Freshbooks and Quickbooks Online

Posted by David Chism | Fri, Jun 4, 2010

 Freshbooks and Quickbooks Online
I’d high­ly rec­om­mend two great online pro­grams: Fresh­books and Quick­books Online. Invoic­ing Made Easy Fresh­books is the eas­i­est invoic­ing sys­tem in the world. There is noth­ing that comes close to this pro­gram. Stop look­ing for anoth­er option and try Fresh­books. It is incred­i­ble. A num­ber of my paint­ing clients want to switch but can’t because they use Quick­books (which I’ll talk about in a minute). Why do they want to switch so bad? Because it is Invoic­ing Made Easy!” Fresh­books offers the fol­low­ing great fea­tures for a small ser­vice busi­ness: Basic Cus­tomer Data­base, Cre­ate & Send Esti­mates, Invoic­es, Expens­es, Run Sim­ple Account­ing Reports: Bal­ance Sheets and P&L, Track Time and Bill Clients and Accept Online Pay­ments. Why is it easy? You don’t have to open an email pro­gram or attach any­thing. Every­thing is done with­in Fresh­books. How Does Fresh­books Work First, you type in a clien­t’s con­tact infor­ma­tion. Sec­ond, you cre­ate a new esti­mate. A con­trac­tor can have a tem­plate for his/​her ser­vices along with prices. Once you cre­ate the esti­mate, it gives you a cou­ple of options. You can send as a PDF by email, email it through Fresh­books (rec­om­mend­ed) or USPS using Fresh­books to do the send­ing (enve­lope, stamped and mailed). Once the client views the esti­mate, he can either com­ment on changes he’d like to make or click Accept Esti­mate.” Fresh­books then con­verts it right into an Invoice for you to approve and send your client. The client then has the option to mail a check or click Pay Online.” If they select to pay by Cred­it Card, you will receive a con­fir­ma­tion once the trans­ac­tion goes through and Fresh­books will mark the invoice” as paid! I use Fresh­books for my entire account­ing sys­tem as I don’t have employ­ees. So I use the expense” tap to keep track of all my expens­es, which are import­ed using my bank and Expen­si­fy. I then email my report to my account dur­ing tax sea­son. Give Fresh­books a Try! You’ll love it! Quick­books Online Quick­books is the leader in small busi­ness account­ing soft­ware. A cou­ple of years ago, they cre­at­ed Quick­books Online (QBO). It was not until the last year that QBO became a viable option for ser­vice com­pa­nies. This is because Intu­it made some pret­ty sub­stan­tial upgrades to the online pro­gram and entic­ing low month­ly cost. One of the best things about Quick­books Online is that every­thing is in the clouds.” You don’t have to pur­chase QB upgrades each year. Instead you just have one low month­ly bill: typ­i­cal­ly $25 – 35 a month. This is worth it, because it includes tech­ni­cal sup­port. QBO is a full account­ing sys­tem: invoic­ing, job track­ing, bud­get­ing, esti­mates, auto­mat­ic bank rec­on­cil­i­a­tion and much much more. I’ve heard from a few accoun­tants that they are not ready to switch to QBO because it is still a small­er ver­sion of the PC soft­ware Quick­books Pro.” So, talk to your accoun­tant and see if it will do what you want. I tried it out for a month or two, and all though it was too big for my com­pa­ny, it was pret­ty easy to use. Now, if you are a con­trac­tor, what pro­gram is right for you? In most cas­es, I’d sug­gest Quick­books Online, but do talk to your Accoun­tant. Some accoun­tants don’t like QB online because it lacks a few key fea­tures such as good Pay­roll and Job Cost­ing. Fresh­books, even though it will do esti­mates and basic expens­es, Quick­books real­ly has a lot more fea­tures. Fresh­books also does not claim to be an account­ing pro­gram. It spe­cial­izes in invoic­ing. It also inte­grates with a lot of 3rd par­ty online pro­grams, and I hope some­day it will inte­grate with Quick­books. Right now, Quick­books Online will do every­thing Fresh­books can do. The dif­fer­ence is that QBO is not as fun to use as Fresh­books, it does not have a com­pa­ny brand­ed web­site (Fresh­books does) and Quick­books only allows for email­ing or mail­ing invoic­es: in oth­er words, a client can’t accept esti­mates and invoic­es through Quick­books Online. So for now, con­trac­tors, use Quickbooks…and if you have anoth­er $25 – 30 extra a month, use Fresh­books! Fresh­books is real­ly geared toward the free­lance and very small busi­ness own­ers such as a web design­er, mar­ket­ing guy like me or even an online retail­er. If you have fur­ther ques­tions, let me know.

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.


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