If invoicing is something your business has much experience with, you know it can be a hassle. The more of a hassle it is to send out an invoice, the longer it takes to get it out to clients. If you can send out invoices within several days of job completion, the odds are much higher you will get paid and get paid in a timely manner.
However, if your invoice does not get out until a week or two after the job is complete, your customer will respond in kind, generally taking quite a bit longer to pay the invoice off. That’s why you want invoicing software that works with your business and makes the invoicing process easy, so you can send out invoices quicker and get paid quicker. In this article, we look at a variety of invoicing software providers, both free and paid, and help you figure out which is best and easiest for your business.
Best Free Invoicing Software
If you are only sending occasional invoices or just need basic no-frill invoicing software, then there are a variety of free solutions that should meet your needs. Although free solutions do not have nearly the depth of template customization and lack advanced features such as time-tracking, they are more than enough for businesses that are just looking to send a basic invoice and get paid. (There is a processing fee for transactions)
Square or Paypal – Quick and Easy Invoicing Solutions
Square and Paypal are both known for their payment processing services. Considering how many small business owners use these payment processors, because they are easy to setup and have no monthly fees, it is a no-brainer for them to offer invoicing services.
Paypal has a little more name recognition in the industry, but Square has a little lower processing fee. If you are doing a lot of small transactions, Square is probably the better choice. Otherwise, it really just depends on which service you are more comfortable with. Both Square and Paypal are pretty basic, you can send invoices and get paid online via credit card (or paypal) payment, but the templates are not very customizable and no other invoicing features are provided.
You can set up recurring/auto billing with Paypal, but there is an additional fee (at which point you might as well use a more advanced paid invoicing service).
Wave – Free Invoicing with Complete Accounting Integration
Wave is one of the top three online accounting solutions in the industry (Xero and Quickbooks being the others). Any serious accounting platform needs invoicing capabilities. Wave’s invoicing templates are simple, but they will do the job. The nicest thing about using Wave for your invoicing is that your invoice payments are integrated directly into your accounting, making your financials much easier to manage (see key financials, generate reports, etc). Wave integrates with Stripe Payments and invoicing processing fees are similar to Square.
Best Paid Invoicing Software
If you are willing to pay for invoicing software, then your invoicing features, overall functionality, and template customizability options are much more advanced. You can often customize much of your invoice, to give it a look that specifically matches your business. Also, depending on the provider, you get advanced features like time-tracking, which allows you to keep track of how many hours you spend on a specific contract/project and then import that info directly into an invoice. You also get features such as recurring billing and expense tracking.
FreshBooks – All the Right Features at the Right Price
FreshBooks provides a variety of great invoicing features. Their time-tracking feature is great, allowing you to track ongoing hours spent on a project and import them directly into invoices. Also, you can set up auto-billing and recurring billing for monthly invoices, which really saves time (subscriptions, etc).
FreshBooks invoices are also really easy and intuitive to create, allowing a lot of customization so you can match your invoice to your business’s look and feel. Also, for a couple dollars per invoice, FreshBooks will actually send your invoice via snail-mail (traditional USPS) to clients for you (great for non-email businesses), a service no other invoicing software solutions besides Zoho offers.
FreshBooks also integrates with QuickBooks, Paypal, and a variety of other small business software solutions and payment processors. For current FreshBooks pricing and user reviews, here is an in-depth FreshBooks Review.
Other Invoicing Solutions for Specific Businesses
The invoicing software above, are the best for the average small business. But, there are other invoicing software solutions that have unique features for specific businesses. We take a look at several of these other options below and give an idea of what businesses might find them most helpful.
- Chargify – Invoicing for Subscription-based Businesses – Chargify has the best set of invoicing features for small businesses that work via subscriptions. Other than FreshBooks and Zoho Invoice, it is the only invoicing software we reviewed that has the ability to directly charge credit cards on a monthly/recurring basis. It even has a sophisticated self-service portal where customers/clients can manage service add-ons, address changes, and credit card info. Businesses = Wine store, Massage and Spa, Magazines/Publications
- mHelpDesk – Invoicing Software for On-the-Go Businesses – mHelpDesk is often referred to as “field service software,” meaning it is designed for businesses that work off-site and are often moving from job to job. You can manage appointments and bill clients on-the-spot, using your mobile phone/tablet. Also, you can create estimates, accept payments, time-track, manage employees (see where they are, etc), and more. mHelpDesk integrates with Paypal and Authorize.net for payment processing, but has few other integrations. The only major downside, is the expense, starting at $75/user/month. Businesses = Contractors, Caterers, Event Planners
- Zoho Invoice – Invoicing Software Integrate with All-in-one Business Software Solution – If you are a business that wants to manage everything in one place, then Zoho Invoice might be a good option for you. You get similar features to FreshBooks (not quite as intuitive to use). Zoho Invoice’s main strength, is that it is a part of the Zoho suite of business software. So, you could do invoicing, accounting (Zoho Books), Customer Resources Management (Zoho CRM), and more all from one main interface/solution. Businesses = Ones that already use Zoho for other business tasks, businesses that are looking for an all-in-one business management software solution
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