Version 4.2: more painless than ever

December 21, 2007


Wednesday marked one of our proudest releases in recent memory: version 4.2 (codename “Thriller”). No big new features have been added, and no major changes have been made; this release was about tackling a list of many little things to make our users happy, and we’re hoping it shows. Here’s a photo of our release cake (now a tradition thanks to Daniel) — the code name for this release was… well… you can read it for yourself:

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A note about login difficulties

Before we get into the bright spots of the release, we need to acknowledge one trouble spot. Right at the end of the day, after the new release had been running without a hiccup for about 14 hours, a small tweak affected people’s ability to log in for about 45 minutes. Anyone who was inside FreshBooks at the time would have been unaffected, but anyone who was trying to log in was prevented from accessing their account. If you were adversely affected by this (we were able to reply to everyone who contacted us about the issue within an hour or so), please contact us and we will look into how we can make it up to you.

Now, on to the good stuff! Here are just a few of the improvements we’ve made with our latest version of FreshBooks.

Slimmer, easier client pages

One of the most common complaints about FreshBooks was that every user required a username and password. Well, no more! Now when you enter a new client, FreshBooks hides these fields from sight, and automatically generates a unique username and password on the fly. Of course, you can change them if you like; it’s still just a click away to view these fields.

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We’ve done the same for the second client address as well; if you don’t need it, you won’t see it. All in all, it reduces the number of fields on the page by one-third, and puts the focus where it belongs. It’s a fantastic change, and we’ve received some great feedback so far.

Editable invoice and estimate numbers

For a long time, a big pain point for our users were invoice and estimate numbers. Not only could you not only edit them manually, but they couldn’t contain letters either – particularly rough for people trying to coordinate FreshBooks with different accounting software.

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Now when you create/edit invoices and estimates, you’ll see a new “number” field on the top right. Yes, it’s true – you can now edit invoice numbers, and use letters too!

Faster item and task creation

Another update is inline creation of new tasks and invoice items, and inline editing of taxes. Now when you’re in the middle of something and realize you need to add one of these things, you’re given the opportunity to do it right where you are! No more leaving what you’re already doing.

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Just some of the little things we’re doing based entirely on the feedback of our users. We hope you like it.

New API Features: Timesheets, Estimates

If you’ve taken a look at our developer documentation in the last couple days, you’ll notice we’ve added the first incarnation of the most-requested feature — API access to your timesheets! We’ve also added support for estimates, and editable invoice/estimate numbers.

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So remember all those little toys, widgets and integrations you keep asking for — like, say, a time tracking widget or QuickBooks Integration? — they are now possible! We’re toying around with a bunch of ideas ideas in-house, so you might see something from us down the road. For now, count on the community to come through like they always have.

Wrapping up

That’s pretty much it. We tried to get it here in time for the holidays — we hope you enjoy it; please let us know.


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 rumoured he’s the first human to have developed immunity to mosquitoes.