The Virtual Accountant | Entry 6
Blog - Career Options Series
If you’ve ever done any freelance work or have been self employed then you would understand the struggle of juggling being the marketer, producer, project manager and finally, the accountant. Unless you are an extremely self sufficient person then kudos to you, but being a freelance illustrator myself, I’m not the greatest at managing everything so when FreshBooks came into to speak to us for our Pro Topics class I was definitely intrigued.
Mudita Shekhawat is a Business Development Representative at FreshBooks, a cloud based accounting system for self-employed people or for people who run small businesses.
FreshBooks opened up its offices in Toronto in 2003 and was started by a freelance web designer, Mike McDerment, who just wanted a simple, fast and easy way to create and track his invoices.
Mudita talked a lot about what FreshBooks does, the company, a bit about the design team and their process. As a financial-technology (Fin-Tech) company there are a lot of different teams at FreshBooks that deal with certain areas but each team features a product owner, a UX designer, a scrum master, and a few developers. Design at FreshBooks looks to solve problems, how to make things products more efficient and how to innovate versus limit risks.
How to Solve Problems
FreshBooks makes use of something called Lean Canvas, which is a decision making tool to ensure that what you are developing is viable and serving its purpose. Lean Canvas is kind of like bingo, where you fill out the boxes until you reach your goal.
FreshBooks seems like a great company, and from Mudita’s demo, it truly does look like an easy application to use. The interface is fresh and the information is well organized. The user can easily access their stats and have a quick glance at them to see how well they are performing. She further emphasized their excellent customer service and how they are always changing and adding functionalities to make the application better. As a cloud based company, FreshBooks is mobile friendly which means you can access your account while you are on the go. FreshBooks allows you to add a client, add projects, timers, show your profits and spending. Within the application the client view shows the client contact info and how much you’ve invoiced them. FreshBooks itself can even be claimed as a business expense. On their website they offer a lot of client support. There are classroom modules, tips on how to get paid, a blog with articles catered for small businesses, productivity hacks and ways too boost your mood.
MVP, minimal viable product, refers to how quickly the team can release a product to market. Like many other tech companies, FreshBooks also complies to the agile development, where a lot of work is produced in short sprints. They perform a lot of research and user testing before the product is launched. A whole team works together to come up with the best solutions. And even after launching a product, the development team works with the customer support team to create better experiences and functionalities for the application.
FreshBooks exists for the non-accountant, and getting paid is really important. Keeping everything on track is difficult and sometimes we need help. Mudita even provided us with a link to try out FreshBooks for free for two months. I don't recall who said this quote, but Mudita mentioned it and I really liked it,
Thank you Mudita for coming in to talk to us about FreshBooks!
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