Freshbooks, Easy to Use Invoicing for Small Businesses

Posted by | March 31, 2014 | Marketing Advice | 8 Comments

5 Years of Using FreshbooksFreshbooks Logo

I am just wrapping up my 5th year in business as I write this blog (April 2009 is when I incorporated). When I opened my doors for business I knew I needed two programs to help get me going and not cost a lot of money. I turned to Google Apps for Business to run my emails, contacts and calendars. I then needed a program that would send estimates, invoices and track my business expenses. I landed on Freshbooks. My web designer, David Guy, was using it at the time and loved it. So the decision was easy and it is where I plan to stay as I start my 6th year in business.

Can A Contractor Use Freshbooks?

Since my embracing and using of Freshbooks a lot of fantastic invoicing and accounting (cloud-based) programs have surfaced. I have tried most of them. The ones listed below all have their place in the market and are high quality products.

Most contractors I know have settled on Quickbooks or Quickbooks Online and are happy with the products overall. It makes sense for most contractors to stick with a trusted company like Intuit. They really are the leader in the small business accounting world. I have had a few contractors use Freshbooks for some more seasonal businesses (like Christmas lights) because it is really just a simple system for sending estimates, invoices and receiving payments online. Even though I personally use and LOVE Freshbooks, I’d say that most contractors should probably consider Quickbooks as their billing solution. It would be difficult to switch between the two programs. Freshbooks does not offer some of the key features, like Job Costing.

Freshbooks does have a number of plugins and integrations, as does Quickbooks. So if you really do want a simple solution to start, check out their Add Ons Page.

I tried Quickbooks for myself for awhile, but stayed with Freshbooks for 3 reasons:

  1. My accountant approved
  2. My customers have never once complained about using it to pay their bills
  3. It is a piece of cake to use.

So, if you happened upon this post in search for a very simple and easy to use invoicing system, Freshbooks takes the cake. If you need a more robust accounting system with a lot of bells and whistles, try Quickbooks (for contractors) or check out Xero.


About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


  • Jakob Petrussen says:

    Thank you very much, David, for the valuable information. As a translator and a long time Freshbooks user I was always happy with their platform. But I recently discovered a new app that does exactly the same things as Freshbooks does. At least for my needs. It’s called Nutcache ( and I think it deserves to be on your list.

  • David Chism says:

    I will gladly look into this program! Thanks for sharing. I’ve been on Freshbooks so long…it would be hard to switch. But I like to try programs for others in mind besides just me!

  • John Spurrell says:

    Great Blog, David. I am a building contractor and have been using an Iphone app called “Joist” for billing out small jobs. Check it out – pretty easy to use and they seem to be working hard to make it better all the time. Plus … its FREE (for now).

  • David Chism says:

    Thanks John. I will check out JOIST and see what I think!

  • Sofia says:

    Thanks David for this blog post, very interesting.
    I am also an “ex-user” of Freshbooks, just like Jakob I started using Nutcache about a year ago, it has all those great features and more for free.
    I don’t see the point of paying for a billing app when you can get it for free…

  • David Chism says:

    I have checked out Nutcache. It does look like a nice alternative to Freshbooks for a number of reasons. Yet, it is also missing some key elements or at least, the website doesn’t seem to mention if it offers a few I like. 1) ThE mobile app is just of time tracking. I use the Freshbooks more robust app weekly. 2) I’m not sure expenses are automatically imported from a bank or credit card. If so, that is great, but I did not see it listed. 3) not a lot of integration yet with other key programs. 4) Freshbooks has a nice review system they just setup to get feedback, 5) reporting is stronger in Freshbooks. 6) Auto Bill pay also does not seem to be a feature.

  • ZipBooks says:


    We are still pretty new but you mind checking us out? We are still about a month away from having all the accounting reports we want to have done but I think we are going to be a contender once we are out in the market. We already do invoicing and time tracking really well. We think small businesses are ready for a business model that doesn’t make them pay for a service every month. 😉

  • I have been using slickpie( 100% free accounting software for over a year now. After comparing the various accounting software I decided to go with it. The invoice is super easy to create. That allows me to manage all my invoices easily and track my customers. Excellent Business applications.

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