Freshbooks: An Honest Review of My Favorite Business Tool
I’m not big into review posts here on my blog because I generally like to keep things as light and fun as possible. But when I was offered a chance to do a review of my favorite business tool, I just couldn’t say no. Freshbooks is offering me an incentive to write this post, but all opinions are 100% honest and 100% mine.
I’ve written a little bit about Freshbooks in the past on my blog because it is honestly my favorite business tool.
Running a business is all about getting paid. Until you get paid, you can’t really call your blog (or anything else) a business. That’s where Freshbooks comes in for me.
Sure, I was running my business and getting paid well before I bought a paid subscription to Freshbooks. I already had a PayPal account from purchasing things on Ebay years and years ago, so it was easy enough for me to start using that same account to accept payment for my freelance writing and Virtual Assistant work when I first started my business back in July 2014. (Almost 2 years ago – eek!)
Back then, I had read a few review posts and heard a few freelancers talk about using Freshbooks and other tools for their business accounting, but I decided a plain old manual Excel sheet would do for me since I was “just getting started”.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still all for boot-strapping your business and keeping costs down as much as possible so you can keep more of your money at the end of the month, even if things like Freshbooks are able to be deducted from your taxes as a business expense. But now that I made the switch to Freshbooks almost a year ago, I could never go back.
My business accounting was quickly becoming a nightmare to keep up with and complete each month, and sending invoices was taking way longer than it should. When I finally added up how much I was spending in PayPal fees each month, that’s when I decided to make the switch and get a subscription to Freshbooks.
Freshbooks does come with a free trial, but I was hooked from day 1 (or maybe day 2 or 3). Here’s why Freshbooks is hands down my favorite business tool.
Send Professional Invoices
One of my favorite features of Freshbooks is the ability to send professional looking invoices. You can easily add your company name, logo, and other information to the top of your invoices in Freshbooks so everything is nice, neat, and branded whenever you are sending out invoices to get paid for your work.
Of course, you can upload your logo in PayPal too, but I love the Freshbooks automatically pulled colors from my logo to use for my dashboard, the website background, and other aesthetics too. It just looks pretty. Looking pretty isn’t really a good reason to buy an accounting tool like Freshbooks, but it certainly helps. 🙂
Plus, Freshbooks invoices can be paid by PayPal, credit card, or several other payment methods, so it’s easy for your clients to pay you for your work. They can also pay a portion of your invoice up-front too.
Track Income, Expenses, and Time
Another great feature of Freshbooks is the ability to track your income, expenses, and time. When I was using PayPal for invoicing, I was tracking all of these things manually in an Excel sheet and it got cumbersome. Now I can easily see how much money I’ve made from each client, each month, or by category of the work I’m doing (writing vs. VA work).
You can also input your expenses in Freshbooks and spit out a report at the end of the year for tax purposes. Or better yet, you can also choose to give you accountant a limited access login to your Freshbooks account so they can stay up-to-date on your business income and expenses (or whatever information you choose to give them) throughout the year. This makes tax planning so much easier!
Best of all, you can track your time in Freshbooks too. I’m trying to step away from charging for hourly services, but I still like to know about how much money I’m making for the time I put in to my work. The time tracker feature makes it easy to do this.
Saves Money on Pesky PayPal Fees
I already talked about how I love to save money where ever I can on business expenses so I can keep more of it in my pocket, but the expense I hate the most is paying PayPal fees. I find is ridiculous that as an entrepreneur I have to pay a fee in order to get paid.
When I worked at my full-time job, I never had to pay a fee in order to get my paycheck, so I hate paying a fee to get my paycheck now, which is how PayPal fees feel to me.
Before I made the switch to Freshbooks, I finally added it up and realized I was spending WAY more in PayPal fees each month than a subscription to Freshbooks would cost.
The smallest Freshbooks plan is $9.95/month (or less if you pay annually) and I realized that by switching to Freshbooks I’d be saving more money in PayPal fees than I would pay for my Freshbooks subscription, this is what finally convinced me to sign up for Freshbooks.
When you use Freshbooks to invoice U.S. based clients that pay via PayPal, you will only be charged a flat fee of $0.50 per payment you receive, no mater how much you invoice for. I just sent an invoice the other day for nearly $1,500 and I paid a flat $0.50 to receive my payment thanks to Freshbooks.
The way I think about it, I actually get to use Freshbooks for “free” since I’d be paying that more than $9.95 more in PayPal fees each month without it. Plus I also save a lot of time and Tylenol avoiding the headache associated with tracking my income and expenses manually.
Have you thought about switching to Freshbooks? It’s my favorite business tool for a reason. If you decide to give it a try, you will get a 30 day free trial with my affiliate link. Plus, a girl’s gotta make money somehow! 😉
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