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.
Table of Contents
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
User-friendly invoicing with robust time tracking and reporting. Generous free plan.
Full-featured invoicing solution seamlessly integrating with other Zoho apps.
Trusted free invoicing software with accounting, receipt scanning, and payroll addons available.
Popular integrated accounting platform with robust invoicing capabilities.
Easy web and app invoicing integrated directly with PayPal payments.
Intuitive invoicing synced across devices. Integrated credit card processing.
Mobile-centric flexible invoicing app with extensive customization options.
Multilingual invoicing with Siri app integration and automated reminders.
Modern web and mobile invoicing with flexible recurring billing management.
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:
Robust time tracking transforms into professional invoices. Intuitive interface. Generous free tier.
The most widely used small business accounting solution seamlessly connects proposals, invoices, expenses, taxes. Smooth integration with other business systems.
User-friendly cloud accounting software with custom invoice branding options. Over 700 app integrations available.
Affordable accounting integrated with Zoho’s full office suite. Clean invoice templates provided.
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:
|Focused specifically on billing workflows
|Lacks integrated accounting and reporting
|Specialized feature set for invoicing
|Usually must export data to accounting system
|Typically simpler interface
|Less oversight into full financial picture
|Potential for synchronization issues
|Easier to quickly setup and use
|Not 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:
- Time and Expense Tracking – Bill for time with hourly rates
- Mileage Tracking – Bill mileage fees
- Scheduling – Connect project dates to invoices
- Inventory Linking – Associate SKUs with invoices
- Order Syncing – Auto-generate invoices from online orders
- Shipping Integration – Add shipping fees from carriers
- 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:
- 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.
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.