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Introducing: an easy way to create a balance sheet in FreshBooks

by Casey McKinnon  |  October 10/2012  |  , , ,

UPDATE 2: Thanks to everyone who sent in their feedback to help make this new tool even better. Today we’ve released an update to the Balance Sheet tool which has added support for invoices with multi-currencies. FreshBooks will convert the values to the system-currency using the “As Of” balance sheet date, sum together all values, and populate the Accounts Receivable (from FreshBooks) amount. Note: FreshBooks will use the closest date in the past that we have an exchange rate for and if the date is in the future, today’s exchange rate will be applied. To see a breakdown of the value, hover over the currency breakdown below the accounts receivable field.

UPDATE: We love receiving your feedback and your responses have been great so far. We’ve seen the comments about the multi-currency functionality for the balance sheet and have responded directly but we also wanted to add: As a software company that likes to push updates frequently, we take pains to ship even the simplest release. We believe the new balance sheet tool is great for small business owners even though it doesn’t populate automatically. It’s also free of the complexities that make it hard for small business owners to run their business day-to-day. We’re listening to your feedback in order to continue making FreshBooks better.

You’ll be ready for tax time (or those important discussions with your bank) with the new Balance Sheet tool in FreshBooks. Balance sheets aren’t a report that you need to create every day but for the times that you do (like when you’re applying for bank financing or digging deep into your accounting to count up all the pennies), this report will be an essential tool. As of today, FreshBooks lets you generate a formatted balance sheet that captures a summary of your company’s assets, liabilities, and equity and determine the health of your business.

Small businesses owners need a simple, reliable tool to easily understand the status of their business and to help get ready for tax time. The new Balance Sheet in FreshBooks allows you to do just this. Find them by clicking on the Reports tab when you’re logged into your FreshBooks account or read on to find out when you need balance sheets and how they work:

Hold on, what IS a Balance Sheet exactly?

A balance sheet is a picture of your business as of a specific date, and typically calculated at the end of the quarter or year. Gain a detailed picture of your business and a summary of your company’s assets, liabilities, and equity or to get a detailed account capture for end of quarter reporting or for those important discussions with your accountant.

Balance Sheet

When do I use a Balance Sheet?

A business will generally need a balance sheet when applying for loans or grants, submitting taxes, or even seeking investors.

How do I create a Balance Sheet in FreshBooks?

The FreshBooks Balance Sheet guides you through a simple process to create a balance sheet and show you how to calculate the line items that you need. Your information will be used to generate a balance sheet that can be printed and shared with your accountant, the bank or even the taxman. Plus, even if you don’t have all the information available, you can save the balance sheet and continue editing it at a later date.

What line items do I need on my balance sheet?

Double check with your accountant or bookkeeper for their recommendation on what line items are essential for the report you’re trying to build (you can choose from lots of fields). The list of line items shown when you first create a balance sheet are a great starting point on what you need on your balance sheet. If you don’t see a line item you need, just click on the “Add more line items” link.

Need more info on what is considered “equipment” or a simple definition of “Accounts Receivable”?

Fear not, the plain English version of financial speak is available right where you create your report: simply hover over each field for a pop-up definition. For in-depth examples, visit the FAQ help page on Balance Sheets.

 


  • http://interlockit.com Blair Collins

    Note that the receivables balance automatically calculated on the balance sheet is the total off ONLY your home currency receivables and does not include any foreign currency balances.

    Freshbooks, I love your product, but as a professional accountant I have a hard time seeing you promote “cloud accounting” in reference to Freshbooks. It’s causing confusion with customers that think it can now replace Quickbooks, etc. Xero is a cloud accounting product. I think you’re missing way too much functionality to be considered cloud accounting.

  • http://www.bayworx.com Jeff Hill

    I’m a huge fan of freshbooks and couldn’t run my company without it at this point. My clients love being able to log in and see what’s been paid and not. It’s the first and last thing I log on to each day.

    Then I log in and see EXACTLY the thing I’ve been needing – an automatic balance sheet report my accountant has been asking for. Oh, and for no extra cost….

    Great work as always, Freshbooks!

  • Alex O.

    I agree with Blair. I’ve used Freshbooks for years for invoicing and would love to see features to be real accounting, but it is certainly lacking of functions that would make it useful for accounting. Maybe @ FB they have some upcoming surprises for us.

  • http://www.acvmg.com Aaron Vidal

    I agree with Blair too. I too am BIG fan of FreshBooks for my A/R needs and I’m always recommending it to clients and colleagues. And receiving online payments are a big plus for me. I’m curious to see what other “cloud accounting” features they decide to add.

    I feel, though, that they are jumping the gun to introduce a Balance Sheet at this point. The only “automatic” aspect is the A/R total. Eveything else must be entered manually, including retained earnings! There is too much that can go wrong with so many open fields, especially since FreshBooks is marketed for non-accountants.

    I would much rather see some basic accounting features added first (e.g. simple chart of accounts, GL, and registers).

  • Jeff

    While I appreciate seeing the move towards GAAP by adding a balance sheet report. I have to wonder how this is helpful without the inclusion of double-entry accounting methods in Freshbooks itself.

    I love the product and you’re customer service is inspiring. But I really wish you would focus on the features that make Freshbooks a great product (i.e. invoicing, time tracking, etc.)

    Instead of wandering off into cloud “accounting” land why not focus on improving with features some of us have been asking for for years such as allowing clients to make partial online payments towards invoices.

  • http://www.freshbooks.com/our-team.php#casey Casey McKinnon

    Hi Blair,

    You are correct, the Accounts Receivable Calculated by FreshBooks includes only your home currency. Most of our users only have a single currency they work in, so this won’t be a big issue for them, but you are correct that this can be confusing and misleading for those that work in multiple currencies. Thank you for pointing this out. We’re working on a fix for this, and will communicate here again once the issue has been addressed.

    I understand and agree that we don’t offer everything that everyone would need for a full accounting solution. That said, we think we have a clear vision of what service-based business owners need to manage their books and work with their accountants, bankers, and tax authorities. We are committed to making continual & steady progress towards that vision.

    Casey
    Head of Product @ FreshBooks

  • http://www.freshbooks.com/our-team.php#casey Casey McKinnon

    Jeff Hill,

    Thanks for the kind words of support, and positive feedback. I’m stoked that you like what you see, and I’ll pass this on to the team.

    Casey

  • http://www.freshbooks.com/our-team.php#casey Casey McKinnon

    Hi Alex and Aaron,

    Thanks for commenting. The Balance Sheet we are delivering today isn’t intended to auto-populate all of the fields because it would require us to add a ton of complicated overhead to our core A/R and Expense functionality. Making a balance sheet isn’t an everyday thing for business owners, they likely will use this feature once or twice a year, so we feel that introducing more complexity to our service wasn’t right for our users. For the number of times they need to do this, it will be easier for them to retrieve this information manually from other sources, or to work directly with an accountant or bookkeeper to properly populate this report.

    Jeff,

    As for working on more invoicing functionality, we are definitely doing that as well. You can look at our iPhone app as an example of a huge investment we made in helping business owners take the invoicing and expense management functions of FreshBooks on the road with them, and we’re going to continue to deliver even more mobile functionality in the future.

    Thanks again to each of you for posting your comments here… this is part of what makes us better, and we are definitely listening to everything you say here.

    Casey

  • http://www.am-graphix.com Alison

    While 85% of my business is selling my time I do sell some print and signage etc. It would be so helpful to be able to enter the invoice from my supplier against the invoice to the client while being able to add my %. Right now if I apply it the client sees what I paid – so not happening.

    That is really the only hole in the FB system for my small business.

    Thanks for listening, Alison

  • http://www.freshbooks.com/our-team.php#casey Casey McKinnon

    Hi Alison,

    It sounds like you’re looking to mark-up your expenses as you pass them along to your clients. What I suggest is after you convert your expense to an invoice, you can just change the amount on the invoice itself. It won’t change the relationship between the expense and the invoice, and you get the benefit of being able to mark-up the expense. Give that a shot and call us if it doesn’t suit your needs or you need assistance.

    Full details of how to make this happen can be found here:

    http://community.freshbooks.com/support/how-do-i-mark-up-an-expense-that-im-rebilling-a-client-for-what-does-this-look-like-in-my-reports/

    Casey

  • Mariette

    A balance sheet that is “free of complexities” is not going to be a balance sheet done correctly. If people are going to have to get all the balances except A/R from their accountants and bookkeepers, aren’t they getting a balance sheet prepared by the accountant or bookkeeper?

    I love FreshBooks invoicing features and recommend it to clients, but I think it’s a bad idea to lead people to believe they can get a bank ready balance sheet just by typing in some numbers with no understanding of how double entry accounting or GAAP works.

  • http://www.freshbooks.com/our-team.php#casey Casey McKinnon

    Hi Mariette,

    Thanks for chiming in, we appreciate your feedback and are listening.

    We’re going to continue to make the our Balance Sheet feature better over time, like we did for our invoicing features. Believe it or not, we’ve been working on the Invoicing functionality that you recommend to your clients for nearly 10 years, and still don’t consider ourselves done yet. As we continue to deliver more of what business owners are asking for, you can expect there to be a healthy tension between what some folks consider necessary in a new feature, and something that is simple enough for common situations that business owners might find themselves in.

    If you read Jeff Hill’s comment above, you can see his perspective on this new feature as a business owner.

    We also recognize that double-entry accounting, and GAAP are things that most business owners don’t have time or expertise to delve too deep into, and that we consider your relationship (as an Accountant) with your client to be extremely important, and are working to give you the tools you need to support them.

    I’d be happy to welcome the Accountants commenting on this post to join our Beancounter program if you haven’t already. We engage members of that community to get feedback and discuss matters such as this 1:1 during our design phase. Please contact accountants@freshbooks.com to join the program, and I look forward to engaging with you on topics like this in the future if you’re willing to actively participate.

  • http://www.taiyodesigns.com Eliot

    Multiple currency support is one of the reasons that I use Freshbooks. Please extend the balance sheet to handle this. It looks great!

  • http://www.freshbooks.com/our-team.php#casey Casey McKinnon

    Hi Eliot,

    Yes, we’re working on it now, and will update you once we have it working. I’ll provide an update here once it is.

    Casey

  • Ralph

    I would prefer an integration with quickbooks…

  • http://www.freshbooks.com/our-team.php#casey Casey McKinnon

    Hi Ralph,

    Thanks for letting me know.

    I’ll share some insider knowledge here… when we deliver something new, it doesn’t necessarily mean we did it instead of doing something else. At any one time, we have many projects running simultaneously here at the company, so it isn’t a case of you get “this OR that”..

    That said, different users of FreshBooks have different priorities of what they’d like to see, and its always great to hear what is most important for your business.

    In the future, if you’d like to share ideas for what we should build, I’d like you to use our “Fresh Ideas” system:

    http://www.freshbooks.com/freshideas/

    This is the place to explain in detail what you’d like to see and why. It feeds into our internal research repository, and its a really great way to let us know what you’d like.

    Casey

  • http://tomrogerswebdesign.com Tom Rogers

    Glad to see that you are pushing into more accounting territory.

    I thought though that you should be aware of a number of typos in the text. Here’s an offending paragraph:

    Small businesses need a simple, reliable tools to easily ascertain the status of your business and help you be ready for taxtime. The new Balance Sheet in FreshBooks allow you to do just this. Find them by clicking on the Reports tab when you’re logged into your FreshBooks account or read on to find out when you need balance sheets and how they work:

    I’m not a pro editor, so you can take this with a grain of salt, but this is how I would suggest you re-phrase it:

    Small businesses owners need a simple, reliable tool to easily ascertain the status of their business; to help get ready for taxtime. The new Balance Sheet in FreshBooks allows you to do just this. Find them by clicking on the Reports tab when you’re logged into your FreshBooks account, or read on to find out when you need balance sheets and how they work:

  • http://www.freshbooks.com/our-team.php#casey Casey McKinnon

    Thanks Tom – all fixed.

  • http://mianetworks.com Sofia Attali

    It would be great to be able to import expenses electronically and directly from bank. Other than that, FB is great!

  • http://www.freshbooks.com/our-team.php#casey Casey McKinnon

    Hi Sofia,

    Thanks for the kind words. Your request for automatic bank import is understood – thank you for commenting.

    Casey

  • http://chapinandchapin.com Bill

    One item that I have to report for taxes mileage–not a cost, but just miles. Right now, I’m entering mileage as dollars with a note to view the total at the end of the year as miles. I would love to see an actual mileage category that just stores and tallies my mileage. Sub-categories (as seen in expenses) would be great for this feature as well.
    Your tools have filled a huge gap for me as a small business owner. I love being able to log my hours and generate invoices so easily. Thanks.

  • http://www.freshbooks.com/our-team.php#casey Casey McKinnon

    Hi Bill,

    Mileage tracking is a big problem indeed! The only other workaround I can suggest is that you create a zero-dollar expense (instead of putting the mileage as the amount of the expense) and then put the milage in the “Notes” field for the expense. At the end of the year, you can export your Expense report to Excel, and just add-up the column that contains all of the mileage notes. Not ideal, but it might help you.

    Another alternative is to use a service like Expensify, which has full-featured mileage tracking built-in… they also integrate with us, so maybe there’s a better fit for you there.

    I’ve recorded your request as a feature you’d like to see in the future.

    Regards,
    Casey

  • Frank

    I LOVE that there is a simple to use, basic financial statements functionality for Freshbooks! This is exactly what I need and I bet a lot of other small business’s who are just ‘mom and pops’ types of companies.

    One comment here was that the feature couldn’t handle things such as foreign currencies. We’ll I am sure it can’t handle mutlple depreciation classes, or assigning value to share classes, or any of a thousand other things that a full fledged dedicated accounting package can handle.

    But guess what? If my business were big enough to have those things, I’d have that kind of package. Or better yet, I’d have an accountant.

    Freshbooks financial statement product is something I can understand, fits my size of business well, doesn’t take me forever to figure out how to use, and doesn’t take me forever to actually use.

    Great job I say Freshbooks! And thank you for understanding small business’s!

  • http://www.freshbooks.com/our-team.php#casey Casey McKinnon

    Thanks for the support Frank.

    Regarding foreign currency support on Balance Sheets, we’re working on this. I’ll post an update here once it is available to all.

  • http://brewcitymarketing.com Amanda

    When I found Freshbooks, I chose this service for the invoicing capabilities. I’d like to see advancements and improvements to the functionality pertaining to invoicing such as partial payments, like Jeff said above. I already have an accountant to do things accountants do such as balance sheets. If I wanted an accounting software, I would use Quickbooks.

  • http://www.freshbooks.com/our-team.php#casey Casey McKinnon

    Hi Amanda,

    We’re still very much committed to delivering on Invoicing-related functionality. For example, this year we delivered a lot of new improvements to our Recurring Billing section of FreshBooks.

    http://www.freshbooks.com/blog/2012/03/07/new-even-more-automation-for-recurring-profiles/

    We also have done more integrations with payment gateways around the world:

    http://www.freshbooks.com/blog/2011/09/13/australia-get-paid-faster-with-eway/

    These are just examples, but the only way we can prove to you that we’re still committed is to deliver improvements for you, I understand that.

    Thanks for chiming in, we appreciate your feedback.

    Casey

  • Dexx

    Is there an easy way to track shareholder loans and draws in the balance sheet. Especially for corporations in the early stages that are receiving cash injections from shareholders that need to be repayed.

  • Trevor

    First of all, I think your service is great! It’s become a lifeline for my business. But this new Balance Sheet feature seems pointless. Most of us business using freshbooks for our AR have bookkeepers or accounts and secondary Quickbooks (or something similar) accounts. How is this really going to benefit us?

    You guys have to do a better job at listening to your customers and keeping up with usability trends. For example, I don’t know about everyone else, but I think it’s a pain in the butt to find people in your system. You need a smart search in the header that allows you to start typing something and it auto-completes allowing you to go directly to a clients account page or related invoice, ticket, payment etc….

    I agree with Amanda too. Where are the partial payment capabilities? What about us companies who charge retainers? I would assume you have a lot of consultants using your software. I also haven’t seen any new and exciting integrations.

    Your value is in how efficient your service can be and how it can save us time and money. Sorry, but a Balance Sheet doesn’t help.

  • http://www.freshbooks.com/our-team.php#casey Casey McKinnon

    Hi Dexx,

    If I understand you correctly, you are asking about a loan that a Shareholder makes to the Company. A “cash injection” as you call it. Here’s how the tool would help:

    1. Add the amount to the loan to the “Cash” section on the Assets side of the sheet.
    2. Add the same amount to the Liabilities section on the right-hand side under the “Other liabilities” section.

    We are trying to better understand what other categories people need beneath the main sections, and this would call for a new category called “Shareholder Loans Payable” under the Liability section. I’ve passed that feedback onto the team.

    Regards,
    Casey

  • http://www.freshbooks.com/our-team.php#casey Casey McKinnon

    Hello Trevor,

    You’re right. If you have an accountant and QuickBooks already, you don’t need a simple tool to create a balance sheet. This does not benefit you, if that describes your situation.

    That said, you might be surprised how many business owners that use FreshBooks get along without an Accountant, as well as not using QuickBooks. We talk to them every day, and they’ve told us that a simple tool to create balance sheet once in a while would be helpful for them. A simple tool isn’t going to be useful for everyone, but that wasn’t what we were trying to build. A complicated tool might suit everyone’s needs, but complication really serves no one in the end.

    The part about needing to do better listening to customers… I hope this thread demonstrates that people like me at FreshBooks do listen to customers. We’ve replied to every single person on here directly. We do listen, but we choose not to do everything that everyone asks for. If we did that, I don’t think you’d like FreshBooks very much because it would be a beast of functionality and twiddly knobs… not the simple tool you’ve been using.

    The idea of a global search is an awesome one, and I’ve passed that on to the team as well (everyone on the Product team watches these threads like a hawk).

    Regarding integrations – what kinds of integrations are you looking for? We like to focus on quality and fit for our customers, rather than quantity of integrations, so let us know by emailing integrations@freshbooks.com with any specific requests.

    Partial payments? Retainers? We know this is something you would like to see, and will contact you if we make these available in the future.

    Casey

  • Aaron

    I just wanted to drop you a note to thank you for the service. Although I am only on the free tier currently, I must say it makes my life a lot easier. I recommend it to anyone in the market for an online time tracking & invoicing solution.

    Thank you for your hard work!!

  • Alan

    I would way rather see you guys do a cashflow projection. This is more important to me than balance sheet.

  • Traci Bulger

    “Cloud Accounting for the Pint-Sized Business!” For our VERY small company, Freshbooks meets pretty well all of our accounting needs:
    With Freshbooks’ customizable expense report, the only thing our registered accountant was missing to file our corporate income tax was a balance sheet. With the exception of payroll (which is unnecessary for our company) and printing expense cheques, it now does everything I can fathom us needing. We can even reconcile if we do a small amount of work in excel.
    I have been struggling to use Quickbooks Online for months; and having been a database manager for 12 years, and I have to say it is the most non-user friendly application I have ever seen!
    I’m sure there will be a few kinks to work out, but I’m so excited to check out this new balance sheet!

  • http://www.freshbooks.com/our-team.php#casey Casey McKinnon

    Hi Aaron,

    Thanks for the nice note. We don’t discriminate between paying or free users, so don’t be ashamed of not paying us. :)

    Thanks again for telling your friends too… its a big part of what keeps us in business when people spread the word.

  • http://www.freshbooks.com/our-team.php#casey Casey McKinnon

    Hello Alan,

    Thanks for voicing your opinion here… could you give us a few more details on why this cashflow projection would be helpful? Here’s where we ask you to fill it out:

    http://www.freshbooks.com/freshideas/

  • http://www.freshbooks.com/our-team.php#casey Casey McKinnon

    Traci,

    That’s incredibly awesome that we’re able to deliver something that’s been bugging you for a while. Its a big relief for the people building things here at FreshBooks when we hear nice feedback about something we build.

    I hope this ends your struggle with frustrating software and you can get back to doing what you do best.

    Casey

  • http://reviewtiger.com Michael

    This is going to help out soo much. FreshBooks is quickly becoming the best tool I have for managing my business. I can’t wait to try this out!

  • http://www.freshbooks.com/our-team.php#casey Casey McKinnon

    Heya Michael,

    Very glad to hear you like it so far.

    Casey

  • Mariette

    “That said, you might be surprised how many business owners that use FreshBooks get along without an Accountant, as well as not using QuickBooks. We talk to them every day, and they’ve told us that a simple tool to create balance sheet once in a while would be helpful for them”

    See, that’s the problem. A business owner who uses your tool with any accounting knowledge is not actually producing a balance sheet. They are producing some numbers formatted in the style of a balance sheet that are highly unlikely to be correct. It’s a disservice to pretend that placing whatever numbers they come up with in balance sheet format makes it a balance sheet, especially since you are using the term “GAAP” and mentioning bank loans in your marketing materials.

    I understand that business owners would like a simple tool to generate a balance sheet. I’d like a simple tool to generate depreciation and retained earnings numbers too, but as you pointed out yourself, this involves complexity. You can’t make a simple tool that enables a layperson to generate a bank usable balance sheet. Either the tool or the user has to be able to handle the accounting complexities inherent in producing financial statements.

    If you wanted to market it as something other than a GAAP compliant balance sheet that would be different. Call it a “snapshot of your business position” or something like that. But it’s a misrepresentation to claim that a non-professional with no education or training can put some numbers in your form and end up with a GAAP compliant balance sheet suitable for use in bank loans.

  • http://www.VivaVidi.com Amy Sauers

    We love Freshbooks and have been using it for years. I actually don’t find any other alternative user-friendly and Freshbooks is the best! How about integrating with Square? Also, I’m thrilled about Balance Sheets. Since you’re doing that, a P&L and a Cash Flow are perfect mates here! Google “Mobley Matrix.” And if you’ve got a Balance sheet, you can pull a set of ratios very easily, such as “the acid test,” etc. Go go Freshies. I’m a fan.

  • http://kevinmccoycpa.com Kevin McCoy

    So you’ve essentially created the Mad Libs of financial statements?

    GAAP is complex, unfortunately. Calling it simple doesn’t make it so just because the report is easy to generate.

  • Dan

    Last time I used the Freshbooks/Xero integration, payments recorded into Freshbooks would only be sent to the primary bank account in Xero; there was no way through the API to specify which account to send it to. This was a serious deficiency that created migraine-sized reconciliation headaches in Xero, and was the #1 reason I stopped using Freshbooks. As a standard practice, we typically deposit all incoming cash into a higher interest money market or other savings account to maximize our interest earnings, and then, as needed, transfer only the amount of money required for our outgoing cash into our (far lower) interest checking account. This is easy to manage in Xero, but since your API wouldn’t let Xero specify which account to deposit payments into, it created a lot of headaches. Granted, I last tried this in 2011. I hope this is no longer the case, and I’ll look into it as I intend to move over to Freshbooks again if I can get over some of these issues.

    I LOVE Freshbooks. From my own standpoint managing my very small business, it has almost ALL of what I would need. I want to keep things simple–basic, reconciled financial reports, expenses (billable and non-billable expenses), and great billing/payments are all I really need. If I can get those, I can leave all the gory details for my accountant the several times a year she needs to pull our balances, etc. to do our tax filings.

    But your reports are TOO basic. You don’t need to adopt a full double entry ledger system to make folks like me happy. You just have to be able to reconcile transactions and generate all the fields for those otherwise basic business reports automatically — especially important details like retained earnings and owner’s draw as that’s how I pay myself out of our LLC’s funds. I’ll be the first person to fully admit that it’s incredibly hard to implement that kind of functionality simply, and that complexity must be avoided–painless simplicity is the essence of your entire brand. I get that. And as someone who spent 20 years in software product marketing, I understand the challenges under the surface. But THAT is the sweet spot for business owners like me — and it’s the most basic of accounting needs to ensure accuracy and basic reporting.

    Everything is else in Freshbooks is. Dead. Simple. As it should be. I’m two a person shop–myself and an assistant (plus an accountant who doesn’t manage books, just does the tax preparation and yearly audit), so having tools appropriate to our size–which is not likely to change–is so awesome for me. I get to spend my time doing what I do and love, not getting headaches over the tedious overhead that comes with owning a business. Freshbooks has delivered all kinds of awesomness through the best billing and payments system I’ve ever seen. EVER.

    So all that said, the new “cloud accounting” positioning for Freshbooks has me deeply concerned. You are NOT a full-blown accounting system like Xero and QuickBooks. You admit to that, and I fully support your rationale that you should not be all things to all people. But Xero’s billing and payments functionality sucks. Really, it sucks–and that says a lot since it’s far superior to Intuit’s offerings. Equally sucky is Xero’s expense reporting functionality, which is why we use Expensify, which has ever such a graceful integration with FreshBooks.

    The combination of Expensify and FreshBooks is so painless and so beautifully simple, the only thing I really need is that basic account reconcilation and reporting piece. Add those in and you have hit the massive gold mine that no one else in the history of accounting software has been able to do.

    Now I don’t mind using Xero AND Freshbooks if it’s the only way to get what I need. But if you don’t integrate the two sufficiently so that data goes to the right place (e.g. where the FB payments are recorded in Xero, among other details), then I’ll be forced to choose between an awesome billing, time tracking, and payments system that doesn’t cover the bare bones basics of financial reporting automatically…. or a system like Xero which is awesome in every accounting way except it really sucks for billing, time tracking, payments, and expenses. I’m very concerned that by trying to be a “cloud accounting system”, your integrations with actual cloud accounting systems will incrementally but eventually move away from working at all with “competitive” offerings like Xero. And that will be a travesty because I’ll have no choice but to choose the accounting system and give up on having the billing and payments system that I, and my clients, absolutely love. It makes my life so much easier.

    (Note: Xero does NOT make my life easier, except in that it’s far better than QuickBooks Online and I flat out won’t consider a non-cloud accounting system. But it offers the basic reporting and reconciliation functionality I/my accountant need to understand what the business is really like every 3 months when we have to file taxes.)

  • http://www.bajitoonda.com Del Hendrixson

    The way I see it is those of us who have been with you all since the very early days are thankful you have saved (me) so much money, and stress of having to deal with the old way of paper invoicing, and trying to remember who owed us what. It was killing me and I could not move ahead for trying to keep up with the payments from clients. So based on all the progress you all have made – I do not see this these new directions you are heading as any official attempt to land on the moon with Quickbooks, etc but rather as a way for all of us to achieve more of a unified direction we are all heading. My accountant would have been happy had I had this earlier on. There may be critiques but they are professional accountants and we are not. Now, yes, we send invoices in foreign currencies to Brasil and Mexico, Poland, etc. and that part is very effective. There can be no instant solve all solution to everything we need – but moving in a collective direction towards a better way to do things…. I want to congratulate you for your dedication to better things for others. Blessings Always – and may you continue giving back!

  • http://www.freshbooks.com/our-team.php#casey Casey McKinnon

    Hi Mariette,

    Thank you for your valuable insight. I would like to start with the objective that we had in mind for our customers. Simply put, it was to deliver an experience for balance sheets that was congruent with what our customers had come to expect from FreshBooks. Judging by the customer dialogue in this blog, and from customer calls I have made in the past four days I would say that we have indeed delivered upon that objective.

    I think we both recognize that a balance sheet will be an infrequently used item for the majority of our customers. That said, they will occasionally require one and most often would consult their professional accountant or bookkeeper for assistance in producing this document. Therefore we also had accounting professionals in mind when we this feature was designed. What we have attempted to do was to simplify this process for you. We
    therefore extracted the information that already existed in FreshBooks with a straightforward way to present the remaining information that would be necessary.

    Your feedback is indeed welcome and as a result, I’ve removed the line regarding GAAP compliance from the blog post. In the end, I remain committed to delivering the experience that our customers have come to
    expect from FreshBooks.

  • http://www.freshbooks.com/our-team.php#casey Casey McKinnon

    Hi Amy,

    Glad you like the Balance Sheet idea, and thanks for sharing your request for Square, I have passed it on to the mobile team.

    Those ratios you’re talking about are valuable to all business owners, so we’ll look at how we can include these kinds of ideas in a future version of the Balance Sheet.

    Thanks again for the words of support,
    Casey

  • http://www.freshbooks.com/our-team.php#casey Casey McKinnon

    Hi Kevin,

    Regarding Madlibs… I suppose you could draw some parallels between that game and any form that requires user input.

    Casey

  • http://www.freshbooks.com/our-team.php#casey Casey McKinnon

    Hi Dan,

    The integration we have with Xero is entirely built by them, so any additions or modifications required to that integration would be something you would walk to speak with them about. I’m not trying to pass the buck, but this is a situation that’s best handled by going directly to them.

    Regarding expenses, we do indeed support the ability to track both your billable and non-billable expenses in FreshBooks. Also, if you have an iPhone, you should check-out our receipt photo-snapping functionality… it will save you the headache of having to manage scraps of paper receipts. If you haven’t used FreshBooks in a while, I might suggest calling our Support line (866-303-6061) and requesting a demonstration… they’ll show you everything that’s new and applicable for your business.

    As for our reporting being too basic, the ability to reconcile transactions, and track the details of retained earnings and owners draws do indeed go down a complex route. I think we could find a way to make those simple, but I can’t comment on a timeline for doing so. Thanks for sharing these ideas, and I’ve shared them with the team here. (lots of folks here at FreshBooks reads these posts and the comments in them).

    I’m glad to hear you like keeping things dead simple, its the challenge we face every day as we launch new things.. how do we take complicated concepts, and create simple tools for business owners to manage their books? This is why me, and my team here, come to work every day. We are always thinking about this… and consider it to be our biggest challenge. Its also the ultimate reward for us when we do create things that meet those lofty goals, so its worth it.

    I agree that Expensify and FreshBooks is a great combination…and I’m glad to hear its made your life easier. That massive gold mine you speak of, will there be Leprechauns, with pots at the ready? I love those little guys. In all seriousness, thank you for the support.

    Regarding our integration with Xero, I’ve passed your feedback onto our Integrations manager, and he will be investigating what can be done here to improve the recording of payments within Xero. I’m not certain this is within our control (it may only be in Xero’s control), but we will investigate further.

    Thanks again for taking the time to write such a detailed response to our post. My apologies for not replying sooner, as I’ve been out sick for the past few days.

    Regards,
    Casey

  • http://www.freshbooks.com/our-team.php#casey Casey McKinnon

    Hi Del,

    Thanks for the kind words of support, and your continued use of our service.

    You’re right that we’re not trying to land on the moon with QuickBooks. QB and FB can be complimentary tools for business owners, depending on the level of complexity they need.

    Casey

  • Johannes

    I just upgraded to Freshbooks for my LLC and love it. But not having the ability to record the owner’s draw, which is not an expense, could be a deal breaker.

    Please do consider implementing this sooner rather than later.

    Thank you.

  • http://www.freshbooks.com/our-team.php#casey Casey McKinnon

    Johannes,

    Thank you for sending this in. Can you give more detail about what you’re looking for with regards to recording owner’s draw? Please share the details with us here:

    http://www.freshbooks.com/freshideas/

    Cheers,
    Casey


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