The top performers in our review are FreshBooks, the Gold Award winner; Zoho Invoice, the Silver Award winner; and SliQ Invoicing, the Bronze Award winner. Here’s more on choosing a software to meet your needs, along with detail on how we arrived at our ranking of the top 10 billing and invoice software.
If you run your own business, whether on your own or with a few employees, you likely manage your own books. You require a reliable way to keep track of customers, invoicing and payment processing. Instead of having a dedicated accountant or outsourcing, you can manage these elements with billing and invoice software.
These software and services provide a single platform in which you can manage customer accounts, create and send invoices, and track payments and past-due accounts. The best services we reviewed, including FreshBooks, Zoho Invoice and SliQ Invoicing, not only include the latest features for invoicing and billing but also include features such as batch invoices, payment processing and customer portals. For more information on these software and services, take a look at our articles on billing and invoice software. If you are looking for functions beyond invoicing and billing, you can look at our Accounting Software site for full suites to manage other financial facets of your business.
We tested the services on our lineup for functionality to determine the ease with which you can set up your company and manage billing and invoices. We added customers, products and services, and we edited templates to the extent the software allows for customization and personalization. We then used the information we entered and the templates we edited to create and email invoices, noting how difficult the processes were. We reviewed emails from your customers' perspectives, viewing invoices and logging into portals if provided. We posted payments to the accounts, closed invoices and ran reports. All of these tests gave a well-rounded experience with these software, from the initial setup through posting payments and closing invoices.
Choosing Billing & Invoice Software
Because billing and invoice software is a focused topic, we did not consider other, more advanced features of accounting software for this site. The software and services we reviewed all offer standard invoicing, so no matter which you choose, you will have these basic functions: creating invoices, emailing bills, posting payments and running reports, among other features.
Because of the similarities between the programs, the ability to easily complete those functions becomes a key differentiator, as software that is difficult to navigate and understand wastes your time and energy. Each service, though having different processes, provides an initial setup that is easy to follow. Beyond that, some services were less intuitive. The "Ease of Use" score above is a reflection of just that: how easy it is to add and edit customer and product information and navigate the platform. We found that the newer, online services were easier to use than older software. This is especially true of setting up your email.
While new online services only require you to enter your email address to link to your account, older software require you to enter a server and port number, some even requiring login credentials, and with many services, setting this up failed multiple times. The "Processing" score above reflects that email setup process. That score also considers posting payments to accounts, which was generally an easy process. When it comes to this score, a main reflection is how difficult or how intuitive those processes were to complete, because not all services and software are as easy to understand at the beginning.
Customizing invoices may be important to you if your personal aesthetic reflects on your company. If the look of your invoices does not matter to you, you may not be concerned with the number of templates or whether you can edit them. However, we did consider the number of fonts and color schemes available, the adjustability of the layout, and options for headers and footers. Some services offer less customization but a large number of templates from which you can choose. One feature that every service offers is the ability to add your own logo.
A new feature that is becoming more popular is an online customer portal. This convenient feature allows customers to log in to their account, view their bill and pay their bill from their portal, if you participate in offered payment options, which generally cost extra if provided by the service or require payment-gateway subscriptions. Mobile apps are also something you should look for if you plan to complete any of these processes anywhere other than sitting at your desk. If your company is mobile, your billing and invoicing software can be too.
Software for invoicing helps you keep track of the billing for your company. You can create invoices and quotes, send bills and process payments, all in a single program. Many features are standard, and some services offer additional features that make your job easier.