The Best Business Tool for Freelancers: Freshbooks vs. 17 Hats vs. Bonsai

Today we’re comparing business tools for freelancers. The tools we’re comparing are Freshbooks, 17 Hats, and Hello Bonsai – Let’s get into it!


The first feature we’re going to talk about is invoicing. Of course, this is the core and central feature of these platforms so we can expect them all to perform reasonably well here – and they do! They all accept credit/debit card payments, and Freshbooks & Bonsai accept ACH payments via plaid. 17Hats doesn’t accept ACH, which is a bit of a bummer since typically there are lower fees associated with it. All three offer custom invoice branding, but Freshbooks definitely looks the best compared to the other two. Freshbooks also handles overpayments MUCH better. Overpayments will automatically go into a credit account that you can apply toward future invoices for that client. The other two platforms will require you to manually keep track of that credit and adjust invoices where necessary. Winner: Freshbooks


The next feature we want to go over is the accounting features of these platforms. Accounting isn’t necessarily the most enjoyable aspect of a business, but it’s vital to success! Freshbooks has expense tracking including the ability to take pictures of and upload receipts via their mobile app. Freshbooks definitely has better reporting than the other two platforms as well, since it’s main focus is actually accounting. Bonsai and 17Hats also do a great job of importing expenses and allowing you to categorize your expenses as needed. Their reporting isn’t quite as good, but if you only have a single bank account for your business, they function just fine.

Estimates, Contracts, & General Workflow

Freshbooks starts to fall flat here, as they don’t have automation features, contract templates, etc. Bonsai and 17Hats on the other hand does a fantastic job with their contracts and have tons of contract templates available for different business types. Both Bonsai & 17Hats blow Freshbooks out of the water with the different automation tools available, but I prefer Bonsai due to its user interface and client experience.

Project Management

Project management is a super important aspect of these tools. All three platforms include time tracking and projects, but Freshbooks doesn’t have any features to track tasks. 17Hats on the other hand has a project board with all the details of the project – including tasks, due dates, and a calendar integration – making it easy to organize everything. Bonsai is more similar to 17Hats including all of the fancy features. Bonsai has a much better task management system due to it being simpler to navigate and assign to your team members.

Overall, I recommend and use Bonsai for all of my business needs. It’s been a great tool for us for over a year now, and I can confidently say it’s the best choice between these three. You can use the button below to sign up and get one month free!

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