Join Josh Zweig for an in-depth discussion in this video Entering the basics, part of FreshBooks Essential Training.
- Now that we've chosen a plan, we're ready to go ahead and customize our settings. Let's click on the menu bar where it says Settings. That's in the top right-hand corner of the screen there. Let's start by filling out a Company Profile by clicking on the Company sub-tab. We'll start by entering our Company Name. In our example, our Company Name is going to be Hansel and Petal, your flower design shop. You now have the option of selecting what kind of company you are. We're a corporation, so we're going to select Corporation, but if you're a partnership or sole proprietor, you can choose one of those settings.
Next, pick the Industry that you're in. Since we're a Floral Design Company, we'll choose Floral Design. Next, choose your Base Currency. Since we're based in the US, let's use US dollar, but you can choose any currency that you'd like. Go ahead and choose your Country next to where it says Country by clicking on the Country from the drop-down menu. Again, we're based in the United States in our example, so we'll choose United States. Next, enter your Address.
Make sure your Email is correct. The default Email that appears in the text box will be the email that you signed up for your FreshBooks account with. You can add a Phone number, your Mobile phone, and your Fax number. Make sure you confirm your Time Zone, and check the box if you want to Observe daylight savings time. Finally, you've got the option of changing your Account URL. The Account URL is a URL that you go back to to log into your FreshBooks account. While you can customize this, I'd recommend just leaving the default here.
It's probably the easiest. Once you're done entering your company details, let's click on Save to lock them in. Looking back at the tabs, let's click on Colors & Logos. In the Colors and Logos section, you can change your Menu Colors and update your Company Logo. To change your Menu Colors, just click on that box, and you can pick different colors. You might want to change your Menu Colors if you want your FreshBooks account to match, let's say, your brand. That way, when you send invoices to clients or your subcontractors if staff log in, the colors that they see will match the brand colors.
For now, we're going to keep the default settings. We like the blue, anyway. Next, choose your Company Logo. You should have a file somewhere already on your hard drive. Click the Choose File button and navigate to the logo on your computer. FreshBooks recommends a logo size of 150 by 100 pixels, so if you don't have that kind of picture, best to resize it so that it'll look really good in your FreshBooks account. Once you've finished uploading your logo, click on Save to lock in the settings. Now, you'll see your logo appear in the top left-hand corner of the screen.
Now, let's go ahead and pick our invoice templates. Click on the Template sub-tab. FreshBooks gives you two invoice templates to choose from when sending out those invoices to your customer. To preview what the invoices will look like, just drag your mouse over the invoice template and click on it. Here, you can see a full view of what your customer will see when you send them the invoice. It's really a preference to decide which kind of invoice template you want to pick, so we'll pick the Clean Template. You then have the option of changing the titles on your Invoices, Estimates, and Credit notes.
To do that, just click on the text box here where it says Invoice or Estimate or Credit notes. I'd recommend just keeping the default settings since most of the time, you are sending out invoices, estimates, or credit notes, but if, for whatever reason, you want to change, let's say, the Invoice Title from Invoice to Bill, you can do that just by changing Invoice to Bill in that text box. The last setting on the screen is called Payment Stub. Let's take a look at what a payment stub might look like. In this template, you can see PAYMENT STUB appear here in the bottom of the screen.
Officially, a customer can cut off the PAYMENT STUB if they want to use that for their own records. If you want to include your PAYMENT STUB in your invoices, make sure that checkbox is checked. Once you've confirmed all your template settings, click on Save to lock them in. You can customize your invoice and display settings further by clicking on the Misc tab. The Miscellaneous tab is a bit for more advanced settings, but if you want to go ahead and customize your invoices further, you can do that here. Under Lines per Page, you can limit the amount of lines that are shown on an invoice.
Under Date Format, click on the drop-down menu, and you can change the format of how you'd like your dates to appear in your invoices, estimates, and credit notes. Under Direct Links, keeping the checkbox on will allow your client to view the invoices, estimates, and credit notes by clicking on the link in their email. I'd really recommend you keep this option clicked, particularly if you want your clients to pay your invoices online. The next setting here is called FreshBooks Branding. By keeping the checkbox checked, FreshBooks Branding will appear in your invoices and estimates.
That way, if your customers or sub-contractors join FreshBooks, you'll be able to earn referrals. To learn more about referrals, click on the earn referrals link. You'll see that you'll get FreshBooks discounts whenever a referral signs up. If you want your client to send you a review once you've sent out an invoice, keep the Request reviews from clients checkbox checked here. That way, when you send your customers an invoice, you can ask them to review your product or service. You can further customize your invoices and estimates in the next section.
If you want some additional text like a slogan to appear below your logo on your invoices and estimates, you can enter that here. Next, under Recurring Invoices, if you've set up a recurring invoice and you want FreshBooks to send that automatically, keep that checkbox checked. We're going to cover Recurring Invoices later, so I'd recommend you keep that checkbox checked, and let's stick with the default settings for now. The next box is called Apply Credit Automatically. If that box is checked, if a client has a credit sitting with you, then that credit will be applied automatically to a recurring invoice.
Again, we're going to cover credit notes or recurring invoices later, so let's stick with the default settings. Under Default Column Headings, you can use a drop-down menu to control which line item you'd like to appear first on your invoices, whether it's Item, Time, or Both Items and Time. If you mostly charge out time, you can choose the Time setting. If you mostly charge out items, choose Item. If you want both to appear at the same time, choose Both Items and Time. It's really easy to add items and time on an invoice, which we'll see later, so whatever option you pick here, it really doesn't matter.
In the Welcome Messages section, you'll have the option to add Welcome Messages when your clients or staff members log in. Next to Clients, you can enter a phrase or Welcome Message when your clients log in once they see an invoice. The same thing goes for staff if you want to send a nice message to your staff when they log into their accounts. Enter it now. To see what those might look like when your staff or clients log in, first, save your settings by clicking on Save in the bottom of the screen, navigating back to those areas, and click on Preview staff home page or Preview client home page.
Here, you'll be able to see your messages to your clients and your staff. At the bottom of the screen, you can customize your Document and Support ticket settings. Most users won't really get in to these settings, so we're going to stick with the defaults. Again, clicking on Save at the bottom left-hand corner of the screen will lock in your settings, but if you ever want to restore the defaults, just click on the Restore Defaults button.
Visit FreshBooks.com to sign up for a free 30-day trial and use your new account to follow along with Josh.
- Signing up for FreshBooks
- Accepting credit cards
- Adding customers and contractors to FreshBooks
- Logging time to projects and tasks
- Creating estimates and invoices
- Tracking receivables
- Tracking expenses