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FreshBooks launches industry bookmarks

At SXSW 2008, Download Squad had the opportunity to talk to Saul and Sunir from the online-invoicing service FreshBooks, and we were really, really impressed with their customer dedication and the overall vision for the service. Today, FreshBooks has just released public industry bookmarks, making it easy for freelancers and small businesses to compare their billables with others in their field.

The benchmarks are similar to the industry data FreshBooks made available to customers before, but instead of compiling metrics from the previous 18-months (and that information is still available), snapshots for segmented industries are available on a quarterly basis to anyone who is curious.

The data is anonymous, released quarterly and primarily sourced (which prevents survey manipulation of data). Right now, FreshBooks has industry bookmarks available for web professionals, IT services, design, marketing and service providers. This is a real advantage for users who might dabble in more than one area, say both web development and design, to keep tabs on how both markets are performing.

In economically uncertain times, knowing what others are billing and having the ability to watch trends can give a small business or freelancer insight into overall market health. If I see my billables declining (and I'm not purposefully taking on fewer projects), but the overall market is remaining steady, I know I need to start evaluating my business practices.

Even if you don't use FreshBooks for invoicing -- and if you haven't tried it out, give it a shot, its interface and ease of use is top-notch -- you can still take advantage of this information. FreshBooks' co-founder made a video explaining the benchmarking data in-depth here.

FreshBooks has free accounts for users who invoice fewer than three active clients and larger packages start at $14 a month.

Tags: benchmark, billing, freshbooks, invoicing