YNAB & Freshbooks

Anyone else using Freshbooks along with YNAB? I'd be interested to hear your productive strategies on using them together.

We've got a business that came with a legacy investment in Freshbooks. What is does in invoicing, and related expense- and  time-capturing, is great. But it doesn't even try to track a checking account, let alone work as a cash-flow management/allocation/budgeting system. So I'm using YNAB for that.

Yet now I have a system that does a great job of tracking expenses (Freshbooks) and not a clear path on how to get that information into YNAB. 

Has anyone done importing of Freshbooks files?

Has anyone just left the expense side of the balance sheet to Freshbooks completely (mabye entering a single roll-up monthly "Expenses" amount in YNAB)?

Has anyone done something else?

(I've heard YNAB itself using YNAB and Freshbooks -- might we hear from someone within YNAB's inner sanctum on how they do it?)

Eager to hear your useful ideas.

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  • Hi Beanorama !

    I dug around a bit and I can't say for certain we're still using Freshbooks. It was mentioned in one of our blog posts from 2014 (the first one included in the list below), but our newer business blogs and articles don't mention it (we only used it for the occasional invoice, so there wasn't much traffic there).

    We run YNAB the company on YNAB the software, and it's exceptionally scalable. This article on how to set up a business budget mentions Freshbooks, but goes in further details of being able to do everything in YNAB. :)

    Here are a few of our other business articles:

    Keep in mind that they were created based off of our previous version of YNAB (YNAB 4) so you won't recognize some of the screenshots. The information is all still relevant, though! 

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  • Thanks,  Faness . Those articles were useful for me when I decided to give YNAB a go at this business, since I already had committed to doing my personal budgeting on it.

    And though I do think YNAB will scale as much as we need it to, it is limited in the functions it has. We certainly won't be "able to do everything in YNAB, even for our small businesses. YNAB won't do invoicing. That's why we're still using Freshbooks.

    I saw that blogpost you mentioned about how someone figured out a great way to use YNAB to manage accounts receivable. That also had some good ideas about how to jimmy YNAB into a faux-categorization of income that I used.

    We do have a invoicing solution, Freshbooks, and it also manages the aging of accounts receivables really well.

    Freshbooks doesn't connect to bank accounts nearly as well as YNAB. But it handles expenses better (e.g., real-time mobile app capturing of receipts).

    So with two separate systems, YNAB doing budgeting, Freshbooks doing invoices, both tracking expenses, and both sort-of tracking income, I'm hoping to get them to talk to each other. If I figure it out, I'll post a follow-up.

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    • Beanorama you should try to use the ynab and freshbooks api's to sync data between them. You might be able to get them talking using zapier or just find a developer who can code a custom integration.

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      • Beanorama
      • beanorama
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Slate Blue Sander Those are great ideas, after I first figure out how they'll need to interact together and can do it manually. (I'm keeping well in-mind what a mentor told me long ago: "when you automate chaos, you just make it faster.") 

      Right now I'm hoping that I can setup Freshbooks as an account in YNAB, then import the data periodically. Sounds good in theory! But they don't share an export/import file format (other than CSV) so it will require restructuring the data into the structure YNAB wants to see.

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    • Beanorama I can tell you're good at doing your research, but I wanted to leave a link to this (unofficial) CSV converter which may help convert your CSV file from Freshbooks - just in case you hadn't seen it. 

      I completely understand YNAB isn't the preference for Every situation, but we'd still love to help where we can! :)

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      • Beanorama
      • beanorama
      • 1 yr ago
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      Faness Thanks for the link. I'll check it out (unofficially)!

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    • Beanorama in fact the more I think about it I'm curious about how they'd interact together too. I got a bit of a background in web development and I'm thinking maybe I should look into offering something like this for others.

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      • Beanorama
      • beanorama
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Slate Blue Sander Ooo, find a way to bring over the categorization I already did in Freshbooks and I'm an Alpha tester for you. 

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