A Note From Monique
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Featured Article: Why Go With QuickBooks When There’s FreshBooks?
Two of my clients have asked me about FreshBooks. This is a great question, especially since they’re both in the startup stage of their business where they’re choosing which accounting system to go with.
So, here’s the short answer: FreshBooks is to QuickBooks like a tricycle is to Lance Armstrong’s racing bike.
And here’s the longer answer: It’s about having the right tool for the job. If all, and I mean all, you are doing in your business is selling your time, then FreshBooks is not a bad option. They’re tag line is “painless billing.” And, yes, it is indeed painless. I took it for a trial run, kicked the tires a bit, got on the phone and asked them a few questions.
Here are some of the salient differences between the two offerings:
QuickBooks offers nine different packages, (five online and four desktop versions) each one targeted to a specific phase in the business cycle. FreshBooks offers one package.
QuickBooks does everything that FreshBooks does…maybe not as user-friendly as FreshBooks, but it does it. The point is that FreshBooks does not do everything that QuickBooks does. FreshBook’s Evergreen plan, at $29.95/month is comparable to QuickBooks most basic plan, Online Simple Start, at $25.90/month. Their merchant solution plan is an addon, at $19.95/month. So FreshBooks is cheaper than QuickBooks for what it does. But here’s the deal:
- you can go with FreshBooks now and really have a “painless billing” experience but when your business takes off and it comes time to scale up, guess what…you have to get some software from a third-party vendor to convert the FreshBooks data to QuickBooks. And that takes time and expertise.
- or, you can go with QuickBooks from the get go and easily, effortlessly, and painlessly scale up to the more robust versions as you need to. It’s a classic case of “pay now, or pay later.”
So, in a nutshell, if you, the business owner, want to do it all yourself, plan to stay below the $300,000 per year revenue level, and are willing to accept a simple reporting structure, then I would recommend FreshBooks. But, if you are a startup with seven-figure plans for yourself and your business, and want detailed information to make the best forward-thinking decisions, then I recommend QuickBooks all the way.
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