Staff Writer AccountingWEB
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Fresh start for FreshBooks in Amsterdam

North American small business accounting software giant FreshBooks has announced plans to open its first international office in Amsterdam.

14th Nov 2019
Staff Writer AccountingWEB
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FreshBooks interface

To kick off the next phase of their global expansion, small business accounting software vendor FreshBooks plans to open its first international office in the Netherlands.

Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, FreshBooks has focused primarily on the North American market since its launch back in 2004. Over the last decade and a half, the company has become a global accounting software player, with a user base located in 160 countries around the world. 

Strategic positioning

Speaking about the move, FreshBooks vice president Matt Baker told AccountingWEB that outside of the US and Canada the UK is the vendor's market, and the proximity will allow it to consider offering more support in local hours.

Currently, FreshBooks provides tech support from 8am to 8pm in East US and Canada, which translates to 1pm-1am in the UK. The one-hour time difference between the UK and the new Amsterdam office will provide more practical support hours.

Baker added that Amsterdam “has a strong source of technical talent” and “culturally connects with who [FreshBooks] are as a company.” 

According to Baker, FreshBooks’s latest expansion push is starting with the English-speaking world. "I would like to do a lot more in Ireland in the future," Baker added, which will be more feasible with an office just across the North Sea.

The move signifies FreshBooks strategically positioning itself close to its biggest market in the EU but taking a watching brief while political uncertainty plays out.

The UK market

FreshBooks has been adapting to recent changes within the UK market, including becoming compliant with the new MTD legislation. “We're now approved by HMRC as one of the vendors that can provide you with a digital link to your transaction history,” Baker explained.

“It is exciting that more digital processing is happening”, he added, “because digitisation is driving people to use more cloud-based products”.

Market approach

According to Baker, FreshBooks differentiates itself from accounting software market leaders by targeting service-based businesses and focusing on “a solution for the business owner, rather than the accountant”.

The app is able to send proposals which follow the workflow to payment. According to Baker, FreshBooks provides tools where “you would normally have to use another app on top of”, such as creating projects with optional time tracking and activating re-occurring payments.

Partnership with Three UK

FreshBooks has recently partnered with telecommunications and internet provider Three UK, which has recently pushed into the business space from the consumer market. Baker explained the partnership was to attract business start-ups looking to graduate to a business plan that you can wrap that around with other business tools offered by FreshBooks.

In other news

In addition to its partnership with Three UK, FreshBooks has also added bank reconciliation and double-entry to its software repertoire. These new tools were quickly followed by the announcement that JPMorgan Chase & Co. had made a ‘strategic investment’ in the company, leading up to the plans for expansion into Amsterdam.

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