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Invoicing and billing are crucial for getting paid on time as a small business. This guide examines the top invoicing software for small businesses based on affordability, ease of use, time-saving automation, and platform integration.

Why Do Small Businesses Need Invoicing Software?

Quality invoicing software provides major benefits for SMBs:

  • More professional branded invoices
  • Automated recurring billing and invoicing
  • Sync invoices across devices – mobile access
  • Email invoices directly to customers
  • Accept online payments by card, bank transfer etc.
  • Generate financial reports on sales, revenue, taxes
  • Receipt scanning and capture
  • Invoice customers in multiple currencies
  • Track accounts receivable and payments
  • Send automatic payment reminders

Automating billing, invoicing and reporting saves hours of administrative workload.

Core Features of Invoicing Software

The essential capabilities effective small business invoicing platforms provide:

  • Send professional invoices – Customizable design and branding
  • Recurring billing – Schedule repeating invoices like subscriptions or retainers
  • Accept payments – Link bank account or payment processor to enable online payments
  • Generate reports – Sales summaries, invoice status, taxes collected, etc
  • Sync accounts – Access and manage invoices anywhere across devices
  • Reminders – Automatically send payment reminders to prevent delays
  • Tracking – View status of invoices – draft, open, overdue, paid.
  • Contact management – Store client details for batch billing

Look for tools centralizing key billing and accounting workflows with automation, reporting and integrations.

10 Top-Rated Invoicing Apps for Small Businesses

Freshbooks

User-friendly invoicing with robust time tracking and reporting. Generous free plan.

Zoho Invoice

Full-featured invoicing solution seamlessly integrating with other Zoho apps.

Wave

Trusted free invoicing software with accounting, receipt scanning, and payroll addons available.

QuickBooks Invoicing

Popular integrated accounting platform with robust invoicing capabilities.

PayPal Invoicing

Easy web and app invoicing integrated directly with PayPal payments.

Square Invoicing

Intuitive invoicing synced across devices. Integrated credit card processing.

Invoice2go

Mobile-centric flexible invoicing app with extensive customization options.

Invoice Simple

Multilingual invoicing with Siri app integration and automated reminders.

Invoiced

Modern web and mobile invoicing with flexible recurring billing management.

Bill.com

Automated end-to-end workflow with intelligent payment posting and bill pay. Approval routing built in. Integrates with major accounting platforms.

Evaluate top-rated platforms across app store reviews, customer sentiment, platform features and pricing models.

Key Invoicing Software Features for Small Businesses

Critical capabilities for SMB invoicing needs:

  • Recurring invoices – Schedule repeating invoices for regular services
  • Partial payments – Accept installment payments on larger invoices
  • Payment reminders – Automatically email past due notices
  • Late fees – Apply penalties for overdue invoices
  • Mobile apps – Create invoices on the go from iOS, Android, tablets
  • Client portals – Let clients access invoice history and pay online
  • Invoice templates – Professionally designed and branded invoice templates
  • Time tracking – Sync invoicing with project timesheets and hours
  • Reporting – Generate sales, aging, tax and financial reports

Prioritize features aligning with your specific workflows and industry for maximum productivity enhancement.

Questions to Ask When Choosing Small Business Invoicing Software

  • What is the monthly or annual cost? Any restrictions on number of clients or invoices?
  • Is the interface modern and intuitive? Short learning curve?
  • How much time will it save over manual billing and spreadsheet tracking?
  • Can the platform model all the invoice varieties my business requires?
  • Does it integrate with my accounting software and payment systems?
  • Is customer data and invoicing information secure?
  • Does it easily produce reports needed for taxes?
  • Is customer support responsive if issues arise?
  • Does mobile companion app enable on-the-go invoicing?

Evaluating key usage factors results in making the optimal platform choice aligned with unique business needs.

Avoiding Common Invoicing Mistakes with Software

Invoicing systems prevent common manual billing errors like:

  • Forgetting recurring billings – Never miss subscription renewals.
  • Miscalculating totals – Automation prevents math mistakes.
  • Duplicate invoicing – Link past invoices to each client to avoid accidental repeats.
  • Losing invoices – Cloud sync keeps invoices accessible across devices.
  • Slow invoicing – Batch generate recurring invoices in seconds.
  • Payment delays – Automated reminders prompt customers.
  • Disorganized records – Reports provide sales analysis and financials.
  • Inconsistent branding – Templates maintain professionalism.

Leverage the accuracy and organization strengths of software.

All-in-One Accounting Platforms With Invoicing

Many integrated small business accounting platforms offer full invoicing capabilities:

FreshBooks

Robust time tracking transforms into professional invoices. Intuitive interface. Generous free tier.

QuickBooks

The most widely used small business accounting solution seamlessly connects proposals, invoices, expenses, taxes. Smooth integration with other business systems.

Xero

User-friendly cloud accounting software with custom invoice branding options. Over 700 app integrations available.

Zoho Books

Affordable accounting integrated with Zoho’s full office suite. Clean invoice templates provided.

Wave

Fully featured free accounting software. Paid plans add features like payroll, payment processing, and bookkeeping assistance.

Consolidating accounting and invoicing into a unified platform provides robust reporting with a centralized source of record.

Standalone Invoicing Software Pros and Cons

Specialty invoicing platforms have advantages over accounting system invoicing:

ProsCons
Focused specifically on billing workflowsLacks integrated accounting and reporting
Specialized feature set for invoicingUsually must export data to accounting system
Typically simpler interfaceLess oversight into full financial picture
LOWER costPotential for synchronization issues
Easier to quickly setup and useNot linked directly into payments

Evaluate your current accounting software and needs. Specialized platforms excel for dedicated invoicing-focused businesses.

Small Business Invoicing Integrations

Quality invoicing platforms integrate with other critical business systems:

  • Accounting – Sync invoices with QuickBooks, Xero etc.
  • Billing – Connect customer and subscription data from Stripe, Recurly, Chargify.
  • Payments – Accept credit cards with Stripe, PayPal, Braintree. Send wire transfers.
  • CRM – Link customer details from Salesforce, Base, HubSpot.
  • Email – Send invoices directly through Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo.
  • Sync Apps – Integrate with Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Evernote.
  • Retail POS – Post in-person payments from Square, Clover, Shopify.

Integrations eliminate redundant entry and keep data in sync across platforms.

Specialized Invoicing Needs by Industry

Invoicing requirements vary by industry:

Service Businesses

  • Time and Expense Tracking – Bill for time with hourly rates
  • Mileage Tracking – Bill mileage fees
  • Scheduling – Connect project dates to invoices

eCommerce

  • Inventory Linking – Associate SKUs with invoices
  • Order Syncing – Auto-generate invoices from online orders
  • Shipping Integration – Add shipping fees from carriers

Freelancers

  • Timesheets – Directly convert logged hours into invoices
  • Project Management – Link invoices to Basecamp, Asana, Trello activities
  • Contract Billing – Bill installments based on contract terms

Select software aligning to business types for the tightest fit.

Recommended Features by Business Size

Business size impacts required complexity:

Sole Proprietors

  • Simple creation – Fast invoicing from mobile
  • PayPal integration – Quick access to process payments
  • Photo capture – Snap images of receipts
  • Mileage tracking – Invoice mileage rates automatically

Small Team (2-10 employees)

  • Role permissions – Limit employee access
  • Approval workflows – Route for review before sending
  • Payment notifications – Alert upon receipt
  • Partial payments – Accept installment payments

Growing (10-50 employees)

  • API integrations – Connect to sales and accounting data
  • Custom fields – Capture specialized client data
  • Automated reminders – Prevent payment delays
  • Reporting – Sales data across customers, products, dates

Right-size features balancing convenience, security and information sharing needs at each stage.

Key Invoicing Software Takeaways for Small Business

  • Automate invoicing, reminding, reporting for massive time savings
  • Mobile apps allow on-the-go access across devices
  • Integration with accounting platforms keeps finances organized
  • Accept credit card and online payments conveniently
  • Prevent late and missed payments with automated reminders
  • Bulk billing and one click repeating invoices
  • Use professional invoice templates reinforcing branding
  • Scale security and controls as team and complexity grows

Leverage software to bill accurately and efficiently. Manage cash flow and get paid faster with automation.

Conclusion

Invoicing headaches drain time as a small business grows. But modern intuitive software solutions minimize the invoicing burden through automation, organization and integration. This guide outlined features enabling businesses to create professional customer invoices in seconds, automate follow-ups and get paid faster. Implementing the right platform allows small business owners to focus less on billing administration and more on profitably growing their company.

Author

  • Sarah Teague

    Sarah Teague brings 5 years of professional writing experience to her role as content writer for Walletminded. In this position, Sarah creates compelling articles, blog posts, and other digital content that engage readers and promote the Walletminded brand. Before joining Walletminded, Sarah honed her writing skills as a freelance writer and ghostwriter. Her work included crafting blog posts and web content for financial services, technology, and healthcare clients. Sarah holds a bachelor's degree in English from Emory University, where she also served as editor of the campus literary journal. She continues to volunteer her time as a writing mentor for youth in her community. When she's not meticulously crafting content, you can find Sarah attempting new baking recipes and enjoying hikes with her dog. She also loves curling up with a good memoir.

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