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People think that working from home as a freelancer is a great way to make a living. And most of the time it is - being able to complete a project at 4AM sans pants is something that rarely works in a cubicle. But when you're self-employed, all the burdens that are normally handled by an accounting department fall on you. That's where popular iOS app and recent Android pilgrim FreshBooks comes in.

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FreshBooks is an accounting app that's specifically tailored for self-employed workers and small businesses. It aims to make it easier for users to track time and expenses, then present them to clients in an organized way. So you start work on a project to, say, create a 50-foot banner for a concert stage. You can use FreshBooks' built-in time tracker to record your hours worked, keeping everything synced with the online service accessible from any Android or iOS device (or just an old-fashioned web browser).

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Let's say you head to the local Starbucks to finish up the background textures. You decide to expense your Skinny Vanilla Chai Latte, because you're fairly sure that the client will never actually read your expense reports. Snap a photo of your receipt, itemize the expense, and attach it to the project. But oh no, the Starbucks WiFi router is broken! No worries: FreshBooks can save your changes and upload them to the encrypted cloud service when you get a connection. Then you can submit your invoice and wait to get paid and/or chewed out, accepting payments from PayPal, credit cards, echecks, and more.

The Android app has access to some of the more advanced cloud features as well, including tax worksheets, team timekeeping, and advanced budgeting, but the time tracking and expense features are what you'll really want on the go. The interface is decent, though it's copied almost exactly from iOS (which got the app an entire year before Android). To use the FreshBooks app you'll need an account. Single users can access most features for free and small business packages start at $20 a month. 

TORONTO--(Marketwired - Aug 14, 2013) - FreshBooks (www.freshbooks.com), the #1 cloud-based accounting solution designed exclusively for small business owners, today launched an Android app for service-based professionals who run their businesses on the go. The Android app joins FreshBooks' full suite of mobile apps, including the award-winning iPhone app, and its iPad app.

"People go into business to pursue their passion, not to learn accounting," said Mike McDerment, FreshBooks co-founder and CEO. "FreshBooks for Android is designed to complement the busy lives of small business owners so they can work anywhere without sacrificing functionality or experience."

FreshBooks for Android is designed specifically to help small business owners get paid faster and save time billing. Users can easily:

  • Create and send professional-looking invoices and estimates from anywhere
  • Check invoice statuses and instantly see if a client has viewed or paid an invoice
  • Capture photos of expense receipts and upload to the cloud for safe keeping
  • Run the timer and track time on the go so billable minutes are never lost
  • Compare time tracked against project budgets
  • Turn address book contacts into FreshBooks Clients that you can invoice in a single click
  • Work offline and automatically sync your work once you're connected to the internet

FreshBooks' users span the small business landscape, from designers to lawyers to IT professionals to plumbers -- really anyone who serves clients with their time and expertise. Whether time tracking from the coffee shop, capturing expenses from the airport lounge or sending an invoice right from the client's office, FreshBooks for Android can help small business owners touch and tap their way to success.

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Jeremiah Rice

    P.S. Don't expense your coffee to your clients. Unless it's part of your contract, I guess.

    • zach voss

      "misc expenses: $5.99"

  • Dan

    P.P.S. If you're the best at what you do, expense everything to your clients and they won't care.

  • Sonia Goopta

    Working from home no doubt is the best way to have expertise form of working culture in the business approach, but the output is gonna come up with accuracy when ever there is a better management of the work in terms of the tasks and as well in terms of the time. The time managed with effective approach helps attain the end result with dedicated end result. When ever I work from home the best part that I look out for is to have the time managed and I keeps track of every hours spent for a particular tasks with the help of an hours tracker. One such tool that makes me achieve the result is Replicon.

    Its not only effective when ever we look out for the time to be tracked and managed rather having the tasks as well tracked also keeps importance and that hooks up with the accuracy to better manage the things.