Fresh Faces: Jan Walsh

February 26, 2008

Fresh Faces: Real customers share the real benefits of using FreshBooks

jan-walsh.jpgI am Jan Walsh, a freelance wine, food and travel writer. More recently I’m also the owner and publisher of three niche content-based websites, supported by sponsor advertising.

It started small two years ago, with Birmingham Wine. With approximately six sponsors, billing was no big deal.

“Billing all my sponsors became a nightmare.”

After launching Birmingham Restaurants in 2007 and Birmingham Brides in 2008, the number of sponsors quickly grew to 72, and continues to grow weekly. Billing all these sponsors became a nightmare, because I’m mostly a one-woman show.

I already billed via e-mail and had an Authorize.Net account for clients to pay online, but I didn’t have a system for tracking payments, past-due accounts and renewals — other than a calendar!

“Finding FreshBooks was like hiring a bookkeeper for $27/month.”

I tried other software and web applications, but none were Mac-friendly enough to suit me. I couldn’t even log into some of them! Plus, my invoices are semi-annual, and many had no option for semi-annual billing.

Then I found FreshBooks. It was like hiring a bookkeeper for $27/month. This web application is perfect for my business. Every day I go online and see who was invoiced, who got a late notice, and who paid online.

“My favourite feature is seeing which clients have viewed their invoices.”

With one click I run reports showing everything from past-due accounts to recurring revenue. But my favourite feature is seeing which clients have viewed their invoices.

If they haven’t viewed it, they obviously haven’t mailed a check. So I “snail mail” invoices to these clients using FreshBooks. They print the invoice, put it in an envelope with a return envelope, put a stamp on it and mail it for a nominal fee.

Another feature that’s invaluable to me is their support team.

I’m a fast person, and I like quick answers to my questions. I don’t have time to look through a website for answers to my questions. I want to call and get immediate answers, which is just what I get with FreshBooks.

“A real live person at the FreshBooks office answers the phone quickly and provides immediate solutions to any questions I have.”

I don’t punch in my account number and listen to music while waiting, or have a machine ask me all the wrong questions. A real live person at the FreshBooks office answers the phone quickly and provides immediate solutions to any questions I have. They’re very knowledgeable, friendly, and most of all are helpful.

I even recommended FreshBooks to the company that develops my websites — they send me invoices using QuickBooks, but it isn’t Mac-friendly. Sometimes I can view an invoice, other times I can’t. And nothing is worse that a client having issues trying to pay! I rest assured my clients don’t have this problem with FreshBooks.

about the author

Co-Founder & CEO, FreshBooks Mike is the co-founder and CEO of FreshBooks, the world’s #1 cloud accounting software for self-employed professionals. Built in 2003 after he accidentally saved over an invoice, Mike spent 3.5 years growing FreshBooks from his parents’ basement. Since then, over 10 million people have used FreshBooks to save time billing, and collect billions of dollars. A lover of the outdoors, Mike has been bitten so many times it’s rumored he’s the first human to have developed immunity to mosquitoes.