FreshBooks Review 2023: Cost, Pros, Cons

FreshBooks offers accounting features best suited for freelancers or very small businesses.
Hillary Crawford
Amrita Jayakumar
By Amrita Jayakumar and  Hillary Crawford 
Edited by Christine Aebischer

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FreshBooks is a small-business accounting software product that's well-suited for freelancers and independent contractors. It stands out with its solid phone support and customizable invoicing features. However, it's not ideal for fast-growing businesses because of user and client limits on some of its plans.

The software started out primarily as a solution for managing invoices and grew to become an accounting product. The Toronto-based company's software is now used in more than 160 countries.

FreshBooks Accounting

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  • Simple to use for freelancers and very small businesses.

  • All plans include time tracking, plus the ability to add billable hours and billable expenses to invoices.

  • Mobile app lets you reply to clients’ questions and notifies you when invoices have been viewed or are overdue.

  • 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time phone support Monday through Friday.

  • Highest-tier Select plan only comes with two users and lower-tier plans put limits on billable clients.

  • Least expensive Lite plan lacks bank reconciliation tools, accountant access and double-entry accounting reports.

  • Accountant can’t access full audit trail, regardless of plan.

FreshBooks at a glance

Key features

Has a strong invoicing feature; app lets users send invoices on the go, scan receipts and track mileage; basic inventory tracking for billable items; least expensive plan lacks double-entry accounting reports.

Ease of use

Auto-categorizes transactions for you, but you can’t set up your own bank rules; no global search function; least expensive plan lacks bank reconciliation tools.


Highest-tier plan includes two users (additional users can be added for a fee); ideal for freelancers and contractors; not ideal for businesses with more than a handful of employees.

Ease of sharing with accountants

Least expensive plan doesn’t allow accountant access; lacks complete audit trail.


Integrates with more than 100 third-party apps; limited choices for direct payroll and point-of-sale integrations.

Customer support

Includes phone support in all plans 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time from Monday to Friday; offers email support, but not live chat support with a human.


Plans start at $17 per month.

Advanced features

Project tracking tools in higher-tier plans; lacks industry-specific reports and transaction tracking tags; users with multiple businesses must pay for separate subscriptions.

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.

Pricing and features





$17 per month or $204 annually.

Designed for self-employed professionals.

  • Covers five billable clients.

  • Unlimited and customized invoices.

  • Unlimited expense entries.

  • Send unlimited estimates.

  • Accept credit card payments and ACH bank transfers online.

  • Automated bank import.

  • Unlimited time tracking.

  • Add billable hours to invoices and rebill expenses to clients.

  • Tax reports and sales tax tracking.

  • Mobile mileage tracking.


$30 per month or $360 annually.

Designed for small businesses. It includes all Lite features, plus:

  • Covers 50 billable clients.

  • Automatic expense receipt scanning on mobile app.

  • Double-entry accounting reports and business health reports.

  • Recurring billing.

  • Client retainers.

  • Accountant access.

  • Bank reconciliation tools.


$55 per month or $660 annually.

Designed for growing businesses. It includes all Plus features, plus:

  • Covers unlimited billable clients.

  • Customized email templates and signatures.

  • Track project profitability.

  • Track accounts payable.


Custom pricing.

Designed for businesses that need dedicated support. It includes all Premium features, plus:

  • Access for two team members.

  • Personal account manager.

  • Customized training.

  • Lower credit card transaction rates.

  • Send client emails without FreshBooks branding.


Phone support availability

As opposed to limiting phone support to normal working hours, FreshBooks offers phone support from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time on weekdays. This is convenient for people who work on their books towards the end of the day or own a business, like a restaurant, that operates on a later schedule. Phone calls are typically answered within three rings by a customer support representative.

Instead of live chat support with a human, FreshBooks lets you create online support tickets. Emails are normally answered within 90 minutes.

Robust invoicing services

FreshBooks' suite of invoicing features is one of the product’s strong suits. 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. Invoicing features are available on the mobile app, too.

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Time 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 subscribers, by comparison, must pay separately for automatic time tracking. Xero users track mileage and time through project tracking and expense claiming tools that are only found in the highest-tier Established plan.

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Limits on users and clients

FreshBooks’ biggest drawbacks are its limits on users and billable clients. It includes one user in all plans but the Select tier (which allows two users); each additional user costs $11 per month. The lower-tier Lite and Plus plans allow up to five 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 and 25 users in its Advanced plan. Wave, a free accounting software product, 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.

Lite plan lacks double-entry accounting basics

The lowest-tier Lite plan doesn’t include basics like bank reconciliation tools or double-entry accounting fundamentals (i.e., a general ledger, chart of accounts and trial balance). It also doesn't allow accountant or bookkeeper access. Most accounting software companies provide these basic services even in their cheapest plans.

In the same vein, FreshBooks might be limiting for growing businesses that have multiple people working in the software. Regardless of which plan you choose, your accountant will not have access to a full audit trail.

FreshBooks alternatives

Bookkeeping and accounting software


$30 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.

$10 per month and up.

Sage Accounting is a simple, affordable accounting software product with basic invoicing features.

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.

Frequently asked questions

FreshBooks is an accounting software product for freelancers and small businesses. It stands out for offering time tracking in all plans, as well as customizable invoicing options.

Unlike QuickBooks Online, all FreshBooks plans let you track time and mark expenses as billable. Whereas FreshBooks is best for freelancers and small businesses that do most of their transactions by invoice, QuickBooks Online is a more robust product that can support quickly growing small businesses. For a detailed breakdown, see NerdWallet’s FreshBooks vs. QuickBooks Online comparison.

FreshBooks starts at $17 per month or $204 per year. The company frequently offers discounts for both types of subscriptions.

Freelancers, independent contractors and small businesses with no more than a handful of employees are the best candidates for FreshBooks.

FreshBooks automates some bookkeeping tasks and helps you keep track of income and expenses. If you want to hand off certain bookkeeping tasks entirely, the company has a partnership with Bench. The bookkeeping service matches you with bookkeepers who can track transactions and generate financial reports for you.

FreshBooks does not offer its own payroll service, but it integrates with Gusto, a popular payroll and HR software provider.


NerdWallet’s accounting software ratings favor products that are easy to use, reasonably priced, have a robust feature set and can grow with your business. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including range of features, cost, ease of use, accounting standards compliance, scalability, ease of sharing with accountants, integrations, customer support, pricing transparency and availability of a free trial period. Learn more about how we rate small-business accounting software.

These ratings are meant to provide clarity in the decision-making process, but what’s best for your business will depend on its size, growth trajectory and which features you need most. We encourage you to research and compare multiple accounting software products before choosing one.

NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

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QuickBooks Online

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on QuickBooks' website


Additional pricing tiers (per month): $60, $90, $200.

50% off 

for first three months or free 30-day trial.

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on QuickBooks' website



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on Xero's website


Additional pricing tiers (per month): $42, $78.

30-day free trial 

or monthly discount (terms vary).

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on Xero's website

Zoho Books

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on Zoho Books' website


Additional pricing tiers (per month): $20, $50, $70, $150, $275.

14-day free trial 

of the Premium plan.

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on Zoho Books' website