If there’s something better than the feeling of getting paid for the hard work you’ve done, I don’t want to know. As a small business or freelancer, getting paid is also the lifeblood of your company. To maximize your chances of having a positive bank balance, you should grab some billing software.
These programs put all your billing in one place, making it easier for you to keep on top of who owes you what, who’s behind on payment, and how much you have to spend on business necessities, like chicken soup or running water.
Here are five free and low-cost billing and invoicing software solutions that I think make a good fit for smaller businesses – those with fewer than ten employees. These all have web-based installs, allow online invoicing, and allow you to customize your invoices – all of which can help you get paid faster. Presented in alphabetical order, because why not?
For small companies that don’t need to send out huge numbers of invoices each month, Billbooks is a great option. At every level, it offers free estimates, unlimited users, and unlimited clients. You can accept payments online, generate reports, and track expenses against accounts.
The real beauty of Billbooks is its straightforward pricing. If you’re only going to be billing out three times in a month, you can use Billbooks for free. For $10 you get 20 invoices, for $20 you get 50 invoices, and for $35 you get 100 invoices.
Simple is the name of the game at BlinkSale. The company offers unlimited invoicing under its one plan, for one price – $15 per month. Customize your invoice with a little CSS knowledge, send invoices off as PDFs, and bill in multiple currencies. BlinkSale also sports estimates and payments through Stripe.
BlinkSale also lets you and your clients attach memos and comments to invoices and estimates. This lets you carry on clear conversations about details that anyone involved can see. Transparency makes it easier for your clients to remember why they’re paying you what they’re paying you. A winner every time.
As I mentioned at the top, there’s just one price for BlinkSale. For $15 per month you get unlimited invoices, clients, users, estimates, and support. The company also has a free billing and invoicing app for iOS, if that’s the kind of thing that gets you going.
For reasons that I cannot comprehend, I have never mentioned PayPanther. PayPanther, like a UPS truck full of bells and whistles, is full of bells and whistles. Your clients can login to a client portal to see their invoices, you can see how many times your invoices are viewed in email, and it supports payment and billing in multiple currencies.
You can also accept payments online, processing with PayPal, Stripe, or Authorize.net. In short, you can get paid easily, which is the whole point of billing software.
As far as cost is concerned, we’re looking pretty good over here. For a very small business, there’s a free option for one user, three contacts, and three invoices per month. Plans work their way up from there — $29, $45, $99, and $199 per month – to add in more users, contacts, and invoices. At the $29 level, a small business should be covered, as it allows for 500 contacts and unlimited invoices.
Maybe you don’t need to get paid online. Maybe you just want a way to tell people how much they owe you and to keep track of all your invoices in one place. ReliaBills might be the best bet for you. That’s because you can have unlimited users, customers, and invoices for free. Yes, actually for free.
In addition to being an invoicing solution, ReliaBills offers a handful of CRM features, as well. Through its customer management area, you can add custom fields to your contacts, to keep track of customer numbers, number of vehicles, size of yard, or anything else you think might be useful to have at hand.
ReliaBills business banks on you wanting to process payments, as well. If that’s the case, you can pay $35 per month, plus some transaction fees to have ReliaBills accept payments through email, online, over the phone, or in person.
5. Zoho Invoice
People love the Zoho universe. The company has solutions for just about every sort of business software, from HR to project management, finance to email. Zoho Invoice is the brand’s billing and invoicing solution. It offers a client portal for sharing details with customers, a series of reports for getting quick insight into your business, and a nice set of APIs to tie into other systems.
Zoho Invoice also has an iOS, Android, and even a Windows Phone app. The API allows you to integrate with Google Apps, and to accept payments through a wide range of providers.
Zoho Invoices has a free version for five customers and one user, and then $7, $15, and $30 per month options. The $15 per month level seems fine for most small businesses, giving you three users and 500 customers. You’ll also get access to recurring invoices and multiple currencies at the $15 level.
Any of these options could work for a small business, and one should be great for your business. However, if you need a fuller set of options, check out Capterra’s billing and invoicing directory. We’ve got over 200 options listed, with plenty of details and reviews to help you make the right choice.
Looking for Billing and Invoicing software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Billing and Invoicing software solutions.