Launching a startup can be overwhelming and at times intimidating. Having a vision for your business is one thing, but actually getting the wheels moving in the right direction is another. I quickly learned that an intuitive and reliable accounting software was essential to our success.
In 2011, I co-founded Gilded Agency, a full service web design and marketing agency. We create memorable brands and bring our client’s ideas to life, which hasn’t changed since our inception. What has changed is our day-to-day operations, which now run smoothly because we implemented an amazing accounting software that improves many aspects of our business.
Why Invest in Accounting Software
Anyone who has started a business knows that accounting can be a headache, and we were no exception. We experimented with several methods, which included QuickBooks, but we found that many of the large clunky platforms were just too big and confusing. We then migrated to a self-made method using FileMaker and a small database.
This approach worked for a while, but then every time I wanted to update an invoice, I’d have to go in and manually update all these different fields. It was a huge pain. Plus, there was no way to easily send an estimate or request a deposit, and PayPal was the only way I could accept payment.
Ultimately, we knew neither approach was scalable. We set out to find an intuitive and simple platform that also had the bells and whistles of big business accounting software.
The results were a game changer. Four years after implementing FreshBooks, we’ve expanded our business from 3 to 75 clients. It used to take 30 days or more to receive payment after we mailed our invoices. We now get paid in seven days or less on average.
Investing in FreshBooks was an instant time saver. When I first logged in I spent less than five minutes uploading our business information, such as address, logo, and tax ID. Next, I added a client and created an invoice. After 15 minutes, I had completely made the switch from our previous manual system to the new automated system. Running our business became instantaneously easier and much more efficient.
How to Find the Perfect Accounting Software
Research is paramount to finding the right solution for your business. I suggest making a list of the key functionality you want in a software, which is what we did. We knew we needed a software that had the following features:
- Invoices: We needed an automated solution that allowed us to quickly send professional invoices and easily track the client throughout the lifecycle of the billing process.
- Recurring billing and online payments: We wanted a solution that allowed us to set up recurring billing and accept online payments. Accepting online payments has been the single biggest contributing factor to receiving payment more than four times sooner.
- Reporting: We needed a reporting tool that could provide a quick snap shot of our bottom line.
Why We Chose FreshBooks
Using a hassle-free and smart accounting software saves me hours each week, which is a huge plus for every business owner. After extensive research, we concluded that FreshBooks cloud accounting software was the perfect choice for us. It met all of the prerequisites, plus they provided top-notch support, which is essential to any small business.
Speaking of customer service—talking to FreshBooks customer service is an almost surreal experience. While that might sound funny, it’s true. I remember one time when I had just finished dialing the phone when a FreshBooks team member picked up. Zero hold time! And the support center resolved the issue in a flash. They really are just that good.
Building on their incredible service, they also have a fantastic invite-only customer advocate community group. There you can share ideas with other users, build your business, and even get rewarded for it. I won an Apple Watch and a free year’s subscription by actively participating in the group!
If you are a small business owner or are considering starting one, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to find a platform that works for you. Accounting doesn’t need to be a tedious task that you dread. Our business is thriving and my life is easier because we found a smart software suite that supports all of our needs. I plan on being a FreshBooks customer and part of their community, for as long as they exist. They’re the reason we can do what we do at Gilded Agency. I now leave the accounting to the professionals, so that we focus on making beautiful products and creating effective business solutions for our clients.