FreshBooks is carving out an unusual niche for itself: catering to freelancers and other self-employed folks who need to send out immediate invoices to maintain much-needed cash flow.

The Canadian company visited the Accounting Today offices last week to talk about their innovative approach to marketing and building a user base. The company likes to take an informal, iconoclastic approach to the accounting market, with young employees, fresh thinking and a fun look.

Saul Colt, the “head of magic” at the Toronto-based company, said FreshBooks is focusing on “creative professionals.” That includes many freelance graphic artists, as well as other types of self-employed occupations, such as dog walkers, construction workers, lawyers and accountants.

“We try to provide a product where freelancers can keep track of their time and immediately send an invoice,” said Colt.

He noted that the Web-based software has attracted many people who are simply comfortable working with the Internet and defines them as “online professionals.”

While the company started in Canada, Colt said that about 62 percent of its users now come from the United States. The company has been building links to other accounting packages, and indeed some of its users later move to more established accounting software.

That doesn’t bother Colt, though. “It’s an honor when people graduate from our product to QuickBooks,” he said.