Managing income and expenses is vital to running a business well. It’s a good thing that many new accounting software applications exist today.
Among them are Harvest and Freshbooks. They’re cloud-based accounting programs that automate pretty much everything you need for invoicing.
But you’re probably wondering how each of them would fare in a Harvest vs. Freshbooks comparison. Personally, we think they’re both competent applications.
But stick around and keep reading this article to find out more about both invoicing software apps.
Overview of Harvest
As apt as it may sound, no, Harvest is not a farming application! It’s an accounting software that offers employee and time-tracking tools.
Many small business owners use it to record the billable hours that their team members work every day. The time is recorded in real-time for convenience.
Plus, Harvest also lets you do invoicing and expense-tracking to ease your project management tasks. You can also create specific schedules and invoices for your whole company.
Finally, the Harvest accounting software also consolidates all your data and then allows you to view a final report. You can monitor the progress of your business with ease.
- Employee and time-tracking
- Invoice creation
- Unlimited invoices
- Automated billing
- Third-party app integration
- Security settings
- Helpful support team
- Very basic financial reporting tools
Standout Features of Harvest
The main feature that has allowed Harvest’s business model to thrive is its TIME-TRACKING option. Once you sign in to your Harvest app, you can easily view your team’s work hours.
Each employee will be given their own dashboard, and then they can start or stop their timers as they work.
As the business owner, you can also set a specific number of hours required for each project. Once a team member has worked a certain number of hours for the day, those will be subtracted from the total in real-time.
And once the total number of hours is reached, the project will be recorded as completed.
That way, the progress of each ongoing project is transparent. You can quickly adjust whatever is needed to help out your employees and your overall project budgets as well.
Plus, you’ll even be able to send your customers accurate updates.
In line with Harvest’s time-tracking feature, it also lets you create a report of the overall progress of your project.
It’s similar to an invoice but encompasses all aspects of the income and expenses.
The report will contain both billed and still unbilled work hours. It will also indicate the total budget of the project, as well as any excess expenses made.
Harvest makes you set a standard retainer fee for repeat customers too.
As an invoicing software, Harvest takes the total recorded hours for each project and then converts them into an invoice for your clients.
You can set the bill to be sent automatically or manually to your customers, depending on your preference.
You can choose between creating an official Web Page Invoice or a PDF version document of the total invoice. Either way, it’ll contain exactly how much money and time spent your client has to pay for.
You can also include any additional import expenses or miscellaneous expenses incurred for the duration of the project.
And once your customer has paid, Harvest will send you a notification that the transaction is done. You can sync PayPal and Stripe to the app for a seamless process.
For clients that might have missed the payment cutoff, you can also set Harvest to send them a reminder to pay as soon as they can. You can also ask for late payment fees.
As mentioned, you can connect Stripe and PayPal to Harvest for when a client pays for an invoice. You can also use those accounts to pay for your own subscription to the app.
Other payment methods you can use are Authorize.net, TrustCommerce, and LinkPoint.
Just like with its payment methods, Harvest also lets you integrate various third-party applications.
Popular apps like Google Docs, Google Sheets, Base Camp, and HighRise are Harvest-user favorites to be synced.
App integration greatly helps with simplifying the project and business management processes. It also allows for better customization and company branding.
All Harvest users can rest assured that all their data on the mobile app is safe and secure. It uses trusted SSL encryption to protect everything you upload to your account.
Harvest also uses firewalls and cloud-based backups to ensure the proper storage of all its information. This means that even if you accidentally delete an important piece of information from your account, you can still retrieve it from Harvest.
Just note that you can only restore deleted data within 180 days after the day of deletion. Anytime after that and your information will be gone forever.
Harvest has a Help Center on the official website that you can read through for articles on how to use the software.
If you have a concern or query that hasn’t been covered in one of the Help Center articles yet, then you can also send a message through the Help Desk on the site.
For other specific issues, send an email to the Harvest team at email@example.com.
Harvest only offers two standard plans that you can subscribe to.
For whichever one you choose, you’ll be entitled to a 30-day free trial upon sign up. And no credit card required for this period yet. Cool, right?
With your account, you’ll have access to fully functional time-tracking, invoicing, and reporting options. You can also integrate third-party payment and miscellaneous applications.
Harvest’s online customer service team will also be available to answer your queries and concerns.
This plan does not require any fee. It’s free for as long as you have your account.
With it, you’ll have access to 1 account seat, and you can manage 2 different projects.
This plan costs $12 per seat every month.
When paid annually, it’ll only cost $10.80 per seat every month. That’s equivalent to a 10% discount.
With it, Harvest includes access to unlimited account seats, and you can track unlimited projects. This also means that you can basically manage unlimited clients.
Overview of Freshbooks
Freshbooks is an accounting software that is popular among many business owners.
Unlike Harvest, which is focused on time-tracking, Freshbooks is geared towards giving its users more advanced accounting features.
Business owners can design their own invoices, record inventory, and track expenses with their Freshbooks account.
Multiple currencies are accepted for payment on Freshbooks. Users can also check their total income and expenses in real-time.
The app has its own time-tracking system as well, though it isn’t as comprehensive as Harvest.
We previously reviewed this application against its competitors as well. You can read through Freshbooks vs. Xero and 17Hats vs. Freshbooks articles for more information.
- Comprehensive reporting tools
- Recurring invoices
- Competent customer support
- Third-party integration for payments
- User-friendly mobile app
- No free trial
- Limited tools for tracking time
Standout Features of Freshbooks
With your Freshbooks account, you can create invoices, accounting reports, and sales tax summaries. These can all be sent to your clients for transparency and billing.
The accounting and invoice reports that you can create include profit and loss reports, balance sheets, and bank deposits transaction sheets.
In turn, your clients can pay using credit cards or third-party getaways like PayPal and Stripe.
You can also send your clients personal payment reminders as their due dates come closer. And in case they miss the cutoff, you can also send late payment notifications.
Freshbooks lets its users personalize their professional invoices at no additional cost. You can add your company logo and preferred fonts to the invoice you send your clients.
Users can do the same for their official financial records and receipts made on Freshbooks. They can also set them to be accessible for their clients to view in real-time.
Transaction scheduling can also be automated on Freshbooks. That way, you won’t have to receive and confirm each client’s payment manually.
Finally, you can grant your customers fast refunds in case one of you changes your mind regarding payment. There is very minimal processing time, so you can expect a smooth transfer of money.
Though Freshbooks is largely focused on its invoice and accounting tools, it still has competent project management features.
Time-tracking is one of those features. You and your employees can easily record the work you rendered for a certain client.
Your tracked hours are consolidated in real-time and will be accounted for in the report to be sent to the client.
And in terms of clients and projects, you can have multiple ongoing at the same time. Each project will also have specific folders wherein you can store essential documents and details.
Other features like automatic scheduling of deadlines and adding personalized notes for each client are also doable on Freshbooks.
Freshbooks is well-known for its highly competent support team. There are three ways that you can ask for help on the app.
First, you can explore its Support Page on the Freshbooks website. On there, you’ll find answers to plenty of frequently asked questions.
For more specific concerns, you can also send the team an email. Their email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
And for highly urgent issues, Freshbooks users can hop on a phone call with an agent. The official hotline is 1-866-303-6061.
Just take note that live agents are only available on Mondays to Fridays from 8am to 8pm.
All plans will give you access to basic accounting tools. These include the processing of Freshbooks payments and transactions via bank account transfer, credit card, and debit card.
Apart from just creating invoices, Freshbooks also lets you customize your online invoicing and receipts.
You’ll also get to manage multiple clients and do time-tracking for yourself and your employees.
The only catch is that Freshbooks has no free trial like what Harvest offers. But we assure you that whatever Freshbooks plan you choose will definitely be worth the cost.
Currently, the Lite plan costs $6 per month instead of the usual $15.
When paid annually, it costs $108.
The Plus plan costs $10 per month instead of the usual $25.
When paid annually, it costs $180.
The Premium plan costs $20 per month instead of the usual $50.
When paid annually, it costs $360.
For the Select Plan, its price is customizable upon negotiation and discussion with the Freshbooks team.
The total fee depends on the features you want to get. For a complete discussion, you can check out our article on How Much is Freshbooks Exactly?
Freshbooks vs. Harvest: Invoicing Software FAQs
#1 Which is a better invoicing software?
In terms of creating invoices in general, both Harvest and Freshbooks are fairly competent. You can create electronic invoices and send them to your clients in real-time.
And with Freshbooks, you can even customize your company invoices to include your own branding.
But what really stands out for most business owners is the option for Harvest invoices to be converted into a PDF version.
It makes safekeeping and billing much easier since all your employees have to do when they get it is print—no need to convert the invoice file.
#2 Which is a good choice for making financial reports?
Though Harvest can consolidate invoice reports that you can send to your clients for billing, they aren’t as comprehensive as Freshbooks’ reports.
On Freshbooks, you can create complete balance sheets, profit and loss reports, and even sales tax summaries. There are much more options to choose from.
Plus, you can view and create all of that on your Freshbooks mobile app.
#3 Which one is better for time-tracking?
As mentioned earlier, Harvest’s unique selling point is mainly its time-tracking tools for projects. And even though Freshbooks has a similar feature to track time, it isn’t as advanced as Harvest.
On Harvest, you can section the hours worked and not yet worked. You can also easily convert employee hours into tax time and then create invoices based on them.
Plus, many users say that they simply just love the interface that Harvest has to track time. And it’s easy to start and stop the hours as well.
#4 What software is best for tracking expenses?
Though both Harvest and Freshbooks have expense-tracking tools, we personally appreciate that of Freshbooks more.
In line with Freshbooks having better financial invoice reporting tools, it also tracks expenses better than Harvest does. You can instantly add any additional expenses to the reports to be sent to your client.
You can also integrate credit card and bank transfers to your Freshbooks app for payments.
Conclusion on Freshbooks vs. Harvest
To be honest, we think that there really is no clear winner in this Harvest versus Freshbooks comparison. This is since they shine in different aspects.
We suggest that you choose Harvest if your concern is for time-tracking for your projects. Harvest has advanced settings for organizing and keeping track of your team’s work hours.
But if overall accounting and invoicing is your concern, then we recommend you choose Freshbooks. The invoice reporting tools are more comprehensive and customizable on it.
Both Freshbooks and Harvest are highly competent as invoicing software applications, though. You can create electronic invoices and send payment reminders on both Freshbooks and Harvest.
Though in terms of overall pricing plans, we must say that Harvest wins. Unlike Freshbooks, it has a free plan that stays forever free.
It also has a free 30-day trial for whichever plan you subscribe to. But then again, we really can’t directly compare it to Freshbooks since it offers slightly different software benefits.