How to Create and Track Expenses in FreshBooks?

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The foremost advantage of acquiring subscription of a cloud accounting software is that it automates and simplifies pretty much every tedious task that’d take eons to complete in a more “traditional” environment. The same goes for the FreshBooks accounting software. FreshBooks Expense tracking is only a matter of following a proper navigation since the interface is quite intuitive. Hence, the rest is covered by the software itself.

As well as being a free invoice creator, there are multiple ways to track expenses in FreshBooks and in this article, we will discuss all of them to give you a better idea of how instead of getting your horns stuck in the bushes dealing with trivial tasks, you can smooth out your business accounting and speed it up. If you manage your business expenses yourself then you’re pretty much guarenteed to make a mistake while doing the accounting. It’s easy to forget to include little monthly expenses. If you use one of the photocopier leasing companies for the copier in your office then this is a small expense that you might not take into account, causing confusion when your budget and expenses don’t add up because of these hidden costs. With FreshBooks, you don’t need to worry about this because all the expenses are dealt with for you. Everlance also has a company mileage and expense tracker that allows you to simplify reimbursements and save hundreds of hours of work with automatic expense tracking.

Also Read: How to Setup an Invoice Payment Schedule in FreshBooks?

FreshBooks Expense Tracking

Before dwelling into the details, it’s important to know that in addition to the ritualistic desktop version, FreshBooks has a mobile app version as well (both for Android and the iOS). So in this guide, we will discuss how you can track expenses both in the normal desktop version and the mobile version of FreshBooks.

FreshBooks Stalking Invoice Animated

How to Create Expenses in FreshBooks (Desktop)?

There are more than one ways to create expenses in FreshBooks. The most primary of them is creating them directly within FreshBooks. To do this follow the below steps:

  1. Click the Expense tab from the menu bar on the left.
    FreshBooks Main Dashboard Expenses Tab
  2. Click the New Expense button to create your expense
  3. Enter the name of the vendor/supplier in the Add Vendor field
    FreshBooks Add New Expense
  4. [Optional] Add additional details in the Add Description (Optional) field.
  5. Add the nature of the expense in the Choose a Category field. In case the category is not present in the list, FreshBooks allows you to create new categories on-the-fly. The category is basically the account that the expense will hit in your General Ledger.
  6. Upload the receipt/bill of the expense in Drag Receipt Image Here section. You can simply drag and drop the image within this section to upload the image file or click Select a File link to upload your image. You could also consider using software like that found on to keep track of all your expenses that you don’t want to risk losing the papers for as it allows you to create a digital, paperless record of everything.
  7. Click the Expense Settings icon to change the default settings of your expense. The settings that you can alter are:
    a. Mark as billable: Set this to Yes if you want to bill this expense to your client
    b. Make Recurring: Apply these settings if any particular expense is recurring in nature. Read below for further details entailing how you can create a recurring expense in FreshBooks.
    c. Currency
    d. Cost of Goods Sold: This one’s a bit complicated. Setting this to Yes will affect the journal entries as instead of hitting the Expense account in General Ledger, this expense will affect the Cost of Goods Sold account as well as the Inventory account in the Balance Sheet.
  8. Enter the total amount in the Amount field.
  9. The Show included tax reveals how much tax is included in the particular expense. You need to set up tax rules in order to apply the correct tax rates. However, you can create new taxes on-the-fly as well.

Import Expenses from a CSV File

You can also import all your expenses using a CSV file. With the CSV import, you can specify the amount, date, and description you would like each expense to be created under. Import your file with the steps below:

  1. Go to the Expenses section from the main dashboard.
  2. Click on the More Actions drop-down and then select Import Expenses from a File
    FreshBooks More Actions - Import a CSV File
  3. Click on Choose File and then select your CSV file from your computer
  4. Match the fields to the columns from your file using the drop-down (e.g., Date should match to the column in your file that is also labeled as Date) and then click the Import Expenses button.
    FreshBooks CSV Import - Match Fields with CSV columns
  5. New Expenses will be added and you can start reviewing them in your list of Expenses.

Note: If you’re importing a CSV list with both debit and credit entries where the debits are the negative amount and credits are the positive amounts then the FreshBooks will only import the negative amount.
However, if you’re importing a file with just positive amounts, FreshBooks will import all the amounts.

Connect Bank Accounts to Import Expenses

You can also import all your expenses (and other transactions) directly from your bank account by connecting it to the FreshBooks. Just follow the below steps:

  1. Click the Expenses tab from the menu on the left on the main dashboard
  2. Click More Actions and then Manage Bank Connections.
    FreshBooks More Actions - Import a CSV File
  3. Select your bank from the list and then enter your banking credentials to establish a connection
  4. After your bank account is linked with FreshBooks, it will download around past 30-90 days of transactions (depending on your bank).
  5. FreshBooks will now list down all the transactions and you can now add details in your transactions to post them in FreshBooks.

Record Expenses Using Mobile Apps

iOS Devices

Follow below steps To enter expenses in FreshBooks using your iOS device:

  1. From the main screen tap on the Expenses section
    iOS FreshBooks Main Expense Screen
  2. On the next screen tap on the + button in the top right
    iOS FreshBooks Expense Plus Sign
  3. Enter the details of your Expense which include:
    iOS Enter FreshBooks Expense Details
    Vendor Name – The business or person you paid
    Total Amount – The full amount of your Expense, Including Taxes
    Taxes – Choose any applicable Tax that was paid on the Total. This will automatically back-calculate the amount of Tax(es) paid
    Category – Choose from one of FreshBooks’ Tax friendly categories, or create your own Subcategory
    Date of Issue – Assign the date the Expense was incurred
    Notes – Feel free to include any additional details about the Expense
    Bill to Client – If you intend to rebill a Client for this Expense, you’ll want to associate it to that Client. Once selected, you’ll also have the option to assign it to a Project if necessary
  4. To attach a receipt image, tap on the Attach Receipt option. You can tap on Take a photo or Choose from the library.
    iOS FreshBooks Expense Attach Receipt
  5. Tap on Save to save the expense through the iOS app.

Android Devices

To log Expenses using your Android device, use these steps:

  1. Tap on the Expenses section
    Android FreshBooks Main expense tab
  2. On the next screen tap on the + button in the top right
    Android FreshBooks Expense Plus Sign
  3. Tap on the green camera button to Retake or Use Photo. If you’re attaching a saved photo, tap on the Folder icon and choose your saved image. Tap Skip if you don’t want to include a receipt.
  4. From here, tap on the $0.00 field to enter the Total Amount of your expense
    Android FreshBooks Expense Attach Receipt
  5. New expense screen with total and taxes options.
  6. Tap on Include Taxes and choose the Tax(es) you paid to automatically include taxes in your expense
  7. Tap on Save to continue
  8. From here, you can continue adding more details to your Expense which include:
  9. Android Add FreshBooks Expense Details
    Category – Choose from one of FreshBooks’ Tax friendly categories, or create your own Subcategory
    Date – Mention the date of the expense
    Client – If you intend to rebill a Client for this Expense, you’ll want to associate it to that Client. Once selected, you’ll also have the option to assign it to a Project if necessary
    Vendor – The business or person you paid
    Notes – Feel free to include any additional details about the Expense
  10. Tap on Update to save the expense.

In case you want to get started with FreshBooks, Click this link to start your 30-days free trial period.

Bonus Offer

Claim 50% discount on any new package of FreshBooks Accounting software for 6 months.

Hurry! the offer will stay till the 5th of December, 2018

To claim your discount, just follow this link.


Do people still prefer working 9-to-5?

Download this useful and interesting infographic (courtesy: FreshBooks) depicting the work-habits of the people around the US.

FreshBooks Invoice Templates – New feature to Simplify your Invoicing Process

Invoicing your clients is tedious and arduous and it feels that it sucks too many precious man hours.

If that’s the case then FreshBooks has a perfect solution for you.

And that’s done-for-you invoice templates.

With the ready-made and yet, professional-looking invoice templates, all you have to do is enter information and don’t even need to bother about the aesthetics of the invoices.

You can now send professionally-designed invoices to your clients within just a few clicks.

More importantly, you don’t even have to worry about the formats of these invoices as FreshBooks provide these templates in the following multiple formats. These are:

  1. Microsoft Word
  2. Microsoft Excel
  3. Adobe PDF
  4. Google Sheets
  5. Google Docs
  6. Streamline invoicing

Read more about the FreshBooks Invoice Templates in this article

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