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Published 16 May 2024
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FreshBooks Accounting Software Review: Pros, Cons & Features

Find out where FreshBooks accounting software stands out, and falls short, with our review.

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.

If you run a small business and you’re looking for accounting software that allows you to send invoices in multiple currencies, or if you need software which comes with the ability to easily track billable hours and team productivity, then you may be interested in FreshBooks. 

FreshBooks offers four accounting software plans to choose from, including a customisable option for larger businesses. Every plan is Making Tax Digital (MTD) compliant. This means you can submit your VAT returns directly to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

However, if you are in the market for accounting software 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.

» MORE: Best accounting software for small businesses

Key features

Key features

  • Making Tax Digital-compliant
    All FreshBooks plans are compliant with MTD requirements.
  • Multi-currency features
    You can send invoices, and track expenses, in every currency, while FreshBooks has Stripe and PayPal integrations for international payments.
  • Time tracking
    Unlimited time tracking allows you to keep on top of your billable hours and team productivity, regardless of your FreshBooks plan.
  • App integrations
    You can integrate external apps to access features, such as payroll and cash-flow forecasting, through your FreshBooks account.

FreshBooks accounting software pros & cons

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • Payroll features aren’t included with your FreshBooks account, instead requiring app integration.
  • Unless you are on the Select plan, which includes two team member accounts, FreshBooks users have to pay 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 £15 a month and allows you to send unlimited invoices to up to five clients; submit MTD-compliant VAT returns directly to HMRC; run reports; track unlimited expenses; send unlimited quotes; and get paid with credit cards and direct debits.
  • Plus: This plan costs £25 a month and includes everything from the Lite plan, as well as the ability to send unlimited invoices to up to 50 clients; the ability to automatically capture receipt data; access to recurring billing and client retainers, business health reports, and 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)£15 (Lite)
£25 (Plus)
£35 (Premium)
Variable (Select)
Free trial30 days
Making Tax Digital compliantYes
Submit VAT to HMRCYes
Payroll costs per month (for five employees, pre-discounts, pre-VAT)N/A (you will need to integrate a separate payroll app)
Multi-user accessYes (£8 per user per month)
Multi-currency accountingYes
Customer serviceVirtual 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 also offers discounts, which can vary depending on when you apply. At the time of writing, FreshBooks users can access 50% off their first three 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: Two additional users are included with the Select plan, but otherwise, 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 680 reviews
  • Google Play: 4.3 out of 5, based on over 5,600 reviews
  • Trustpilot: 2.9 out of 5, based on over 790 reviews

This information is correct as of 15 May 2024.

Review methodology

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.

While we try to provide you with accurate information, the providers can change the terms of their products at any time, therefore it is advisable to check the terms before you proceed.

You can view our full review methodology here.

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