Do you need a simple method to track time & expenses and then create invoices? If so, FreshBooks may be just what “the doctor ordered”, or perhaps I should say “the judge ordered”.
FreshBooks1 is an online invoice program that lets you capture time and expenses for you, and those you work with, and then easily create invoices. Smartphone, tablet, desktop, laptop - no matter what you use your FreshBooks account goes wherever you go and can be accessed anytime. Both iOS and Android Apps are available at no cost.
With FreshBooks there are two types of team members who can track time, Contractors and Staff. Contractors can track time and invoice you. All contractor hours are recorded under a single task. Staff can track time and expenses, create and send invoices or estimates, manage clients and projects, and run a variety of reports.
In FreshBooks you create a client and then choose currency and language. You can also determine if the client should be charged late fees. Invoices can be sent by email, printed or, for a small charge, sent via snail mail without you having to stuff and seal envelopes. You can create login credentials for clients so that they can login and review their invoices. Imagine never having to reprint a bill for a client, because they can just login and see it.
Time is tracked by project and clients may have multiple projects. Billing can be based on task, project, staff or a flat fee. While flat fee is nice, in this case it is limited to a bill for a specific amount each time. Unfortunately rates have only one method, so you can’t have rates that vary by staff or task. You can assign Team Members to a project which prevents them from accidentally selecting a project they shouldn’t be working on.
FreshBooks timesheets are viewable in a Monthly, Weekly or Daily format. Time can be entered from a weekly timesheet, or single entries, as well as from a timer you can start and stop to help capture every minute. Invoices are created by Client, but you can select the specific projects to invoice within each client. Time can be detailed, grouped by staff, task or both, or be lumped together as a single line. When clients get the invoices they can easily view the invoice and pay it electronically. This often means a shorter collection cycle which is good for most businesses.
Unfortunately invoice customization is limited; there are only two choices for invoice layouts. You can add a logo and define specific times for invoices, estimates and credit memos. You can also select whether or not to include a payment stub and you can choose to include certain fields (staff, project, task name) in the descriptions. One nice feature is the ability to setup Invoices as recurring.
Client related expenses can be entered into FreshBooks for billing purposes. Expenses can also be imported from many banks and credit card companies. When you create an expense you can attach an image of the receipt. Expenses can be recurring and you determine whether they are subject to tax.
FreshBooks offers a variety of helpful reports, and some not quite so beneficial. For example the Balance Sheet gives you a place to type in your numbers for the various categories and then it adds in the Accounts Receivable. The Profit and Loss is only reflective of the client related data within FreshBooks. More useful are Accounts Aging, Invoice Detail and Revenue by Client reports.
At present there is no link to QuickBooks, or QuickBooks Online, but we expect to see something in this area in the future. The expectation is that journal entries will be sent to QuickBooks for invoices, payments and credits. We will try to keep a watch and let you know.
Did I mention you can try FreshBooks free for 30-days? If you only want to bill one client the ongoing cost is free. After that, the price ranges from $19.95 per month to $39.95 per month depending on the number of clients you want to manage and the number of additional staff that need to access the account. Contractors can be added at no cost! You can find specific price information at FreshBooks Plans.
If you are looking for the ability to invoice for time and expenses, consider giving FreshBooks a try at FreshBooks Cloud Accounting.
1 - FreshBooks is a product of FreshBooks, Toronto, Ontario, Canada