New: Hours/Rate Invoice Headings

We are pleased to announce that you can now create invoices with headings that show “Hours/Rate” in addition to, or in replacement of, “Unit Cost/Qty”.  We know this will come as a welcome addition to those customers who felt that the item-based orientation never quite matched the nature of their business. Let’s look at how you can take advantage of this new functionality:

Adding a Time Entry Group On The Fly

When you go to your invoice, estimate or recurring profile creation page, you will see your typical invoice headings, but you will also see a new “Add Line” button.

Add line

Clicking on the “Add Line” button will reveal the ability to add a new item or a new time entry.  In this case you want to create a time entry section, so select “Add Time Entry” and, voilà, you now have a time entry section on your invoice, complete with the new and appropriate headings.  Input your time entries, and you’re good.

Items and Time Entries

You can now add lines to either section of the invoice in typical fashion by clicking on the ‘+’ icon beside each row, or you can now also use the “Add Line” button.


If you’ve decided that you don’t need one of the sections after all, clicking the ‘X’ next to the column headings will remove the section entirely.


Time Sheets

Adding entries from time sheets?  No problem.  A new time entry section will be created automatically if one does not already exist.

Default Settings

We’ve also made it easy to always start with your desired headings.  In the settings of your account, under the “Misc” tab, you can choose to always start with “Items”, “Time” or Both “Items” and “Time”:

Invoice Settings


The clean and classic templates have been revamped to intelligently display these new line groups and headings.   It’s also smart enough to know not to show a group if there are no items or entries in that group.

Invoice Template

So There You Have It!

We hope you like the new flexibility and intelligence of the new invoice headings.   As always, feedback is appreciated and encouraged!

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  • Mark

    You are the best! It’s almost as if you telepathically know what features would be the most helpful to your users. Keep up the good work!

  • Jeff

    The addition of hours/rate billing is fine, but it’s really just cosmetic, no?

    Also, why is there no “Item” column for time entries? I have different billing rates for different associates/tasks, and I use the item column to differentiate. Couldn’t the hours/rate setup include that column as well?

    – Jwdd

  • Marilynn

    I need an “item” column for my services as well, so I still have to stick with the item/qty fields. I don’t see any way without a time “item” column, to get an accurate report of services rendered for accounting purposes. I was hoping that time/hours would be similar to item/qty, but it appears to be simply a reworked timesheet entry. . .

    For a moment there I was excited. . .

  • Ben Coe

    Hey Jeff, I can see where you’re coming from. You were using items which you saved to represent hourly billing rates?

    I think your best bet might be to move this information into a project in time-tracking, which you could then generate invoices from. These would have the new headings.

    I will definitely pass along this work-flow you are describing as a feature request however :)

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  • edna

    Awesome just what I needed!!!!! Thank you.

  • Gino

    ROCK THE CASBAH! Thanks for this!

  • Victoria

    This is exactly what I inquired about not more than two days ago! Wow, this is fantastic and efficiently responsive! Thanks!

  • Tricia

    Beautiful! Exactly what I’ve been hoping for!

  • James Legan

    When will the iPhone app be updated?

  • Casimir

    Very cool update, but I have to agree with Marilynn. I need to be able to generate reports for accounting and business metric purposes on the different type of services I offer. Some hourly work is ‘design’ work, some is consulting or programming or support or what have you. Currently there is no way for me to use this to generate a break down of how much I get paid for what type of service,

    Cool update though.

  • Marek

    I will echo the sentiments about the need to have an item associated with the time entry. The biggest problem I have now is that it broke how I generate my invoices – I create invoices from timesheets and I liked having the “Task” on the left side. Now I lost it without an easy way create the invoices the old fashioned way.

  • Sander

    A lot of “WOW” and “EXACT WHAT WE ASKED”
    somehow nothing what we ask is implemented while these are really tiny changes that improves the system a lot…

    So……. I guess thanks for the new changes.

  • Jared

    Ditto me on the need for item’s in the hours/rate section. I have different billing rates for different hourly taks which all need to separated in reports.
    Great idea but sticking to the Items sections for now.

  • Andy

    Looks great!

    Is there any plans to add some sort of “Default Rate” for clients? Or maybe on the Invoice creation page, you can set the rate for the whole column, rather than having to enter it for each line.


  • Andy

    This is good! Thanks for the update, and for adding new stuff. It seems every time I log in I find a new feature.

  • Todd

    This is awesome! My bank, Chase, is trying to get me to use their version of FreshBooks and it is horrible!

    Keep innovating and you will have my business forever!

    On another note… It would be awesome if we could put a watermark, for lack of a better word, to the background of our invoices. I am a designer and my invoices tend to be very large and just want to remind my clients why they do business with me by jazzing up my invoices with more graphics. See here for what I am talking about:

    Some of them are a little too much… but it would be nice to be able to make our own custom templates. How about making that part of FreshBooks opensource so the community can develop them???

  • Alan

    Wow! A time trakcing/invoice system that allows you to enter ‘hours’ and ‘rates’! Cuttin edge stuff!

    Why wasn’t this implemented long ago? And even in the current implementation of it, the ‘item’ field was taken away.

    Just my friendly two cents. And I’m not trying to be disrespectful at all. But you guys are going to need to step it up a bit if you’re going to continue to compete long term in this market.

  • Jeff

    @Ben: Freshbooks is a wonderful billing management system. It’s a horrendous time management system. I keep track of all my tasks/calendars/etc. in a separate system and then simply plug them into Freshbooks for billing.

    It really doesn’t matter to me whether or not Freshbooks adds the Item column to the time entries, as the only difference between time entries and the other entries are the headings on the columns. Trivial “upgrade” if ever there was one.

    – Jeff

  • Steve the great

    I Love freshbooks it makes me moist!! good effort team


  • Tim Dorr

    Utterly useless without an items field.

    I use that field to set up an estimate or invoice in a matter of seconds. I type the first letter or two of my item, tab a few times, and move on to the next line. Everything’s precomputed for me.

    With this system I have to retype all my descriptions and rates and hours. Lame.

    All I really care about is changing the text of “Unit” and “Qty” to my own choices. How is that hard?

  • martin

    An additional inconvenience of the lack of items in Time entries is that sales taxes must be confirmed on each invoice line, rather than using itemized settings.

  • LAprGuy

    Ditto to Tim Dorr’s comment. Can you please correct?


  • R. Hiebert

    What about the impending HST for some Canadian taxpayers? Will you be including this in the invoice data?

  • Joel Fisher

    Still would like an obvious feature added…

    A simple editable field for “Project Title”

    I hate having to check the notes for the project title and the first line item shows up. Rather have the project title, especially when doing multiple projects for the same client.

  • Vaclav

    I have the opposite problem with Item column: I’d like to get rid of it completely, in both parts of the invoice. It’s redundant, description alone is sufficient for my needs (but Item alone isn’t — too brief).

  • Fabricio


    You rock the house.
    You’re the best!

  • simon

    what about the date? are we ever going to get the ability to add a column for date each line was performed or is that crazy talk? or already available somewhere i cant find? :)

  • marksmanaz

    I only have one rate so the new headings are fine for me; but I would like to set the default rate to keep the redundant typing to a minimum.

  • marksmanaz

    Yeah date feature would be nice too.

  • Seth

    Ahhhhhh, this is exactly what I’ve been wanting, BUT I have to have an ITEM column in the time entry section. As a producer, I have to specify whether the time entry (Scouting new models, for example) is preproduction, postproduction, etc.

    Why must you tease me!

  • Seth

    I totally agree with Tim Dorr’s comment:

    Tim Dorr says:
    Utterly useless without an items field.

    I use that field to set up an estimate or invoice in a matter of seconds. I type the first letter or two of my item, tab a few times, and move on to the next line. Everything’s precomputed for me.

    With this system I have to retype all my descriptions and rates and hours. Lame.

    All I really care about is changing the text of “Unit” and “Qty” to my own choices. How is that hard?

  • Ben Coe

    Hello, it’s great to hear so many responses regarding the new functionality, many of which have been positive.

    Having read some of the criticisms of the new functionality, I definitely see where we could make some improvements: I think mainly relating to the improvement of reporting for time-based invoice lines; and the addition a widget, similar to our items pull-down, for selecting from predefined tasks.

    Keep in mind the you can still use item-based lines exclusively, and have access to the old functionality.

    We are definitely listening to all these suggestions, keep them coming!

  • Casimir

    If an item column ever gets implemented for the new ‘time’ type entries, please please please make it so that when you select an item, it does not automatically overwrite ALL of the details already in the item! If I autogenerate an invoice from basecamp and have 30 entries and I then choose an item, it currently clears the info from basecamp!!! DOH!!

  • Rhonda R.

    More space is needed between the rate/time entries or maybe a little line to give each entry breathing room. My clients want to see a little daily diary of what I am billing for. So it gets very busy looking without some kind of dividing line between entries.

    Thanks for your great service!

  • Edgewood

    VERY COOL FEATURE!! Definitely like the way it’s presented. I have to agree with others that I use “items” to store different hourly rates for different tasks performed, so I won’t be using this new feature just yet. But I like the concept, at least. 90% complete.

  • Khalid Mokhtarzada

    Love your work guys. You guys have made my life so much easier. I can’t believe I used to create my own invoices in Word!


  • Mark

    This is great stuff, really great addition to the functionality.

    Can I suggest you add a preference setting so we can have it default to time vs product based billing?



  • Mark

    Oops… just realised this is already implemented! I was so excited to punch out two more invoices I didnt read the whole blog post.. duh.

    I absolutely love Freshbooks. Invoicing is a dream. It does exactly what I need, and more. Well done.


  • Mike Hamanaka

    Thanks, I used it today, and it works really good.

    You should make this the default and the other the option.

  • Don

    I would like to see separate colum for dates before typing in the notes colum.

  • Rob Knaszak

    We just started using freshbooks for our A/R group and WE LOVE IT! We were launching a new website and were worried about cash flow issues with a big influx of new customers. Freshbooks gave us a low cost solution to our concerns.

  • Chris Snyder

    You’re awesome!!!!!! I just started using your service… what a huge leap for us here in Idaho.



  • Chris Snyder

    But… I have to agree with all of the comments made related to default rates. I like the Item’s section for this reason. If you could create a time-entry section that had preset, default rates for the different service rates we have, that would give us the convenience and appropriate separations between our services that we need, while giving the customer a better-looking invoice, with items and time for services clearly separated out for them.

    Great stuff, guys… just take it one step further as soon as you can. :)


  • silvergirl

    This is great, but I’m still not convinced on freshbooks and BASIC features–I’m also a designer and I really can’t believe I can’t edit my headings to leave certain columns like “rate” simply blank. I always have to open the pdf in illustrator and customize it myself. annoying.

  • Brian

    It’s great to see new features. I would like to see field “service date” or just “serviced” added so I can show the date each service was performed.

  • Tim

    Just another bump for the Item column, and the ability to modify column headings. (Very useful here where we have Taxes and Duties.)

    Keep pushing… Love the service.

  • Mike McDerment

    Hey everyone, just wanted you to know, we’ve listened to your feedback and made adjustments. Here are the details: