2015 was a big year. NASA found water on Mars, the Toronto Blue Jays made the playoffs and we all argued about the color of a dress. It was also the year you looked more professional, got paid a bit faster and had an even easier time invoicing and keeping track of your expenses. Here’s a quick round-up of the features FreshBooks released that helped you along the way.
As Toronto (the home of FreshBooks HQ) was in the midst of one of the coldest winters in history, a way to make your client relationship even warmer was introduced…
Invoices that look great anywhere:
With more of your clients viewing communications on mobile devices, invoices were redesigned specifically for mobile. So now, when your clients open your invoices on a mobile screen, all the important information is a breeze to read and invoices are a cinch to pay.
If you have online payments enabled the “Pay Invoice” button remains anchored at the bottom of the screen ensuring your client can easily pay you.
In fact, the entire payment experience was improved making it easier than ever for your clients to enter their payment details right from their phone and, for those using Payments by FreshBooks, an improved dashboard that tracks your money from payment to deposit in your bank account.
Spring thaw uncovered a slew up updates that make your finances a bit less stressful (and get you paid one entire day faster than in 2014 – woot!)
Faster invoicing? Yes please!
To get you invoicing even faster, client search became smarter. Instead of having to scroll through a long list of clients, a spiffy new search box at the top of the list lets you simply start typing the client you’re looking for to filter results.
Invoicing also got a little easier with the move of the “New Client” field to the top of the client list. So no more time wasted scrolling to the bottom of your ever-growing client list just to add a new contact.
Lastly, you became able to sync client info with zero clicks. When you updated your client’s contact information (such as their address), the changes began immediately appearing on all unsent invoices for that client. So if you’re not a fan of the lather, rinse, repeat for each invoice – this update was particularly good news.
Expenses that categorize themselves:
Knowing where you spend your money is a vital part of your business finances. In FreshBooks you can automatically import your expenses, helping you save time by eliminating the need to manually record them; however, you still had to spend time doing manual categorization to know exactly where your money was being spent.
That all changed when FreshBooks started to remember how you categorized your expenses the first time, and then applied that category future expenses of the same type – saving you precious time to spend on something (literally anything) other than your spending.
Sleep tight with more security:
If you’re like most people your phone is always with you. But once in a while – very, very rarely – someone else might get a hold of it.
So your FreshBooks account became more secure than ever. With the introduction of Touch ID and Passcode for Apple devices, you can use your unique fingerprint or a 4-digit code to lock your FreshBooks app on the iPhone and iPad – making sure that no one but you will have access to your business information.
Things started to sizzle with even more updates that meant less work for you and improved cash flow…
Less manual entry means less to remember:
Staying focused on running your business is important, so FreshBooks made updates to automatically take care of those little (but important) tidbits that can often be hard to remember.
Your client payment preferences began to get stored and automatically applied to new invoices. So when you select your clients preferred method of payment that preference will be remembered and automatically applied whenever you create an invoice for that same client in the future.
When you have multiple contacts for a client, FreshBooks began to remember the contact you last selected on an invoice and automatically assigned that same contact to your next invoice for that client. No you can rest easy knowing your invoice will go to the right people, every time.
More to keep you organized:
Tracking expenses got even more intelligent – saving you time and headache by remembering not just the categories you assigned, but also the vendors. When a new expense is imported that is similar to a previously imported one, the system now automatically applies the saved vendor.
And, by the end of the summer, the expenses you imported literally categorized themselves. With predictive categorization, FreshBooks looks at how other people have categorized expenses similar to the ones you imported. If you haven’t previously categorized the expense yourself, and there is a common category applied to similar expenses, that category will automatically get applied to yours. You can now rest easy knowing that categorization will keep on chugging.
Partial payments keep cash flowing:
Rounding out the summer roster was the introduction of online partial payments, the first of a few updates to give you and your clients the flexibility you both need so you get paid even quicker.
Instead of all the back-and-forth with clients confirming instalment amounts and then waiting for checks and trudging to the bank – partial payments can be made online with just a few clicks.
When your clients go to pay your invoice online they see a new field for “Payment amount.” It defaults to the total remaining balance of the invoice, but your client can now edit it to whatever payment instalments you’ve agreed upon. That means more consistent cash flow for you, and a more flexible experience for your clients – a win-win!
As the leaves began to change colour, the tools at your disposal to manage client relationships changed too…
All your customer reviews – one convenient place:
Making sure your customers are happy with your work is key to being a successful small business owner – and asking for feedback can often feel awkward. With the Customer Reviews feature some of that awkwardness is removed, because FreshBooks can automatically prompt your clients to rate and review your work.
Until this year there was no way to see that feedback in a single snapshot. That all changed with the introduction of the Customer Review Report. Conveniently located in the Reports tab, you can filter by rating, client or date range to help you spot trends, easily review feedback and source testimonials that could help you secure future clients.
Get paid up front with Deposits:
Waiting for your clients to pay is stressful – you think they’ll be good for the money – but if they aren’t chasing for payment can be exhausting. Allowing your clients to make partial payments online helped, but didn’t put you in the driver’s seat 100%. By introducing the ability to take a deposit things became much simpler for both you and your client.
Now it’s crystal clear to your client how much they owe. This reassures your client that you’re committed to your work, and keeps your cash flowing to ensure materials and other project expenses are covered.
Here’s to one heck of a year
Sit back and relax these holidays – you’ve worked hard this year and deserve a break. You’ll be able to rest easy knowing that FreshBooks has been working to make running your business easier. And when you’re back at it in the New Year keep your eyes peeled for all kinds of updates from the FreshBooks team.