Like most things we’re not used to trying, finding a new way to handle our invoicing needs is a bit of a mixed bag. As it turns out, I was recently turned on to a method of handling invoices for my small business that I think works pretty well. The software is called FreshBooks and it’s completely cross platform friendly. Because FreshBooks is accessible from your Web browser, there is no need to be concerned with using one OS vs. another. This pleases me immensely!
Getting things set up
I must admit that I found FreshBooks to be both amazingly simple and a bit confusing at first — all at the same time. Despite having a handle on using it in the beginning fairly early on, it did require me to abandon the “help” section and just browse around myself. It’s the advanced features that require some extra care. Getting invoices out the door is simple enough, but learning how to effectively rely on the reports, using various aspects of the tracking options, and so on can translate into a bit of a hassle.
Features that really struck me as helpful
Automated invoicing. Perfect for those who need reliable, reoccurring invoicing as an option.
Online payments. Accept your payments using services like PayPal or Authorize.net. It beats waiting for a check, that’s for sure.
Send snail mail invoices. Hardly a desired option, but the ability to send forth invoices in paper format is doable using FreshBooks.
Expense tracking, staff management, and more
Another side benefit of using FreshBooks that was actually a bit unexpected: expense tracking. Not something that I had thought of using with this particular software suite, but it’s neat, nonetheless. The software also plays nicely with contractors and clients alike. In each instance, tracking is made reasonably easy.
Do I recommend you use FreshBooks for your small business? Honestly, I never thought I’d admit this. But yes, I do think it’s worth investigating closely. While it’s not perfect, it’s not half bad either.