Update: FreshBooks Integration and Proposal Statuses

FreshBooks integration has been the most requested feature for a long time. Too long. That’s why I’m super excited to be able to say that Bidsketch now officially includes FreshBooks integration.

[Video Update: http://www.bidsketch.com/freshbooks-integration-overview/ ]

So now, with a FreshBooks account you can:

  • Import all your existing FreshBooks clients
  • View and add invoices from Bidsketch
  • Add clients to FreshBooks
  • Turn proposals into invoices (this is super cool)
  • View invoices associated with a proposal

This is just the big stuff, there’s more here that I haven’t mentioned. Scope out the screenshots below to get a better feel for how this all works.

Enabling FreshBooks Integration

Before you get started, log into your FreshBooks account and make sure the API is enabled. You do this by going into the FreshBooks API subnav menu item on the My Account page. Once there you’ll want to make sure that Enable API is checked:

FreshBooks Enable API

After you’ve verified that the API is enabled, you can log into your Bidsketch account and visit Integrations tab on your Account page.

Enter your FreshBooks URL and you’ll be redirected to FreshBooks where you can enter your login information for secure access to your clients and invoices.

Bidsketch Integrations Tab

Enter your FreshBooks URL and you’ll be redirected to FreshBooks where you can enter your login information for secure access to your clients and invoices.

FreshBooks OAuth

FreshBooks will send you back to Bidsketch where all your clients will automatically be imported.
Bidsketch Import Clients
How it Works

Once you’ve finished setting this up, you’ll see a new invoice tab and an Add Invoice button whenever you view a client. FreshBooks clients will also give invoice paid/unpaid totals on this page. (Note: Adding an invoice from here is will create the client in FreshBooks if your client isn’t there yet.)
Bidsketch Client Details

Turning a proposal into an invoice is pretty neat. Just click on the Add Invoice button and it’ll do a few things:

  1. Create your client in FreshBooks if they’re not already there
  2. Create an invoice and bring over all fee information
  3. Associate that invoice to the proposal so you can quickly see totals
  4. Mark your proposal with a status of Invoiced

Bidsketch Proposal Detail

Bidsketch Invoice Modal

A couple of Bonus Updates

  • Two new proposal statuses have been added: Sent and Invoiced
  • Proposal totals have been added to the client details page

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Nathan Sudds

Definitely eager to test this out — thanks Ruben!

Russell Tanner

Looks like a cool system. How are recurring invoices handled though? For example, we typically ask for a down payment up front (usually 50%). We also have a hosting component to our proposal that usually doesn’t happen for a few weeks into the project. And then depending on the customer, some times the remaining project balance is financed or other 50% is paid when the project is completed. With Freshbooks, the delayed hosting start time and also the remaining 50% project cost can only be handled with recurring invoices. If Bidsketch just pulls over all the bid information what actually happens on Freshbook’s end (in the scenario(s) I listed above)? Thanks.

Chris Houston

It would be great if you also added integration for http://www.freeagentcentral.com which is similar to FreshBooks, they also have API’s so I assume it would be possible to do a similar integration.

Cheers, Chris ( a FreeAgent User )

Ruben

Hi Russell, thanks for the feedback! Bidsketch pulls over all of the fee information but it doesn’t automatically send it out. So you can adjust the invoice after it’s been created to reflect any scenario you’d like before sending it out.

Ruben

Interesting. I hadn’t heard of it before but I’ll take a look. Thanks for the suggestion!

Dave Wright

Any Harvest integrations in the works?

Ruben

Hi Dave,

Highrise integration is in the works as we speak but Harvest is coming up right after.

Mike C

I also would like to put a vote in for http://www.freeagentcentral.com integration. Thanks.

Ruben

Thanks!

Keith

Love the integration so far… Are there any plans to integrate with Freshbooks estimates? This would totally complete my workflow! Thanks.

Ruben

Hi Keith, thanks for the kind words! This is interesting. How would you envision FreshBooks estimates working within Bidsketch?

NAT

I’m a Freshbooks user who found Bidsketch through their add-ons page. Now I’m sold on using Bidsketch, too, but I’m really frustrated that I can’t simply add a Freshbooks Estimate to the body of my Bidsketch proposals. The “Fees” section on Bidsketch just doesn’t replace the functionalities of Freshbooks.

So I’m having to export the Bidsketch proposal to PDF, the Freshbooks estimate to PDF, and then merge the two files to send via email. What a bummer — I lose all the commenting capabilities of both sites. But it’s too complicated/confusing for my clients to have to log in to both sites just to review proposals.

Dave

Great job here.

Steve

I second what NAT just said: “But it’s too complicated/confusing for my clients to have to log in to both sites just to review proposals”.

I’m trying to show my clients an “estimate”, which is what a proposal is for, but don’t want to force them to visit 2 sites to get both. The next step for the BidSketch/FreshBooks collaboration is to either:
1. Allow a BidSketch Proposal to have a “estimated” status in addition to “invoiced”.
2. Allow a FreshBooks Estimate to import the BidSketch Proposal as an attachment?

Everyone see what we’re saying? An estimate goes hand-in-hand with a proposal. The proposal describes the rationale for the estimate. Lets keep our clients’ lives simple.

Steve

In the above comment, I forgot to acknowledge how great this integration is. I love it, and love RightSignature too. Just trying to not overwhelm busy clients. 🙂

Ruben

Nat & Steve – Thanks for the feedback. A proposal should replace a FreshBooks estimate. Proposals differ from estimates in that they’re written to persuade. That said, an estimate is typically included within the proposal by having a fee summary section or something similar (which Bidsketch allows).

So given your feedback, I’m interested in hearing how I can improve the fee functionality so that it can fully replace FreshBooks estimates for you.

@Steve – I’m not sure I follow regarding the “estimated” status. Wouldn’t a “sent” status mean that it’s been estimated as well?

Would love to continue the conversation through email for better communication than WordPress comment boxes 🙂

Feel free to send me an email here: ruben@bidsketch.com

Thanks!

Buc

Hello Ruben,

To piggyback on what Nat and Steve were saying,

I would like a way to manually associate a Freshbooks invoice to a proposal. Or I need a way for Bidsketch to display a list of invoices (or even estimates) and allow me to derive a new proposal from that.

Thanks

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