FreshBooks Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

FreshBooks Reviews

Updated 5 July 2018
56 reviews

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4.3
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FreshBooks Co-Founder & CEO Mike McDerment
Mike McDerment
43 Ratings

56 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Great people, top talents - one team culture/ mindset" (in 6 reviews)

  • "Free onsite gym, ping pong table, foosball, game area" (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • "We are feeling some growing pains as we are in the process of scaling fairly quickly" (in 5 reviews)

  • "Lack of recognition for employees whose work does not contribute directly to numbers" (in 2 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Great place to work!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Support in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Customer Support in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at FreshBooks full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - fast moving
    - open to change
    - lots of opportunities for growth (and room to do so)
    - transparent & open exec team
    - strong learning & development culture
    - FUN! as one of the company's core values :)

    Cons

    - collaboration between departments as we grow (work in progress on this one)
    - participation in events (also a challenge as we grow)

    Advice to Management

    Keep living the PORCHFEST values in everything you do.

    FreshBooks Response

    9 Jul 2018 – HR Generalist

    Thank you for sharing. The pace of growth at FreshBooks is amazing and has it's challenges. We're all learning as we grow...fun and rewarding! We couldn't do any of this without you so thanks... More


  2. Helpful (2)

    "From a long term Employee"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Support Manager in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Support Manager in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at FreshBooks full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Opportunity - I've been at FreshBooks for well over 5 years, and have watched it grow from a 'startup' to a full fledged business. All along the way, I've always had the opportunity to grow and develop here in big ways. I've never felt stagnant, and have been surrounded by great people who work hard and care about what they do. If you put in the effort, you will succeed here. Its been fun being able to watch so many people build their careers here.

    Culture - Frequent company events, trips to the cottage, friendly faces, a workplace where people are overwhelmingly supportive and kind, this is the fabric of FreshBooks.

    Location - Might be a con for some as it's out of the downtown core, but the Junction Area is increasingly becoming a great place to work/live. Lots of parks, restaurants, and places to grab lunch.

    Cons

    Change - There has been growing pains, like any evolving company. Some folks have had a hard time adapting to shifts in the business. Moving from a startup with a lack of much structure to a proper business had definitely brought a few wobbly moments.

    Migration - We have been in a limbo state for a few years, putting all energy into migrating customers to our new platform. This has burnt out a lot of people, with some ultimately leaving. I think we've gained a lot of learnings here. Things have felt better over the last 6 months as we've slowly moved forward.

    Advice to Management

    Its important to keep encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit that makes FreshBooks great, always give employees the resources and opportunity to take initiative and do great things. Not bogged down by process or too much structure.

    Don' t get too distracted by profit/short term financial success, never forget about the small business owner that our company is founded on. This is key to our long term growth.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Support Specialist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at FreshBooks full-time

    Pros

    I am proud of our vision and the work we are doing. I get to collaborate with talented, creative people from diverse backgrounds.

     I love the open, inclusive environment. I can be myself at work!

    Cons

    If you are not a dog person it could be a bit of an adjustment to work in this dog friendly office. That being said there are several dog free spaces / meeting rooms available

    Advice to Management

    Leadership here is open to feedback and new ideas. This is important to me.

    FreshBooks Response

    9 Jul 2018 – HR Generalist

    Thank you for sharing your experience as an employee at FreshBooks and for all of your hard work on our Support team. It's awesome to read how proud you are of your work & your colleagues. Thank... More


  4. "Top High Tech Employer in Toronto"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at FreshBooks full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - strong mission driven culture around helping small businesses and the self employed grow their own businesses
    - impressive engineering and product management teams
    - high growth company with tremendous opportunities for career progression
    - benefits and innovation days are best in class
    - commitment to continuously improving diversity, inclusivity and belonging backed by research studies and strategy
    - large investment in training for people managers and top senior leaders

    Cons

    - junction location can be logistically challenging versus downtown
    - some employees are not motivated to push for excellence
    -

    Advice to Management

    - continue to invest in top tier engineering, marketing and sales talent
    - take this amazing brand into more international markets
    - get out in the Toronto tech community more to expose this strong employee brand


  5. "Sales"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Manager in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Account Manager in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at FreshBooks full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Ever-changing business. Always looking at new features. Growing and constantly building out new product.

    Cons

    New FreshBooks was a little slow to catch up. Period of time where we had little to sell.

    Advice to Management

    Keep shipping


  6. "Director"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at FreshBooks full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The Culture at FreshBooks is better than any company that I have ever worked at. It is a pleasure to go to work with such great people who are just as talented. Love the additional social parties and events that help to keep the environment fun!

    Cons

    Growing pains of a small company. Some perceived lack of accountability across the company that is getting better.

    Advice to Management

    Keep the culture strong! Make business decision that can provide the best value to the customers that will result in increased long term value to FreshBooks.


  7. Helpful (16)

    "Dramatic negative shift in the past year"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Full Stack Developer in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Full Stack Developer in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at FreshBooks full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Incredible open communication from executives, making strides towards an inclusive work environment, fantastic company events, parties and team building outings. I once considered this the best workplace I had encountered in my 10+ year career.

    Mike McDerment, the CEO, is an incredibly open and honest leader. He regularly gives talks at the weekly company "Short Hands" lunch gathering, discussing his thoughts and feelings about the direction of the company and other topics, as well as fielding questions. His willingness to engage with difficult questions, which are some times anonymous, is inspiring.

    For most of my time at FreshBooks I have enjoyed coming to the office to see my friends, chat with people at lunch, and having meaningful work that improves the lives of FreshBooks customers.

    3 weeks of vacation (with yearly carry-over), plus a full Christmas break, 12 sick days, and plenty of fun company events and outings. Company parties every few months really help create bonds between people from different departments.

    6 "Innovation Days" per quarter in the software development department are a great opportunity to direct your energy to things you feel are important. You could improve on some part of the app that stands out to you, find a team and collaborate on a complex project, or work on a talk for a conference.

    FreshBooks has also started on the journey to make a more "inclusive and diverse" work environment. This is a noble goal and I believe most of the people involved are doing so in good faith. FreshBooks is a very inclusive place to work based on your gender and identity, as we allow people to bring their authentic selves to work. That said, there are some ideological bullies in the committee leading this effort who may hamper their own efforts by alienating people.

    Cons

    A dramatic shift in the social fabric of the company, onerous project development processes, weak product/software development leadership, and poor opportunities for advancement unless you land on the right team.

    My perspective comes from someone working on a software development team. I write some of these comments with a heavy heart because there has been quite a dramatic shift from the company I loved when I first started.

    There has been a dramatic shift in the social fabric of the company over the past year, with many long-tenure employees leaving and breaking down the old social networks that made coming to work so enjoyable. I believe that this is due to a lack of meaningful, ambitious work. The types of projects that teams have taken on in the past year feel less vital. Many of the people who have been leaving have been incredibly talented and were being under-utilized in their roles at FreshBooks.

    The software/project development process at FreshBooks is quite onerous; there is a top-down, design-by-committee system that is very difficult to fight against. We often write huge amounts of code to adhere to heavy-handed designs regardless of the software development costs. Projects that could take a month to build may take three due to "beautiful" design, landmines in the codebase and the inability to do much about either.

    There have been some significant leadership departures from my department over the past year and it feels like current leadership is overwhelmed and lacks direction. We rarely see or hear from developer leadership, who seem to have no goals or vision for the product or our application stack.

    As for advancement, if you are lucky to be on a development team who gets good projects you are likely to be promoted, but being stuck on a team with maintenance work or difficult, contentious projects can cause career stagnation.

    Fight for your own career development, do not rely on mentorship, direction or guidance from your manager.

    Advice to Management

    Fix product development leadership. Bring in someone new who has a vision of how to structure software developers to maximize their value. Put pressure on senior/principal developers to focus more on quality code and reusability rather than "just get it done." It is difficult for any developers to obtain full knowledge of the codebase due to its unnecessary complexity. Efforts to improve this are always hampered by apathy and lack of people power.

    Develop an ambitious goal for the company and stop playing catch-up.

    Be wary of creating a culture of fear around diversity and inclusion. People have expressed fear openly and in private at discussing this sensitive topic due to some ideological bullying and "performative outrage."

    Keep embracing Honesty, because it is the most special thing about management at FreshBooks, and the best tool to pull the company through these difficult times.

    Note: I am rating "senior management" as a 3 below due to product development leadership, not the exec team. I would rate the exec team as a 5 and product development leadership as a 1.

    FreshBooks Response

    26 Jul 2018 – HR Generalist

    Thanks for sharing your insights. Please also share your feedback via our Census Survey which is happening right now, it’s a key internal tool our team uses to gather perspective and data so we can... More

  8. "Account Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Account Manager in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Senior Account Manager in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at FreshBooks full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -Amazing work culture with even better people!
    - Great management, very honest and ethical

    Cons

    None, really enjoyed my time there.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work! Stay Fresh

    FreshBooks Response

    6 Jun 2018 – HR Generalist

    Thank you for taking the time to review your experience at FreshBooks. We're very thankful to have you on our team!


  9. Helpful (16)

    "Too much competition not enough collaboration."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at FreshBooks full-time

    Pros

    - There are pockets of FreshBooks where the leadership is great and the employees get great work done.

    Cons

    - Re platforming has caused problems at the company.
    - Huge amount of time spent dealing with internal politics
    - High levels of competition - no longer an environment of collaboration, more cut throat and personal.
    - Lack of recognition
    - Environment of disrespect, especially when leaving the company.
    - No longer a value driven company

    Advice to Management

    Fix middle management, revive values, remove employees who show no results, and try and diversify the leadership team.


  10. "Good but lot of work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Front End Developer in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - Front End Developer in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at FreshBooks full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Culture was great.
    Work with amazing and talented people.

    Cons

    Politics got in the way.
    Culture changed.

    Advice to Management

    Don't push away your main asset. The people.

    FreshBooks Response

    6 Jun 2018 – HR Generalist

    Thank you for taking a moment to share your thoughts. We understand that the challenges one faces when their team grows with great velocity are not easy ones to manage. We wish you success in your... More


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