general ledger report, a balance sheet and a trial balance (see the screenshot below of Freshbooks’ dashboard below). Unlike Xero, however, FreshBooks hasn’t implemented AI in its bank reconciliation.
You can handle all of your accounting needs right from the FreshBooks dashboard. Source: FreshBooks
We were impressed by FreshBooks’ project management tools, which allow you to manage projects and base your billing on an hourly or flat rate. A time budget shows how much time remains on a project, how much of your tracked time is unbilled and how many days are left until the project’s due date. You can also monitor how many hours your team members spend on each project, as well as share files and discuss the project. Unlike competitors such as QuickBooks and Xero, FreshBooks’ project management tools are available for all plans.
During our demo, we tested FreshBooks’ ability to generate various reports, including profit and loss statements, sales tax summaries, accounts receivable aging, expense reports, invoice details, payments collected and time-entry details. We like that you can email, print or export them to Excel. These tools provide small business owners with valuable data analytics and insights into their businesses.
User permissions are critical for preventing employee accounting fraud, and we were happy to see that FreshBooks includes this feature. You can invite business partners, employees, contractors and accountants to your account, but they can view only what you allow them to access. Employees can access their projects, tracked time and expenses. Contractors can view only projects that you allow them to see, and they can track time toward those projects. Accountants can see your dashboard, reports, expenses and invoices, but they can’t create invoices.
If you’re considering hiring a CPA as tax time approaches, evaluate your tax situation’s complexity, your business budget and your timetable. If you can afford to hire a CPA, it’s probably your best option.
FreshBooks is on the higher end of the price spectrum compared with other accounting software we reviewed. FreshBooks currently offers four plans based on a business’s number of clients.
FreshBooks regularly offers discounts, so be sure to ask about introductory offers before you purchase. Here is a breakdown of the plans and their monthly rates without discounts:
We love that FreshBooks offers a generous 30-day free trial, which allows you to sample all of the features before subscribing. Not all accounting software providers present a free trial, so we were impressed by this offer.
Here are some additional fees and payment notes to be aware of:
We tested FreshBooks’ onboarding process, we found it extremely easy to set up FreshBooks. There’s a generous 30-day free trial period; impressively, no credit card is required to open a trial account. You simply enter your email address, create a password and click a link in a confirmation email. After the free trial ends, you must select a paid plan to continue using the software. Your data from the free trial will be stored until you decide to upgrade.
Like other accounting software we reviewed, FreshBooks is 100 percent cloud-based, so there isn’t any desktop software to install. You can also access FreshBooks from a mobile app. However, this also means an internet connection is necessary to use the software.
Because many cloud-based software companies skimp on customer service, we were impressed that FreshBooks offers multiple support resources. We like that you can contact the company for help by phone, email or live chat, or search the online knowledgebase. You can also access webinars, blog posts and free e-books that go into more depth about using the software. FreshBooks earns a 4.3 out of 5 on Trustpilot, with 64% of users rating the customer service five stars.
The FreshBooks website features an automated chatbot that can assist with basic questions. During our test run of the FreshBooks website, we found that the bot competently answered inquiries about pricing but struggled with more nuanced questions. Prospective customers with further questions can contact a sales representative by email or phone.
FreshBooks offers numerous online help resources on invoicing, new software features, reports, time tracking and more. Source: FreshBooks
While FreshBooks excels at time tracking, general invoicing and project management, we found it lacking in these areas during our test run:
We researched and analyzed dozens of the best accounting and invoicing software solutions to help small businesses choose the right accounting software for their needs. We reviewed software features such as payment and invoicing capabilities, integrations, mobile apps, report generation, supported user count and customer service options. We also assessed pricing and the availability of free trials. We relied on vendors’ websites and software demos when conducting our analysis. Additionally, we studied user reviews to get independent opinions on the software’s pros and cons. When looking for the best accounting software for invoicing specifically, we focused on factors such as ease of use, customization and the ability to send an invoice on the spot and as a recurring item.
FreshBooks offers many of the same bookkeeping features as QuickBooks for a similar price, making it a QuickBooks alternative to consider. However, FreshBooks focuses more on invoicing features, giving it an edge over QuickBooks in that area.
FreshBooks is a cloud-based accounting software application. With FreshBooks, you can easily create and send invoices from a mobile device, track time and manage projects.
FreshBooks’ user interface is very intuitive, with an easy-to-navigate dashboard that displays key statistics.