How many apps do you use every time you work?
Technology is an incredible tool that empowers small business owners to work and live smarter. But logging in and out and manually entering information between apps can create speed bumps on the road to true efficiency.
If there’s one thing FreshBooks lives for it’s saving small business owners time. Industrious staffers constantly study the way the accounting software is used, how to tweak it to make it easier and what to add it to make it even better.
Then there’s another cadre of FreshBooks investigators. They focus on complementary apps and integrations that help small business owners thrive – and think about ways it can integrate with FreshBooks so entrepreneurs can take efficiency to the next level.
It takes great technology to know great technology. That’s the principle behind technology partnerships and integrations at FreshBooks. “We’ve learned through customer feedback that users would like to see FreshBooks connected to more of the apps that they use,” said George Kyriakis, FreshBooks’ Senior Director of Business Development.
“We currently have integrated with 68 apps and we want to continue to build a robust ecosystem of partnerships that help the small business owner have a more integrated solution between all the technology solutions they use.”
These integrations mean users can import and export information seamlessly between partner apps and FreshBooks, saving them time and boosting productivity. For example, to make time tracking easier, FreshBooks built a Google Chrome extension that can be added to the browser. When you’re working in project management apps like Basecamp, Trello or Asana, the extension will track that time and automatically pull those hours into FreshBooks.
“Time tracking is something customers struggle with, but it’s important. When you integrate the Chrome extension with your project management app, you don’t have to remember to track time. It happens in the background. When you’re ready to bill your client, all the information is right there,” said Mudita Shekhawat, FreshBooks’ Business Development Representative.
There are currently 21 categories of partner apps that integrate with FreshBooks, including:
While the details of each integration vary, the idea is to bring together the features of FreshBooks and the partner app to expand the functionality of both, saving time and increasing efficiency.
“Whenever you can automate some steps, like logging in or manually entering information from one app to another, you’re going to make your workflow even more efficient,” said Kyriakis. “You’ll really get the most out of the tools you’re using.”
Another benefit of integration is eliminating natural mistakes. “It’s easy to miss a 0 or a comma when copying information from one platform to another, but it can drastically affect your numbers. Integrations help prevent the human error aspect by automatically importing information,” said Shekhawat.
“For example, when you integrate with the payroll app Gusto with your FreshBooks account, you can run a payroll cycle and once you know how much to pay each employee, that amount is automatically imported into your Freshbooks’ expenses with no chance of an error.”
While some small business owners simply choose to integrate the apps they already use, Kyriakis says all FreshBooks users would benefit from browsing through the list of apps to find out how to automate their efforts and boost their productivity. Recognizing that choosing among the dozens of partner apps available could be overwhelming, the FreshBooks team curates the list to help make the selection process simple.
“Top Picks are partner apps with whom FreshBooks has a long-lasting relationship and are popular among users. Apps marked FreshBooks Tested indicate that the support team has tested the integrations and have given them their stamp of approval. All other apps in the directory are carefully curated to be sure they’re good matches for FreshBooks users,” said Kyriakis.
Top picks include:
FreshBooks doesn’t partner with just anyone. Shekhawat says customer feedback plays a large role in how partnership integrations are selected. “That’s the biggest driving factor to see which apps we want to connect with. We talk to the sales and support team to find out what functionality people are looking for. One solution won’t fit all our customers so we often look at other tools that provide the same service to see if other small business owners could benefit from it.”
Want to see if an app you love is integrated with FreshBooks? There are two easy ways to check.
When you’ve found an app you’re interested in, click Learn More for information about the app, pricing, customer support information, even screenshots that show you what the tool looks like and steps on how to get started with the integration.
The FreshBooks support team can advise users on all Top Pick and FreshBooks Tested partner apps in largely the same way they would for FreshBooks. “We can try to troubleshoot basic things, but we can also reach out to these partners’ support teams on behalf of the customer to help them resolve an issue,” said Shekhawat.
When it comes to privacy, Kyriakis says customer data is never shared with any partner apps. “We maintain the security standards that we use and we don’t change the protocol we use when it comes to integration. Private information remains private.”
FreshBooks users can expect a “significant expansion of the library of third-party apps and integrations,” according to Kyriakis. “We’ll continue to look at large apps, but we’re also looking at our customer segments and going deeper in terms of subsets. For example, we’re looking at apps that are specifically tailored to Creative professionals, like writers, graphic designers, photographers etc. If there’s a niche app for your kind of business, we’ll find it and offer an integration if we can.”
In the meantime, if you have an idea for an app integration, you can suggest one here.
“Because we work with small business owners, there’s no one tool that can serve them all. Everyone has unique workflows. The list of apps just keeps growing for us. The sky’s the limit,” said Shekhawat.