When you’re freelancing, it’s important to keep on top of your finances. Freelancers who don’t keep track of their finances and pay their taxes can face huge fines and legal action, so if you want to freelance it is of tantamount importance that your taxes must be paid.
However, it’s no secret that taxes are difficult to sort out. Doing your own taxes can be quite anxiety-inducing, with a constant worry about making mistakes or not claiming what could be claimed. Accountants are a good option, but they are often pricey and out of freelancers’ budgets.
This is where accounting software comes in. There are many software options that are available, two of the most popular being Freshbooks and Quickbooks. These similar sounding names are actually two different companies; and they do have some subtle differences that make them better for different types of businesses.
Freshbooks vs Quickbooks
About the Applications
Freshbooks is an all in one software that can be used for invoicing, expenses, time tracking, and of course, accounting. Freshbooks is targeted to sole proprietors, consultants and small business owners. Freshbooks has a mobile app, that makes it easy to use from your phone.
Quickbooks is a renowned software that has been helping businesses for years. The application was designed with small businesses in mind, with up to 25 people. Quickbooks also has a mobile app.
Freshbooks uses double-entry accounting, meaning that every transaction entered means a transaction made. It also has recently introduced a retainers option and accepts ACH payments. Invoices can be customised or made recurring, and banking transactions can be easily imported. It also has time-tracking capability. Late fees can be added, and the currency can be changed depending on where the client is.
Quickbooks offers many similar features, although some (like retainer management) are slightly more complex to operate. The system does offer better management for customers, vendors and contractors in the higher tiers and the app can be connected easier than Freshbooks. Its time tracking capabilities are tailored more towards small businesses, with the ability to track many people’s wages and times; Freshbooks doesn’t have this feature, but that is simply because it doesn’t cater to that market.
This is a big part of any freelancer’s day in the office, so it is crucial that invoicing is got right. Freshbooks includes a customisable design and a simple click to pay option. It’s very easy to create invoices using this system. Quickbooks also has a lot of customising options in their system, and can connect to Google Drive and Calendar.
Both applications offer live support for their customers, as well as a range of forums and helpful videos. That being said, the in-app help is so good, that support is often not needed. Freshbooks offers in-product help, in-product messaging, FAQs and a searchable knowledge base. Quickbooks offers all of this, as well as email support, featured articles and a community of help. Quickbooks wins in this round!
Ease of Use
Both platforms are relatively easy to use, but offer some key differences.
Freshbooks has a blue and white welcome screen, and a status log for the set up process – which should be completed before it is started using. It has a clean, uncluttered layout, with items on a vertical menu bar and the screens clearly displaying their offerings. It offers summaries of activities and task options.
Quickbooks has an easy set up process and it’s simple to add more information in at a later date. Quickbooks Online equally has an uncluttered, easy to use interface and makes it easy to access any other functions. Help can be accessed from any page.
Both Freshbooks and Quickbooks are priced competitively; with both softwares offering a tiered system. Freshbooks goes from Lite at $15 per month for up to five billable clients, to plus which is $25 per month for 50 billable clients, to premium which is $50 per month for up to 500 billable clients. Custom plans are also available.
Quickbooks offers a wider range of prices, from $12 per month for 1 user, to $20 per month for up to 3 users, to $35 per month for up to 5 users, to $75 per month for up to 25 users. The pricing for Quickbooks increases after the first free months, but Freshbooks remains the same.
Both apps integrate with other programmes. Freshbooks integrates with more than 200 apps; these include Gusto Payroll, Stripe, and avalara Tax. Quickbooks online similarly connects with apps – slightly less than the amount Freshbooks links with, but still more than enough!
If you need to report in your business, you might want to consider Quickbooks online. Freshbooks offers 14 reports, which are customisable but this is limited. They can be imported to Excel. Quickbooks online offers more than 50 standard reports across categories, which can be imported or saved. However, if you are a freelancer or sole proprietor, you won’t have such a need for reports.
While Quickbooks Online arguably offers more services than Freshbooks, they are tailored more to small businesses who need detailed financial reports. For freelancers, who are likely to just need a simple accounting software to keep track of their payment and expenses and calculate their taxes, Freshbooks provides a simple and easy to use interface and slightly cheaper rates. For freelancers, Freshbooks is more appropriate.