Meet Jeff, a Designer Who Uses Cloud Accounting to Effectively Track Time and Boost His Productivity
August 27, 2018
Jeff Kisko shares how FreshBooks is his go-to tool to track time on the job.
For the past 18 years, Jeff built a career in design, creating conceptual—and oftentimes elaborate—visualizations for events and trade shows. Working in-house for most of his career, he later ventured into self-employment to create work-life balance and gain more control over his craft.
Jeff experienced a rather smooth transition as a business owner, taking advantage of opportunities from previous clients and employers. He eventually learned how to build a sales identity, collaborate with global firms and was on a constant pursuit of new challenges.
But there was one challenge that Jeff says he didn’t quite consider in the beginning: Administrative work and accounting.
The “Old Way” of Managing Time
In one word, Jeff calls his old process “eclectic.” For time tracking, some clients requested hourly reports, while others wanted them by project completion.
To keep track of it all and ensure nothing fell through the cracks, Jeff recorded his time in an app on his mobile device and kept separate spreadsheets for invoices and expenses.
“In effect, every client of mine had a custom method of tracking and invoicing which all took time,” he says. “I could be spending as much as 10–12 hours a week on this process, which was time away from my billable time.
I knew there had to be a better choice.”
Searching for an All-in-One Solution
Before Jeff discovered cloud accounting, he kept his business organized in a Dropbox—the place that would house all of his important spreadsheets and business documents.
Curious there was something better out there, he began his search for an all-around solution that he could easily access from his mobile device, as he often worked on the go.
“It had to be completely mobile as I routinely travel with my work and switch between devices,” he explains.”
But the options at the start weren’t favorable.
“I tried a few demos but kept on getting frustrated,” he says. “I would find this really great invoicing app that would work across platforms, but then would find a limitation somewhere. I had a time tracker, but it wasn’t specific to the activity during this time.”
At a certain point, Jeff says he was convinced there wasn’t a tool out there built for him.
“I felt that most of these packages would work really great for someone in a different field or someone who was selling a specific item or service, but I needed something that was more flexible and responsive to my work.”
Then Jeff discovered FreshBooks. After a couple of trials, he fell in love with the platform.
Achieving Organization at Last with FreshBooks
“I felt as if I was creating time since I regained so much that had been lost to inefficient systems,” he explains.
After taking FreshBooks for a test drive, Jeff finally signed up to receive the service for good. And for three years, he can confirm he hasn’t looked back.
“All the features were carefully considered and presented in a user-friendly format. With the level of accounting that I needed for my business, this had all the answers.”
Time Tracking That Actually Saves Time
“The vast majority of my work is billable by the hour, and I can so easily switch between projects and record my time,” he says. “I have all the tools I need to make sure that my timing is consistent with where it should be, describe what I am actively doing while working, and then turn it into an invoice without forgetting anything. This is invaluable to me and my income.”
Reliable Customer Service As a Bonus
“I have been fortunate not to have many issues at all, but I do know that whenever I have had a question, the customer service and response has been so quick that I’ve come to expect that from every other company out there!”
Less Hours Tracking Time, More Hours Being Productive
As a result of transitioning to the cloud to help manage his business, Jeff says he is now able to reclaim his productive work time to FreshBooks.
“On a daily basis I can easily record all of my work,” he explains. “I can produce effective invoices without having to reference daily time notes and spreadsheets and, come tax time, I already have my income and expenses pulled together.”
For Jeff, he says automation in FreshBooks has proved to be a huge advantage.
“By keeping everything together and automated when possible, I’m saving as many as 10–12 hours a week which I can either invest into active projects, education or gain back that time that would have been taken away from my family,” he says. “Often my accounting needs were filled in “off-hours” which meant longer and longer work days.”
Investing in Cloud Accounting: Is It Worth It?
Jeff says he often wondered in the beginning if the extra monthly expense was really necessary. After all, he was getting all the tasks that he needed to done. Plus the costs of his previous solution were more a pain on his productivity than his wallet. But then he took a closer look at its worth.
“When I took a look at all the things that I wanted to improve on, it dawned on me that those were all investments to make my work life more efficient and less of a burden,” Jeff says. “I believe now that it is essential to continually invest in yourself and your business to ensure that you can be a top producer in your field.”
He encourages other business owners to invest in cloud accounting and discover the possibilities of newly regained time.
“You need to invest in accounting software so that you can focus on your business. With any other platform, you run the risk of time-consuming processes, errors and inefficiencies. If you could fix all of that, what would you do with the time you saved?”