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Gathering Data for the Greater Good

So … Version 3.5 is out the door.

Many of you (FreshBooks *active* users only) will notice a special message the next time you login. It is a prompt to tell us what profession/industry you are in. It’s optional, but here is the kicker – if you tell us, we are going to deliver some real value to you and your business.

Applications that use the web as a platform have the potential to begin an era of providing new value for their users. Never has there been a better opportunity for users to learn from other users. Some may call this social software (I would), but it’s not all about creating a profile page on a web, uploading photos and hoping someone finds you online. This is a different kind of learning.

All the users that profile themselves (e.g. tell us “I am a web designer”) will begin receiving useful comparative business metrics they can use to benchmark their business. For example, a web designer might like to learn:

  • What is the average invoice size for web designers?
  • How long does the average web designer take to get paid?
  • What is the average monthly revenue of other web designers?

We’re going to tell our active users their industry average AND their own average, so they can see how they stack up. “If everyone is getting paid faster than me, why is that and what can I do about it?” Good questions.

We’re going to take things one step further too. We’re going to scour our records for the best performers for various metrics and interview them to get tips. We will then feature them as experts so other businesses can learn how to run their own businesses more effectively.

Remember when you had to pay Forrester $1200 for a report like this? It’s times like this I catch a glimpse of how our service – and services like ours – will begin to move markets.

Just so we are clear, the data collected will only be used in its anonymous aggregate form. We’re not looking into your data on an individual basis and it won’t be copied or shared outside of our organization. Also, the request to have users profile themselves, and the access to the comparative industry reporting, are only available to users who have demonstrated a commitment to using FreshBooks. Our active users.

So sign up, use FreshBooks and join the data party.

  • merylmanning

    Hi Joyce,

    You probably don’t want to add the information for this business to your existing account, as you won’t be able to change the company name or logo. If you wanted to open a second account for the business you can definitely do so. It will be free if you have three clients or less for your second business. Alternatively the second account would be discounted as you have an existing account already :)

    I would love to send you some more information, if you could e-mail me at I can definitely make sure to get all the information to you.

  • Khürt L. Williams

    I second that.

  • Andy White

    Hey guys. Where is this data then? I don’t think I’ve ever seen it – and this was posted in 2006. Am I missing it on the system?

  • merylmanning

    Hi Andy,

    This should defintiely be in your account :)

    We have renamed it ‘report card’ which always reminds me of being at school and comparing grades with my classmates :D

    If you log into your account and scroll to the very bottom of the page you will see 4 options in the very bottom left corner, under the title Product

    Pricing & Upgrade


    Report Card

    New Features

    If you click on Report Card, you will be able to see a comparison chart showing information from your account vs a collection of others in the same industry.

    One full quarter has to have passed since you signed up to show the information, but after that the information is there whenever you need it :)

    If you have any questions or need any further help at all, please feel free to e-mail me at


  • jas

    I don’t know how much of a discussin this is since the last installment is 0 months ago but I waould like to make reports on income and break it donw to more detail. for example I have wholesale sales and under that galleries and stores. under retail sales I have shop sales and shows. I don’t see options to make sub categories

  • Donna

    if I purchase your software will the bank download info allow me to decide how far back to download? Would love to dow
    nload info into this program for the past year.

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