Freshbooks. This Entire Episode is About Freshbooks. Period.
Although this episode was supposed to be a roundtable Brady bunch type discussion about our favourite financial apps (we did kinda get there), the first half of this episode is spent extolling the virtues of Freshbooks. So if you are a small business owner, go to freshbooks.com and support a Canadian company that is doing all kinds of things right.
This is the second time Kerry K. Taylor has joined us on the Because Money podcast, so she can now officially be called a “friend of the show”. And just so you know, being a friend of the show and a buck forty nine will get you a value meal burger, exciting stuff… maybe she will post a picture of her burger on Instagram with the hashtag #becausemoney while tagging @kiltedbroker and @sandthemrs.
Now, on the off chance you are on Instagram, consider adding us and saying hello or just like a lot of our pictures so we feel good about ourselves!Anyway, here is the list of resources for this episode, I wanted to just have Freshbooks listed, however Sandi (the list curator) had other ideas!
Jackson: Jackson Middleton
Kyle: Kyle Prevost
Sandi: Sandi Martin
Kerry: Kerry K. Taylor (Squawkfox.com)
Jackson: Welcome to another episode of the Because Money Podcast. I’m joined by Sandi Martin and Kyle Prevost. And we’ve got a very special guest today to introduce 2016. We’re starting it off right. We’ve got Kerry K. Taylor—and the “K” is important. She blogs over at Squawkfox.com It’s one of the blogs that I actually really enjoy reading and following around on Instagram. How are you Kerry?
Kerry: I’m good. And you do follow me on Instagram.
Jackson: I totally do. You have kids and you share pictures of kids. I like that.
Kerry: Just one kid. You have more though.
Jackson: I have four. We have multiple kids. You have kid; I have kids. So we’re talking about financial apps—applications. Now that could be on your phone, it could be on your tablet, it could be on your desktop. We’re discussing applications that make you better and help you at finance.
So Kerry, why don’t you take it away and start talking about the one you like. Then we’ll each take a turn, and then we’ll go around in a circle for a half an hour, until Sandi’s timer goes off, and then we’ll end the episode. So Kerry, it’s on to you.
Kerry: I feel like I’m in the Brady Bunch. Like I should be able to tap the people next to me in this bottom window. I know, that the way I feel.
Kyle: That’s our new theme song.
Kerry: Here’s the story of an app by Kerry.
Jackson: I’m totally going to call this episode that, right there. You are the subtitlist, so here we go.
Kerry: I only wish I’d built this app. I only discovered it maybe three weeks ago, and it’s because I guess I’m a really bad entrepreneur. But I was really awful at invoicing my clients. So this is an app that really will help people who have a small business get better at invoicing. And my accountant said that invoicing is a really good idea because it helps you stay in business. [laughs]
Sandi: Good accountant!
Kyle: True story.
Jackson: You’re stealing my app right now, aren’t you? You’re going to steal my app. Go ahead. I’ll let you go first.
Kerry: [laughs] I’m sorry about that. Well, it’s a Canadian company, and they’re actually just located down the street from me. I walk past them every day when I drop my one kid off at daycare or school. It’s called FreshBooks.
Jackson: You stole my thunder! I wanted to introduce everyone to FreshBooks. You just took my only app. Anyway, I’ll let you continue.
Kyle: Hurry up. Start searching right now.
Kerry: Well, we can all add to it about why you love FreshBooks, because I’m only a new user. You’re probably more advanced on this. What I really like about is I can invoice my clients and send nag invoices, and I can keep time tracking of how much time I spend on a client’s account. And it just makes my life so much easier, and I really love that it’s so low-cost.
If you only have a couple of clients, it’s like $10 a month. If you have more, I think the most expensive it gets is $40 a month. And for a small business that now has a way to invoice people, that’s a really cost-effective way to get paid.
I love it because it’s just so seamless. I just invoice in and invoice out. I can do it multiple different currencies. I can carry it on my phone and update things as I go along. So I’m a huge fan of this company because they’re just made my business so seamless. And I can just take the file and email it off to my accountant when I’m done. So there’s no more messy spreadsheets that I used to have to make all the time. So I am totally in love with FreshBooks and I think it’s an amazing tool for small business owners.
And because you guys are also small business owners, I would love to hear why you like FreshBooks too.
Jackson: Okay, I’m totally jumping in. I love FreshBooks, for all of the reasons that you just said. The fact that it’s a Canadian company is awesome. And it really makes everything easy. I feel like I should be on a FreshBooks commercial.
Their support is good. I actually hired a bookkeeper, and I introduced her to FreshBooks because I’d already been using it. I found it on my own. And then she actually went and switched all of her clients to FreshBooks.
I have what’s called a profit and loss statement. And it generates all of the things, and it points them in the right directions, and I can click on it and I can search where I’m spending my money and whether I’m making money or not. I know that’s probably like, “Yeah, that’s what everybody looks for”, but this is the first time I’ve had one. And you can put your invoices and your expenses; you can attach the expense to it.
Kerry: Yeah, you can add receipts!
Jackson: It’s so good because when you classify everything as “other” expenses, “miscellaneous”, you click on that number on your profit and loss statement and all of the receipts—the names, all of the amounts come up. It’s like I feel really smart when I’m using FreshBooks.
I don’t have a clue what to do with the information right now, but I’ve got that information. It’s so cool.
Sandi: That’s awesome. See what I like about FreshBooks is that clients can pay me through it. And then it integrates with another app, which is Stripe, the payment processor. And they just happily work together and put money into my bank account, and I don’t have to do anything. That’s lovely.
Jackson: I totally had mine set up so that it was only putting it in every week, and I said no that’s nonsense, I want it in every day. So really, money comes to my bank account every day. Clients pay me money. And the recurring feature is deadly. In my business I run a recurring subscription for content, so I work with mortgage brokers and I do content for their blogs, so I upload it. I just sent them an invoice once. I say hook it up to your credit card and then it bills them every month. And I try and actually bill everyone on a different day, so that I have money coming in every day. It’s really exciting.
Kerry: Are they okay with you recurring billing them?
Jackson: They love it. No, they love it.
Sandi: That’s how I do it with my retainer clients, too. It’s a monthly fee and it goes automatically on their credit card and they pay it out of their cash flow. Yeah, it’s great.
Kerry: You know what else is great about it? I’m on the bandwagon here because I’m just so new to it. I used to have to calculate all the HST and GST for all the different clients across the country, and it was a major pain in the butt because I always had to look up what the HST was, GST, T that would go along with the invoicing. I was like “why is this so complicated?” And I don’t have to do that anymore. Less math! I mean, I love math, but this was awful math.
Jackson: And it’s visual. That’s what I like. I get my expense categories and it’s a pie chart, baby. It’s a pie chart with little arrows that tell me where I’m spending my money. FreshBooks and Stripe I’m going to talk a little bit about Stripe. It’s my turn now.
Sandi: Haven’t you had your turn yet?
Jackson: Stripe is really good too, because that’s what allows people to pay with a credit card. I actually set up a website today for a guy who runs a charitable organization, and this will be mine. I build a lot of websites on WordPress, and if you’ve got a charitable website, there’s a plugin called “Give” and it allows you to seamlessly take donations. So, FreshBooks allows you to invoice an amount and they pay that amount. Give allows you to just put a button on your site that allows you to choose the amount. And then I powered that Give with the Stripe add-on, and I had it set up in a couple of hours this afternoon and it worked already. I donated $5 to his charity, and Stripe takes 2.9% and 30 cents, so he got like four bucks and a bit. Yeah, and I found that it really worked well. And Stripe kind of is that background payment. I don’t like PayPal. Maybe I’ve got a problem with PayPal because I think I hooked up a credit card a long time ago and then it went bunk and they were asking for my address and business stuff, and it didn’t work. I don’t like how PayPal jumps off the site and you’ve got to do it on a separate site. Stripe allows everything—nice, tight, payment right on the site. So Stripe and FreshBooks, and Give is the plugin that I like.
Sandi: Kyle, your turn.
Kyle: Well, I’m a fan of something slightly less fresh than FreshBooks. It is the poor cousin, or the frugal cousin, known as Wave apps. It’s going to do 90-95% of what FreshBooks does. It doesn’t have quite all the bells and whistles. It has a lot of it for free, so if you just want to jump in. And it’s specifically designed for companies with less than 9 employees, which is a lot of people doing something on the side.
FreshBooks is great. It’s super professional ease-of-use. If you want to be ultra cheap and use a free account, Wave is great. And the one thing I really like about it is—and I’m not sure FreshBooks has this, because they didn’t when I looked at it a year to ago. But Wave has this cool feature you can scan whatever receipt you have. Which is cool for like a small business guy like myself. If I have a business meeting with my buddy or I buy whatever the case is, and I can quickly scan the receipt; and it throws it right into my accounting ledger. So that’s a really neat feature that I like for small businesses and sort of stuff on the side that people will do.
Sandi: Whoa, now it’s my turn. [laughs] No, can we talk about Wave just for a minute though? I had a client who was very excited about it, and we worked together a little bit on it, just briefly about a year ago. Does it integrate your personal stuff too? Is it kind of Mint+ for small business?
Kyle: It can integrate. We haven’t had the smoothest of transitions with that; Justin and I. We generally try to keep it just for our small business, but they do list it as a feature.
Sandi: Well, that’s very interesting.
Jackson: I’m just looking at Wave right now and it’s zero dollars. I think the old saying goes, “If it’s free, you are the cost”. So how does Wave make money?
Kyle: Well, they try to upgrade you, right? It’s all about the premium. So if you want advice, that’s a little bit extra. You want some of their resources that they’ll give you access to. That’s a little bit extra as well.
You can look up, there’s some pretty good comparisons of FreshBooks versus Wave and what you get for what price point. They’re going to try and upsell you, a lot. That’s how they make their money. For me, I would buy the upsell because I’m not very good with technology and I’m worse with spreadsheets. Luckily I have Justin as my IT guy. He handles the Wave fix-its when I break it.
Kerry: I’ll just pay whatever–$10 to $40 a month—and I’m happy. [laughs] Sometimes you’ve got to pay for it. You’re Canadian! I mean, come on.
Kyle: The receipt thing is cool, though, and FreshBooks doesn’t have that.
Kerry: Yeah, I’ve taken pictures.
Kyle: You can just scan it and it throws it right in there?
Kerry: Yeah, I take a picture of it.
Jackson: Yeah, I just take a picture of mine.
Kyle: They didn’t have that a year or two ago, when I looked; in Canada, anyway.
Sandi: What FreshBooks doesn’t have right now, is that it doesn’t integrate with CIBC. That just happens to be where my business account is, so I can’t just tell FreshBooks, or I can’t just download my past transactions and then upload it to FreshBooks. I’ve got to format the file before I upload it, and that’s an enormous pain in the neck for me. I came from QuickBooks to FreshBooks. And so at QuickBooks, it was just like well, here’s the file and I’m ready. So that’s irritating for me, and I’m waiting for CIBC to work with FreshBooks in some way. But that’s the only irritant that I’ve had.
Kyle: Is that the only one? Do either of you know? Does FreshBooks work with all the major banks except CIBC?
Sandi: That’s the only one I’ve run into. It wouldn’t be too hard to find though. They don’t advertise it on their website.
Kyle: Well, just because a lot of these things, because it’s a Canadian company, like a lot of these are American companies that have one foot in Canada.
Sandi: Yeah, it was a surprise to me too, because you’d assume that at least the major banks in Canada would be supported. So I’m not sure. I didn’t get a story from them why it’s not supported.
Jackson: I use Scotia and I’ve had no problems connecting.
Sandi: It’s my poor choice of bank. [laughs] And that’s my segue. My favourite finance app is my online banking app, just on my phone. And I don’t do anything with it except for check the balance on our variable spending account. This is how plain vanilla it gets for me. I don’t use Mint. I don’t use that kind of stuff. When I’m out spending money on things that I have a choice whether I want to spend it or not, or whether I have to buy snow pants for three sets of kids now, because of the dumb snow. Do we have enough money to do x, y, z, or can we blow out date night on sushi or something? I just open up my account and it tells me how much is left until the next time I deposit money into it, on the 5th of the month, and that’s it. That, to me, has been the most…we started doing that spending account, I would say five years ago now, and that has made the absolute biggest difference in our finances. And it’s just that simple smartphone app.
Kyle: Well, I think what you’ve seen is companies like Mint and Wine came in get all techy on everyone here. They disrupted the user interface for financing. Taking pictures of Jackson and and/or different budgeting features. Well, RBC and Scotia and these guys aren’t stupid, right. They’ve got millions and millions of dollars to throw at people—and I your case, CIBC, Sandi. They’re all coming out now with this budgeting and it’ll throw it into graphs.
Sandi: No, I don’t use that! [laughs] I have Quicken for that. It’s just if I need to make my spending decisions. I don’t like those. I don’t like the bank ones that they come out with.
Kyle: It’s coming though. They’ll be user-friendly sooner or later. They have to be, right? The market’s calling for it. And instead of being like can it import your bank account? Well, it already is your bank account.
Sandi: You’re right.
Kyle: And security-wise, they’ll just make bank. I have faith that their money will rule out.
Sandi: [laughs] I have faith in the big banks making money.
Kerry: Now that’s the clairvoyance part of this talk. [laughs] Where predictions are made.
Kyle: If you had bet on Canadian banks over the last hundred years, you’ve done all right.
Kerry: Now you’re betting on financial technology and banks, and oh my goodness. I don’t bet. I tried to gamble once and I wrote about it, and I just failed at it.
Kyle: Example one.
Kerry: [laughs] I was like “Saving is hard, spending is easy. Screw this. I’m gonna play the lottery”, and it just didn’t work out. The math didn’t work. It’s really heartbreaking. Okay, what other apps do we all like?
Sandi: I was expecting you to come out with Checkout 51 or Flipp, or something like that. You had those up a little while ago on your website.
Kerry: Yeah, they’re still up there, so let’s talk about them. Flipp is another Canadian company. It’s a flyer app, really. So instead of giving all those paper flyers delivered to your house and having to go through them, what Flipp does is it aggregates them. So you enter your postal code and you get all the flyers in your vicinity, and it’s really helpful. So if you’re trying to save money on toilet paper, you just enter the search term “toilet paper” and you get all the stores that are selling it on sale. And the coolest thing about the latest version of Flipp is that it now has coupons in it. So if that toilet paper has a coupon, it matches the coupon to the sale. So you’re saving even more money.
I took the apt for a walk at a number of stores, because they challenged me to see how much I could save. And I saved about 30% of my grocery haul, without even trying. So I was pretty shocked. And it’s fun. My husband uses it too. He uses it on iOS. I used it on my smartphone. I use it on my iPhone [laughs] because my phone is so smart. [laughs] I use it on my iPhone, and we just make a grocery list and check off items. And our daughter helps us tap the different items for sale and it puts a circle around it. It’s called a clipboard, and it just clips it, and all the sale items come up in a wave. So if you enter chicken, it just pops up all the chicken sales. I can’t get over how easy it is because I hated going through the flyers. I hate coupons. Can I just say that?
I’ve tried to clip coupons and I hate clipping coupons. I always have the best intentions and I would put them in my purse and then I’d have a kid on my shoulder at checkout, thinking I am going to have a meltdown. I am not pulling out the coupon to save 50 cents on eggs. You know what? Like screw this.
Kyle: As someone with no children, thank you. The person in line with children that’s trying to save the $0.50 on eggs, that’s rough on all of us. I’ll pay you here 50 cents. Just let me know, mother with a child.
Jackson: I’ve actually thought about paying for their entire grocery bill. Just go, get. Take your coupons and go.
Kyle: So Kerry, save is all.
Kerry: And the thing is, Flipp is free. You just download Flipp, and I swear it’s not just for groceries. You can find kids snow pants in there too. I saved $100 on my Apple computer. It was last year. I saved $100 on my Air because I went to the Apple Store and I saw that they were selling it for $100 less at one of the electronics stores. And I called up the store, they had it in stock, so I saved $100 right there. I didn’t have to go to another electronics store and price match there. So Apple let me price match using Flipp.
That right there was like $100. It just completely boggled my brain that you could do that on an app. Just look through all the flyers and just find the greatest deals. And it takes no time. When someone emails me asking them for the best price on toilet paper, I’m like just download Flipp and you’ll have your best price right there. And for back-to-school it’s good. I can’t stop raving about it. I can get really annoying after a while. [laughs]
Kyle: How does it compare to Coupon Sherpa down in the States, Kerry. Can it geo-target? If you’re walking through a mall, will it automatically pop up all the different stores?
Kerry: Well it does do target, because you enter in your postal code. So if you decide to move to the States, Flipp works there too. If you move to Toronto, it will work there. You just have to update your postal code. So if you travel across Canada, you too can save on cheese in the Maritimes, [laughs] easy-peasy.
Sandi: With the coupons, the coupon is on your phone and you have scan it at the checkout?
Kerry: You know what? I wish. And this is where the coupon industry really stinks, is because the coupon is the legal tender for the manufacturers; where the retailer proves that the customer brought in the coupons. So they need to forward all those paper coupons to the manufacturer to get their money back. So as a customer, what you still need to do is use Flipp to print that coupon. But the thing is, it’s already matched for you. You don’t have any surprises. And that’s not Flipp’s fault. I hope Flipp can disrupt this whole thing and just let us scan the coupon from our phone. That would be ideal.
Kyle: You can do that down in the State. I grew up right on the border, so we’d do cross-border. We still do cross-border shopping, and there are a couple of apps down in the States that it’s just a barcode and you just scan it in at the till. It’s coming. It’ll make its way up here. I’m sure Flipp will have it if they’re already in the space.
Kerry: Yeah, it’s about the manufacturers. I think if enough people whine and cry about it, “Oh, we want our coupons and we want them digital!” [laughs] You can use that, by the way.
Kyle: We want coupons and we want them digital.
Kerry: Just scan. No more clipping coupons. Here’s hoping that will work. But for now, it’s really easy to get deals on chicken and cheese and save 30% on your grocery haul. So why wouldn’t you do it?
Sandi: Do you combine that also with Checkout 51?
Kerry; No-no-no, I don’t even use Checkout 51. I mean, Checkout 51, I tried to use, but for me it at the time when I last used it, didn’t match the coupon to the sale, and I just couldn’t be bothered. It’s just too much. Like I’d rather just find a really kick butt sale or go to Costco. And I mean, you have to choose your poison, right? Like how much is the couponing worth your time, and for me that ten cents on a can of beans, I’m just like I’m already saving 25 cents. But these little nit-picky things, you know, I’m in it to save dollars or percentages. I’m maximizing my time. So if you’re into nickel and diming, then yeah, something with small value coupons is totally up your alley. I’d rather just write another article and make the money that way.
Sandi: Well what I like about Checkout 51—and I don’t do the main grocery shopping in our house anymore—but I like that it’s just cash back. You don’t have to carry around coupons. You’ve got your receipt at the end of the day and “Oh, I happened to buy mayonnaise, and look, it’s on sale”, and I’m just going to upload that and get my money. To me, I would much prefer that over going through flyers. I find that very stressful for some reason. It’s like going to Goodwill and thinking I’ve got to look at everything here or I’m going to miss something. So I just don’t deal with flyers. I know, it’s weird, it’s a thing. [laughs]
Kerry: Well, you don’t do the groceries anyways, so it’s not your thing.
Sandi: It’s not my thing. I like eating the groceries.
Kerry: Yeah, eating is an expensive habit. So if there’s a way to save on it, use your Checkout 51 or use your Flipp, or use whatever it is, to cut the cost. My husband does a lot of the grocery shopping, and he uses Flipp to do it. I don’t think he’d be a Checkout 51 guy, because I just can’t see him photographing the receipts. Because you get home with a grumpy toddler and you’ve got stuff something in its mouth. [laughs]
Jackson: This is how I save money on groceries. I actually just bought a pig—the entire thing.
Kyle: I’ve been there.
Jackson: It’s so good. I got to do what’s called a “cut order” and I sat with the woman for 45 minutes as she went through all her glory parts of the pig that I could cut off and have smoked and turned into sausages, and the different things we can do with an entire pig. I have 100 pounds of meat coming in. It’s so good.
My main question was “can I turn that part in bacon?”, which she typically said “yes”, and it was a really good experience. I’d like to see a pig on an app like Flipp.
Kerry: I’m really glad you brought that up, because as most people know, I lived on an organic cattle ranch for nearly 10 years. And so there wasn’t a time when I didn’t have like half a steer in my freezer, because that’s what you do, right. You have parts of a steer. A lot of the farmers in our area would have organic livestock and they would sell a pig or they would sell chickens or a side of steer, or whatever it was people wanted to buy. And that was like a really healthy way to get organic meat at a really good price.
So I think basically you need the space though. In my little Toronto apartment, I don’t have space for half a steer. [laughs]
Jackson: Oh, I know. We’ve got 15 chickens now. We’ve got two acres; we’ve got a chicken coop, 15 hens and a rooster who’s got one eye and his name is “Blue the Big”. And he just kind of parades around his hens. But we get almost a dozen eggs a day. We’re getting 10 to 12 eggs a day, and it’s so good because we could just eat eggs all the time. But yeah, back to the country and all that.
Kerry: There’s no app for that, really.
Kyle: There’s Because Money Natural-Sourced App. [laughs]
Jackson: The problem is I can’t even send an email money transfer. I bought a pig. She’s already carted it off to the butcher. She doesn’t do online banking. And that’s what I said is I’d love to help you set up your business, and she goes “I don’t do online banking.” And I’m like “Ah well, you’re a farmer. It’s all good. You do what you do, man. You just keep making good tasty pigs”.
Kyle: I will trade you half a pig for the ability to bank online.
Jackson: Let’s barter this out. Absolutely. I’ll build you a website for a cow. I would make that trade.
Kyle: And I can tell you, in beef costs, you would be make out quite well my friend.
Jackson: I would be doing well, yes.
Kerry: Well, you probably wouldn’t want to buy a cow. Let’s go more rural. No one sells cows. That’s really low-grade meat. You’d probably want a steer.
Jackson: Steer. Sure. I love it.
Sandi: I don’t know how I got here. [laughs]
Kerry: See, that’s the problem with inviting me on the podcast. Like I will take you anywhere.
Sandi: That’s not a problem. [laughs]
Jackson: I enjoy it.
Kyle: So Sandi, your first app was CIBC. Go in and check out your account. What do you have next for us, the clock app?
Sandi: No, the other app that I use that actually goes—we’re having a full circle moment—we’re going to go all the way back to FreshBooks. I use the “Hours” app, which is this lovely thing here. This has client names in it, so I won’t show you. This lovely thing, Hours, it syncs with FreshBooks.
So when I’m doing client work and I need to track for efficiency reasons—I typically don’t bill big projects by the hour, but if I need to watch how much work goes into a typical engagement or if I happen to be doing hourly, I put it into hourly. It’s just a tap. Like I just put in I’m working on client Y, and if I start working on it, I tap the button, and when I stop working, I tap the button, and then I press the button that says sync to FreshBooks. And if I’m billing hourly, automatically it just uploads and I know how much time I’ve worked on them and I need to bill them. It’s a lovely app. So kind of like a clock.
Kyle: It’s legit. There you go.
Kerry: You know what, it’s like the most under-rated app ever is Gmail.
Kyle: That is an under-rated app.
Kerry: [laughs] I’m totally late. I’ve had a really long day. It’s like calendar. I love that thing, because it goes wherever you go, [laughs] because you probably bring your phone wherever you go.
Kyle: I force myself to use it now. In order to pass my class, they have to use Google Calendar. They have to open a G account. It’s probably illegal for me to do this, because I preference Google over others, but I force them to. I’m like, “No, too bad. You’re gonna be efficient”.
Kerry: Oh, you’re like hardliner. We’re not that hardline in my family, but my husband likes to keep track of me sometimes; because sometimes I’m off doing a speech over here, or I’m at the library, or I have a deadline. And just to know what’s going on. He takes classes; he has French class. And then sometimes our daughter doesn’t have school because of these PA Day things, which get really expensive after a while. [laughs]
Jackson: Totally. We homeschool and they’re still expensive for us.
Kerry: So Calendar, it kind of keeps things in line. I get an announcement that says, “Oh Kerry, you’re on Because Money in 2 hours”. I’m like, “Oh my god, I’ve got to put a shirt on”. [laughs] It really prevents public nudity and keeps me organized.
Kyle: But that organization, I mean, it’s a roundabout way. You don’t notice the direct way it saves you money, but it definitely saves you money. Like I use it for all my freelancing work, to keep track of my deadlines. Like if I were to miss one of those deadlines, that’s a substantial amount of money I’ve probably sacrificed, because I wouldn’t hire me back if that happens. So I agree with that, that sort of easy-to-organize, and from anywhere I am I can pull out my phone or I’m at my computer and it all syncs up just beautifully. Our school district’s still pushing these book and pen like homework things. I’m just like, “What are you doing right now?” All the kids in grade 3 have smartphones, like what can we please get into the late 20th Century, never mind 21st Century here.
Jackson: I’ve got another one. Email Money Transfers. I know it’s simple, but it’s just more financial. Do you guys use them as much as I do? I pay all my staff in email money transfers. I email money all over the place. I know it costs a buck, but I just like it because I get to control when the money goes out. I get control when I accept my money. I pay my rent by email money transfer—I pay for everything. Am I the only one here or are you guys on that train?
Kerry: Yeah, I’ve been paid by email money transfer. It works.
Sandi: I’ve emailed myself money. [laughs]
Kyle: If you want to pay me PayPal, great. If you want to send me a cheque, great. If you want to give it to me through Gmail and the EMT, I’ll take it. I’ll take it however you want to send me money, Jackson.
Sandi: Can I show up with an envelope of cash?
Jackson: There we go, yeah. Show up with these dollar bills everywhere.
Kyle: I don’t work for nothing. [laughs]
Sandi: Just a manila envelope.
Kerry: I was. I was working for nothing until I got FreshBooks, because I just hated invoicing people. I do the work and I don’t do the invoice.
Jackson: Let’s talk about that a little.
Kyle: So how much do you think you lost, Kerry? If you had to ballpark it, what do you think you probably lost out on?
Kerry: Like money?
Kyle: Yeah, just round idea? Percentage, maybe.
Kerry: Well, you know, sometimes I would make my own invoice and I’d send it to the client, and then that’s more work, so I had to physically follow up. Whereas FreshBooks follows up for me. So I wrote this nice little nag email that says, “Hey, it’s net 30. Where’s my money?” It’s a nice little push and it doesn’t seem like it’s coming from me; because it’s not, it’s coming from the app. So it’s kind of like a really nice hands-off way.
But if I had to ballpark how much money I missed out on?
Kyle: What percentage of your total earnings, if you don’t want to put a number on it.
Kerry: Oh man, I don’t know, a story here and there. So $500 here, $500 there. Maybe $1,000, so it’s not so bad but still it’s the cost of the thought process that goes into it that just derails me, because it’s like, “Oh my god, I’ve got to make an invoice now. How much time did I work? What did I do?” I’d go through my Calendar and look at all the hours I put in, because of course all the meetings are in the Calendar, right. And now I don’t have to do that anymore. I just type it into FreshBooks.
Jackson: And it’s funny because I’m right there with you. And when you said it was like how much money it might have cost you not to have it, I’m totally there. If someone were to contact me and say, “Hey, could you do this for me?” “Yeah, okay, no problems.” I’m not going to bill him for that. Now I’ve actually put it in place where at the start I just say, “Hey, I’ll do this. This is the timeframe, and then after that this is just the standard charge”. And it’s so funny because I can’t send those bills. I hate that. It’s like here’s an invoice from me. No, I would rather just work for free and have someone say, “You’re awesome”, than actually send an invoice.
However, if FreshBooks sends the invoice, then they’re the bad guy, not me. I love it. I honestly know more because I use FreshBooks.
Kerry: This is why a Canadian company built this, because Canadians hate billing people. We’re just nice. We’re just like, “Aww, I won’t charge you for that”.
Jackson: Okay, I’m looking at my FreshBooks right now, and I have right now $5,400 in outstanding invoices, and half of them are 31 to 60 days old. Even then, I didn’t know I could set an email that sends the auto-nag, “Hey where’s my money?”
Jackson: I didn’t know that. I’m going to go in and just do that, because I haven’t wanted to email them to say, “Do you know you’re 30 days late? Because I’m kind of scared that I don’t want to approach you for it, but I did build you a website and I do want you to pay me the money”. But if FreshBooks does it, oh man, that’s cash money, in the bank, deposited daily.
Sandi: [laughs] There’s the situation where you get to say, “I’m just wondering, did you check your spam folder?”
Jackson: Let me know if you have any problems.
Kerry: I was going to call it FrenchBooks. I have to French my FreshBooks and get Fresh. No, because you can actually see if the client has opened up the invoice.
Sandi: They don’t know that. [laughs]
Jackson: I love that. I watch them go in, look at it, and come back in two hours later and it’s like, “Are you going to pay that, son, or what?” And sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. And then 3 days later you get the payment. Yeah, that’s good.
Kerry: Or when they tell you they haven’t got it yet, but you know they’ve opened it. You’re like, “Busted!”
Jackson: You looked at it 16 times. [Kerry laughs] I know, because I can see on my FreshBooks. Oh man. Okay, why don’t we do a fast round? Do we each have another app, or are we just done?
Sandi: I used up all of mine.
Kyle: I’d just like to say, FreshBooks, we’re a Canadian-run podcast. You’re a Canadian-run company. We just gave you roughly half a day of free airtime. Look us up. Look us up.
Jackson: I’m in. Sandi are you in?
Sandi: No, I’m not.
Jackson: Give us one more.
Kerry: Like an entrepreneurial app?
Jackson: Yeah, this entrepreneurial broadcast is brought to you by FreshBooks and whatever Kerry says next.
Kerry: You guys are brutal, man. Not only do I have to a shower before this thing. I’m not wearing pants.
Sandi: Neither is Jackson.
Jackson: Neither am I. I don’t own any.
Kerry: No, you just wear kilts. That’s the secret of doing media. You have to ask if you need pants or not when you go on the air. So you’re like, “Is this a pant interview, or?” [Sandi laughs] Anyways, this is a true story. I once showed up with the wrong pair of pants.
But another app that I like? I don’t know. You know what? I have to say I have a spending tracker I use, and it’s pretty okay. I keep in touch with what I’ve spent from day-to-day. But generally I don’t use an app for that. I use just pen and paper, because it makes me own the fact that I’ve just tapped my credit card and “poof” it’s gone. It’s like that old ad from Apple, where you have Ellen going “Be-be-de-be poof. Gone” Do you guys remember that or are you too young for that ad?
Jackson: I’m totally going to YouTube it afterwards and send it to Sandi and she’s going to put it on the resource list. [Ed: Jackson says he can’t find it and therefore it must never have existied]
Kerry: A culture moment with Kerry. Yeah, because that’s the way it feels like whenever I attach my credit card on these things. It’s like “poof” it’s gone. Because when I lived on the farm we didn’t have these tapping things. There was no tap.
Kyle: You were trading pigs for something.
Kerry: Yeah, they had to physically take your credit card and go “woosh, woosh, woosh”.
Jackson: Oh, those machines are awesome.
Kerry: And you had to feel the credit card get burned, right? Now you just tap it and it’s just like you’re done. So yeah, I keep a pen and paper, which is really low tech, but it helps me stay on budget. I don’t have to log into my bank account. I just open my little spending journal and off I go. But there’s an app for that, if you’re into that. [laughs]
Jackson: Wow, and we’re done. Sandi is fading into the background, typing “Jackson, end it. We’re done. You’re over-time. My timer’s gone off. Jackson, quick, close this down”.
Well thanks, Kerry. Thanks for joining us. I think we’ve all laughed more this show than we have the rest of the season.
Kerry: Are you serious? That’s lame. We did not plan what apps we were going to talk about and I’m like “Should we plan this out?” and Sandi’s like, “No”. So I started with FreshBooks and so did everyone.
Jackson: You stole my thunder, but that’s all right. We can still be friends. Alrighty, thanks everyone for watching. And how about this? We’re going to leave the list open, so if I’m on a video right now, right below is a list of apps. If you’ve got one that you want, why don’t you add it to there and put in a little description, “this is why I like the app”. And if nobody does that, it’s because nobody’s watching us.