Accounting Billing and Invoicing Software for Small Business
As a small business owner, you have many responsibilities. One of the most important tasks is tracking finances, which is accomplished through an accounting, billing and invoicing. Bills are used to track how much a client or customer owes you, while invoices refer to any purchase you make for the business and an accounting software can help you do that. Both pieces of information let you know how profitable your business is doing. You also need to keep a detailed financial record so you know how much your business owes in taxes each year.
If there is ever any audit or legal dispute regarding your finances, you must provide a detailed list of your bills and invoices to prove your claims. The best way to keep an organized and easily accessible list of your bills and invoices is to use accounting software. There are many potential billing and invoice programs to choose from, with some of the top options detailed below.
Free vs. Paid Accounting ProgramsMost billing and invoice programs have free versions and a tiered membership option. While you may be inclined to take the free option whenever possible, it is not always the best choice for your business. Free versions often have limited options, such as only allowing you to create a number of bills or invoices each month or limiting how many employees can access the software.
Depending on the size and scope of your business, you may be able to operate without issue using the free software, but as your business grows, it is likely you will need to upgrade. The majority of programs offer a limited free trial, which allows you to use premium membership features for a brief period of time, typically between one or two weeks. This gives you a chance to experience the software and determine whether the paid features are worth it, and also helping you determine whether you need a simple or expanded plan.
Some features that may be included in accounting billing and software programs for businesses:
Quote to invoice feature
Fast online billing set up to get paid faster
Acceptance of credit card payments
Flag outstanding invoices
Send automatic payment reminders
Zoho Invoice was created in 2008. Over time, it has become one of the most popular billing and invoice software for small or medium sized businesses. The program originally focused solely on invoicing, but over time, the number of features has expanded. You can know actively track expenses, set up estimates for when payments will arrive, set a schedule for when your invoices must be paid and create a detailed list of contacts and projects.
Zoho has several membership levels. The free plan acts as a trial version of the program, allowing you to invoice a maximum of five customers. Even the free plan comes with the majority of features unlocked, with the higher memberships expanding on how many customers and users are supported. As of writing, the four plans wage between $9 and $29 each month.
FreshBooks is another popular billing and invoicing software. FreshBooks features a number of useful features and supports multiple users. Each user account can easily be customized, so users can custom tailor their interface. In addition to tracking finances, you can also create detailed reports. You can attach images and add additional notes. Each report can be further customized based on the project or client associated with it. As the administrator, you can set individual user permission, ensuring each user can only see and access the information relevant to his or her role.
FreshBooks has three membership plans available. There are also options to pay a monthly or yearly price. The biggest difference between the memberships are how many clients you can bill, with the basic plan allowing 5 billable clients, the advanced plan offering 50 and the final premium plan offering 500 clients. FreshBooks has an additional option beyond the premium plan, but this is primarily for larger companies with more than 500 clients. The prices range between $15 and $50, but FreshBooks often hosts generous sales, which provides a discounted rate for your first few months. You can also request a limited free demo version to try out the program.
While Xero was designed with billing and invoicing in mind, it also offers several other financial options, with the most notable being the ability to manage fixed assets, something most other invoicing programs does not allow. Xero also has a history of vastly upgrading each year, offering extra features for users. Some of the features added in 2019 include mobile bill tracking, integration with other financial software like HubDoc and Gusto and improved expense and project management.
The basic Xero plan only costs $9 a month, but it has limited options, only allowing you to send five bills and invoices. Most small businesses use the $30 version, which eliminates the bill and invoice limitation. There is also a $60 version which includes the option to create projects, manage different expenses and track multiple types of currency.
Invoice Ninja is one of the newer billing and invoicing programs available to small businesses. Despite only being around for a few years, it has become a popular choice among many small businesses. Unlike other programs, the free version offers features other programs lock behind a paid membership. You can create invoices for up to 100 clients, have access to project and contact management and can created itemized time and expense tracking lists. The biggest limitations of the free version are only one user can use the account, and all your invoices are created with the Invoice Ninja logo.
The paid version allow you to setup additional users and invoice more clients. The paid plans range from $10 to $15 each month, as of writing.