I recently caught up with co-owner and marketing mastermind behind Boston co-retail space For Now, Kaity Cimo. She runs the space with friend and business partner Katharine ReQua. They opened a year ago and have played home to over 80 brands in that time.
10 Online Invoicing Services for Small Business-Owners
As a business owner, you know how many hats you have to wear. Manager, marketing head, customer service rep…The list goes on, and on, and ON. And of the constant juggling act entrepreneurs are doing to run their businesses, accounting has to be everyone’s least favorite.
But even outside of tax season, there’s plenty of hiccups that come with manual accounting. Year-round, you need a way to keep track of employee and contractor payouts – especially in our increasingly remote work culture where physical checks just aren’t a thing anymore. For freelancers and businesses with clients, you’ll need a way to submit your payment requests and keep everything organized.
Fortunately, there’s tons of platforms for that, and we’ll help you decide which is the best for your business.
Online Invoicing Services for Small Business-Owners
We can’t say enough great things about Due. It’s definitely a contender and a practical option for one-person to medium-sized businesses. “How great is it?”, you ask? Let me count the ways!
First of all, we love that you can send AND receive payments, because that’s a reasonable need for a lot of businesses. They offer credit and debit card processing, eChecks, and get this – even email transactions! Plus with Due’s digital wallet feature it’s easy to process simple individual payment transfers in real time. And everything is secure and encrypted so you’re always protected.
Oh. And did we mention it’s free to sign up?
Bill.com is another software that processes receivables and payables, and it has several packages so you can find the right fit for your business’ needs. They handle electronic transactions like all of the services on this list, but Bill.com can also send hard copy snail mail invoices for your more old-school clients.
The other things you’ll love are that it can synch with QuickBooks, send out automated reminders, and it has smart technology like automatic data entry that helps reduce human error.
And on top of all that, they’re also designed to work specifically with accounting firms, too.
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You might be familiar with FreshBooks as an all-around accounting solution, but they provide invoicing services, too. So what’s neat about the platform is that you can send and receive invoices, and then sync it all right into your taxes. Plus keep up with other general accounting duties like maintaining a ledger and incorporating multiple points of income.
FreshBooks is a solid option for a business of any size as it’s easy to start small and continue to scale up. In addition, if you need to, you can collaborate with any subcontractors and keep a working journal.
The best part though, is how easy it is to use. Navigation is totally intuitive so it won’t take you long to get the hang of things. But if you do find yourself needing a bit of help, their customer service is bar none. They respond pretty fast and provide a ton of visuals for independent learning.
If you’re a freelancer or independent contractor, Harvest might be the service for you (although it’s good to use for larger businesses, too!). That’s because it allows you to create retainers and easily find invoices thanks to its search function.
The cherry on top 🍒 is that you can sync it with Trello, PayPal, Stripe, Zendesk, and Salesforce to keep all your accounting as seamless as possible and to make it easier for clients to pay you (plus, you can see when they view your invoice!)
Not to mention all the other cool services Harvest provides, like time tracking, easy collaboration, scheduling, and even some project management. And of all of the platforms featured on this list, Harvest might have the most payment integration options. We stopped counting at 50.
Now you do only get two projects for free, but if you’re interested the subscription fee is a manageable $12 a month.
If you don’t need (or want) a bunch of bells and whistles, and you’re just looking for something reliable and inexpensive, try Simplybill. It’s free your first two weeks, then packages start at $5 a month.
With it, you can view your invoices from the past year, see which ones have been opened, and add notes where needed. And you can even invoice in different currencies, which is definitely invaluable if you live a freelancer or digital nomad lifestyle.
We should note that unlike many of the other options on this list, Simplybill is invoicing only. So this one may not be a good fit if you’ll need payables and receivables.
Ok, so what if you’re a freelancer, but you have a heavy and steady workflow and you need a service with a bit more umph?
Invoice Ninja has the basic things you’ve come to expect at this point: invoicing and payments, invoice templates, and an electronic money transfer integration. As far as other features, this one really combines some awesome options that seem built with freelancers in mind.
Like with billing – you’ll love the recurring invoicing and auto-bill functions, signature capture to approve your terms, and that it integrates with basically any method of payment (credit card, PayPal, Apple Pay, Bitcoin, and about a million other processors you’ve never heard of). But then it’s got these really convenient project management features to help you run your business, too. Like quote creation and the ability to turn previous quotes into invoices, time tracking and then the ability to convert those hours into invoices in a click, plus expense reporting.
The best part is that it’s free to sign up! But they also offer paid packages with more features.
Invoicely prides itself on allowing users to create beautiful bills, invoices, and estimates in any language or currency – in under a minute. What we love about Invoicely is that ecommerce businesses can apply tax, discounts, and shipping costs. It also lets you track expenses and mileage, and supports brand/logo integration and customization for stunning and professional looking invoices.
It’s free to use, but if you want to add team members or accept payment methods other than PayPal you’ll need a paid package.
If you’re a small business owner you’ve probably heard of QuickBooks and may already use it. It’s pretty much the gold standard of accounting software. In their continuous efforts to provide easy and manageable accounting assistance to small business owners, they’ve made it so you can invoice through them, too.
QuickBooks might be for you if you have a lot of finances revolving around your business (think more complicated taxes, clients, employees and contractors, vendors, etc.) and you really need full-service accounting and management help.
Xero is like the lesser known little brother to software like QuickBooks or FreshBooks and is also a general accounting software that’ll also handle your invoicing.
This one’s a good option for freelancers and small business owners who have regular clients, thanks to the auto-fill feature. It finds and populates previously used client info to save you from repetitive data entry. On top of that, as your payments come it, they’re matched to their invoices so your accounting is always up-to-date. And taxes are calculated automatically so you know exactly what your numbers are looking like come Tax Day.
It’s packed with tons of other cool features, too. That said, it is among the pricier options on this list, with packages ranging from $9 to $60 a month.
We’re going to start off talking about the price on this one because we have to say this: “You know a software is fancy when you have to request a quote for their packages”. But don’t let that scare you. It’s not even because the fee is crazy exorbitant. It’s because they want to fit you with a custom package!
And that’s because they have TONS of features. Everything from accounting (of course!), to time tracking, to HR. BQE is truly designed to be the complete package for small businesses. That means you’ll be able to manage your invoicing, set up automatic time tracking when Core senses you’re at a client’s location, and manage employee reviews and tasks – all from one hub.
Your favorite payment processor
Technically, you don’t need to start using a new service at all. You can probably use your favorite payment processor, like PayPal, Square, or Stripe. Each of those allow you to create invoices and bill your clients right from your existing accounts. And the benefit is that they’re likely to be more familiar with one of those choices than some others on this list.
If you don’t invoice frequently, one of these is a viable option and you’re probably all set. But if you heavily invoice or expect to be ramping up soon, or if you’re looking for a platform that offers a few features you’ll likely need to choose another option.
Either way, we hand-picked this list to suggest a variety of resources to help you out regardless of your business type and size, so we’re sure you’ll find one you like. And when you do, take some more time to explore their information, because many of these services have so many features we couldn’t feasibly name them all!
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