When I started my venture, and remembering struggles I had in my other life with accounting and billing, my goals for billing/accounting were clear:

1. It must be mobile (reachable from anywhere).
2. It must be simple to set-up and run.
3. It must be smart.

After some research, I discovered FreshBooks (not also known as Cloud Accounting). Here is why this product is so awesome:
1. Easy! If you are using Google Apps (as you should), installing the entire cloud based accounting and billing system took 3 minutes! In the past 2 decades, I installed my share of "traditional" billing and accounting systems, and I was blown away. Just like moving from ledger books to first PC based billing systems was revolutionary (for those younger than 40 or so, for centuries, people used pen and paper to keep track of expenses and income), going from PC based system to cloud based app like FreshBooks is like going from walking to driving a Ferrari. 
2. Intuitiveness! From smart tax calculations (out of the total), to adding new expenses, suppliers, customers... everything is so easy. You can enter as much (or as little) information as you want, and things just happen. No silly "are you sure" windows :)
3. Smart! It is not as cheap as printing your own invoices and mailing them, but for as little as $0.99 per mailer, FreshBooks will print the invoices, stick them in the envelope and mail them on your behalf (and with your return address) anywhere in US & Canada. So, you could be sitting at the bar in Mexico, some old fashioned customer demands to receive paper copy of the bill - and you accommodate them without delay. If you are sending only a few invoices per month, and you must use snail-mail - this feature is awesome.
4. Accounting provisions! While this is clearly intended to be used as a system to provide estimates and invoices for a service-based business (ideal for consulting, web design etc), you can still pull almost every type of report Uncle Sam may want to see. And, new reports are becoming available every day.
5. Mobility! I have so far used FreshBooks from my laptop, desktop, iPad... from my bed, bathroom, Sheraton Club Lounge with perfect view of Niagara Falls, in the train, car and of course, Starbucks. Internet is all you need.
6. Free! It is free until you grow past first 3 clients, worst case scenario is $30 per month if you have tons of customers.

I usually write these review with CONS portion outlining things I do not like, but I am struggling to find any issues. Only thing I would say is that this system may not work as well for complex estimates and businesses that may need to relate their billing to inventory. But, for a small-medium business sending couple to couple-hundred invoices per month, you can do no better than FreshBooks.

Full disclosure: If you follow the link on this page and end up using FreshBooks as a paying customer, I will get a small referral fee. If you prefer that my kids go hungry, visit 
 


Comments

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09/28/2013 4:17am

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06/30/2014 3:15am

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    Giving up a safe job and six-figure salary for the uncertain path of entrepreneurship! Read to see if I make it.

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