As a small business, keeping track of your company’s financials is extremely important. Between paying for services and receiving money, it can get a little confusing for beginners. You need to have a reliable system in place to keep track of money moving in and out, and that’s where invoices come in. But what is the best invoicing software for small businesses?
The 5 best invoicing software for small businesses are:
- Zoho Invoice
- Invoice Ninja
In this article, we’ll cover some of the best invoicing software for freelancers and other small business owners. But first, let’s talk a little more about what invoicing is, and why you might want to use invoicing software over creating invoices from scratch. Note that the 5 options below were picked purely on their offerings alone, and none of the links to these platforms are sponsored or affiliate links.
Introduction to Invoicing Software for Small Businesses
Invoices are documents with a list of goods and services and their prices, usually created by the seller and sent to the buyer. Basically, you’re noting down everything you’ve provided to a client, so the client has an overview of all the tasks completed, and the amount of money they owe you. In the case of small businesses or freelancers, it’s your job to create an invoice if you’ve provided a service to a client.
While you can create an invoice manually from scratch, this is fairly time-consuming. Understandably, not every small business owner has the time to create invoices, or the budget to hire someone to do it for them. This is where invoicing software can come in handy.
Invoicing software comes with pre-made templates, invoicing prompts, and even automation of some tasks. This allows you to create and manage your invoices with ease. But which invoicing software should you choose?
Best Invoicing Software for Small Businesses – An Overview
|Invoicing Software||Price||No. of Clients||Selling Point|
|Freshbooks||From $6 per month||5 – Unlimited||Highly Scalable|
|Zoho Invoice||Free||5 – Unlimited||Lots of Automation|
|Invoice Ninja||Free||100||Free, Feature-Filled|
|Square||Per Transaction Fee||Unlimited||Cashflow Optimisation|
|Hiveage||Free and paid plans||5 – 1000||Simple, Easy-to-use|
5 Best Invoicing Software for Small Businesses
- Scalable subscription model (for different-sized businesses)
- Automated invoicing features
- Flexible client payment methods (credit card + ACH bank transfer)
- Need to pay extra for more users
Many people regard Freshbooks as the industry-standard when it comes to invoicing software. This is mainly because of its scalability, making the software great for businesses both small and large.
Freshbooks comes with integration of its software to more than 100 third-party apps. Such apps include Shopify, G Suite, and Square. This integration allows for syncing of contacts and sales to these linked apps, which saves you the time and effort to create a copy of the invoice on another app.
Vast Community of Users
Freshbooks is also popular and credible. On their site, Freshbooks claims that they have over 24 million users in 160+ countries worldwide. They have a great support team in place to help with any questions you may have about the service, which is useful if you’re having trouble with some of the software’s features as a beginner.
Taking its wide range of features into account, Freshbooks is pretty affordable. For just $6/month (around £4.20), you can manage up to 5 clients on Freshbooks, and track and send as many invoices as you want. For $10/month and $20/month, you can manage up to 50 clients and an unlimited number of clients per month respectively.
This is great for small businesses, giving you the decision to upgrade to a different plan as you grow your business. You can customize your invoice for both ACH bank transfers and credit card payments. You can schedule invoices to be sent on a recurring basis, and you can even add automatic late fees to your invoices.
There’s a 30-day free trial available, and you can use this time to test if Freshbooks serves your needs, and upgrade to a paid plan later on. So, if you’re looking for software to start small and scale up in the future, Freshbooks is a good option to try.
2. Zoho Invoice
- Automation of invoicing services
- Twilio integration + different languages
- Free and paid options
- Integration isn’t straightforward
Our second invoicing software for small businesses is Zoho Invoice, part of its parent company Zoho, which provides a suite of online productivity tools. From spreadsheets to sales management systems, Zoho is a great customer relationship management (CRM) service.
One of the major selling points of Zoho Invoice is their automation features. With recurring invoices, Zoho can help you create invoices for specific times of the day, week, month, or year, and you won’t have to re-do it yourself. This is best if your business has recurring clients, and invoices are paid out at the same time every cycle.
Automation – For Free!
Zoho Invoice also has an automated workflow feature. This means that the software notifies you every time your client pays an invoice, or even if your client views the invoice. On top of that, Zoho Invoice comes with time tracking, timesheets, and expense tracking, all automated services that you can benefit from as a freelancer.
Beginner freelancers can benefit from Zoho’s free invoicing plan. You can invoice up to 5 clients and have pretty much all the automation features for free. This is great if you’re on a tight budget, but if you do want the extra CRM features there are a few paid plans to choose from. We won’t focus on them in this article, but you can check them out here.
Other cool features of the invoicing software include Twilio integration and multiple currency options. Twilio is a messaging service, and so you can send your invoices to your clients through this. You can also choose to bill your invoice in different currencies, as well as different languages.
In conclusion, Zoho Invoice is great for automating invoices and has plenty of extra features as part of its wider suite of tools.
- Free version with a wide range of features
- Payment gateway with many options (Bitcoin, Stripe, etc.)
- Useful quotes function
- Not much integration with 3rd party apps
Invoice Ninja is a great free invoicing software to use for your small business. Unlike other platforms, Invoice Ninja’s free plan is actually substantial and even comparable to its competitors’ paid plans.
Invoice Ninja allows you to invoice up to 100 clients, and send unlimited invoices to them. This immediately removes the barrier of a lack of management space for clients, which means that even large companies can use this free plan.
Invoice Ninja also comes with invoice tracking functions, auto-billing and recurring invoicing systems, as well as time-tracking tools. The platform offers more than 40 payment options, including PayPal, Apple Pay, and even Bitcoin! With such versatility in terms of payment options, many of them unavailable on other invoicing platforms, Invoice Ninja is a truly unique invoicing solution.
Invoice Ninja has a handy quotes feature too. This is unlike a normal invoice, where you simply send a document for the client to check and respond to with payment. The quote is more like an invoice draft, so the client can easily understand your pricing structure and how much a job will cost before you get started. This is similar to how you might get several quotes for a repair job on your house or car, before you decide who to choose.
All in all, Invoice Ninja is free invoicing software with a wide range of uncommon features, making it a good choice for those on a tight budget.
- Pay-per-invoice business model
- All the basic features of top invoicing software
- Square Card for cashflow optimisation
- Business model isn’t ideal for people who invoice regularly
Square Invoices is a distinctive invoicing software on this list due to its unique payment system. Square Invoices doesn’t have a subscription service, like the other options on this list. The Square app itself is free to use, but each time you send an invoice, you pay a fixed rate. Square Invoices has a processing rate of 2.9% + $0.30 per invoice paid online, and a 1% ACH transfer fee.
Not Ideal for Everyone
While the free service may entice people to use this invoicing platform, the transaction fees stack up over time. As such, this software is better suited to those who invoice infrequently, maybe only once or twice a month. A good thing about Square Invoices is that it offers all the basics any invoicing software should have. Square has features like automated invoice reminders, recurring invoice scheduling, and invoice tracking.
The Square Card
Furthermore, Square offers the Square Card, which is essentially a debit card. This card gives you more control of your cash, and by linking it with your wallet, the money you receive (from invoices and other places too) goes straight to you. Plus, the Square Card is 100% free!
Square Invoices pays out relatively quick too, claiming that 75% of payments made through their platform are transferred within a day. For small businesses that urgently need any money for which they invoice, this increase in speed can assure you that your owed money comes back to you as quickly as possible.
While Square Invoices has an unusual way of charging for their service, it’s great for those who send invoices infrequently, and don’t want to commit to a monthly subscription fee.
- Simple user interface
- Cloud-based software
- Many payment methods
- Some basic features are only included in the paid plans
Of all the invoicing software on this list, Hiveage is hands down the most straightforward. While other platforms may have features unrelated to invoicing, Hiveage focuses solely on creating invoices. Hiveage has a free plan, where you can invoice up to 5 clients and send unlimited invoices. They also have three other paid plans ranging from $16 – $42, providing extra features such as automated payment reminders and email notifications.
One thing to note is that Hiveage is a cloud-based software, which means you won’t have to install any files to access the invoicing platform. Furthermore, Hiveage also has an app, downloadable on the Google Play or Apple App Store, so you can invoice on your mobile device as well.
Hiveage also claims to offer 99.9% uptime and encrypted security, meaning your invoices and data are kept safe and secure. If you need to, you can export your data from Hiveage in the form of a CSV file, with just the click of a mouse.
Lots of Payment Options
Finally, like Ninja Invoices, Hiveage has many payment gateways to choose from. This includes Stripe, PayPal, Coinbase (for cryptocurrencies), and Square. Of course, Hiveage also includes all the tools like recurring invoices, tracking sheets, etc.
Hiveage is fully concentrated on invoice creation, so if you want simple invoicing software for your business, this one is for you!
Which Invoicing Software Will You Choose?
Invoicing for small businesses can be time-consuming and challenging. But with the help of great invoice software, invoicing is quick and easy! If you want some alternatives to the software above, we have guides for creating invoices using Google Docs, Microsoft Word and Excel, and even PayPal.