Do Just About Anything with FreshBooks for iPhone

In my early days of freelancing, I ran a pretty simple operation. Most of my clients were friends and my expenses amounted to less than the standard deduction (in the USA at least). I used an Excel sheet for both my invoices and my expenses. Then things started to pick up a bit and I realized that I needed something a little more robust than a spreadsheet.

A friend of mine introduced me to FreshBooks and I never looked back. It’s great invoicing software that added expense tracking shortly after I joined, as well as a slew of other features. The only thing they were really missing was a good mobile app. Well recently, that changed, too, with FreshBooks Cloud Accounting.

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The Basics

It make have taken them a while to get there, but the FreshBooks Cloud Accounting app for the iPhone is rock solid. It’s always a disappointment when you get an official mobile app that doesn’t do it’s best to mimic the “full site” experience; FreshBooks for iPhone is far from disappointing.

Freshbooks Intro and Home Screens

Freshbooks Intro and Home Screens

2ndSite Inc, the creators of FreshBooks, managed to include all of the functionality the webapp has to offer, and even better, they did it in a very well designed, user friendly way. Let’s take a look.

Clients & Invoicing

Let’s start with the main attraction: creating and managing invoices. When you first open the app, you’re brought to a screen that has a set of icons on it as well as some information regarding outstanding invoices and notifications. The first is for Invoicing. Press that and you’re taken to a list of all of your active invoices, with easy ways to view archived and even deleted invoices. You can press an invoice to manage it.

Invoice List and Single View

Invoice List and Single View

From the invoice viewing screen you can edit the invoice, delete it, enter payments and even resend it. It’s pretty incredible that there is no functionality lost here from web to mobile. If you go back to the Invoice listing page, you can even create new invoices. This also gives you the ability to do everything you can do from the web interface.

Create Invoices and Clients

Create Invoices and Clients

Speaking of clients, if we head back out to the Home screen and press the Clients icon, we’ll get a similar experience to the one we get with Invoices: very clean, easy to use and with no functionailty lost.

We can view a list of all of our clients, individual clients (including their outstanding balance) and we have the ability to create new invoices, estimates and projects right from the Client’s screen. We also have the ability to add new clients.

Single Client Listing and Create a New Client

Single Client Listing and Create a New Client

A really nice touch with the Add New Clients screen is that you can import contacts right from your iPhone.

Estimates

Closely related to Invoices are Estimates, which allow you to easily send and manage quotes. They function the same exact way as Invoices, except that if an Estimate is accepted, you can mark it as such and convert it to an invoice.

I should note that this is not a real estimate (but I wish it was).

I should note that this is not a real estimate (but I wish it was).

Projects & Time Tracking

FreshBooks also gives you the ability to manage projects and track time. Much like the rest of the app, Projects will present you with a list of your projects. You also see how much of the project is complete and how many unbilled hours you have. Selecting a project will bring up more information, as well as the ability to edit, delete, Track Time or even generate an invoice.

View Projects

View Projects

Under the Track Time you will see a list of all the individual times you’ve tracked as well as what project they’re associated with. There is also, of-course, a timer that allows you to track time right from the app.

Time Tracker (or timer, as some might call it).

Time Tracker (or timer, as some might call it).

Expenses

Expenses might be my favorite part of the entire app. On the surface, it’s got the familiar use cases as the other sections: View all, view one, delete, etc. You can even assign an expense to a client.

View and Add Expenses

View and Add Expenses

The real fun comes with recording an expense. I may not have mentioned it up until this point, but I really appreciate that when you’re using fields for pricing, FreshBooks brings up a numberpad and not the keyboard. It makes input a lot easier.

Who doesn't love the movies?

Who doesn’t love the movies?

When you add a new expense, you can add all of the usual things: price, category, taxes, notes, etc. However, unique to the mobile app, you can also add a photo of the receipt. You can do this either by taking a photo or choosing one from your library. I thought this was an incredibly nice touch that really shows the developers were thinking about their users and the platform on which they were developing.

Reports

There is one more main icon, which is labeled Reports. Smartly, the developers have chosen (in this version at least) to recommend that the user views reports on a computer. There can be a lot of information in those reports and viewing on a small screen might get annoying. However, the developers do give the user two options: Launch Safari anyway, or have the reports emailed to them. Once again, I think this was a nice touch as it makes viewing reports a few steps easier.

Reports Screen

Reports Screen

Conclusion

If you couldn’t guess by now, I think the FreshBooks Cloud Accounting app is absolutely fantastic. It is well designed, easy to use, and doesn’t cut any corners. All of the functionality you can do on the web you can do in the app. That is not an easy feat and the developers should really be commended for it. I honestly don’t know how this app can get any better. If you use FreshBooks, this app is a must!


Summary

FreshBooks Cloud Accounting lets you manage all of your accounts and more right from your iPhone.

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