Report Cards FAQ

April 17, 2007

The following is a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the FreshBooks report card service.

How do I access my Report Card?

When you’re logged into your account, you can access your Report Card from a link in the footer (aka, very, very bottom of the screen). The “Report Card” link is under the “Product” heading


When is the next Report Card coming out?

Every calendar fiscal quarter (i.e. every three months) you will now receive a Report Card from FreshBooks.

Why can’t I see my industry averages?

If you can’t see your industry average there are two reasons why. First, you need to tell us your industry – if we don’t know what industry you are in, how can we tell you what your industry average is? Second, you need to have been with FreshBooks for one full fiscal quarter. Without a full quarter of data we cannot tell you anything meaningful about your business.

What about my privacy?

Your data is only contributed to the report cards if you chose to opt in. If you don’t opt in, no one will know your profession so your data can’t be used at all. Only active users are asked to participate, though less active users are able to sign up to the service from their company info page if they want to participate.

What is the quality of the data and who is in my industry?

The companies included are other FreshBooks companies who indicate they are in your profession AND who chose to be involved in the report cards AND who collect money in the same currency as you AND who sent and collected payment for more than 10 invoices last quarter. Oh yes, and over time the top and bottom 10% performers are removed from all large samples to guard against statistical outliers.

Presently there are over 80 service-based industries from engineers to web designers, PR firms to ISPs, web hosts to dog walkers. Each of these industries is fairly niche and therefore your data is relatively granular, which is a good thing. Therefore, whatever data there is will be good, even if there are less than 10 companies to compare your data against.

Why are there less than 10 people in my profession?

See “What is the quality of the data and who is in my industry?” above.

Why don’t the averages add up?

Good question. I (Mike) turned to Joe (co-founder, Chief Architect and PhD Computer Science) for the answer on this one. Here’s what he said:

The “average invoice size” for your profession is an average of an average. Here is an example:

Your Account:

“# of invoices sent this quarter”: 10
“Average invoice size”: $15
“Amount invoiced last quarter”: 10 x $15 = $150

Another Account:

“# of invoices sent this quarter”: 40
“Average invoice size”: $5
“Amount invoiced last quarter”: 40 x $5 = $200

Your Profession:

“# of invoices sent this quarter”: (10 + 40)/2 = 25
“Average invoice size”: ($15 + $5)/2 = $10
“Amount invoiced last quarter” = ($150+$200)/2 = $175

As a result, the “Amount invoiced last quarter” for your profession equals to $175 even though 25 x $10 does not.

Hopefully that’s as clear as mud.

What can I do to affect the accuracy of my data?

Over time, and as more businesses start using FreshBooks, the data will become better and better. You can help improve the data by spreading the word about FreshBooks and getting more people on the service, or by sending us a note and telling us where we can advertise to find more businesses like yours.

What is next for the FreshBooks Report Card Service?

To learn more about where this service is heading, please read this post.

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