Cloud computing and mobile technologies have revolutionized the way we bill customers, track invoices and receive payments. If you are still using a clunky desktop application, one that requires you to enter repetitive data, email or snail mail invoices, manually send reminders and record payments when they finally arrive, it’s time to upgrade. The number of invoicing options has mushroomed in recent years, and the choices can be bewildering.
An application must be scaled to the size of your business. You want one that offers the features you need without being overly complicated. Invoicing software should be user-friendly, offer automation of common tasks, make it easy for clients to pay, and it must be affordable. With these criteria in mind, we’ve reviewed the options. One of these programs may be the perfect invoicing solution for your business.
If you need the ability to quickly create and send professional-looking invoices on the fly, Zoho Invoice may be all you need. It is easy to set up and customize with one of the many templates, incorporating your logo and company details. In addition to invoices, you can send estimates, calculate billable hours and track expenses. Customers may pay online through their preferred payment gateway and check their account through a client portal. Recurring payments and payment reminders are automated. The dashboard provides at-a-glance reports to keep you on top of your receivables. The basic plan is $7 a month and allows invoicing up to 50 customers, which is generous compared to similar programs.
FreshBooks is a step-up from Zoho. You can quickly create custom invoices with your brand’s fonts, colors and logo, then add line items, set due dates, request deposits, automate late payment reminders and add late fees. You can also send estimates and view client feedback. The program notifies you when an invoice is viewed. Clients can pay directly from the invoice, and they have the option to schedule automatic payments for recurring bills. Other features include automatic tax calculation, multiple currency capabilities, billable hours tracking and customization of payment terms.
FreshBooks simplifies expense tracking by allowing you to import spending information from your bank accounts and credit cards. Through the mobile app, you can snap a picture of a receipt, log it in and store it for tax preparation. Powerful reporting functions let you know instantly where you stand with profit and loss statements, expense reports, sales tax summaries, invoice details and aging accounts reports. Pricing starts at $15 a month.
Intuit’s QuickBooks has been the leading small business accounting software for more than twenty years. It is a complete accounting software package for small and midsized businesses, with bookkeeping, payroll, inventory and invoicing features. The user-friendly interface and strong reporting functions have made it a favorite. With QuickBooks, you can manage all your business finances, including budgeting and investments. This would be the way to go if you need a comprehensive program to record all aspects of your business’s finances. Plans start at $10 per month.
This article was written by Gillian Burdett for Small Business Pulse