Knowing how to write and keep track of invoices is essential to running any business, and it’s one area where many people feel out of their depth. Writing an invoice is straightforward enough, but how do you keep records – and what is the etiquette surrounding unpaid bills?
Even the most diligent of entrepreneurs can lose track of unpaid invoices, leading to major issues with cash flow.
Invoicing software helps to mitigate this by corraling all of your bills and highlighting outstanding balances. Many programs can send automatic payment reminders; a few can even track whether your emails are being opened.
Accounting software packages often include billing features, but for this article, we’re focusing on ten of the best platforms dedicated to invoicing and billing. Each product has its own advantages and is listed in no particular order.
You might not realise it, but PayPal actually offers its own invoice-building tool – perfect for vendors who already use the platform for payment.
PayPal’s free invoice templates are easy to customise and can be sent on-the-go via the PayPal Business app. Customers pay in a click using their PayPal account or with a credit or debit card; the money goes directly to your account balance.
The system automatically keeps copies of old invoices and it’s simple to send out reminders for unpaid bills. You’ll also benefit from Seller Protection on eligible transactions.
Using WordPress and/or WooCommerce? You can check out PayPal Invoicing for WordPress here.
AND CO is the sister company to popular freelancing platform Fiverr. Describing itself as ‘the #1 freelancing software in the world’, it covers jobs from start to finish.
Users can send proposals, track the time spent on tasks, invoice clients and keep track of current projects. AND CO can also track and analyse basic finances like income and expenses. As an all-around freelancing platform, it’s excellent.
All this functionality comes at a price: the free plan only covers one active client and your invoices will come with their branding. To unlock unlimited clients, unbranded invoices and fully editable contracts you’ll need to upgrade to the £18 per month Pro tier.
Invoice2go focuses on invoicing, but also offers features that track your time and expenses. The system can also add tax where necessary.
Clients can pay by card or through PayPal in a click, and it’s super simple to automate payment reminders. You can even track whether your invoices have been opened; it’s a simple feature but very helpful for chasing payments.
As the name would suggest, Invoice2go is optimised to mobile use – the iPhone and Android apps are quick, sleek and easy to use.
Crunch offers accounting software and services for British businesses. Chorus is free for self-employed people and small businesses, and it includes basic invoicing software.
As an invoicing system, it’s fairly bare bones: it can generate and archive invoices and save clients’ details. There’s no feature to chase invoices, but Crunch does offer free templates for payment reminders.
Invoice by Wave is part of the larger Wave suite of accounting apps, but it’s fully functional as a stand-alone product. It’s free for unlimited use.
With Wave, you can send estimates and turn them into invoices on approval. Repeat clients can be set up with recurring bills. As with Invoice2go, you can see whether invoices have been opened and set automatic payment reminders. You can also invoice in any currency, which is a feature missing from most paid accounting software.
invoicely, formerly known as Invoiceable, offers a free plan in addition to three paid plans.
Many invoice apps limit the number of invoices you can generate or projects you can run on their free tiers. With invoicely, you can create unlimited invoices on their free plan but are limited in other aspects. Branding is limited and you’ll need to upgrade in order to send estimates or set up recurring statements.
Popular payment processor Stripe recently released its own billing system for businesses.
Stripe Billing differs from others in this article in that it’s specifically designed for repeat billing, but it does allow you to create one-off invoices. Flexible billing components mean that you can bill based on usage and volume, as well as adding discounts and trial periods.
InvoiceBerry sends invoices, tracks expenses and payments and creates reports from one dashboard. Quotes turn into invoices with one click; InvoiceBerry claims that you can create and send an invoice in less than a minute.
There’s no free option, but Solo plan covers up to 35 clients and two users for £10 per month.
Hiveage claims to save its users up to 80 hours per month. As with other software, you can send estimates, invoices and payment reminders in a snap. Time and expense tracking are present, as is the rather unusual mileage tracking – helpful for businesses that require travel.
Another strength is that you can run Hiveage from your own domain.
Last but certainly not least, Invoice Ninja is an open-source app suite with a solid free package. Invoice Ninja offers expenses and time tracking, recurring billing and a product library in addition to standard invoices. Unusually, you can collect deposits or partial payments – ideal for creatives who require part of their fee to be paid upfront.
Clients can choose from over 40 payment gateways, and Invoice Ninja’s paid tiers include custom URLs.