by Tracy Vides
Small-business owners know the premium their businesses place on timely invoicing and payment. A delay or snag in cash flow can upset expansion plans and derail projects.
While invoicing is critical to your business, it is of utmost importance that you do it accurately, professionally, timely, and easily.
There are umpteen popular and reliable Web-based solutions that provide invoicing, accounting and project management tools. Let’s look at some of the most popular and well-known software products around.
Cloudbooks is a feature-packed cloud-based accounting app that is tailor-made to cater to the needs of freelancers, and small and medium-sized businesses. It can be scaled up to manage huge projects also.
Estimates can be sent to clients and when approved can be converted into invoices with a single click. Recurring invoices can be automated.
Expenses can be easily tracked and recurring expenses can be automated. Unique expenses can be tracked and categorized.
Cloudbooks has strong project management features. You can assign tasks to team members and track progress. An in-built timer ensures you do not miss out on billable hours, even on the go. The costs can be automatically added to the relevant client’s invoices.
Invoices can be generated from finished projects with a single click.
Cloudbooks supports role-based permission to team members which ensures security and confidentiality of your business data.
The client page has all the necessary information about ongoing projects and invoices. Clients can open invoices and estimates, and view payment history.
Online payment is facilitated by PayPal and Authorize.net integration. You can send a personalized automated thank you note as well once the payment is made.
The free plan allows you to send 5 invoices and supports 1 client. The freelancer plan is priced at $2 per month, the team plan is $10 per month and the agency plan costs $20 per month.
Greenerbilling is an online billing system that caters to the specific demands of small and medium-sized businesses. It can also be scaled up to invoice bigger projects and clients.
Greenerbilling allows for unbranded invoices which can be customized with your company’s logo. If you opt for paid plans, there are several templates available for you to choose from. It also offers plenty of customization options.
Greenerbilling supports recurring billing and partial payments. Pending invoices are e-mailed to clients. When the payment is made, the receipt is mailed to the client.
Payments can be recorded when they are made, whether by cash, credit card or PayPal. Payments can be added to a client not just through the invoices. A single payment can be added to more than one invoice and this helps in efficient billing.
The client page has all relevant information like location and contact person details.
The free trial version allows you to send 5 free invoices, after which you are in the dirt plan where you are charged $.50 per invoice. The seedling plan costs $15 per month. The other monthly plans are the plant plan at $25 and the premium tree plan at $60.
BillMyClients is another cloud-based billing solution you can consider.
A unique feature of BillMyClients is that it allows attaching images to invoices. You can send the invoice via e-mail or snail mail.
There are no tools to create estimates. BillMyClients supports time-tracking with a built-in timer. This aids in the efficient billing of hourly rates. The premium plan also helps you set up a line items database (product list) which simplifies invoicing.
BillMyClients accepts partial payments and over-due invoices are e-mailed to the client.
Invoices can be customized to add your logo and other details. Recurring billing can be automated. Client portals store all relevant information like details of the contact person and addresses. Client billing reports help you have a tab on financial transactions.
Tax rates can be automatically calculated and added to invoices. Bluepay and Authorize.net make it easy for your clients to make payments online.
The monthly plan starts at $11.99 per month.
You can customize invoices with your company logo and add custom fields. AcceptPay offers a variety of invoice styles and there are several options in templates as well.
You can categorize and organize your products and services, which makes routine invoicing easy. But you can only enter product names, descriptions, and prices; if you require a more functional inventory module, AcceptPay may not be the best option.
AcceptPay does not support time-tracking but you can automate recurring invoices and bills. Invoices can be sent to clients via e-mail and once payment is done, receipts can be automatically e-mailed.
Payment reminders can be automated and overdue statements can be mailed to clients.
Role-based access allows employees or team members to view, edit and create invoices, and accept payments.
AcceptPay generates accounts receivables charts that help you track income, and outstanding and future invoices for each client.
AcceptPay offers a generous free trial period of 60 days. However, the subscription plan is on the expensive side at $30 per month.
5) Invoices Made Easy
Invoices Made Easy is an online billing system that simplifies the invoicing process and makes billing easy and accurate.
There are three templates for invoices and you can customize them with your logo and style sheet. You can also add your electronic letterhead to the printed or downloaded PDF files.
If you sign up for their EasyMail service, you get your invoices printed and mailed via US postal mail for as little as $1 per invoice.
Invoices Made Easy supports recurring invoices and accept partial payments. You can also apply a single payment to more than one invoice. Receipts can be sent to clients via e-mail.
PayPal and Authorize.net integration makes online payment easy and convenient.
The client portal allows the designated contacts to view invoices and make payments online. They can also modify and update contact information and other details.
Invoices Made Easy supports all relevant information on the customer page including contact details, payment terms, payment history, pending invoices, tax rates, and also your personal notes. This helps you get all information on a client in a single click.
Invoices Made Easy does not offer time-tracking or hourly billing facilities. Multiple currencies and international tax rates are not supported and this makes it unsuitable for businesses with international clientele.
Invoices Made Easy has a free trial period of 30 days and charges a flat fee of $9.95 per month for unlimited invoicing to unlimited clients.
Online billing options help you get your books in order faster, and consequently, your client to pay faster. Do try some of these options and let me know in the comments if any of them simplified your work.
Tracy Vides is a content marketer and social media consultant who works with small businesses and startups to increase their visibility. Although new to the digital marketing scene compared to her illustrious She Owns It counterparts, Tracy has started off well by building a good online reputation for herself. She’s now a “serial blogger” with posts featured on Sprout Content, Steamfeed, Soshable and elsewhere.
Connect with her on Twitter @TracyVides for a chat any time!