The business world is moving faster than ever before, and busy professionals are increasingly looking for digital tools that can keep up with their nonstop lifestyles. The FreshBooks mobile apps bring all the tools that business owners expect from their financial management and accounting platforms into the cloud, making it possible for executives, managers and freelancers to track time, create invoices, and check balances from any place at any time.
In this FreshBooks Mobile Apps review, I will test out the cloud accounting application on the iPhone and iPad.
Throughout my review I will pay close attention to the specific tools most likely to be used by business travelers, including expense tracking, time tracking, receipt scanning, and mobile invoice creation.
About FreshBooks Mobile Apps
Introduced in late 2012, FreshBooks mobile apps give small business owners with iPhones and iPads a way to manage their accounting needs when they’re on-the-go. The mobile applications sync automatically with FreshBooks’ existing web application, ensuring a seamless transition both inside and outside the office. Although FreshBooks was built primarily to help service-based small businesses save time on billing, the mobile application is ideal for professionals in a variety of industries who want to run their businesses on the go.
Main Functionality of the FreshBooks Mobile Apps
When developing its mobile apps, FreshBooks aimed to create a platform that supported clients throughout the accounting lifecycle. When a business traveler hits the road on the way to a client meeting, for example, he typically needs to save travel receipts to use in billings and reimbursements. From there, the user needs to track how long he spent working on specific projects, and then create and send invoices based on the number of billable hours. FreshBooks mobile apps provide solutions for all of these needs.
Users in service-related industries can send invoices to clients before they have even left the job site instantly find out if invoices have been viewed. The FreshBooks mobile app allows users to accept online payments, and it syncs automatically with the company’s web-based platform to ensure colleagues working inside the office are on the same page as any executives working on the road.
Benefits of Using FreshBooks Mobile Apps
FreshBooks’ mobile apps offer many of the same tools as the company’s cloud-based platform, but with added features that make the system more applicable for people working outside the office. For example, the platform’s expense tracking feature allows users to photograph receipts using their iPhones or iPads. These receipts are then automatically entered into the FreshBooks system, and attached to expense sheets for reimbursement and tax purposes. Business travelers can even rebill expenses to their clients from within the mobile app.
The Basics: What Does the Interface Look Like?
Click the “Expenses” button on the FreshBooks home screen, and then open up the mobile app’s camera to begin scanning your business receipts. Once you’ve taken a picture, you can process the expense by manually typing in the value, the category, the client or vendor, and the date. If you want to rebill the expense, you can add the expense to an invoice, and send that invoice to the client in just a few quick clicks.
Use the app’s time tracking feature to keep an accurate record of how much time you’ve spent working on individual projects. Hit the timer’s “Start” button the moment your brainstorming meeting begins, and add notes as a reminder of what was discussed or completed during that particular meeting. FreshBooks makes it easy to convert your timer records into billable hours, which can be seamlessly included on your next client invoice.
Perhaps the most useful tool for small business owners is FreshBooks’ mobile invoicing feature. Create and send invoices from your iPhone or iPad, and check to see if your invoices are viewed. Invoicing errors can be amended immediately from within the FreshBooks mobile app, and clients can pay online using a payment gateway like Paypal.
FreshBooks offers a number of support options for mobile app users, starting with a robust Help Center and FAQ page. For more detailed queries, small business owners can contact FreshBooks’ award-winning support team by phone, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
FreshBooks’ iOS app is completely free, and it can be synced with existing FreshBooks web-app accounts at no additional cost. Users with more than three active clients, or any additional staff members, will need to update to a paid FreshBooks package to continue using the mobile app.
The Bottom Line
The FreshBooks’ mobile app for iPhone and iPad users is an incredibly useful platform for business owners in service-related industries. These applications are easy-to-use, they work virtually anywhere in the world, and save professionals valuable time dealing with basic business accounting tasks. Users can track expenses to make reimbursements and tax deductions much easier.
Ratings: ease of use 4/5, features 5/5, value 5/5
By Stephanie Miles
Overall rating: (4.5/5)
Cons: Users can't undelete and unarchive a client, invoice, or estimate from the mobile app.