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FreshBooks is a solid small-business accounting software product that's well-suited for freelancers and independent contractors. It stands out with its good customer service and customizable invoicing features. However, it's not ideal for fast-growing businesses because of user and client limits on some of its plans.
FreshBooks started out primarily as a way to manage invoices and grew to become an accounting product. The Toronto-based company's product is now used in more than 160 countries.
$15 and up per month (60% off for first six months).
Maximum number of users
All plans except the Select plan come with one user. (Select plan comes with two.) Additional users can be added for $10 per month each.
Ease of sharing with accountants
Good. The lowest-tier Lite plan doesn’t support accountant access. In other plans, you can invite up to 10 accountants through email and assign them Accountant roles.
Average. Lite and Plus plans limit the number of billable clients.
Ease of use
Excellent. FreshBooks has an intuitive design and exceptional customer support.
How does FreshBooks work?
After testing out a free 30-day trial, you can choose from one of four FreshBooks plans; the best option depends on the size and complexity of your business. A support page can help with account setup, and video webinars explain how to use the software and its bookkeeping features.
On the main dashboard, you can see charts that summarize invoices, profit and loss, revenue streams and spending. FreshBooks also has a mobile app for iOS and Android; the app provides access to the software’s basic features and the ability to track mileage and time.
Pricing and features
$15 per month or $180 annually.
Designed for self-employed professionals.
$25 per month or $300 annually.
Designed for small businesses. It includes all Lite features, plus:
$50 per month or $600 annually.
Designed for growing businesses. It includes all Plus features, plus:
Designed for businesses that need dedicated support. It includes all Premium features, plus:
Well-rated customer support, available by phone and email
FreshBooks stands out from other accounting products with customer support service that's highly rated on several online review sites. Emails are normally answered within 90 minutes, and phone calls are answered within three rings by a customer support representative. Customer support is available weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.
Good invoicing services
FreshBooks' suite of invoicing features also sets it apart from competitors. You can choose from various customizable designs, set up recurring digital invoices, easily include discounts, and get instant updates when invoices have been viewed or paid online. All these features are available on the mobile app, too. While Xero, for example, offers customizable invoices, its lowest-tier plan limits the number of invoices you can send.
Time tracking and mileage tracking included in all plans
All FreshBooks plans include mileage tracking and time tracking features, which are also built into the mobile app. That way, small businesses with multiple employees don’t have to pay for a third-party time-tracking app. QuickBooks Online, by comparison, only offers time tracking in its $50-per-month plan and above. Xero users track mileage and time through a project tracker tool included only in the highest-tier Established plan.
Limits on users and clients
FreshBooks’ biggest drawbacks are its limits on users and clients. It includes one user in all plans but the Select tier (which allows two users); each additional user costs $10 per month. The lower-tier Lite and Plus plans allow up to five clients and 50 clients respectively. These limitations may not matter for very small businesses, but they can make it more expensive to scale up.
Other accounting platforms offer more flexibility. QuickBooks Online has a limit of five users in its most popular Plus plan, but it doesn't limit the number of clients in any plan. Wave doesn't place limits on the number of users or clients. Xero doesn't cap the number of users or clients you can have, but it limits the number of invoices you can send in its lowest-tier Early plan.
No bank reconciliation or accountant access in Lite plan
The lowest-tier plan doesn’t include basic features like bank reconciliation. It also doesn't allow accountant or bookkeeper access. Most accounting software companies provide these basic services even in their cheapest plans.
No quarterly tax estimates
FreshBooks provides sales tax and expense reports, but it doesn't estimate quarterly income tax payments like QuickBooks Self-Employed and some others. However, it does integrate with applications such as Taxfyle, which gives users a quote for their business taxes and connects them with an accountant who will handle their taxes.
How FreshBooks compares
Read more about how FreshBooks stacks up with the competition.
Bookkeeping and accounting software
$25 per month and up.
As the industry standard, QuickBooks Online is ideal if you have a growing business with specific accounting needs — as long as you don't mind taking the time to learn the program's ins and outs. Like Xero, it can easily scale with your business.
$47.25 per month (when paid annually) and up.
Sage 50cloud’s Cash Flow Manager tool is a helpful feature for people who want to better understand how future transactions could impact their business. The tool also lets you adjust the time frame to see how your business has changed over time.
Free (add-ons available).
Wave is a solid choice for small businesses looking for free accounting software.
Free and up.
Zoho Books' paid plans all come with free live chat and phone support. The free plan comes with email support only.
QuickBooks Self-Employed is less expensive than QuickBooks Online. It's geared toward freelancers and includes expense tracking, mileage tracking and quarterly tax estimates, but not accounting basics such as the ability to generate balance sheets or add journal entries.