Brian and I have been bouncing all over the map trying to find a good, easy way to maintain the business finances. We didn’t want to spend a fortune, and we wanted something with a simple learning curve and a super easy interface so I didn’t have to spend all of my time doing the books instead of actually working.

We tried QuickBooks Online, and that was a spectacular failure. For some reason, it decided to completely ignore certain transactions, and we’re still not sure why. I even had my QuickBooks guru (thanks Deb!) out to help, and it took her an hour to find the problem because it was such an obscure bug. So… an accounting program that can’t math. Not good.

I decided to get the full blown desktop QuickBooks software and import the data from QuickBooks Online. Two hundred and fifty dollars later, the data transfer was a mess because QuickBooks Online and Quickbooks don’t speak the same language. Who would have thought? I was missing over a hundred dollars worth of transactions because QuickBooks didn’t think it was necessary to move them over. I poked at the desktop software off and on for nearly a month trying to figure out how it worked, and had the basic concepts down, but it was way more work than I wanted. I never did find those missing transactions, probably because I didn’t look hard enough, but I was too busy to be fighting with my accounting software.

Brian suggested taking a look at FreshBooks. They have a 14 day trial, and I figured I could test it properly in that amount of time. I was right. Three days in and I was subscribing — because FreshBooks, while not perfect, is just what I was looking for.

Freshbooks has super easy invoicing and online payments. It also has mobile invoicing, which I dearly missed when I dropped QuickBooks Online. I can take mobile payments, though it’s a bit of a pain and they don’t have a card reader yet. They have a client contact system, the ability to do estimates and time tracking, and an expense reporting system that links to your bank accounts. There is the ability to do re-occurring invoices, and subscription payments. I still haven’t delved very deeply into the reports, but there are a lot of options.

I know this sounds like an ad for FreshBooks, and maybe it is… but I’ve been VERY happy with it in the few weeks I’ve been using it. The only thing it’s missing is the ability to do bills, which I’d really like them to add along with the card reader. If you need a super simple, easy to learn, basic accounting system for your small business, you owe it to yourself to give FreshBooks a try. If you click on the banner below to try it, they kick a little back my way, but if you want to sign up directly, you can go to freshbooks.com and sign up.

Also, to be fair, Intuit was fantastic about refunding the money for the desktop version of QuickBooks since I’d had it for less than a month.

FreshBooks

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