FreshBooks has long been known as a leading invoicing application for small businesses and freelancers. Their system allows small business owners to track time, generative invoices online, manage projects, clients, and contacts. Invoicing, generating paper or email statements that get sent to a client for a service performed, is an entirely different process than recurring billing.
Recurring billing involves managing large amounts of credit card data for your customers, executing billing transactions at scheduled intervals, and then generating receipts for your customers. FreshBooks generates an invoice to send and then you wait for a check; Chargify automatically executes the transaction and generates a receipt for the payment received.
In terms of recurring billing functionality, FreshBooks allows you to create what’s called a “recurring profile.” This feature allows you to generate invoices automatically, but doesn’t actually charge your customers – it’s up to you to send the invoices out electronically or by mail.
FreshBooks does have an add-on feature they refer to as Auto-Billing which allows you to charge your customer’s credit cards whenever an invoice gets generated. This feature takes recurring profiles to the next step and actually collects payment for you. However, the Freshbooks Auto-Bill feature is limited on every account. They only allow you to use the auto-billing feature with a pre-defined number of recurring profiles before they start charging more.
Recurring billing features are bolted onto FreshBooks, which at its core is an invoicing application. There are no tools to help you manage fraudulent orders or manage declined cards. No analysis or reporting tools, and you get little to no insight into your business. There’s no question FreshBooks is an outstanding application for invoicing, but its recurring billing platform does not utilize best practices for today’s web applications.
Each free FrsehBooks account comes with 5 free auto-bills every month. If you have more than five customers you’d like to bill on a recurring basis you are required to upgrade to a paying account and add extra auto-bills to your account.
How is Chargify different?
- Chargify manages recurring billing. It works with your payment gateway to charge your customers and generates a receipt, not an invoice.
- Our dunning tool manages declined credit cards and helps merchants protect themselves against fraudulent transactions.
- Business intelligence tools reveal trends in revenue and sign ups
- Chargify allows you to collect payments through custom branded payment websites