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7 Best Invoicing Software for Small Businesses in 2021 (Compared!)

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WRITTEN BY
UPDATED
November 25, 2021

 

best invoicing software

Invoicing isn’t always standalone, and keeping finances under one roof can be helpful. Our Best Invoicing Software list looks at it from all angles, to help you pick the right one.

 

FreshBooks gets our crown as the best invoicing software! It’s a fantastic combination of great design for usability, includes all the right features for most small businesses, and is priced attractively for the masses.

 

Automation, reporting, and workflow assistance rule the day when it comes to invoicing. Picking the right invoicing software to use can make the difference between increased hours spent billing or increased revenue from efficient billing.

 

Top 7 Best Invoicing Software

 

  1. FreshBooks – Best complete finance management system
  2. Square Invoices – Great invoicing for mobile business owners
  3. Bonsai – Great for automated workflow management
  4. AND.CO – Great multi-platform invoice management system
  5. Invoice Ninja – Great invoicing for digital businesses
  6. Paymo – Great invoicing for small-medium businesses
  7. Bill.com – Great professional billing system

 

As a small business ourselves, managing our invoicing and financial needs is key for operational stability. Because of that, we’ve spent years experimenting with technologies and discovering what works (or doesn’t).

 

That experience brings us to share with you our top choices in invoicing software. If FreshBooks isn’t ideal for you, we’re confident one of these other options will.

 

Note

Prices shown in this article were based on the time of writing. To view current prices, click on the various product links.

 

No. of Client(s)

5

Overall Rating

Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5

Price (USD)

$7.50 /mo

Key Features

  • Custom invoices
  • Unlimited invoices
  • Automated reminder
  • Time & cost tracker
  • Client Credits

“If you’re looking to replace outdated finance systems, FreshBooks has robust features in all key areas.”

 

FreshBooks is pretty established in the invoicing software space. 2ndSite Inc., a Canadian-based software company, owns the brand. It moves past being a simple invoicing platform and offers a comprehensive range of accounting features.

 

freshbooks invoicing software

FreshBooks is a solid all-in-one solution for cashflow.

 

What we like about FreshBooks

 

The invoicing portion of FreshBooks is feature-packed. You can use it to create invoices for traditional sales, as well as newer formats like subscription-based billing. You can even tie in various payment methods to your invoices.

 

For example, you have the option of embedding a payment button in your invoice. With a system like this, your customers can simply click it and make direct payments using various payment gateways. You can even accept card payments via the phone.

 

Yet, rather than being just a means of invoicing your customers, you can actually use FreshBooks to manage the entire cash flow for your business.

 

It starts with invoices, helps you track payments, and even offers the tools needed to facilitate them.

 

Who should use FreshBooks

 

FreshBooks is very suitable for small businesses that need an all-in-one solution. It’s handy for freelancers, start-ups, and sole proprietors where time and money are limited. With FreshBooks, you can even do your bookkeeping and bring in an accountant once a year.

 

Pros & cons of FreshBooks

 

Pros

  • Complete Cloud-based accounting system
  • Embed various payment method links within invoices
  • Comprehensive financial reporting
  • Offers different pre-designed invoice templates
  • Automate invoice sending and reminders

 

Cons

  • The lowest tier plan only supports five billable clients
  • Only available as a complete package, no standalone invoicing features

 

For more information, visit FreshBooks official website.

 

 

2. Square Invoices

https://squareup.com/
Square Invoices

No. of Client(s)

Unlimited

Overall Rating

Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5

Price (USD)

Free

Key Features

  • Custom invoices
  • Unlimited invoices
  • Auto-reminders
  • Square debit card
  • Recurring billing

“Square Invoices is a free and standalone invoicing app designed for the modern, mobile entrepreneur.”

 

Square is well known for helping businesses of all sizes process payments. Founded in 2009, it allows the easy integration of various payment features on digital assets like online stores. However, it also has some value-added features like Square Invoices.

 

square mobile app on app store and play store

The Square Invoices mobile app.

 

What we like about Square Invoices

 

Square’s invoicing feature is Cloud-based, and you’ll need to sign up for a free account on their website. However, to use the invoicing feature, you need the Square Invoices app. That’s available for both Android and iOS platforms.

 

Despite its mobile-centricity, Square Invoices has a lot to offer. Not only can you send invoices and cost estimates from your smartphone, but they can include payment acceptance features as well.

 

The humble app also has proper reporting tools that can help you keep track of all due (or overdue) funds. Finally, you can send receipts via email or a direct text message – very modern. It simply reeks of convenience.

 

Who should use Square Invoices

 

While the lack of desktop support seems a little unconventional, it does show that Square intends it mainly for the small business segment. It fits the profile of a mobile sole proprietor perfectly and, unless you’re deskbound, works like a charm.

 

Pros & cons of Square Invoices

 

Pros

  • It’s completely free
  • Invoice templates are professional and easy to customize
  • Impressive cost estimation feature
  • Easy to adopt and has a low learning curve
  • Auto syncs with the Square payments app

 

Cons

 

For more information, visit Square official website.

 

 

No. of Client(s)

Unlimited

Overall Rating

Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5

Price (USD)

$19 /mo

Key Features

  • Invoice templates
  • Easy automation
  • Global payments
  • Attachment-locking
  • Partial payment

“Bonsai is a master of workflow and while invoicing here isn’t unique, there are some nice extra features.”

 

Bonsai is an investor-backed business management system. While it offers a robust invoicing module, the system can handle end-to-end workflow management. The complete product starts at proposals and can work the entire chain right down to tax management.

 

bonsai invoicing software

Bonsai helps you oversee the financial side of workflow.

 

What we like about Bonsai

 

If you’re a small business looking for help with invoicing, consider taking things to the next level with Bonsai. It’s all-inclusive, and you can create entire ‘projects’, that you can add the necessary elements to. Then, Bonsai’s process will help you move from project start to completion.

 

Bonsai isn’t a magic tool that does anything out of the ordinary when it comes to invoicing. It’s similar to just using templates, but has some excellent value-added features. One example of this is the inclusion of payments acceptance, plus the possibility for customers to leave a tip.

 

Not only can Bonsai track late payments, but it also lets you impose additional fees for them. For difficult customers that are habitually late on payments, this hits where it hurts. Plus, you can stop them from downloading invoices for unpaid bills.

 

Who should use Bonsai for invoicing

 

Bonsai’s price plus all the features it integrates makes it suitable for small businesses or freelancers seeking better workflow management. The rigid workflow structure may clash with larger companies that already have similar processes in place.

 

Pros & cons of Bonsai

 

Pros

  • Extreme automation streamlines your entire invoicing process
  • One of the strongest spreads of invoice templates around
  • Integrates multiple payments acceptance systems
  • Value-add payments handling like tipping and late fees
  • Restrict attachment downloads for non-paid invoices

 

Cons

  • No standalone invoicing
  • The slightly rigid workflow structure may not suit all businesses

 

For more information, visit Bonsai official website.

 

 

No. of Client(s)

Unlimited

Overall Rating

Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5

Price (USD)

$18 /mo

Key Features

  • View alerts
  • Custom invoices
  • Expenses tracking
  • Time tracker
  • App integration

“AND.CO isn’t perfect, especially during onboarding. It does, however, offer great flexibility on multiple platforms.”

 

AND.CO bills itself as a professional business management software suite. Its services are Cloud-based and intended to help small companies or freelancers overcome challenging areas of their workflow and integrate things under one tidy roof.

 

and co invoicing software

AND.CO is cloud-based with a clean interface.

 

What we like about AND.CO

 

If you’ve been struggling with invoicing in particular, then AND.CO is an interesting solution. It takes a single element of small business workflow and expands it to offer more power. For example, those used to manual invoicing will be surprised at the details that AND.CO covers.

 

Since it’s a business management system, you can expect to move past just invoicing and expect complete coverage. You can create proposals and manage contracts and all your transaction reports.

 

One element they include (and which isn’t always widely available in other invoicing software) – is time-tracking. This feature isn’t unique, but AND.CO supports individual timers per client. Attaching this information for invoices is fantastic as proof of billable hours.

 

It’s an exciting twist with which many freelancers should be happy.

 

Are you a freelancer?

Check out our guide on all things freelance invoicing.

 

Who should use AND.CO for invoicing

 

AND.CO’s attention to detail makes it perfect for those struggling to handle demanding clients. It includes elements to your invoices that make it far more challenging for that customer category to raise any dispute.

 

Pros & cons of AND.CO

 

Pros

  • The included time tracking tool is very comprehensive
  • Offers a robust reporting system for record tracking
  • Available for desktop and mobile platforms (via an app)
  • Automated billing management
  • Includes contract management and templates

 

Cons

  • The minimal free plan is mostly an extended trial
  • Get started guide is slightly buggy, don’t test it with a real customer

 

For more information, visit AND.CO official website.

 

 

No. of Client(s)

100

Overall Rating

Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5

Price (USD)

Free

Key Features

  • View alerts
  • Custom invoices
  • Payment gateway
  • Time tracker
  • Auto billing

“Invoice Ninja is suitable for almost everyone thanks to advanced customization capability for larger businesses.”

 

Invoice Ninja is a formidable business that’s been in the market for over seven years. They started from bootstrap and have scaled up the business while remaining operationally streamlined. Despite the name, they offer end-to-end billing management, not just invoicing.

 

invoiceninja invoicing software

Invoice Ninja offers end-to-end billing management.

 

What we like about Invoice Ninja

 

We consider Invoice Ninja as a pioneer in the Cloud billing management space. Reading their story gives the impression of a zero to hero rise to becoming one of the dominant choices in this challenging industry.

 

Invoicing here has multiple granular controls, such as the allowance for line-item tax rate adjustments. That means you can set individual tax rates for each item on your invoice. Even payments are slightly flexible since you can allow specific customers to pay invoices partially if necessary.

 

The product is highly inclusive, and new features are added on while existing ones improved. Yet their biggest surprise remains that they’re one of the few that has a strong capability for third-party integration – for example, with Zapier, Softaculous, and DigitalOcean.

 

Invoice Ninja is also available for multiple platforms and suits multiple business conditions. Moving past the small business segment, large companies can even opt for white label usage of the system to fit their needs.

 

Who should use Invoice Ninja

 

Invoice Ninja is in a strong position to support all levels of users, from freelancers and small businesses, to big companies. The power-packed free plan even allows up to 100 billable clients and unlimited invoicing. It’s a choice that is very hard against which to compete.

 

Pros & cons of Invoice Ninja

 

Pros

  • Allows time tracker icon placement on the desktop
  • Product or item inventory for fast invoicing
  • Payment gateway integrations
  • Automate invoicing for web-based purchases
  • Fantastic free plan available

 

Cons

  • Slightly limited project management features
  • Lack of some multi-currency combined report capabilities

 

For more information, visit Invoice Ninja official website.

 

 

No. of Client(s)

Unlimited

Overall Rating

Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5

Price (USD)

Free

Key Features

  • Create estimates
  • Expenses tracker
  • App integration
  • Invoice templates
  • Multi-language invoices

“Paymo helps smaller businesses overcome common operational problems in multiple areas.”

 

Paymo isn’t all about invoicing but offers businesses a complete work and project management solution. It centers around projects and has features that improve workflow within teams and increase transparency on client billing.

 

paymo invoicing software

Paymo is a very comprehensive solution (too much so, for some).

 

What we like about Paymo

 

Although Paymo is considered a complete solution, it’s managed to turn invoices into a pivotal workflow point. Integrated accounting allows you to draw data from projects and turn those directly into invoices.

 

This feature is awe-inspiring once you consider elements that you can include, especially time tracking! Paymo sells hard on its time tracking capabilities, with easily accessible times available at multiple locations like your web browser, desktop, and even mobile device.

 

The service comes in a well-rounded interface that uses tables and lists to present readable data. While this helps it present information comprehensively, a smaller business may balk at the relative complexity, which isn’t always necessary.

 

Who should use Paymo for invoicing

 

Paymo is more suitable for small to medium-sized businesses given its comprehensive data presentation. Freelancers may not like the extras, while larger companies may not be fond of the enforced project-based design.

 

Pros & cons of Paymo

 

Pros

  • Time tracking capabilities can be considered best-in-class
  • Data integration for quick invoice creation processes
  • Extremely comprehensive reporting features
  • Good project management with visual aids like Gantt charts and Kanban boards
  • It also offers native iOS and Android apps

 

Cons

  • The user interface can lag at times
  • Over-enthusiasm in report data can turn off some users

 

For more information, visit Paymo official website.

 

 

7. Bill.com

https://www.bill.com/
billdotcom

No. of Client(s)

Unlimited

Overall Rating

Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5

Price (USD)

$39 /mo

Key Features

  • Custom invoices
  • Recurring invoices
  • Payment tracking
  • Automated reminder
  • Auto charge & pay

“Bill.com is so powerful that it will impress dedicated finance-focused teams or even accounting firms.”

 

Among invoicing systems available that you’ll find, Bill.com is extremely potent. It isn’t meant for simple invoicing but to handle complete back-office process management for financial matters.

 

billdotcom invoicing software

Bill.com lets you handle back-office processes.

 

What we like about Bill.com

 

Bill.com users include many big trusted brands, including TED and Burger King. That fact alone should tell you of its capabilities when it comes to money management. The workflow process can get a little complex, but it includes unbelievable customization, invoicing, and especially reporting capabilities.

 

Despite that slight complexity, Bill.com has been extending usability somewhat. It now offers some things that can help make invoicing more convenient for smaller operations. One example of this is electronic record keeping, such as snapping a picture of an invoice.

 

While the system doesn’t have powerful accounting features, you can sync it with big brands like Quickbooks. The name of the game here is paperwork management, and at this, Bill.com has few equals.

 

Who should use Bill.com for invoicing

 

Bill.com is suitable for small to large companies that need to get a hold of excessive paperwork for billing management. It suits multi-layered organizations, with comprehensive reports being available to top dogs or dedicated billing managers.

 

Pros & cons of Bill.com

 

Pros

  • Extreme billing management features with smart data inclusion capabilities for invoicing
  • Supports a well-structured approval system for better management
  • Automated payables and receivables
  • Some accounting features like cash forecast are available
  • The AI-based systems can auto-generate invoices

 

Cons

  • Quite expensive considering the limited accounting features included
  • Complex structure makes it a little less user-friendly

 

For more information, visit Bill.com official website.

 

 

Why Use Invoicing Software?

 

For those who aren’t yet using invoicing software, you’re likely filling out paperwork or using a specific template in an application like Word or Excel. While that works, have you ever wondered if there’s a better way?

 

The great news is, yes, there is. Invoicing software goes beyond letting you fill out and send out an invoice. Most invoicing software today comes packed with features that will help you stay more organized and efficient.

 

With these neat applications, you can create and send invoices, include payment links, automate follow-up processes, generate receipts through the system, and more. Some are even part of entire accounting systems, offering a more comprehensive all-in-one solution.

 

Top reasons to use invoicing software;

 

  1. Greater efficiency
  2. Easy customizability
  3. Centralized reporting
  4. Effective scalability
  5. More convenience

 

How To Choose The Best Invoicing Software

 

Invoicing software is very common today, and there are hundreds of options in the market. While we’ve tested many extensively to help you narrow it down to the list above, you need to pick the ideal fit for your business.

 

To choose the right invoicing software for your needs, consider;

 

1. What invoice design & templates do they offer?

 

What Invoice Design and Templates Do They Offer?

FreshBooks, like most invoicing software, offers a range of templates.

 

All invoice software will have a template you can use to create invoices. The question is, how much customization do you need. Some applications may have a full-blown design editor built-in, while others will only offer field customization.

 

Another consideration in this area is whether or not the application lets you pick specific templates to use for client groups. You may have very different clients who need to be presented invoices in certain formats.

 

2. What application features do you get?

 

Not all invoicing software is focused only on ‘invoicing’. Often, you’ll find the best invoicing software comes as part of a complete application suite. This will give you one streamlined system that can handle ALL your money needs from a single dashboard.

 

If that’s not what you want, you need to look for a standalone invoicing software application. If not, you’ll likely often get bugged to use features in which you have no interest.

 

You may also like to consider if the invoicing software is modular. Modular software has two distinct advantages; the main component is leaner, faster (and often cheaper). In addition, the modularity means that you can easily add-on needed features.

 

That way, you get to cherry-pick and add features as your business needs evolve.

 

3. How great are the integrations & extensions?

 

Since the money flow is often only a single part of the business process, you may need to consider the interaction between the invoicing software and other applications you use.

 

For example, if you already have an accounting system, can it play well with your invoicing software of choice?

 

4. What are the limitations of invoicing software?

 

As with many software and services, invoicing software limitations are often brand-specific. For example, while Square Invoices is convenient and free to use, it’s also only available on mobile devices.

 

Square invoice app help to create invoices online

Square Invoices is only accessible with mobile devices.

 

One limitation you need to watch out for is the number of billable clients that the invoicing platform allows.

 

Many brands limit this to force customers to scale up as their business (and income grows). However, that won’t work well for some types of companies with few repeat customers.

 

5. How much will all of this cost?

 

You’ll find that prices for invoicing software can vary greatly depending on the one chosen. There are many free options at the lower end of the scale, but these often tend to be more limited in nature.

 

Pricing for more comprehensive solutions typically follows feature inclusion and your business requirements. You can generally expect to pay more for all-in-one solutions as compared to those that support only invoicing.

 

Regardless of your choice, prices are often very manageable and start within $10 per month, which is great news for small businesses. As the demands you put on the software grow with your customer base, you may have to upgrade the plan to cater to that.

 

Final Thoughts When Picking Invoicing Software

 

To wrap up, here’s a recap of our top 3 invoicing software:

 

No. of
Clients

Overall
Rating

Price
(USD/MO)

FreshBooks

5

Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5

$7.50

Square Invoices

Unlimited

Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5

Free

Bonsai

Unlimited

Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5Rated 5 out of 5

$19.00

 

The scope that invoicing systems or applications covers can range far and wide. There are many excellent standalone invoicing apps or those that offer more comprehensive feature sets. The critical point in choosing one for your business lies in your operational needs.

 

Before you dismiss comprehensive solutions, keep an open mind and assess them in their entirety. Perhaps you may discover some offer a better means of streamlining your business operations in one neat package.

 

Personally, we have a great liking for FreshBooks for many reasons. It’s well established, offers just the right balance of features, and clocks in at an affordable price.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

1. What is the best invoice software?

 

FreshBooks is hands-down the best invoicing option for small businesses. It gives event freelancers access to extensive features, including unlimited expense tracking and estimates. Features like automatic recurring invoice creation also help save time.

 

2. What is the easiest invoice software?

 

FreshBooks is easy to use despite its comprehensive feature set. The modern user interface is a breeze to navigate and lets you simply get things done quickly and easily. Their reporting system, for example, is one of the best at-a-glance designs in the market.

 

3. Is invoicing software free?

 

Yes, there are many free invoicing software options in the market. These, however, are often limited in scope and may not scale well. If you’re in it for the long haul, we highly recommend more comprehensive options that start with a robust free tier, like Invoice Ninja.

 

4. What is the best free invoice software?

 

The Square Invoices is the best free invoice software around. It’s lightweight, allows unlimited invoices and even estimates. You only need to pay if you plan to accept card payments via the integrated system.

 

5. Can I use invoice software on mobile?

 

Yes, you definitely can use invoice software on mobile. Some like Square Invoices are available only for mobile. Others, including FreshBooks and Paymo, support multiple platforms – all of which can be used depending on your needs.

 

6. Is invoicing software safe to use?

 

Yes, if you use a reputable brand like FreshBooks. Established companies like this often have a strong focus on security. Usually, you’ll find they protect data with high encryption up to 256-bit SSL encryption, the highest in the industry.