Invoicing & accounting software / methods for freelance & small biz
April 1, 2013 11:30 AM   Subscribe

I'm currently looking at adopting Freshbooks or Kashoo, and would be interested in experiences with either, or other recommendations. Context: I'm a few years into freelancing (across a few different industries) and I'm working on improving my accounting, with the goals of easier tax time, smoother day-to-day operations, and better information about cashflow and budgeting. Right now I use Toggl for time tracking, and Mint for expense tracking and budgeting; I like Toggl but I'm not married to it, and Mint is starting to drive me absolutely nuts. I do invoicing and bookkeeping manually. Also welcome would be general tips on bookkeeping and accounting for small businesses / freelancers. I'm on a Mac, in Canada.
posted by sixswitch to Work & Money (2 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Like you, I'm a Mac user and I have tried both. I found much to like with Kashoo. It's a well-run company and the web client as well as the iOS app are both really solid. It was simply a matter that it was not suited to my needs. It's more attuned to the accounting side--a function that it does rather well. What I needed was something to help me with invoicing and quotes primarily. Tracking expenses was welcome too. I bill by the project, so time tracking is not a priority for me (aside: f you're finding that you are spending a lot of time managing that function, might be worth revisiting your billing process).

Yes, it's worth pointing out that Freshbooks has been making inroads to better cover the accounting side of things. But like I said, that wasn't my priority. What sold me on Freshbooks was three things: easy to use iOS makes it a cinch to quote on the fly, truly dynamite customer support by phone, and a built-in PayPal payment option.

From what you've described about your own business, I'd recommend that you try both. It sounds like you might get more out of Kashoo than I did. But either of your choices will steer you right. Not a bad dilemma to have, really.
posted by runningdogofcapitalism at 2:00 PM on April 1, 2013

I'm the Content Manager for FreeAgent, which is an online accounting provider for freelancers and small businesses (we have lots of Canadian users, check us out!) - to answer your question about tips on bookkeping, you might be interested in our "hour a week" framework that sets out a simple process for managing your business books:

1. Schedule one hour a week for your business finances
2. Do your weekly checklist during your scheduled time (see below)
3. Do a "two-minute task" every day - like sending that invoice, filing that expense, etc.

This PDF gives you a short version of the weekly checklist, or you can see a longer version here.

The checklist isn't just the menial stuff, but also encourages you to schedule time to think about things like profitability, then longer-term stuff by learning one new thing about your business every week. "One new thing" could be as simple as looking up important dates for all of your clients, or meatier stuff like reviewing your pricing. The idea is that even if you finish off all your expenses and invoicing and your hour's not up, you then have some dedicated time every week to do the planning and exploring that normally gets put to the bottom of the pile.
posted by ukdanae at 3:00 PM on April 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

« Older What kind of tree is this?   |   Building a community homepage - Noob edition Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.