Many or all of the products and brands we promote and feature including our ‘Partner Spotlights’ are from our partners who compensate us. However, this does not influence our editorial opinion found in articles, reviews and our ‘Best’ tables. Our opinion is our own. Read more on our methodology here.
Businesses looking to send invoices in multiple currencies, or for the ability to easily track their billable hours and team productivity, may be interested in FreshBooks accounting software.
There are four plans to choose from, including a customisable option for larger businesses. Each plan is Making Tax Digital (MTD) compliant. This means you can submit your VAT returns directly to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
However, if you want an account that comes with built-in payroll or cash-flow forecasting features, you may need to look elsewhere, as FreshBooks requires app integrations to access these functions.
- Making Tax Digital-compliantAll FreshBooks plans are compliant with MTD requirements.
- Multi-currency featuresYou can send invoices, and track expenses, in every currency, while FreshBooks has Stripe and PayPal integrations for international payments.
- Time trackingUnlimited time tracking allows you to keep on top of your billable hours and team productivity, regardless of your FreshBooks plan.
- App integrationsYou can integrate external apps to access features, such as payroll and cash-flow forecasting, through your FreshBooks account.
FreshBooks accounting software pros & cons
- Ability to submit VAT tax returns directly to HMRC.
- Every FreshBooks plan is Making Tax Digital-compliant.
- FreshBooks allows you to send invoices and track expenses in any currency.
- Unlimited time tracking means you can easily log your billable hours and add them to your invoices.
- Payroll features aren’t included with your FreshBooks account, instead requiring app integration.
- It costs an extra £8 per person, per month for multi-user access.
- Cash-flow forecasting requires a separate app integration.
- Limited customer support options.
The pros and cons featured here are chosen by us based on our expert, research-based opinions. They are unlikely to be the only product features and restrictions that you should consider. Pros and cons are subjective and you should align them to your own personal and business circumstances. Information was correct at the time of publication but may have changed since.
FreshBooks accounting software full review
FreshBooks is a global accounting software provider that has reached over 30 million users since its inception in 2003.
All FreshBooks plans are compliant with Making Tax Digital. It is now required by the UK government that you use MTD-compatible software when submitting returns as a VAT-registered business. Further MTD rules will be introduced around income tax returns in April 2026 and 2027.
There are four FreshBooks plans you can choose from: Lite, Plus, Premium and Select. These are outlined below pre-VAT and any discounts.
- Lite: This plan costs £12 a month, allowing you to send unlimited invoices to up to five clients; submit MTD-compliant VAT returns directly to HMRC; track expenses, productivity and sales; send unlimited estimates; and get paid with credit cards and direct debits.
- Plus: This plan costs £22 a month and includes everything from the Lite plan, as well as: the ability to send unlimited invoices to up to 50 clients; to automatically track expenses; to access recurring billing and client retainers; business health reports; double entry accounting reports; and the ability to invite your accountant.
- Premium: This plan, which costs £35 a month, includes everything from the Plus plan, as well as: the ability to send unlimited invoice to an unlimited number of clients; accounts payable tracking for bills, bill payments and vendors; customised email signatures and templates; and project profitability tracking.
- Select: This is a customisable plan, where the price will vary depending on your business needs. It includes everything from the Premium plan, as well as: two team member accounts as standard; a dedicated account manager; custom onboarding services; and the ability to remove FreshBooks branding from client emails.
FreshBooks also offers two account add-ons:
- extra users for £8 per month per person (two are included with the Select plan as standard)
- advanced payments for £15 a month (already included in the Select plan)
FreshBooks accounting software features: at a glance
|Monthly fee (pre-discounts, pre-VAT)||£12 (Lite)|
£35 (Premium)Customisable (Select)
|Free trial||30 days|
|Making Tax Digital compliant||Yes|
|Submit VAT to HMRC||Yes|
|Payroll costs per month (for five employees, pre-discounts, pre-VAT)||N/A (you will need to integrate a separate payroll app)|
|Multi-user access||Yes (£8 per user per month)|
|Customer service||Virtual assistant|
Live chat with agent
Where FreshBooks stands out
Free trial and introductory offer: You can access a 30-day free trial when you first sign up to FreshBooks. FreshBooks offers discounts, which can vary depending on when you apply. At the time of writing, it was offering 50% off for your first 12 months, with an extra 10% reduction if you pay annually instead of monthly.
Making Tax Digital-compliant VAT returns: All FreshBooks plans are MTD-compliant, and allow you to submit your VAT returns directly to HMRC.
Multi-currency: You can send invoices in whatever currency is preferred by your client, and track expenses from all over the world. You can also integrate your FreshBooks account with Stripe to accept international payments, or accept payments from 25 currencies directly on an invoice via PayPal.
Time tracking: Every FreshBooks plan comes with unlimited time tracking features. This includes team time tracking to replace paper timesheets, daily productivity breakdowns, automatic timers and the ability to add logged hours to your invoices.
Where FreshBooks falls short
Payroll: Payroll options are not included with your FreshBooks account. You would need to integrate a compatible payroll app in order to use this function, which may come at extra cost.
Multi-user access: Regardless of which plan you choose, it costs an extra £8 per month per person if you want multi-user access.
Cash-flow forecasting: You can only access cash-flow forecasting by integrating a compatible app with your FreshBooks account.
Limited customer support options: FreshBooks isn’t very forthcoming with its customer support options online, directing you to a virtual assistant tool. It is also possible to try to contact an agent via live chat, but if they are unavailable, you will be required to submit your phone number to arrange a follow-up call.
FreshBooks customer reviews
FreshBooks’s customers have left reviews on a range of sites. Generally, these reviews are mixed to positive.
- App Store: 4.7 out of 5, based on over 670 reviews
- Google Play: 4.1 out of 5, based on over 5,000 reviews
- Trustpilot: 3.5 out of 5, based on over 760 reviews
This information is correct as of 19 September 2023.
At NerdWallet UK, we base our reviews and our ‘Best’ pages on the results of surveys we undertook about what was important to people who use these products. This allows us to look at products impartially of any commercial arrangements we have and fairly rate the products on the same set of criteria.
Best means our ‘Best’ and is based only on what products we have aligned to our surveys, which form the basis of our reviews and ratings. This means that there will be other products on the market that we have not included in our ‘Best’ pages. Best does not mean it’s best for you, nor does it mean the ‘cheapest’.
Our reviews may display lenders’ rates. This additional information has not been included in our evaluations but is still very important when choosing a product. Rates offered can depend on circumstances, amount and term. Always check details before proceeding with any financial product.
Product details reflect the information that was available at that time but may have changed since. We strive to give you a review on as many products as possible, but there will be products not included on the market. The review is our opinion, but it does not constitute advice, recommendation or suitability for your financial circumstances.
You can view our full review methodology here.