New: Conveniently send a credit receipt in FreshBooks

Starting today you can notify a client that you have issued them a credit. Known commonly as “credit notes”, “credit receipts” or “credit slips” (depending on where you live), they allow you to easily send documentation of issuing credit to your clients, attribute it to a client’s future invoice and have it properly accounted for in your Reports. The addition of these documents aims to improve the overall bookkeeping experience of FreshBooks and removes your old need to send this type of notification manually.

To heavy users of our previous credit workflow, we are terribly sorry for any inconvenience this may cause and please know we didn’t take this decision lightly.  That said, we have done a great deal to improve the FreshBooks platform recently (automagic expense import, iPhone and iPad apps), and this is another important advance.  If you do feel as though you have been deeply affected by this change, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will do all that we can to make it right.

Why care about credit receipts?

If you don’t issue credit to your customers, you can safely return to your cup of coffee.  If you do ever issue credit to your clients for future work, or as a refund for a deleted invoice, then read on…

The ability to document a credit transaction is an important part of updating your books and communicating with your clients.  Until today, when you added credit for their clients, there wasn’t a “note” you could create in FreshBooks to send to clients that proved that the credit existed.

Not only is it an essential item for your own accounting (love that paper trail!) but also key for your client’s files, too. Basically, if there’s no corresponding invoice for a client’s payment, they can’t record their outstanding credit in their own accounting system. And this matters for tax time reporting. Credit notes like the ones now available in FreshBooks are also tax law requirements in several countries including UK, South Africa, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Belize, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Panama.

A better way to make credits in FreshBooks

Credit receipts have been integrated into your existing workflows with a familiar format. If you are comfortable making a FreshBooks Invoice, you’ll have no trouble creating a credit receipt. You can find Credits as a sub-tab under the “Invoices” tab. When you create a credit, it gets added to the client’s pool of credit.  This means the receipts themselves are not “spent” and have no cash value, but instead are meant to show documentation of credit being issued.  Whenever you client logs into FreshBooks, they will see the list of credits you’ve given them, along with the overall balance of credit they have with you.

Credits offer seamless workflow for pre-payments or deposits

Credit lets you easily document pre-payments or deposits for credit in FreshBooks. When you need to refund your customer, say, when a client sends you money before you need to invoice them, they send you a deposit or pay a retainer, you can now create and send them a credit receipt for that pre-payment. Later on, you can easily apply it to invoices you create down the road. A credit receipt adds to the pool of available dollars (aka credit) for that client, and it’s easy to see a client’s total from their Profile page.

Call it whatever you want

We know that depending on where you are in the world these credit receipts may be called different things, so we’ve built in the ability for you to change what these are called within your FreshBooks account.  If you need these documents you present to your clients to have a special title – like “credit receipt” or “credit note” – you can also rename your Credits to whatever you prefer by editing the “clean invoice” template and customizing the title. For anyone who has issued credits in FreshBooks in the past, these have already been converted to Credit receipts for you in your account and can be viewed under the ‘credit’ sub-tab under “Invoices”.

What else has changed?

In order to enable this new document, we’ve made some adjustments to the credit issuance process, and I’ll explain what’s changed and why.

  1. We have removed the ability to add internal notes and payment methods to Credits.  To maintain a consistent experience with Invoices and Estimates we removed these fields.
  2. You cannot modify the underlying payment associated with a Credit.  The credit receipt is now the authoritative source for this information, so in order to keep the payment and the credit receipt in lock-step with one another, when you attempt to modify the payment you will in-fact be modifying the credit receipt directly, which then modifies the underlying payment for you.

How do we know this works?

When FreshBooks launches new functionality, we roll it out slowly to targeted groups of beta customers to let them try it out first.  They then tell us what they think, offer feedback and submit bug reports.  We learned a lot about how people manage Credit within their FreshBooks account and the role this new document plays in that process.  We also learned that this new document doesn’t actually impact everyone, in fact some people yawned when they saw it, but for those who did need it, they’ve told us it is incredibly valuable.  We understand this change doesn’t impact everyone the same, but are looking at it as a solid foundation for which to build future additional functionality upon.

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  • kera

    <3 freshbooks.
    caught me offguard cuz i didn't see this before i started dealing with a credit the old-fashioned way today… messed me up for a moment, but now i totally get it and am SO happy. This will make my clients happy too, as many pay by retainer or prepaid hours. THANK YOU for being such a responsive and thoughtful company.

  • Casey McKinnon

    Hi Kera,

    Yeah, sorry for the curveball, but glad you like the improvements. Thanks for the kind words, I’ve passed them on to the team. :)


  • Andrew

    FreshBooks once again proves why it’s the best system for small businesses. My web development company relies on it daily. Thanks for all you do.

  • Matt

    Do credits appear on any of the reports yet?

  • Casey McKinnon

    Andrew – glad we could be of service.

    Matt – not yet, but we’re listening. Can you send details of what you’d like to see in the report, and how you’d use it, to casey at freshbooks dot com?


  • Phil

    So much better. Thanks!

  • Michael Faber

    great update and a long time coming.

  • Andy White

    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for the new feature, but I don’t really “get it”.

    I’m trying it out with this exact example; I’ve issued a recurring invoice by mistake (I forgot to cancel a hosting arrangement) and I need to credit the client. So I went ahead and created a credit for them, but that invoice still appears as “unpaid” on their account.

    In addition, the value of the incorrect invoice still appears in my turnover which isn’t what I want.

    I can’t delete the invoice (that’s technically illegal in the UK) and I’m not supposed to edit it either (which means I can’t add a negative line item to reduce the balance to zero). Besides, if I did that, I’d have reduced the invoice to zero AND given the client a credit for the same value.

    Basically, I don’t really see how these credits solve the problem… am I missing something?

    Thanks in advance

  • Steve

    A welcome addition.
    Now if you could just take that last step to showing all banking transactions (income from all sources as well as all expenses out), then I could just use FreshBooks for all my accounting needs. I’d be willing to pay more for this in order to have everything in one place. Any chance of this happening?



  • Casey McKinnon

    Phil – we’re happy you’re happy!

    Michael – you’re welcome, sorry for the delay.

  • Larry

    Love this feature!

    Wasn’t such a fan of the last feature: the auto-importing of expenses.. didn’t realize it would pull in hundreds of expenses from my bank account then had no way of deleting the imported expenses (I like to keep my “deleted” section empty, unless truly needed)

  • Matt

    So would this work for deposits on a project? i.e. billing 50% up front of the total invoice?

    If so, does it still involve sending an initial invoice of 50% and then sending a second? Are people paying towards a credit?

  • Danny

    Wow. Great Feature! Thanks for the call the other day and glad i could help!

  • adam N

    Matt’s concern above is also my concern. For most clients I’ll bill roughly half of the estimate before the date is booked or held.

    How long before an estimate can be turned into a partial invoice or a “booking fee” can be linked to an estimate before the “final bill”

    I’d like a button I can click from the estimate once approved vs me making a new bill and pasting “booking fee for est 123″ then once theyI have to manually go in and enter the new payment as a credit.
    It could be simplified

  • Alan Lipschultz

    I have five credits that were issued prior to this update. All were fully exhausted upon a subsequent invoice to that customer. Why are they still showing up in my credit list? When used up, shouldn’t they reference the invoice number where they were applied?

    Should I just archive the ones that are there now? Will future ones disappear when applied to an invoice?

  • Casey McKinnon

    Larry – thanks for sharing the love. Sorry to hear about the expense import issue. Credits actually allows you to “delete forever” so you won’t have the same issue here.

    Matt & Adam – we like where you’re headed, and agree that the workflow for moving from estimate to “down payment” could use some work. I’ve passed that on to the team here to consider. I can’t comment on timelines, but we’re listening.

    Danny – thank you tremendously!


  • Alan Ajzen

    Is there any way currently to credit specific service hours? For example, we might sell blocks of “design”, “production” and/or “content management” hours to clients at discounts over paying for them individually. If I could credit them 10 hours of design, then as I use their design hours in a project it would automatically deduct it from that service that would be much more helpful to me than having it deduct on a regular item basis.

    Anybody else need this functionality or am I crazy?

  • Casey McKinnon

    Hi Alan,

    The Credits list will always show all of the credits you’ve ever issued, similar to the way we show all invoices and estimates. Also important to note is that the credit receipts themselves carry no cash-value, and are not themselves “spent”. Instead, this is a receipt of the credit you’ve added to the client’s credit pool.

    Think of these credit receipts as the receipt Starbucks gives you after you buy a Starbucks gift card and load some cash on it. You don’t spend the actual receipt, you spend the balance on the card.

    With each receipt you create, you add to the client’s balance, and then you apply that balance (found on the Client page) to future invoices.

    I hope that helps, please let me know if I can clear up anything else.


  • Casey McKinnon

    Alan Ajzen,

    You’re not crazy, you’re perfectly normal! What you’re talking about we refer to internally as “retainers” where people can buy a block of hours and spend them with you. Credit Receipts doesn’t address that particular problem, but we understand that many people could make use of a retainer-like feature in FreshBooks. You are not alone.


  • Pashmina

    First of all a basic version of this feature should have been baked in from the get go.

    And to introduce it now is fine, but it’s not great. Given the maturity of your software, the Credits feature lacks a lot when compared to the rest of your program. This makes it lopsided.

    I’m sure you have already received comments to that affect in terms of how people would like to use and see Credits work. Let me add to that pot that would make Credits actually useful for me:
    1) Allow me to add Credits on a recurring basis (via recurring profile). Perhaps separately, but ideally you can create recurring profiles with combinations of both credits/bills.
    2) When applying credits to an existing invoice, the invoice should show what the credits are from as line items.
    2b) I DON’T want to send my client more than one email/invoice. I don’t want to send them separate emails for their bills and separate emails for their credits. The complete separation between the 2 from a display and creation stand point is frustrating. Why not at the time of creating the invoice, let me create a credit? Who thinks of these 2 functions as being separate?

    Circling back to my point about maturity: IMHO your product life cycle stage is to the point where you simply cannot introduce a new concept feature if it lacks depth. Yes ideally you introduce a basic version (no depth) and let the path/shape/evolution of it get determined by your audience. But not so for where you are in your cycle. The introduction of a feature with no depth feels more lacking than it brings to the table. More time needs to be spent on baking/iterating its depth and flexibility, the risk being that you are determining the way it evolves internally before you introduce it into the wild.

  • Peter X

    I am still waiting for a “down payment” or “retainer” feature to be implemented. It is a hassle to issue two invoices for one sale.

  • Jef Keep

    Yaaay! Loooong overdue!

    As somebody who frequently uses prepaid retainers with their clients, I’m glad that Freshbooks has finally rolled out this BADLY NEEDED function.

    All the more reason to remain a happy/loyal Freshbooks customer! :-)

  • Thierry StickySigns

    We are glad this feature is added, this was needed for a complette accountacy.

    As we have a lot of downpayments, I think this would be the next step to work towards, and I would even go a step further in asking if it were possible to have an “estimate” transform in an “order” when it is accepted and to fully complete the circle also a possibility to print out a “delivery note” with the same contents as the estimate/invoice, but without the prices, so the person taking delivery can just sign it without having to see what the costs were?
    This would really save us a lot of overtyping and paperwork!

    keep up the great work!

  • Joelle

    I had the same concern — does this help with down payments/deposits. I’ve discussed this many times in the past with folks at Freshbooks aand while I love, love all the great improvements and Freshbooks, I think given all the web designers and other freelancers that use your product, handling invoices for deposits needs to be the next focus of improvement.

    I’m only saying that because collectively, we’ve been asking for it for years n’ years now. :)

    But I still love you!

  • Hilary

    I’ve been using the credit feature for awhile to keep track of down-payments for a client. And then when I create an invoice from the project at the end I apply the credit. I can see how some people are using it and I like some of the ideas mentioned (project specific credits if you are working on multiple etc) but for now I do like that you’ve added the option to send a receipt for the down-payment (credit) to the client though. Thanks!

    Since no one has answered this yet…
    For Andy, it sounds like you created the credit but still need to apply the credit to a specific invoice. In order to do so you will need to select “edit” on the invoice but you’re not going to edit anything on the invoice, you are simply doing that to see the newly available credit that can be applied to that invoice (look near the invoice total.)

  • Steve Bujouves

    Pashmina – Thanks so much for the very detailed feedback. Definitely hear you on these items and we’ll make sure to reference them if/when we are able to make some tweaks!

    Peter X – I understand what you mean about down payments and retainers. I’ll make sure the team gets the feedback too. Thanks for the feedback!

    Jef – Glad you are lovin’ the feature! =)

  • Steve Bujouves

    Thierry – I’m happy that this helps. Interesting suggestions as well. I’ll let the team know about your order workflow. If you don’t mind, we’d love to get more details here too:

    Joelle – We love you too =) If a client gives you a deposit, you can issue them a credit receipt so that they have a record of the payment. This won’t count as income until you apply the credit to an invoice. If you’d like some more details, send us an email at and we’ll be happy to help!

  • rachel fulginiti

    I’m looking for an easy way to send an invoice to a client that will allow them to pay 50% up front and 50% upon delivery of services. As best I can tell, there’s no real easy clean way to do this. Can you recommend something? Would this new feature be useful for that?

  • Steve Bujouves

    Hilary – Happy to hear that this helps! Also, thanks for helping Andy out too. You rock =)

    Andy – It might be best if you send us an email at We can walk you through the process and make sure everything is balanced for you. Thanks!

  • Steve Bujouves

    Hey Rachel – In that case, it might be best to send two invoices to the customer. You can add a note telling them that the first invoice is for 50% of the work. If they have already paid you, you can use the credit receipt feature to give them a record of the payment. Hope that helps!

  • Sam

    This is why I love freshbooks so much. Always enhancing and updating and telling us about it.

    • Phil

      Thanks Sam! We love all of you as well :)

  • Jesse Young


    • Phil

      Jesse – sounds like you need a huge high-five! Glad to hear this new feature made your day :)

  • Shainy

    Still very frustrating that clients can only be addressed by first name / last name with no salutation field. I have high profile clients and I do not address them on a first-name basis. Putting in a salutation as part of the notification message instead of a custom field, incorrectly addresses their secretaries by titles of Dr, Rabbi, etc. Very very frustrating. Freshbooks makes us look really bad on a constant basis. I’ve requested this upgrade over 2 years ago. Still waiting.

    • Phil

      Hey Shainy,

      Thanks for the feedback. We definitely take any feature requests to heart, so it’s something that you may still see introduced in the future. In the meantime if you’d like to change how your client contacts are listed on an invoice, you can add any additional titles in the “First Name” field for that contact. So change “Phil” to “Dr. Phil” would result in me being listed as “Dr. Phil Thompson” on the invoice. I know that’s not an ideal solution, so I’ve sent your idea along to our products team again to further remind them of this feature 😉 Feel to give us a call or email us anytime you have any other ideas!

  • alflores

    It seems that the one thing that a lot of people want is still not being addressed…partial payments/deposits.

    I know there are work-arounds via double invoices and “credits” but it is too messy. Invoice machine and quickbooks allow clients to make partial payments…when is freshbooks going to catch up.

    • Phil

      Hey Alflores – We know there is a huge demand for this functionality, so don’t worry this is definitely a hot topic that is on our Product teams radar :)

  • Jason Kantor

    Thank you. This really will help keep my clients at ease after dishing out a 50% downpayment without a paper trail. Plus I want to introduce a retainer situation with a client this will help tremendously. I appreciate you guys listening to us.

    • Phil

      Thanks Jason. It’s always great when we can collect the feedback from FreshBooks users and turn it into a real feature! Glad we could help make your invoicing a little easier :)

  • Justin Grice

    Freshbooks, now can you get my customers to start paying me before I need to bill them? Please? 😉

    • Phil

      Don’t worry Justin, we are working on a time machine in the future that should help. The idea is to collect payments for invoices more than 30days past due and then return the payment to the present, thus paying the invoice before you even generate it!
      We are having some problems with our Flux Capacitor though… and some mumbo jumbo about altering the time-space continuum :(

  • Justin Grice

    Could you clarify how credits affect income on the reports? Sometimes I issue a credit as a gift to a client, and so that is not really income to me.

    • Phil

      Justin – Credits in FreshBooks are to acknowledge income received, so they will count as “money”. So if you’d like to give a customer a discount for their next order, I recommend either using the “Discount” field on the invoice – or adding a -negative line item on your invoice to reduce the total that they owe you. You can email or call us and we can walk you through the process and explain it to you.

      Andrew & Maggew – Thanks great to hear this makes your billing lives a little easier :)

  • Andrew McIntosh CPA

    An essential element of a billing system, great to see it added to the easy of the cloud.

    Optimize Business uses Freshbooks for invoicing and appreciate the functionality for our own business as well as our customers.

  • Heike

    Thanks so much for this feature! I often receive retainers to hold a date for photography services in the future. And it is wonderful that I can now provide my clients with a receipt for it! This is exactly what I needed! You guys are awesome.

  • Digital

    At last, as said before, this should have been there from the start.

    The next big thing is to have the ability to send to PDF or post a customizable Account Statement. This with ONLY outstanding invoices or recent payment history and not the clients’ entire payment history (which is utterly insane).

  • Jacki

    Agree that this new feature could be improved. We use retainers, deposits and pre-payments regularly and I think with the right tweaks, “Credits” could be a great asset to Freshbooks. Here are a few ways I would like to see this work: Estimate is accepted; click generate invoice button; check box within invoice screen to invoice % or full amount; if % is selected Fb allows us to select a date to invoice again, or allows us to do it manually. Prepay (we, at least, use this for clients who we have had payment issues with previously) would work where we can set up a recurring prepayment; when payment on invoice is marked it is automatically made a credit and deducted from a standard recurring invoice with any credit or debit balance showing for the client. For retainers, we’d like to be able to enter in a total block of time (say 12 hours) and an end date for that period of time (December 2013). We would then select a frequency to invoice (monthly) and the amount ($100). For many of these clients we need to show a work log (right now we just use a task with a $0 billing amount) and when they have exceeded the hours (tracked in estimated time), we manually select the different bill rate. Would be great if we could have that done automatically.

    • Phil

      Hey Jacki – Thanks for the suggestions. We know there is a big demand for deposits and retainers. This feature wasn’t meant to solve “retainers” for FreshBooks, but you’re right it is a step in the right direction. We have a lot of plans for 2013 so keep your eyes on this blog for more updates 😉

      ereinach – Permissions are something that we are currently looking at. We’ve received a lot of great feedback regarding more expansive permissions lately and it’s helped guide us in what changes we’d like to make. To further reinforce this need with our Products team I’ll send your post over for to them 😉

      Dean – Great idea! I’ve sent that over to our Products team on your behalf. Thanks for sharing that with us!

  • Sarann

    Fabulous, very happy, now we just need the ability to create statements!!

  • ereinach

    I just can’t wait for better admin / permission management.

    It’s a non-sense that you can’t have more than one admin.

  • Mark Hawkins

    Fantastic. With both UK and South Africa clients we really appreciate this update. Loving your work and service!

  • Dean

    Great Addition, The next thing similar to this I would love to see is a Purchase Order system that works like the Estimate to Invoice System. I send a PO to my supplier with cost (or estimated cost) and then once the job is performed I can easily add it as an expense via a button just like the Estimate to Invoice option with the ability to add the actual Invoice to the Expense via image or PDF. This would also have the added bonus of being a advertisement for Feshbooks to all the different suppliers.

  • Suzanne

    Allow me to see if I understand correctly.

    I have clients who pay me a retainer at the start of the month.

    I issue the invoice for the retainer and then issue a credit receipt.

    Once that is done, I can apply the credit to future invoices for actual billable hours?

    Next, I have clients who prepay via Save Local coupons. I don’t need to issue an Invoice to collect the upfront payment since that is done via constant contact – but for my and their records I issue the credit receipt and then bill future invoices against it.

    If I understand that right then OMG YAY! No more offline excel tracking of these!

    • Phil

      Suzanne you can definitely create the credit receipt for your client then use that as payment for invoices created in the future :) If needed you can itemize your credit receipt to reflect what the credit was for – so you could specify when they are from your “Save Local” coupons.

  • Matthew McNeil

    I’d like to join the chorus here saying that it is time for a true down payment / deposit / partial payment solution.

  • Jay

    Adding automatic recurring credits would be the icing on the cake. Then I could truly automate my entire invoicing/credit workflow.

  • Josh A.

    Excellent! Now, how about deposits?

  • Mark Spencer

    This is a great feature. It would be very useful to be able to apply credits to selected project(s) for a client. When you’re running multiple projects for a client, as we do, then a credit will most often apply to a particular project.

    • Phil

      Hey Mark, that is a great idea!! Thanks for the suggestion, I’m going to send that over to our Products team. If you come up with anymore just drop us an email or give us a ring (we love ideas!!).

      Julie, Jane & Chandra – Thanks :) Glad to hear this makes life easier :)

  • Julie Trelstad

    I’m in Freshbooks heaven! This was the ONE feature I’ve been wishing for. Thank you Freshbooks!

  • Jane

    Love it. I used it today. Thank you!!!

  • chandra

    yay!!!! now I don’t have to manually let clients know we gave them a credit. PLEASE, PLEASE tell me these export to Xero too???

  • Shainy

    Thanks Phil for your response. That option will not work. Clients should be addressed Title Last Night, not with their first name in between. Salutation is a critical field in any database or invoicing program, it’s very surprising that this has been overlooked to start and still has not been corrected after all this time. A week doesn’t go by that a secretary doesn’t email us to let us know we’ve got her name messed up – it looks pathetic.

    • Phil

      Thanks for the follow up Shainy! I totally see your point and need for this. I’ve already passed this along to our Products team, so hopefully we’ll see something in one of our future updates :)

  • Sam

    Hi Freshbooks,

    When I log on and go to the Credits subheading under invoices, I see that all of my previous credits have been marked “sent.” I had credits that I entered in months ago as part of my regular accounting. It would be really weird for my customers to now receive a credit notification email for those old payments since we’ve already taken care of everything — ancient history. Have email notices indeed been sent to all of my clients with these old credits? If yes, I will need to send them a damage control email so that they aren’t totally confused as to why they received all of those emails. Please let me know, and in the future please ask before sending notification of anything new to my clients! I love this new feature but am perturbed that things have been sent to my clients without my knowledge.

    • Phil

      Hey Sam – Don’t worry.. we didn’t send out any super old credit receipts to your clients :) The status is marked as “sent” as we had to apply a status to something that previously never had a status. Since under the old system when you added these credits your client would be able to see their balance right away on their client dashboard (as they can now), we figured the most appropriate way to mark these was that the customer received them. That being said, we didn’t email them anything once this new feature was enabled :) Moving forward these credit receipts will only be marked as “Sent” if you truly did send it to the client. Sorry for the confusion and hope this clears things up!

  • Melony

    I am very glad this tool was added. Thanks.

    Can I use this tool to generate credit receipts for credit collected before the tool was integrated?

    I have not issued credit receipts to my older clients yet. I assume that they can see their credit balances when they log on, to check an invoice. Right?

    • Phil

      Hey Melony, yes your client can log in and view their credit balance – just as they could before this feature was introduced. If you’d like to re-send a record of a credit created before this feature, just go to your “Credits” tab, find the credit and then send it out. Since ALL your credits are on this page, we’ve already converted your old credits into the new credit receipt format. So no need to recreate anything :) You can send these by checking the box to the left then clicking the “Send” button above the list.

  • Laura

    I love logging on to find out about new and improved features! Thanks FreshBooks!!

  • Nell

    Love this new feature; already work with my client to implement this into workflow. But since there is no report (we rely on report to import data into accounting system), it will be great to have some report to show what’s the credit regarding, so we can map them correctly into different accounts. Since you already do an amazing job to provide us the ability to enter item/task under credit note. It will be super helpful to have a report similar to Invoice Detailed or Tasks invoiced.

    • Phil

      Hey Nell, thanks for the feature idea! I’ll have our team look into that :) I’ve filled a feature request ticket with your email on it, so we can reach out to you if we need more info on functionality and what you would like to see on this. Thanks again!

  • Rob

    Perfect timing Freshbooks!

    Our book keeper was asking for these just this morning; I can now relax knowing that Linda our book keeper will be happier than ever!

  • Rich

    Hi Freshbooks Team,

    Love the new credit receipt, makes for a smoother way for me to process credits.

    Good add!

  • Martin Cozens

    Brilliant. A welcome addition here in the UK. Will save having to manually create and send “credit notes”. Thanks.

  • Carla

    Great! I was in the middle of moving my account away from FreshBooks because I am now doing a lot of retainers and deposits. I will have to see if I can work the credits into my workflow somehow because I really want to stay.

  • Carla

    UGH! So we can’t apply the credits to a specific project. I’m a sub-contractor and one of my clients has a ton of projects. :(

  • Brendan

    As a contractor, this is a very useful feature for me. I have to agree with the comment from Carla though. Being able to apply credits to individual projects would be great.

  • Brian

    Well I was really excited about this, but as I read more about it in the comments here, I don’t feel like this is going to solve my issue.

    Basically, if I’m understanding it correctly, the credit still counts as “income” in FB. That is, previously, a credit was just another form of payment and so it counted as income (especially important when it’s being imported into a real accounting system).

    I was hoping that this was a finally a way to GIVE a client a credit toward future billings, but it seems it’s just a way to acknowledge that the customer has given you some form of payment that hasn’t been applied to an invoice YET.

    For example, if I bill a customer $100 every month for a service, and this month I need to give them a credit for $25, the best course of action for me and my customer is to just bill the customer $75 next month.

    On the old credit system, if I gave them a $25 credit, they would indeed only be billed $75 on their next recurring invoice, but Freshbooks would consider my income as $100. So then in my accounting system my books would be wrong.

    If my understanding is correct, this has not changed.

    I guess there is a difference in terminology here in that you (FB) would consider that $25 to be a “refund” or a “discount” but a lot of people here in US would call it a credit.

    Unfortunately you currently have no way of providing or keeping track of refunds. To do what I’d like, I have to edit the recurring profile BEFORE the invoice for next month is generated with the new amount, then after the invoice gets generated I have to edit it again to put it back to where it should be. If I need to apply several credits at different times in a month, this compounds. Expand that to a few dozen recurring profiles per month and you can see what a hassle this really is.

  • Brendan

    Down payments, deposits, and retainers please. Just reading these comments its clear that this is something that a lot of you’re clients want. Including me.

  • Mark

    Im not sure if FB has indeed created a Credit Note in accounting terms which need to be the reverse transaction to a invoice. On the expense or the supplier side you get a SINV (Supplier invoice) and the reverse transaction is known as a RTS (Return to Supplier). The Credit note you have developed albeit useful is NOT the accounting Credit note which we still need todo as a negative invoice..? See

    Perhaps the FB credit note is one and the same which can be the precursor to a refund to the client – and then loaded as a expense…?

    Feels like the FB Credit note is really a prepayment (purchasing credit on your Star Bucks card) and not a Credit note in accounting terms.

  • Casey McKinnon

    Rich – thanks, we’re really glad you like it.

  • Casey McKinnon

    Martin, Carla – I hope this streamlines your billing process, please let me know if there’s anything else we can do.

  • Casey McKinnon

    Carla & Brendan,

    While applying credits to a specific project does sound like it would help in your particular situation, we think it is too complicated for our product. For now, credits will remain at the client level, rather than going down to a project level, and we’ll watch how people use them before making further changes.


  • Casey McKinnon

    Hi Brian,

    You are correct that this hasn’t changed how we report income. When you record a credit, it has “real” value, as opposed to being a method for reducing an amount owing. Your best bet is always to add a line item or adjust the sale price of an item, but this cannot be done in an automated way with recurring billing. To be honest, your particular situation with recurring invoicing isn’t much improved with this feature, but we are actively looking at how we can better support more credit scenarios like yours.


  • Casey McKinnon

    Brendan – you’re right, we’re watching feedback closely here. Thanks for chiming in, and please fill out more details about what exactly you need here:

  • Casey McKinnon

    Hi Mark,

    You’re correct that this cannot reverse transactions, and shouldn’t be used in this way.

    We’re listening to feedback here, and will let you know if we make any further changes.


  • Summer

    YEA!!! I have been working around this for… well, since, gosh has it already been over 7 years??? THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!

  • KP

    I don’t work with Freshbooks, but work with a vendor who does. What we really need is a credit memo, a method to reduce income billed on a previous invoice. Reducing a future invoice for the amount of the credit doesn’t provide a good trail back to the original invoice that needed to be adjusted, whereas a credit memo can then be applied against the original invoice. Reading the posts it appears the “credit note” is just another method of recording payments received.

    • merylmanning

      Hi KP,

      Thank you so much for reaching out.

      I can totally see the need for both. RIght now you are correct the credits in FreshBooks act as a form of recording a payment you have received before an invoice is created, and are counted as income within your reports.

      We are definitely looking into adding more options in terms of what you can do with credits and how they could be applied to client’s past invoices and accounts. If you wanted to e-mail me your contact information, I could certainly keep you updated on what we have available!

  • Cramsey

    Are credits automatically listed as income? We often issue credits to our clients that are not income, but rather a courtesy credit or something of this nature. Is it possible to have them not classified in our Income report?

    • merylmanning

      Hi Cramsey,

      Thank you so much for reaching out.

      The credits in FreshBooks are actually considered income, they are normally designed to be applied to an invoice that already has a down payment from the client that needs to be applied.

      It isn’t possible to de-classify them as income, but if you could e-mail me a little more information on the instances that you use credits, I can definitely see what kind of solution we can come up with :)