What was new for accountants in 2023? A lot. Here are some of the most exciting improvements for you and your clients that were launched in the past year.
What a busy year it has been for the FreshBooks Accounting Partner Program! From start to finish in 2023, we’ve dedicated ourselves to building out the software platform with innovative features and enhancements for everyone who uses FreshBooks, but with a particular focus on what accounting professionals want and need.
How did we know what you needed? Well, we asked. We’ve been all over the U.S. and Canada, in person and virtually, to talk to accountants, bookkeepers, and other financial professionals to find out what they (you!) need and want.
Then, we got to work delivering new and improved features. Each one has been thoughtfully designed with clear goals in mind: To nurture the growth of your accounting practice, streamline your workflow, and elevate your collaboration with small business clients.
And the best part? This is just the beginning. There’s so much more on the horizon for 2024!
But first, let’s recap some key launches and updates you might have missed.
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Collaborative Accounting™ Certification
In October, we launched Collaborative Accounting™, a game-changing way of working that builds trust between you and your clients. By integrating technology and workflows, this framework empowers your clients to handle pre-accounting tasks like project management and invoice and payment tracking and enables you to focus on providing high-value advisory services.
The new Collaborative Accounting™ certification program is a unique opportunity to elevate how you work with your clients. It offers hands-on experience using FreshBooks and includes practical strategies and resources for you and your clients.
Dive into the engaging, 4-hour self-directed online certification and earn valuable CPE credits. Once you complete it, you’ll be a FreshBooks-certified Accounting Partner, with access to exclusive perks like discounts on plans for new clients, priority support from our dedicated team, and more.
The brand-new FreshBooks Academy is your personalized center for continuous professional growth. You’ll discover a wealth of resources there, including the Collaborative Accounting™ certification program, office hours events, and product resources.
And there’s more in store for 2024. We’re already working on adding even more interactive events and e-learning sessions to enrich your Collaborative Accounting experience and keep you at the cutting edge of accounting and financial management.
The Accountant Hub
Meet the Accountant Hub, a new command center just for accounting professionals within the FreshBooks platform, designed to simplify how you manage your FreshBooks practice and make your client setup and onboarding a breeze. The Accountant Hub is available to all accounting professionals at no extra cost—all you need is a FreshBooks account.
Inside the Accountant Hub, you have a dashboard where you can see all your client accounts at a glance and easily invite clients and their teams. You can create your client’s FreshBooks account from the Accountant Hub, set up their customized chart of accounts and expense categories, and much more. It’s everything you need to streamline your workflow, all in one place.
New Chart of Accounts
The FreshBooks chart of accounts saw some massive upgrades this year that have the potential to transform how you work with clients.
Customizable Chart of Accounts
No two clients are the same, and neither is their chart of accounts. Within FreshBooks, you can now customize the default Chart of Accounts precisely how you need it so it aligns with each of your client’s unique needs. Following a successful beta in 2022, we went all in and launched this feature for everyone in February 2023.
Journal Entry Report
A comprehensive list of all manual journal entries recorded to the chart of accounts is key for reconciling transactions and performing detailed financial analysis. Now, you can run a Journal Entry Report for any specified date range at the click of a button.
Multiple Income Streams
We’ve added something special for FreshBooks Plus, Premium, and Select plan users. (Need to upgrade your client’s plan? Do it easily in the Accountant Hub.) You can now categorize multiple income streams, diving into the nitty-gritty of the P&L and balance sheet, giving you and your clients a clearer picture of where their business stands.
And another little gem: You can directly assign specific items or services to individual income accounts. It’s a fantastic way to uncover which income streams are the real moneymakers, enabling you to offer strategic, data-driven advice to your clients.
Cash-Based Balance Sheet
Understanding the diverse needs of your clients, we’ve added a cash-based filter to the FreshBooks Balance Sheet report. This much-requested feature is a major improvement for businesses that operate on a collected or cash basis, allowing for accurate financial reporting and making tax time less stressful.
Enhanced Transaction Management
Based on feedback from our Accounting Partners, reconciling transactions is no one’s idea of a party. So, we’ve implemented two big changes that are huge time-savers for transaction management.
Automated Expense Matching
Reconciling transactions from multiple sources was once a challenge, but not anymore with our updated Receipt Scan and Bank Transaction Matching feature. Now, transactions from bank imports and receipt scanning are synchronized. No matter what the source, when you upload an expense that matches an existing expense or bill, FreshBooks immediately displays potential matches. This effectively removes the inconvenience of duplicate transactions, making your accounting workflow smoother and more efficient.
AI-Powered Expense Categorization
We’re also using machine learning to revolutionize expense categorization. A new AI model for expense categorization helps to minimize errors and mismatches in bank reconciliation—especially useful if you rely on bank imports. At this writing, this new feature is in performance testing and rolled out to 10% of our users. We’re excited about its potential and plan to roll it out to all users soon, following successful performance testing.
FreshBooks in Spanish
¿Habla español? In 2023, we added a new language setting to provide a translated version of FreshBooks into Latin American Spanish. This update transforms the FreshBooks user experience for Spanish speakers, for everything from in-app navigation to client email communications.
It’s a significant step towards providing a seamless and fully integrated experience for Spanish-speaking accounting firms and their clients, allowing them to handle accounting tasks with greater confidence and efficiency.
We’ve also introduced an advanced layer of language customization exclusive to our Premium and Select plan users. This new feature allows you the flexibility to personalize the Spanish defaults directly in the Email Templates section under Email Customization. This feature is all about making FreshBooks even more user-friendly and adaptable to your unique business needs.
Syft Analytics Integration
FreshBooks is dedicated to expanding our suite of integrations so you have the tools and resources you need to improve workflow efficiency for both you and your clients.
A key addition this year was an integration with Syft Analytics, a move that upgrades your data analysis and reporting capabilities. This integration unlocks all functionalities within Syft, providing you peace of mind with robust security measures and enhancing your ability to deliver valuable insights to your clients.
Syft Analytics offers a range of features, including everything from detailed report generation to intuitive data visualization with graphs and dashboards. It enables you to create key performance indicators (KPIs) and build integrated forecasts, further bolstering your strategic planning abilities. Its consolidation tool is particularly noteworthy, allowing the merging of multiple entities, managing eliminations, and supporting an extensive range of currencies (170+ to be precise).
What’s Next? Look Forward With Us
As we turn our gaze toward the upcoming year, our commitment to being more than just an accounting platform continues to strengthen. At FreshBooks, we see ourselves as your dedicated partner, fully invested in evolving to support every aspect of your growth. Our aim? To be here for every milestone in your accounting firm and every client you collaborate with.
We want to make FreshBooks the best solution possible for you and your clients. But we can only do that with feedback from accounting professionals like you. Or, even better, with feedback from you! Learn more about the benefits of the FreshBooks Accounting Partner Program, and join a community of progressive accountants and bookkeepers changing the industry.
Here’s to growing together in 2024 and beyond!