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Whether you’re a full-time freelancer or small business owner, chances are, invoicing is a huge part of your business operations. Not to mention that sending out invoices, managing payments, and following up with late payments are among your least favorite parts of the job.
But when you’re in business for yourself, you know that time equals money, so don’t waste time manually invoicing your clients or dealing with clunky, outdated invoicing software.
Read on for our picks for best invoicing software—from those that automate following up with clients (yes, really) to those best for small businesses to those best for a one-person operation—because getting paid is the key to keeping your business in the black.
Best All-Around Tool : Freshbooks
A major player in the invoicing game, Freshbooks’ features go beyond invoicing. Think of expenses, time tracking, project collaboration, payments, and reporting. It even has a mobile app, great for freelancers on the go.
FreshBooks prides itself on a simple and intuitive design and professional invoices. It also automates some of your least-loved freelance tasks, like organizing expenses, tracking time, even following up with clients. The latter is a boon to productivity.
You can also accept credit card payments via FreshBooks, which makes getting paid that much easier. FreshBooks also has a reporting feature that allows you to create custom reports, showcasing how your business is growing and where it needs to improve.
Another great feature of FreshBooks is that everything is stored in the Cloud, making it easy to access what you need from anywhere. You also never have to worry about backing up your files or invoices.
Best For Monitoring Cash Flow : Xero
With more than 1 million subscribers, Xero has emerged as a major player in the invoicing game. It’s also a great online accounting software for small businesses that want to keep a close eye on cash flow.
Features include a mobile app with the capability to send invoices, reconcile your accounts, even create expense forms, all from your smartphone. Speaking of reconciling, Xero also has the ability to import and categorize your latest bank statement, which makes seeing cash flow in real-time that much easier. Bonus: it syncs with more than 700 business apps.
But perhaps Xero’s best feature is the ability to send online invoices and be notified when clients open them. That way, you’re never left wondering if your invoices are lost in the abyss of someone’s e-mail inbox.
Best for Small Businesses : Wave
Wave is a solid choice for small business owners who need invoicing software that does more than invoicing. You’ll get the usual accounting and invoicing tools, along with the ability to set up recurring payments and automated billing. If you spring for one of the paid packages, you can also set up pay-per-use payments or monthly payroll.
If you’re totally new to the small business owner game, Wave+ could be for you. It offers bookkeeping services and accounting coaching to ensure your finances and business are on the right track. You’ll get insights into the financial health of your business, plus personalized solutions to help solve any cash flow issues.
Wave also has an informative blog featuring added-value content and videos on bookkeeping, how to get your books under control, learning about cash flow, and more. Wave offers free invoicing and accounting tools, as well as a pay-per-use payment option, plus a paid monthly option to handle payroll.
Best Tech-Forward Option : Square
If you’ve ever bought anything at a farmer’s market, then you’re probably familiar with Square, the small, square smartphone attachment (called a Square Reader) that allows vendors to process credit and debit card payments.
But if you’re a small business, Square could be just the thing to take things to the next level. Not only will it enable you to accept credit and debit cards (as long as they are processed as credit) anywhere, anytime, you’ll receive your funds in one to two days, and immediate deposits are also available.
Square offers two types of packages for small businesses, Square Point of Sale and Square Retail. If you're a budding restaurateur, the company also recently rolled out Square for Restaurants.
Square also allows you to send invoices, set up recurring payments, integrate with an existing third-party e-commerce site, and book appointments. It’s also compatible with other tools like Quickbooks, plus you get other perks like payment dispute assistance, chargeback protection, and PCI compliance included.
With Square, you pay a 2.6% and $0.10 fee per swipe, or a 3.5% plus $0.15 per keyed-in transaction. There are no monthly fees.
Best for Entrepreneurs : Sunrise
Sunrise—which was previously named Billy before being acquired by Lendio—is best for busy entrepreneurs looking for a seamless, easy-to-use invoicing platform. Its easy-to-navigate dashboard makes it easy to access all the important aspects of running a business.
Access your invoices, bills, recurring invoices, quotes, contacts, and accounting from the left-hand menu bar. See your top customers and vendors using the handy charts and get a running total of who has paid their bill and who hasn’t on your homepage.
Sunrise also allows you to accept credit card payments, turn on recurring payments for regular clients, and send late-payment reminders, making it a great one-stop-shop for all your financial needs.
Another great feature is that creating invoices and sending bills are a snap, thanks to the simple green buttons affixed on the homepage. Never waste billable hours again trying to navigate clunky invoicing software.
Best Comprehensive Tool : Intuit QuickBooks
While Intuit QuickBooks is a powerful invoicing platform, it does so much more. The dashboard keeps your expenses, profit and losses, income, sales, and bank accounts all in one place, complete with charts and color-coding to make digesting all those numbers just a bit easier. With QuickBooks, you can easily share with your accountant, too, or choose to take on your taxes yourself.
Other features allow you to connect your bank account, sync up with other apps your business frequently uses, and access everything via QuickBooks Mobile. No more searching for that lost receipt—simply upload it via the mobile tool.
But QuickBooks’ invoicing tool is perhaps its best feature. Set custom reminders, invoice tracking, and get access to personalized reports. Online invoicing also allows your client to pay you faster, which is really what every freelancer or small business owner wants, right?
Best for Teams : Hiveage
With Hiveage, you can send online invoices, send potential client quotes (then easily convert them to invoices once the project is accepted), and accept online payments. You’ll even have access to detailed reports on receivables and payables.
Hiveage, as the name suggests, is also great for teams. Here’s why: With one single log-in, you can grant staff members varying levels of access, even manage separate teams and businesses, perfect for those serial entrepreneurs.
Another bonus of Hiveage is it helps you keep track of the day-to-day minutiae of managing a business. There are tools to track time, an expense tracker, and a mileage tracker. It’s also cloud-based, so there’s no downloading or installing software.
What Is Invoicing Software?
Invoicing software contains tools to create invoices and send them to clients. Businesses or freelancers create invoices to bill clients for products or services that they have provided. Invoicing software helps the business or freelancer more effectively keep track of cash inflow, process payments, send payment reminders, and customize and personalize invoices.
How Does Invoicing Software Work?
You can create an invoice with invoicing software by inputting data such as the amount owed, when it's due, and what services were rendered. The software can help you create templates, customize invoices, and save all of the information in each invoice. It can process automated billing, send out payment reminders, and track missing payments, and it can help you minimize late payments and spend time focusing on other tasks.
Who Should Use Invoicing Software?
Invoicing software is helpful for the following:
- Small businesses
- E-commerce site owners
Invoicing software can be helpful if you’re a solo freelancer or running a small business with 50 employees. It can make your invoices look professional and save you time on creating and sending out invoices.
How Much Does Invoicing Software Cost?
Invoicing software comes with different tools and features. Some options are basic, and others have more complex features like connecting with your bank account and syncing with other apps. Prices vary, and some companies charge monthly fees, but generally, you will pay credit card processing fees typically starting around 2.6% to 2.8%.
Is Invoicing Software Worth the Cost?
Invoicing software is worth the cost if you’re sending out multiple invoices each month and don’t want to spend time creating them and trying to collect payment for each one. The software is designed to increase your efficiency and save you time. You may be able to make up the fees the software charges by collecting more payments than if you were handling it on your own.
How We Chose the Best Invoicing Software Options
We researched more than a dozen invoicing software options before deciding on the top seven. We spend hours researching so we can recommend the best products and services. These invoicing software options were reviewed based on their tools, features, and prices. We also considered ease-of-use, syncing, and customizations.