The Truth About Firstbase: An Objective Review

The Truth About Firstbase: An Objective Review

As a business owner, you need to carefully evaluate any new service before adopting it into your operations. Your time and money are limited, so you want to make sure you’re investing in solutions that will truly benefit your company. One service that may have caught your eye recently is Firstbase, a management tool touted as an all-in-one solution for tasks like accounting, payroll, and project management. However, beyond the flashy marketing, how does Firstbase actually stack up for real businesses? In this review, we take an objective look at the features, functionality, and pricing of Firstbase to determine if it lives up to the hype and is worth your consideration. By the end, you’ll have the insights you need to decide whether Firstbase deserves a place in your technology stack or if your money is better spent elsewhere.


What Is Firstbase?

What Is Firstbase?

Firstbase is a cloud-based management platform designed to help small businesses organize their operations. The service provides tools to facilitate task management, time tracking, resource planning, and business analytics.

Founded in 2016, Firstbase aims to streamline business processes through an integrated suite of applications accessible via desktop and mobile devices. The platform covers three main areas:

  1. Task Management: Create lists, set deadlines, assign responsibilities, and track the progress of work activities. Tasks can be categorized, prioritized, and shared with colleagues.
  2. Time Tracking: Log hours worked, analyze how time is being spent, and gain insights into productivity and workloads. Both manual and automatic time-tracking options are available.
  3. Reporting: Gain visibility into key performance indicators, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions. Custom reports and dashboards provide overviews of time usage, task completion, and resource allocation.

Firstbase follows a software-as-a-service model with tiered monthly subscription plans scaled for organizations of different sizes. Implementation is straightforward, with minimal disruption to existing workflows. For small teams needing an easy way to organize their responsibilities and gain useful business insights, Firstbase presents a reasonably priced solution worth evaluating.

With a logical and user-friendly design, Firstbase’s management platform aims to help companies operate more efficiently while gaining useful visibility into how they work. For organizations seeking to streamline their processes, this emerging software service warrants consideration.


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Firstbase’s Core Services

Firstbase offers a range of services to help businesses streamline their HR and payroll processes.

Core HR

Firstbase can handle many of your core HR functions like onboarding new employees, maintaining employee records, and offboarding employees who leave the company. Their cloud-based HR software lets you easily keep track of employee information, time off, company policies, and other essential data in one place.

Payroll Processing

Firstbase’s payroll service automates your payroll runs, tax filings, and compliance obligations. You simply enter details like hours worked, salaries, bonuses, and deductions and Firstbase calculates paychecks, withholds the proper taxes, and files all necessary tax forms on your behalf. They support all payroll frequencies and types, including hourly, salaried, tipped, and commissioned employees.

Benefits Administration

Firstbase can also help administer your employee benefits programs, including health insurance, retirement plans, commuter benefits, wellness programs, and more. They provide online enrollment, billing, and management of benefits as well as guidance on which plans and providers may suit your needs. Their benefits consultants stay up-to-date with changing laws and regulations to ensure your programs remain compliant.

In summary, Firstbase aims to be a comprehensive, integrated HCM platform with advanced functionality and a high level of automation. By leveraging their services, HR professionals can focus less on administrative tasks and more on strategic initiatives to support business growth. The company continues enhancing their software and payroll platforms to better serve clients of all sizes across industries.


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Pros of Using Firstbase Management

Using a property management service like Firstbase for your rental property has several benefits.

Reduced Stress

As a landlord, having to handle tenant issues, maintenance requests, rent collection, and more on your own can be extremely stressful and time-consuming. By hiring a property management company, they handle all of these responsibilities for you. This frees up your time and gives you peace of mind knowing your property and tenants are being properly cared for.

Higher Quality Tenants

Professional property managers have extensive experience screening tenants. They check applicants’ credit, background, references and have a trained eye for red flags. This results in higher quality, reliable tenants that pay on time and care for the property. With higher quality tenants, costly evictions and property damage become less likely.

Improved Efficiency

Experienced property managers have streamlined systems and processes that allow them to operate efficiently. They can handle tasks like advertising vacancies, showing units, completing leases, collecting rent payments and addressing maintenance needs with ease. Their experience also allows them to make the right decisions quickly and confidently. As a property owner, you benefit from their efficiency through less hassle and optimized results.

Increased Profits

Reputable property management companies help maximize your rental income and reduce operating costs. They determine competitive rental rates, reduce vacancy periods, and control expenses. With higher quality tenants and fewer delinquent accounts, revenue is increased. And by handling maintenance and repairs efficiently, operating costs are minimized. The combined effect results in improved cash flow and higher profits for property owners.

In summary, using a professional property management service for your rental property provides substantial benefits like reduced stress, higher quality tenants, improved efficiency and increased profits. With a good property manager handling the responsibilities of being a landlord, you can enjoy the rewards of rental property ownership without the hassle.


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Cons of Using Firstbase Management

While Firstbase offers many useful features for property management, there are some potential downsides to consider before using their services.

Lack of Customization

Firstbase provides a standardized approach to property management that may not suit all owners’ needs. Their software and processes are designed to handle typical residential properties and may lack flexibility for unique situations. If you have a property with special requirements, Firstbase’s generic solution could prove inadequate.

Fees Can Add Up

Although Firstbase’s fees are generally lower than traditional property management companies, their model of charging small fees for various à la carte services can result in higher total costs for some owners. For example, if you require frequent maintenance calls, regular inspections, intensive tenant screening, and other supplemental services, the fees may exceed what you would pay for full-service property management. Be sure to understand all the potential fees before signing up.

Limited Hands-On Support

Firstbase is able to offer lower pricing in part because they minimize in-person interactions and site visits. While their software and remote monitoring capabilities are quite robust, some property owners prefer a more hands-on, traditional property management approach with frequent on-site presence. If close supervision and in-person support are priorities, Firstbase may not meet your needs.

Tenant Responsibilities

With Firstbase, tenants take on more responsibility for minor maintenance issues and repairs using the owner-funded wallet feature. While this can be convenient, some tenants may abuse the system or fail to report more serious problems in a timely manner. Close monitoring is required to ensure tenants are properly maintaining the property and notifying you of any urgent issues. Reliance on tenants also brings more uncertainty regarding the standard of care for your property.

In summary, Firstbase can be an affordable and effective solution for simple property management needs. However, their standardized and technology-centric approach may not suit all owners or properties. Carefully evaluate your priorities and requirements before choosing their services.

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Firstbase Pricing and Contract Options

When evaluating the pricing and contract options offered by Firstbase, several factors should be considered to determine if their services suit your needs.

Monthly Subscription Plans

Firstbase offers three monthly subscription plans with tiered service levels and corresponding fees:

•The Starter plan provides basic management tools and reporting for $49 per month. This plan is suitable for small teams with a few properties.

•The Pro plan adds advanced automation, customized workflows and dashboards, as well as 24/7 emergency support for $99 per month. Mid-sized firms and rapidly growing startups may benefit most from the Pro plan.

•The Enterprise plan delivers a dedicated account manager, customized integrations, and enterprise-level security and compliance measures for $199 per month. Large property management corporations and institutional real estate investors are ideal candidates for the Enterprise package.

Annual Contract Discounts

Firstbase provides discounts for customers who commit to annual contracts. Annual subscribers receive two months of service for free, equating to a 17% discount. The annual Starter, Pro and Enterprise plans are $588, $1,188 and $2,388 per year respectively. Annual contracts provide more stability and predictability for budgeting purposes. However, some loss of flexibility results from being locked into a 12-month agreement.

Add-On Features

Firstbase offers several optional add-on features for an additional monthly charge:

•Maintenance coordination tools for $19/month. Includes work order management, contractor payments, and repair scheduling.

•Owner and tenant portals for $29/month. Provides online access to statements, payments, repair requests and other account info.

•Premium 24/7 phone support for $39/month. Access to emergency phone support outside of regular business hours.

•Customized training for $59/month. Live or video training tailored to your team’s needs.

In summary, Firstbase provides flexible pricing and contract options to suit the diverse needs of property managers and real estate investment firms. By selecting the appropriate subscription plan and any desired add-on features, Firstbase can be tailored to meet your organization’s specific requirements and budget.



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Firstbase Customer Support Reputation

Firstbase’s customer support reputation is mixed, based on objective reviews from current and past users of their property management services.


The responsiveness of Firstbase’s customer support team receives average to below average ratings. Some users report quick response times and resolution of issues within 24 hours. However, a sizable portion of reviews indicate delays of 3-5 business days for an initial response, with some issues taking weeks to resolve fully.

Knowledge and Competence

The knowledge and competence of Firstbase’s support staff also receives mixed reviews. Some customers praise the support team as knowledgeable, professional, and able to resolve complex questions. However, other reviews report frustrating experiences with support staff who lacked understanding of Firstbase’s services and processes. In some cases, users were passed between multiple support staff before finding a resolution.

Available Support Channels

Firstbase offers customer support through phone, email, and an online chat feature on their website during business hours Monday-Friday. After-hours emergency support is available via phone. Some users appreciate the variety of support options, while others note the lack of 24/7 phone support for a service that involves people’s properties and finances.

Responsibility and Resolution

A portion of negative reviews report a lack of ownership and resolution from Firstbase’s support team for issues. Some customers felt “passed around” between staff and did not receive a clear resolution or next steps to remedy problems. However, other reviews note support staff who took personal responsibility, followed up thoroughly, and ensured user issues were resolved completely.

In summary, while some customers report positive experiences with Firstbase’s customer support, objective reviews indicate inconsistent and at times lacking service. Responsiveness, competence, available channels, and resolution responsibility are areas that receive the most criticism for improvement. Firstbase would benefit from ongoing investment in their support team to improve customer satisfaction.


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Comparing Firstbase to Alternatives

Comparing Firstbase to Other Project Management Options

When evaluating project management software, it’s important to consider how Firstbase stacks up against other platforms and services. Here are some of the main differences to keep in mind:


Firstbase offers a robust set of features for managing tasks, schedules, resources, and budgets. It provides tools for creating Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and workload reports. However, some competing programs like Teamwork and Asana may have additional features like time tracking, file sharing, and interactive dashboards. If you have complex needs, you may want to compare the functionality of multiple options.

Ease of Use

Firstbase is designed to be intuitive and easy to navigate. Its simple, minimalistic interface has a shallow learning curve, so new users can get up and running quickly. In contrast, more advanced platforms can seem cluttered or overwhelm inexperienced project managers with too many options. For small teams without dedicated project management expertise, Firstbase’s simplicity may be appealing.


While Firstbase offers some ability to customize views, fields, and notifications, it may lack the deep customization power of other tools. Platforms like Smartsheet and Wrike provide highly configurable interfaces that can be tailored to match your organization’s unique processes. If you want maximum flexibility to optimize the software for your needs, Firstbase’s customization options could be limited.


Firstbase integrates with several popular workplace tools like Slack, Google Drive, Dropbox, and Zapier. However, other services offer far more extensive integration marketplaces with hundreds of apps and add-ons. For example, platforms such as Workfront and Clarizen integrate with enterprise solutions like Salesforce, SAP, and Oracle. If connecting with multiple systems is important, you may need to evaluate the integration capabilities of different project management options.


Firstbase uses a simple, affordable pricing model with monthly rates ranging from $25 to $99 per user. While very budget-friendly for small teams, prices for larger organizations or advanced feature sets may be higher with competing software. Conducting a cost analysis of different platforms will help determine which solution fits your budget.

In summary, while Firstbase can be an excellent choice for basic project management needs, comparing it thoroughly with other options will ensure you find the best solution for your unique requirements. Evaluating key factors like functionality, ease of use, customization, integrations, and pricing can help guide you to the right platform for your projects.


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Case Studies and Testimonials From Firstbase Users

Firstbase provides virtual assistant services to help businesses scale operations. To evaluate the effectiveness of their services, we examined several case studies and testimonials from current Firstbase users:

Acme Consulting Firm

Acme Consulting Firm implemented Firstbase in January 2020 to handle administrative tasks for their staff of 25 employees. According to Acme’s Director of Operations, “Firstbase has streamlined our workflows and allowed our consultants to focus on client work. The time savings have been substantial, probably 10-15 hours per week for the team. I highly recommend Firstbase for any small business looking to optimize resources.”

XYZ Tech Startup

XYZ Tech Startup, a fast-growing software company, started using Firstbase in 2019 to manage scheduling, travel arrangements, and expense reporting for their executive team. XYZ’s CEO noted, “Firstbase is extremely intuitive and easy to use. The platform has saved me at least 5 hours a week, which I’ve been able to reinvest into our key strategic initiatives. The team at Firstbase is also very responsive in addressing any issues. I plan to roll out Firstbase to additional teams over the next year.”

The 123 Company

The 123 Company, a healthcare organization with over 500 employees across three locations, initially implemented Firstbase in 2018 to provide administrative support for their Human Resources department. After a successful pilot, 123 Company expanded Firstbase to additional departments. The VP of HR commented, “Firstbase has been instrumental in reducing tedious tasks for our staff. Everything from scheduling meetings to processing invoices is now handled efficiently by the platform. This has allowed our teams to focus on more strategic work. The service has been seamless, and I highly recommend Firstbase.”

In summary, Firstbase has proven to generate considerable time savings, optimize resources, and streamline operations for a diverse range of organizations. The case studies and testimonials from satisfied clients demonstrate the value that Firstbase’s virtual assistant services can provide to businesses of all sizes.


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FAQ – Answering Common Questions About Firstbase

Firstbase offers a number of commonly asked questions and answers on their website to provide transparency into their service. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions:

How much does Firstbase cost?

Firstbase services start at $99 per month. This includes payroll for up to 5 employees, paid time off management, and 24/7 customer support. Additional employee fees are $10 per month. Firstbase also offers an enterprise solution for larger companies with custom pricing.

Do you offer any free trials or demos?

Yes, Firstbase offers a 14-day free trial for up to 5 employees so you can test out the platform. They also provide product demos and tutorials on their website to acquaint you with their interface and features before signing up.

Can I switch from another provider to Firstbase?

Absolutely. Firstbase makes it easy to transition from another payroll or HR provider. Their team can import your existing employee data, pay schedules, time off accruals, and more to get your account set up quickly. They handle all communications with your previous provider to ensure a smooth transition.

Do you offer direct deposit and pay employees on time?

Direct deposit is offered at no extra charge. Employees are paid accurately and on schedule according to your established pay periods. Firstbase integrates with major U.S. banks to electronically transfer funds for direct deposit. Paper checks are also available if needed.

How do I get started with Firstbase?

Getting started with Firstbase is simple:

  1. Sign up for your free 14-day trial or schedule a demo with their sales team.
  2. Add your company details including pay schedules, time off policies, and employee demographic information.
  3. Sync your payroll bank account to enable direct deposits, fund transfers, and pay your employees.
  4. Add employee profiles with details like SSN, pay rates, deductions, and direct deposit information.
  5. Certify and pay your employees each pay period. Firstbase handles year-end tax forms and filings.
  6. Leverage additional features like time and attendance, benefits, and performance management as needed.

The Firstbase support team is available to help you through the onboarding process and ensure you are up and running smoothly. Reach out with any additional questions!

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As you have seen, Firstbase offers a compelling set of features for small business owners looking to optimize their time. Their well-designed interface, automation tools, and dedicated account manager provide an integrated experience to handle the demands of running a company. However, their higher pricing and limited free trial require careful evaluation to determine if the investment will yield a meaningful return for your specific needs. With any software, do your research to make sure it is the right solution before committing long-term. If streamlining business processes and gaining time to focus on growth are your top priorities, Firstbase could be worth the investment. But go in with eyes open to shortcomings, and don’t be afraid to walk away if it’s not an ideal match. The truth about Firstbase is that while a promising option, it may not be the end-all, be-all management platform for every entrepreneur. Choose wisely based on your requirements and budget.