I Use Bonsai For My Accounting, Here’s How It Works

Every small business owner needs some sort of accounting system. I started using Bonsai pretty much right out of the gate.

At the time, about two years ago, it was a brand new company. They were (and still are) working out a few kinds, but all-in-all, I’ve been happy about my experience. Here’s a tad bit more about my experience:

What Is Bonsai?

Bonsai is an invoicing system that was built directly for freelancers. It allows you to do everything from prepare contracts and enter time to bill clients. I’ve been using it for the past year and a half, and to be honest, with a few exceptions I like it.

Pros of Using Bonsai

I find Bonsai to be great, especially for those that have a base as a freelancer. A few things I LOVE about Bonsai include:

  • Pre-written contracts
  • The ability to send proposals
  • Different project rates
  • Task lists

It’s really a more tailored version of Quickbooks. It’s built specifically for freelancers, which means that when I started out, it was pretty much tailored for what I needed. 

Cons of Using Bonsai

Bonsai is a newer accounting system, though these days they’re much more on par with the industry. The biggest thing that I find is that they don’t have integrated payments like TransferWise, which would be great for some of my European clients. I would also like to see a more robust tagging system inside the platform for expenses. 

Truthfully, the biggest issue I have with Bonsai actually has nothing to do with Bonsai at all. It’s that many of my clients dictate how they’re paid and what system they want me to use. Instead of allowing me to give them an invoice via my own system.

This creates issues. For example, if I’m using Bonsai for my accounting and Client X requests an invoice directly via PayPal, then I need to manually enter the invoice on my end in my own system. This means that I have a double invoice and more room to make mistakes.

If I want to solve this problem, the solution that makes the most sense as an independent business owner would be to reject additional payment requirements by clients. This problem occurs regardless of the system because every client has their own way of doing things. 

To be honest, I’ve actually stopped accepting clients that have their own payment process. I require all new clients to accept a general invoice created from my system because it cuts down on mistakes. At the end of the day, I am not a casual employee for them, I’m a business owner and I need to act like one.

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