Invoicing customers, following up with reminders, applying late fees, and keeping proper records can be a time sink. Automating these tasks with invoicing software is a no-brainer for small businesses.
There are a number of features you can choose from. These include one-time or recurring invoicing, taking credit card payments in multiple ways, customizing your invoices with your brand, and automatically calculating and applying sales tax.
- Time tracking: some invoicing tools come bundled with time tracking software. Examples are Harvest, QuickBooks, and Zoho Invoice. These tools are useful for freelancers and small businesses billing time per project.
- Proposals: you can also get invoicing software bundled with proposal and payment software, so you can automatically populate invoices with proposal figures. Examples are And.Co and PandaDoc. This is good choice for small businesses that offer services, like consulting or website design
- Recurring billing and hybrid charges: Tools like Recurly and Chargebee will enable you to bill in a variety of ways and automatically generate and send invoices.
- Accounting: most invoicing software syncs with your favorite accounting tools. Some invoicing software — like QuickBooks and Xero — comes bundled with accounting software.
Most of the invoicing software listed below are easy to set up.
The Top 18 Invoice Software Tools
The following is a round-up of the best options available, as well as summaries to help you determine if a given option is worth pursuing based on your business’ needs.
QuickBooks: A Simple, User-Friendly Invoice Software
QuickBooks is one of the most recognized invoicing and accounting software brands. It allows you to send invoices online and get paid via credit cards, debit cards, or ACH bank transfers.
You can personalize your invoices with your own branding. You can also create templates, and this can speed up future invoicing.
More, you can receive notifications when your customers pay and send automated reminders to them.
QuickBooks supports recurring invoices and offers integrations with time tracking apps. QuickBooks also offers its own time-tracking tool called TSheets.
FreshBooks: Time-Saver Accounting For Small Businesses
FreshBooks helps small businesses streamline their billing and invoicing processes. You can create reusable invoice and thank-you templates, accept payments via credit cards, Apple Pay, and ACH bank transfers.
You can also automate payment reminders and recurring payments and accept deposits to be credited toward line items added later.
With FreshBooks, you can also bill for worked hours, negotiate fixed pricing, and manage your time based on your customers’ budgets.
Recurly: Versatile Subscription Billing
Recurly is an e-commerce subscription management platform that provides a variety of ways to bill and invoice.
It will automatically create an invoice for:
- One-time charges that are part of a subscription plan (such as a security camera that has an optional monthly monitoring fee)
- Fixed recurring charges
- Hybrid charges (a combo of one-time and recurring, e.g. security camera with monitoring)
- Usage-based charges
- Seat-based charges
You can customize the billing frequency and handle complex B2B billing arrangements.
Recurly also keeps you compliant with automatically calculated tax rates including digital tax rates. And it provides users with a clear view of their subscriber agreement and costs.
Note: Recurly integrates with Autopilot — a marketing automation platform. This gives you an easy and powerful way to stay top-of-mind with subscribers.
Stripe Billing: Ad Hoc or Recurring Billing
Stripe – a direct competitor to PayPal — is known for its sleek, fully customizable payment processing platform.
Stripe Billing allows you to bill your customers either ad hoc or on a recurring basis.
You can accept all major debit and credit cards, ACH bank transfers, and global payment methods like Alipay, P24, and EPS.
Harvest: Time Tracking With Invoicing
Harvest is a popular time-tracking software (especially among freelancers) that includes invoicing tools and ways to track expenses.
You can create recurring invoices, view open invoices, and set up retainers.
It supports integrations with Stripe and PayPal, and you can use it in conjunction with QuickBooks and Xero for accounting and financial management.
Harvest is easy and intuitive to use. It comes with how-to webinars, a help center, mobile apps, and a browser extension.
PandaDoc: Proposals and Business Document Software Bundled With Invoicing
PandaDoc’s system supports more than just invoicing. You can create, send, track, and sign contracts, proposals, and quotes.
When the time comes to billing, you can send out invoices and accept credit card payments via Stripe or ACH bank transfers.
PandaDoc features what it calls smart invoicing: it can automatically generate invoices on your behalf.
Certify Invoice: Accounting With Invoice and Expense Tracking
Certify Invoice helps you manage invoices and integrates with its sister product, Certify Expense.
Certify Invoice features automated invoice workflows that include approvals, mapping invoices to product orders by number, vendor management, and payment processing.
Additionally, you can generate reports for accounting purposes.
Xero: Comprehensive Accounting Software
With Xero, you can create and send professional-looking invoices. You can reuse your creations, send your invoices securely, and have automated reminders send for people who haven’t paid.
Xero also features the ability to bulk invoice clients, accept online payments, and set up two-factor authentication to keep your account secure.
ZOHO Invoice: Invoicing and Expense Tracking
ZOHO’s suite of subscription tools includes Invoice, a product geared toward small businesses and freelancers.
It allows you to create and send out customized invoices, accept payments, and send automated reminders for non-payment.
You can also use it to create and send estimates for review, track time, and manage expenses.
ZOHO Invoice comes with a mobile app so you can handle these tasks while you’re on the go.
Flint: Mobile-Friendly Invoicing Software
Flint allows you to accept credit card payments, send invoices, and manage your payments-related transactions and customer information.
Flint allows you to send invoices directly from your phone, and issue automated reminders.
Note: You can accept credit card payments just by taking a picture of the card.
PayPal Invoicing: Invoicing With Per Transaction Charge
PayPal’s invoicing feature allows you to create customized invoices with ease from almost all devices and receive payments.
You can track your billing history, payments, and any issued reminders. Furthermore, you can send invoices for free and are only charged when you receive payments.
Note: Paypal Invoicing charges per transaction, as opposed to a monthly subscription fee.
Odoo: Open Source Invoicing Tool
Odoo’s suite of open-source business apps includes one for invoicing.
With it, you can create invoices, either from scratch or based on quotes you previously provided to clients.
You can automatically remind people of overdue payments, import and reconcile any bank statements you have, and accept payments via the payment processor of your choice.
Bill.com: Easy Accounting From Solo To Enterprise Level
Bill.com supports invoicing and payments to/from clients, vendors, and contractors.
It syncs with many major accounting software packages, allows you to auto-create invoices, approve payments, and pay your bills.
Those who work with international clients will appreciate the supported payment options, which include domestic ACH bank transfers, international wire transfers, virtual cards, and checks.
And.co: Proposals, Invoicing, and Task Management
And.co is a tool for sending proposals, creating and sending customized invoices, tracking your time and scheduling tasks based on your clients’ budget.
You can also track expenses, track time spent on projects, and create reports on all of your data.
Biller Genie: Automated A/R, Branded Portal With Autopay
Biller Genie is an all-in-one solution that helps you automate invoices, late payment reminders, and thank-you emails.
Your clients can pay you with a branded portal that’s available 24/7 and accepts multiple payment options.
Biller Genie integrates with popular accounting software including Quickbooks and Xero.
Chargebee: Subscription Billing Solution
Chargebee is a platform geared toward those who offer subscription-based products and need to bill on a recurring basis.
You can customize your invoices; set up flexible pricing, billing logic, and payment schedules; automate your bills; manage your sales taxes and accept multiple payment options.
You’ll also get analytics, reporting, and forecasting features, as well as features aiding compliance with privacy laws.
Invoicely: Multi-Business Invoicing With Time Tracking
Invoicely helps you support online payments, track time spent on billable tasks, manage your expenses and trips, and create estimates for your clients.
Invoicely features workflow automation features; tax, discount, and shipping calculators; and full branding of all client-facing documents.
Invoice Ninja: Invoicing and Project Management
Invoice Ninja supports real-time invoicing, includes project management features, and support for over 40 payment options.
You can also accept deposits and partial payments, create and send recurring invoices, and set up a product library to streamline the invoice creation process.
While the templates are not fully customizable, there are multiple options from which you can choose.
Sage: Invoicing Bundled With Accounting
Sage provides a simplified (and low-cost) approach to accounting that includes invoicing.
They also provide an app (iOS and Android) so you can manage invoicing and related items on the go like:
- Cash flow management
With the basic “Accounting Start” plan you can create and track invoices and connect the app right to your bank account.
You’ll need to bump up to the $25/month “Accounting” plan to get all the features available, like generating estimates and quotes, recording purchase invoices, and managing inventory.
Bonus: You can get accounting questions answered via live chat with the Sage team.
Whether you need a solution for billing (where you are the one paying someone else for goods or services they’ve rendered to you) or invoicing (where you’re looking to collect payments from your clients), there are many options available to help you streamline the accounts’ payable/receivable process.
Many are subscription-based, but there are certainly free options that more than hold their own against their paid counterparts.
The invoice software that’s right for you depends on what the needs of your business are, but we hope that our summaries help you narrow down your list of viable choices.