After using Freshbooks for a couple of years, I left last year in search of a less expensive alternative. I tried 17hats and Quickbooks during this time (known henceforth in my memoirs as "the dark period of my entrepreneurial financial management"), but almost immediately regretted leaving Freshbooks. 17hats, a newbie in the field, is still too buggy and photographer-specific for my needs as a musician who bills students monthly. And Quickbooks? They've obviously spent a lot of money on glitzy web animations, but I frankly couldn't figure out how to do anything beyond the basics, and their customer support seems to consist of nothing but "sorry, that's not how we do things" form responses. So, with months still remaining on the other plans, I'm back to Freshbooks. An expensive lesson, perhaps, but learned well.
Freshbooks makes it easy for me to track ongoing clients, issue credits for cancelled sessions, divide long-running projects into multiple payments, and more—and if something doesn't work the way I expect it to, the team of Freshbooks "Support Rock Stars" makes sure I'm back up and running within hours, not days.
Now that I'm back to Freshbooks, multiple clients have asked what software I use to make it so easy for them to log into their own accounts and see what's due, submit payments online, and ask questions about invoices. I'm a proud Freshbooks evangelist, and recommend them to all of my small-business colleagues.