While you begin to ramp up your business and start getting customers, something to be prepared for is invoicing.
If you are already deep into selling product or offering your business’s services, yet have been struggling with the invoicing process and getting customers to pay you, it’s time to reduce financial stress with an invoicing app. Unless you have an accountant, bookkeeper, or someone in a designated financial role, keeping track of finances is solely up to you.
Even as your business begins to scale and you may have some managers who use a business credit card, you’ll also need to be keeping track of internal invoicing and expenses so you are maintaining a good budget.
One of the not-so-glamorous parts of running your small business is keeping track of invoices (who has paid you and who hasn’t), employee working hours, expense tracking, etc. For many, this is a big pain point and can quickly get overwhelming and nerve-wracking. If you don’t get a customer to pay you, that can put a lot of stress on your business and can prevent you from getting more resources to perform your job well.
The great news is, invoicing apps have become increasingly popular as they make being a small business owner a lot easier. Some platforms are so simple and easy to use, such as the free online invoice generator by Quickbooks. All you need to do is put in your client’s information as well as yours, and then customize it by choosing a template and selecting your product type.
Zoho is a great app to start with, especially in the beginning phases of your business, as it offers a free option in the pricing plan (to invoice up to 5 customers per month). Even though the free option doesn’t have all of the things you would get for a bigger and pricier plan, you still get a lot of great support, such as time tracking and timesheets, expense tracking, multi-currency support, and more.
Over time and as your business grows with more clients per month, you can easily upgrade to bigger paid plans on Zoho, which will also give you more to work with such as invoicing 500 customers per month, increasing the number of users who have access to the account, and a custom domain.
Quickbooks is the second most affordable invoicing app, as it offers a \$5 per month payment plan for freelancers. If you’re a freelancer, with this plan you can have the ability to track income and expenses, capture and organize receipts, and invoice and accept payments.
The nice thing about Quickbooks is even the most basic plan for small businesses (which is currently being discounted by 50% so it’s $10-per-month, normally $20) offers you the options to track income and expenses, maximize tax deductions, invoice and accept payments, and send estimates.
Another great reason for using Quickbooks if you are a sole proprietor? Quickbooks has partnered with Turbotax that offers the following benefits:
Basically, if you want to keep everything in one place, that’s a great reason to get Quickbooks. If you happen to be an accountant or a bookkeeper, Quickbooks offers a special platform for you to “access all your clients, resources, and tools under one login so you can grow and manage the practice that fits your life.”
One of the most intriguing of the payment plans offered, Core starts its payment plan at \$7.95 per month for Time & Expense users. From there, if you need additional subscriptions for things such as billing and accounting, the final monthly price is determined by those add-ons.
Core claims this role-based pricing plan ensures that you don’t waste money on things that won’t be used. With this, they also state that “it’s easy to accommodate shifting staff numbers. You can simply purchase additional monthly subscriptions for those users who won’t be at your business for too long.”
If you have a growing business, especially with the number of employees that may include full time or contract-based accountants, this is a really great invoicing platform for you.
Freshbooks claims that it makes “small business invoicing and billing so simple, you’ll be amazed at the time you have to focus on doing what you love and how much faster you get paid.” Right on the homepage, they advertise the ability to create and customize professional-looking invoices, which includes adding your logo and creating a personalized thank-you email.
Freshbooks also offers the ability to accept credit cards on your invoices, which you can try for free. If you’re concerned about getting paid, there’s a feature to request a deposit on your invoices so you know that the transaction is happening up front. Some other notable features from Freshbooks include invoice due dates, the ability to easily offer discounts, and choosing your preferred currency.
Though Paypal isn’t advertised as an invoicing app, I mention it here because it is a very strong multi-tasker, and it’s something I personally strongly suggest if you are a sole proprietor or running a side hustle. Paypal reports that “19 million merchants rely on Paypal to build, run, and grow their business.”
There’s a small business section of the Paypal platform that offers the ability to send online invoices, accept payments online or in-person, and create a customized checkout for your website (amongst quite a few other features).
Again, this is a really good option if you are a sole proprietor or just running a side hustle. If you have more people and need to keep track of working hours etc., then I would look at one of the other great options on this list!
If you want to run your finances all from the ease of a cellphone, Billdu is a great option as it’s a platform designed for small businesses. You can try it for free, and the great thing about mobile invoicing is that you have the capability to send a client an invoice right on the spot.
This app also tracks your expenses, offers clients the ability to pay instantly, and create professional quotes and estimates. Sometimes it’s hard to track down a client and trying to get them to pay, and Billdu offers the ability to know when an invoice is read. This helps you understand if you’re waiting on a customer who hasn’t read an invoice (and maybe they didn’t receive it), versus a client who has read the invoice but needs a reminder that it needs to be paid (or if you need to take some legal action). If you have loyal customers or are working on a long project with a payment plan, Billdu also offers the option for recurring invoices.
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When she’s not writing for SB, Pauline runs an intuitive healing business... and is still writing as she types up psychic readings! As she was raised by entrepreneurs, she knows what it takes to be a small business owner.
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