FreshBooks + Stripe = Freelancer's Best Friend

As an occasional freelancer, one of the more painful aspects in my day-to-day operations is the invoicing and payment collection.

Now, I’ve used FreshBooks for a good long time for the freelancing side of the business, and it has always served me well – keeping track of billable hours and expenses – but I’ve always found payments to be a tad annoying. The previous payment gateway I used was Paypal, simply because there weren’t any other useful alternatives.

And then, Stripe came to Canada.

Oh happy days! Stripe makes online payments with credit cards much, much easier, and when coupled with FreshBooks, it makes the collection of payments for invoices that much easier as well. Payments can now be made directly inside of the FreshBooks interface, and the payments will go directly to your bank account rather than sitting inside of Paypal.

To get started, you’re going to need an account for both FreshBooks and Stripe. Here are the sign-up links for those interested:

FreshBooks (Affiliate link!)

Once you’ve signed up for both services, go to Stripe and click on the “Your Account” button in the top right and head to “Account Settings” and navigate to the “API Keys” section of the settings popup.

API Keys from Stripe

You’re going to need the “Live Secret Key” in a minute, so keep it handy.

Next, click on “Settings” in the top right part of your FreshBooks account, navigate over to the “Online Payment” page, and click the box next to “Stripe”. A new section should appear asking for your “Live Secret Key”. Paste it in here, click “Save”, and you’re good to go!

Now, when clients want to pay off their invoices online using a credit card, they’ll see this button at the top of their invoice:

Stripe Invoice Payment

And clicking on it will bring up this payment form:

The real advantage, in my opinion, is that I can now control the entire branding experience, rather than having clients taken away to Paypal and then being directed back. The flow of payments is far easier, and you can still leave Paypal as an additional option if your clients really need that.

Happy freelancing!