Whether you are a freelance or contract technical expert, programmer, writer or legal professional, you likely know that generating estimates and managing billing and invoices are not simple tasks. While free enterprise remains a metric of personal freedom, your success rests on your ability to comply with business and government standards. You need to be able to effectively track your expenses just as well as you need to report those to your clients in a timely manner.
While your accounting needs are similar, they differ from small and medium-size companies with wider margins and multiple employees. On your own, you need to invoice clients, track payments and send out statements while putting your best foot forward to let them know they are working with a qualified professional.
Finding the best billing and invoice software helps you help your clients. By maintaining consistent style and quality in your own accounting system, you are better able to manage your brand while remaining organized and efficient, not to mention better prepared come tax time.
In this site you will find comprehensive reviews on billing and invoice software. We have taken the time to go through each one and explore their more significant features and faults to help you make an informed decision about which one would work best for you. You can learn more by reading articles on billing and invoice software, and its challenges, in our Learning Center. Be sure to take a look at our top three picks: ZOHO Invoice, BillQuick and Invoice2go.
All of the solutions that we reviewed track invoices, and while not all hold the exact same features, each has a unique set of tools that help you do what you do, better. Some offer recurrent billing and accept payments while responding to late payments with email reminders. Quite a few even offer some measure of Customer Relationship Management in that they manage multiple customer profiles and remember preferred billing methods. Many can directly email PDF invoices and statements to your clients. Overall, we made sure that the software we reviewed is designed for your small enterprise operation, and some are scalable to grow with you. Here is what we found important.
The invoicing features were the essential key to the effectiveness of the software we reviewed, so how they handle your invoice requests is important. We looked for the level of customization in the invoice creator, and the ability to integrate with your existing system of customer relations management. We also made note of electronic invoice options like PDF and HTML as well as the ability to convert between invoices, estimates, letters of credit, purchase orders and bills.
Billing & Payment Features
Billing isn’t the same as invoicing, meaning it requires its own level of attention. Billing can be one-time or recurring over a period. Payment options are also included in this section, such as credit card processing, partial payments, and payments to be distributed over multiple accounts or credited toward the next cycle.
Customer information management is also referenced here. Your customers likely have preferred billing options that include mailing addresses, separate shipping addresses, payment types and contact details. Keeping this information in order is vital to good customer relations.
Sometimes it's the extras that really set one invoicing software apart from the rest. Whether it’s a payment feature that installs a button on your emailed invoice, or just the option to accommodate more than one of your business ventures, we looked for extra ways the software can make your life easier.
We are becoming increasingly mobile in today’s fast-paced society. Your work may be more at the client site or elsewhere than it is in the office. Cross-platform functionality lets you take your billing and invoice software with you. Naturally, your data security comes into question. We also considered the security features for mobile, networked and cloud applications.
Help & Support
You are not expected to be an accountant to use this software, though it may not hurt if you are. The best invoice and billing software for you should be the one that does what you need it to do while projecting the best image for your small business. What we looked for in this area was ease of use and support. We wanted to know that none of these were needlessly complicated and that answers to our questions would be available as soon as we had them.
It is in everyone’s interest that your small business succeeds, and it is in ours to help you make that happen. The software we have selected is ideal for the ambitious professional wanting to make his or her mark. These applications offer uniformity with some level of customization to present professional invoice and billing options.