Do you hate the process of creating proposals? If you have a service-based business, make it easy on yourself and use Freshbooks to create detailed estimates (proposals) and invoices for your clients. Freshbooks does not take the place of an accounting program. We need to use a program, such as Quickbooks, to track our income and expenses for our businesses, but the invoicing system in Quickbooks is terribly cumbersome. Freshbooks is an online application that I use to create my project estimates, turn them into invoices and track the hours I spend on each client project.
You can log into Freshbooks from anywhere. When you create an estimate for a client, you can send it to them by e-mail. They can click the link, which takes them to Freshbooks to see their invoice. They can save it or print it out. If they are ready to proceed, they can accept it, which turns the estimate into an invoice. If you like, your client can pay their invoice by credit card using PayPal all from the Freshbooks invoice.
Before I discovered Freshbooks, I would create a proposal for each client in Word. Yes, there was some boilerplate verbiage, but I would spend a couple of hours crafting each new proposal. With Freshbooks, I can do an estimate for a proposal in less than 15 minutes. I can do it quickly because I have pre-populated my account with a list of my service “items”. Each service has a list of items that may or may not be included for a particular estimate. I have pre-written detailed descriptions for each line item that I can customize on the fly to be specific for a particular job before I send it out.
When I receive payment from a client, I mark the invoice as paid in Freshbooks and then make the deposit into Quickbooks, assigned to that client. Freshbooks is not a total accounting service. I do like and need to have my checking account and credit cards set up for me to download the transactions into Quickbooks. That allows me to use Quickbooks to track my business expenses, which makes taxes a cinch to do, as long as I keep up with it on a regular basis. Using Freshbooks, along with Quickbooks, is the bees knees.
Here is a sample invoice we created in Freshbooks. We did not put the prices or terms on the invoice because it is just an example.