The FreshBooks Network is 20% Connected

July 14, 2009

In May we announced we are taking a new approach to designing our web application — an approach where we help you manage your invoicing network. We now help you manage not only your clients and staff, but your subcontractors and vendors by giving you a single platform to send and receive invoices. You see, FreshBooks aims to be the way professionals invoice their clients and contractors, and to do that we recognized we needed to serve you as a network. Today, I want to share some results since we launched our network.

First off, the uptake in our network has exceeded our expectations. Presently about one in five active accounts are connected. When you consider that the vast majority of these users are people who signed up before we offered our invoicing network, that really is an amazing statistic.

Since the launch I’ve been on the phone with entrepreneurs who are connected to other FreshBooks accounts and I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned that receiving invoices from your contractors is a big deal. It makes sense because collecting 10 invoices in 8 formats (Word, Excel, PDF, hand written on a napkin!) is a huge pain. Receiving all your invoices from external parties on one platform has huge, time-saving advantages — especially for businesses that rely on a large number of contractors to get stuff done. Some of the people I spoke with went so far as to say they now only work with people who will invoice them using FreshBooks – which totally blows me away. Here’s a quote from Matthew Dunn, “Chief Explainer” of video creation company Say It Visually:

[FreshBooks’ invoicing network is] brilliant, freakin’ brilliant! We’re growing and hiring lots of freelancers and we never get push back from someone when we recommend this tool — they all seem to think it’s great. We get one place to actually manage our projects and contractors, and we have a consistent mechanism to go from contractor estimate to invoicing our customers. Thanks [FreshBooks] for making my life easy.

I’ve been really stoked about the responses because we took a huge risk to build the network. Honestly, there were no guarantees anyone would use these network capabilities, but I believed they would for two reasons. First off, at customer dinners over the last 5 years we’ve always heard about the pain of managing contractors. Second, I had these problems myself with the consultancy I used to run and for which we built the original FreshBooks application. So again, it’s great to see that solving our own problems still drives the business, and the good news is we’ve got more problems to solve!

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.