Freshbooks Experiment–The End is Near

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I can’t believe it’s been a month since I started my experiment with Freshbooks. Tomorrow will be the last day of my trial, and then I’ll be making some decisions.

I’ve enjoyed the chance to learn about a program in this way. Usually, when I “review” a product or program, I spend a day or two with it, and get a very superficial idea of the overall experience. Spending a full month has been nice, it let me try everything out, without the time pressure. It also allowed me to use my own data, so instead of replicating a real life situation, I used it in my real life.

During the past month I also received a message from two other companies, one that works with Freshbooks, and another that is an alternative to it.

Early in the month, the folks at Shoeboxed recommended that I try out their service alongside Freshbooks. With Shoeboxed, you send in your receipts in an envelope, and the folks at Shoeboxed scan them, organized them, upload them, and then send you back the originals. Considering how much time I spend doing this with my own business and personal receipts, it sounds like a great thing to outsource.

Also, the folks at WorkingPoint offered me a trial of their premium service. WorkingPoint is much more robust online bookkeeping software. Although a freelancer can use this, it seems like you could run a fairly substantial business with this app as well. It handles banking, a full Chart of Accounts, inventory, and payroll (optional).

I wanted to focus on Freshbooks this month exclusively, so I didn’t try either of these out yet. I’m seriously considering taking a similar experiment with both of these companies in July. No matter what bookkeeping app I use, I think Shoeboxes would be a great time saver. I think the membership I’d use is around $20/month, which is much less than my billable time that is spent every month doing this on my own. WorkingPoint looks interesting. It might be something to suggest instead of QuickBooks. My main concern is that it is very US-centric, so I wouldn’t get some of the reports I’d like. Since Freshbooks is a Canadian company, it natively supports the GST reports I need.

I’m going to finish up the month tomorrow. I’ll need a couple days to sort through the pros and cons, and then I’ll be writing up a full review.

Stay tuned!