Incoming cash is the backbone of any business. Without a healthy cash inflow, your business won’t survive. Creating invoices on a timely manner is very important to get paid on time and if you are a freelancer, small business owner or blogger then you are well aware of it. But thankfully there is quite a few invoicing software available on the market now that will take care of your bookkeeping.
For a newbie, it can be difficult to decide on which one to go with, so I have done the research and have listed the most popular ones, each with its own set of pros and cons. Each and every application has its own sets of features so before choosing any you must have correct information regarding your needs.
You can ask yourself some set of questions to clearly lay out the requirements.
Answer these questions to understand your needs:
1. How many invoices will be generated per month?
2. What is my budget for monthly bookkeeping?
3. Ask if you are comfortable with a downloadable option or the cloud-based option can work for you?
4. What do you need a time tracker for billing or customer relationship management?
5. Do I need invoicing option in more than one language?
6. Do I need an app that can be customized like if I want to include my company logo or the default template will be fine?
7. Do I want my bookkeeping records to be added to Google Docs?
8. Do I have in-depth knowledge of accounting and bookkeeping terminologies?
9. After asking the above questions, now you can make a better decision.
Below is the list of online accounting invoicing software:
1. Intuit Quickbooks Online
This software has eight different products to choose from, that includes five accounting packages online. This a grand platform which offers everything a business needs in accounting and bookkeeping.
It is available in following options:
- Online Simple Start: it allows one user access to 20 business reports or more. You can download transaction download from one bank account and one credit card account. This plan is available at $12.95.
- Online Essentials: permission control is extended for 3 users with access to more than 40 business reports, transaction download from infinite numbers of banks and credit card. All these extended features of Online Simple Start are available at $26.95.
- Online Plus: It allows five users, access to more than 65 business reports, billing by the customer, creating purchase orders, budgeting, and planning, tracking multiple locations and many other exciting features along with all present in ‘Online Essential’. This will cost you $39.95.
- Online Essentials with Payroll: This is same as the Online Essentials package with access to 55 business reports, including all the payroll features like automatic calculation of federal and state taxes, unlimited monthly payrolls. It gives you the ability to create, approve and direct deposits all for $52.76.
- Online Plus with Payroll: As is evident from the name, it has all the features of Online plus with the features of payroll with access to more than 80 businesses for $63.16.
- Appreciable looks and navigation are easy.
- It works on basic standards of accounting, as appreciated by many accounting experts.
- Supports a variety of operating systems like Windows or Mac.
- Supports data imported from Microsoft Excel.
- It allows you to use a credit card for payment.
- If you are looking for hardcore inventory management features, they have Quickbooks Inventory add-ons like EMERGE App for inventory & order management.
- Full functionality is not implemented in the mobile platform.
- It does not support recurring billing in its Online Simple Start package, which is a very important feature to save time.
- It cannot convert estimates to invoice.
- Its customer service is not appreciated if you consider many forum and blogs.
This software is more suitable for small business. Over 150,000 users were registered with it as of March 2015.
It is best for small businessmen who want simple software for accounting purpose and no other additional tools.
Two plans are available:
- Solo Edition: This will cost you 5$ a month. The accounting and invoicing services are available for a single user.
- Business Edition: This supports unlimited users and ability to manage multiple locations that include up to 5 companies.
- Supports over 100 currencies.
- It offers bank reconciliation claiming to support all banks.
- Check printing option is available.
- It can be integrated with Freshbooks which is the most popular cloud-based accounting programs.
- Customers are supposed to be familiar with bookkeeping terminologies.
- Some customers have reported the alignment problem on check printing option.
This India based application is well suited to business with global services and customers.
There are five different monthly plans:
- Free: this gives unlimited invoices service for 10 different products/ services, three clients and one recurring profile which means one can set up an automatic invoice for the same amount to one client recurring in predefined intervals.
- Basic Plan: This plan costs $9.95 but it increases the number of clients and in contrast to free plan this support up to 15 recurring profiles. Other perks that have been added to this plan includes three auto-billing recurring profiles enabling you to bill your customer’s credit card automatically, paid add-on so that you can add an extra feature like more clients, recurring profiles and other interesting features.
- Classic Plan: This plan increases the clients to 50 and recurring profiles shoots up to 40, five auto billing is included all at $19.95.
- Business Plan: Unlimited clients, 100 recurring profiles, auto-billing clients are five and access for five staff members at $39.95.
- Infinite Plan: As the name itself suggest, it provides infinite invoices, unlimited clients, profiles, auto billing and additional staff access. This plan will cost you $99.95.
- It provides facility to add further add-on services to increase its flexibility. You can choose either a cloud-based invoicing platform or the self-hosting option.
- Supports more than 120 different currencies, 11 language, and 21 payment gateways.
- The 30-day free trial does not need a credit card.
- Free options are available for users with few clients and if you have fewer needs.
- It’s not user-friendly as you cannot find help button on home page.
- Due to the business hours in the western world, the chat facility is usually offline.
This New Zealand based program is designed specifically for international small businesses or freelancer.
XERO is available in the following pricing:
- Free Trail: you can get access to five invoices and fifty bank reconciliation for 180 days of free trials.
- Small: It enables you to send and receive five invoices each month and bank reconciliations up to 20 lines at $19.99.
- Medium: The numbers of invoices have risen to 100 and bank reconciliations up to 100 statements per week. This is $29.99 project.
- Large: At $39.99, you get a multi-currency feature added to the medium plan.
- Xero integrates with inventory management software like EMERGE, which is a boon for small businesses.
- It gives you facility of importing and categorizing bank statements.
- More than 160 currencies are supported.
- Integrates with over 400 applications due to which all business operations can be supported.
- The interface is mobile friendly.
- There are several issues in bank feed that can cause a problem for you.
- Operating Xero will be difficult if you are not familiar with accounting and bookkeeping terms and acronyms.
- It is slow when a new feature is added.
This is the most comprehensive bookkeeping and time tracking system. This Canada based application is with more than five million users.
It flaunts the following pricing:
- Free: In this version, up to three clients are supported for invoicing, estimates and expenses.
- Seedling: This version gives you access to 25 clients as well as unlimited receivable invoices. This will cost you $19.95 per month.
- Evergreen: This allows everything that seedlings can do but with the support of unlimited clients at $29.95.
- Mighty Oak: This $39.95 plan supports one additional staff member to access your accounts with project management facilities, finance tracking and team expense reporting.
- The attractive website and simple layout give a pleasant and easy use.
- Available as a mobile app, it increases the reach.
- 50 currencies are supported.
- It accepts payment via PayPal, credit card and direct deposit.
- Customer support personnel are easily available via phone or email.
- It is fast and offers collaboration and team management tools.
- A free option is available if you have three or fewer clients.
- Facility to track expenses, time and billing is available.
- If the clients is viewing the invoices or paying it or not, can be viewed.
- We cannot know how much a monthly package will cost without signing up.
- There are few problems reported by Freshbook users.
- As compared to the other packages, the second-tier package is costlier.
6. Wave Accounting
This Toronto-based firm targets small businesses with few staff members like a home-based business, work-at-home moms, real estate agents etc.
- Accounting features like journal entries, balance sheets, a general ledger and income statements are being provided.
- Its integration with Shoeboxed enables you to connect or upload bank statements, credit card bills, and other receipts.
- This app is continuously upgrading and improving.
- The users are provided with special offers and business deals.
- It is difficult to fix things when a mistake is being done, for example, a user can only fix one item that means it cannot go back to make any correction to the previous transaction.
- Right now, you cannot reconcile bank statements.
FreeAgent comes with really great bookkeeping facilities that made it Award-winning cloud based software.
This only offers one plan. You get unlimited invoicing, clients, project, estimates and bank account for 24$ each month. This plan includes facilities like time tracking, data backup and security.
- It has got a large central search bar to help you navigate faster.
- The information is well organized making it easy for you to find what you want.
- It has got many report-generating tools to choose from.
- It was awarded Vendor of the Year at Software Satisfaction Award 2011.
- Sometimes the user may get overwhelmed as dealing some portion of this software requires firm grasp of bookkeeping.
- It does not support business function crucial for big business or enterprise.
8. Zoho Books
Compared to other software, it has got lower profile but still, it can be considered a serious competitor. When it comes to records, transactions or inventory, it offers tough competition to other software like Quickbooks but it lacks in a major field that is Payroll Integration. Costing $24 per month makes it affordable as well.
- User Interface is Excellent.
- Project and time tracking is great.
- It is superior in terms of its capabilities, customization, and depth.
- Excellent online accounting.
- 24*7 customer service and support
- People complain about its lacking features.
- Lacks payroll integration.
Zoho book provides extensive customization options that make it stand out. If you are in need of accounting, Zoho is definitely worth a try.
It has been around for 30 years. The best thing about this software is it is designed specifically for a particular size of business. It flaunts professional invoicing and collaboration tools.
It has many different versions, each targeting specific size of business. This software is one of the most flexible options available, so it is suitable for those developing businesses, which is expanding and changing time by time.
- It is easy to create and send new invoices as well as track already created invoices.
- It allows creating a level of security for individuals.
- Strong reporting function. It can create monthly, quarterly and annual reports of your finances.
- Efficient collaboration and project management tools.
- The numerous updates are confusing.
- Help and support is not efficient if you believe some reviews.
- The users who are not accountants will face hard time working on it.
- Information on homepage can make user overwhelmed with clutters although it is customizable.
This application is great for a salesperson that need pipeline tracking. It offers great CRM system.
It is available in the following pricing:
- Solo: This offers limited bookkeeping, CRM, branded invoices, contact imports. This supports one user and only one client at $9 per month.
- Standard: It offers everything Solo has to offer with five users, five clients, and budgeting and forecasting features at $26.
- Premium: With $52 the standard can be upgraded to include unlimited users and 10 clients and developer application programming interface (API) to standard features.
- It ensures you of robust accounting and CRM tools for small business.
- Reports can be converted to PDF format and exported.
- It supports both handheld devices and smartphones.
- The interface is too simple; sometimes it is difficult to locate items.
First, lay down your requirements, budget and other prerequisite knowledge then choose software and its pricing accordingly. Each and every software target different audiences, offers different features, so keeping in mind what you need will be beneficial.
If you have more to add to the list, let me know in comments below!!