FreshBooks: External Environmental Scan

FreshBooks is an organization specializing in accounting software with a wide range of functions, targeting individual accountants and entire businesses. The provided service is cloud-based, and it has a global reach, covering about 160 countries (FreshBooks, n.d.b). The software exists in a competitive field due to accountancy’s popularity as a profession and the needs of small businesses, and organization acknowledges such rivals as QuickBooks (FreshBooks, n.d.a). This report will focus on the company’s international and technology areas concerning opportunities and threats.

As mentioned, the FreshBooks software has a worldwide presence, although it can be threatened by local products. The website has five regional versions, and only the French one is in another language, and the service is available in 12 languages, including two regional varieties of Spanish and German (Murphy, n.d.). Internationally, the software may be threatened by such local products as MasterSoft (China), Sage (English-speaking countries, including South Africa), Xero (New Zealand, Australia), and JDL Ibex (Japan) (MasterSoft, n.d.; Sage, n.d.; Xero, n.d.; JDL, n.d.). Customers from those countries might prefer the domestic product due to its pricing, which in the country’s currency instead of dollars, and language options. However, the threat also provides an opportunity for the organization to reconsider the policy regarding the software’s price and available languages to make it more appealing to the global audience.

As far as the technological area is concerned, FreshBooks sells cloud-based software, which has its benefits and drawbacks. FreshBooks appears confident that the functional variety and the data protection make it a viable alternative to other services (FreshBooks, n.d.a). However, the threat of offline software products that will better suit the customer’s needs exists, as cybersecurity threats and unstable connection could be legitimate reasons for not using FreshBooks. For instance, QuickBooks Desktop is still widely popular despite the existing online version, so the demand for non-cloud services remains (Capterra, n.d.). FreshBooks could use it as an opportunity to introduce the software’s offline version and secure a bigger client base.

Overall, FreshBooks has several threats in the international and technology areas, despite its established position in the accounting software business. The company is threatened by local products that offer better prices and language options for domestic customers and alternatives which function offline without interruptions and offer better security. FreshBooks could make those threats opportunities by improving their pricing policy, introducing more languages, and developing an offline counterpart to the cloud-based service.


Capterra. (n.d.). Accounting software. Web.

FreshBooks. (n.d.a). FreshBooks vs. Quickbooks Online. Web.

FreshBooks. (n.d.b). The FreshBooks story. Web.

JDL. (n.d.). Business development. Web.

MasterSoft. (n.d.). About MasterSoft. Web.

Murphy, S. (n.d.). New: More languages added to FreshBooks. FreshBooks Blog. Web.

Sage. (n.d.). Pricing. Web.

Xero. (n.d.). About Xero. Web.

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