Invoicing software is what make your small business run. They move payment forward, allowing you to focus on actual work for your customers.
Consider your options for small business invoice software below.
Small Business Invoicing — Compare Your Options
Cloud Invoicing Software
Business Accounting Software
|Popular Option||Invoice Simple||FreshBooks||Wave Apps|
Not all invoices are created equal.
They can either look professional or dodgy. They can either be simple or time consuming. It all depends on how you create your small business invoices.
That’s where invoicing software for small businesses comes in.
Invoice software will save you time and money in running your business. And the right invoice template will up your invoicing game to the professional level.
Keep reading for:
- What the different types of small business invoicing look like,
- How to create invoices for your small business using software or templates, and
- Why professional invoices are important for small businesses.
3 Types of Invoicing Software for Small Business
Small businesses have more options than ever for creating professional invoices for their clients and customers.
If you’re looking to give your operation a fresh look on the financial front, consider these three types of invoice software.
An invoice generator will work well when you need a simple, quick solution to your billing needs. Invoice Simple’s invoice generator allows you to enter custom information into every relevant field — including a logo. With that info, the software generates a customized invoice on demand.
Cloud Invoicing Software
There are a handful of good cloud-based invoicing tools that make billing straightforward for small businesses, consultants and freelancers. These apps typically include the ability to track clients and send invoices directly. For small businesses with retail locations (or needing physical invoices), these options may be overly complicated.
Business Accounting Software
Quickbooks, Wave Accounting… you know the big names. These tools are typically more robust, including accounting integration, reporting, and expense tracking. Small businesses can either run them on the cloud as a subscription or buy the desktop version. They may be overkill for small businesses simply looking for an invoicing solution.
You can also avoid using small business invoicing software completely by using an invoice template.
Why Use Invoicing Software?
Make invoices look more professional
You can create invoices for your small business from scratch. But you risk wasting time and you will most likely be left with a subpar invoice. Using an invoice generator or online invoicing tool means you’ll have a business-level invoice in a matter of minutes.
Accept online payments
You could send a standalone invoice that you whipped up in Word, but then payment is limited to a physical check, Paypal deposit or other outdated methods. New clients may not want to set up direct deposit, so you’re left with limited options.
With the right small business invoice software, you can accept online payments with an integration with Stripe. Clients will enjoy the ease of payment through credit card or debit card, and you’ll enjoy faster payments.
Track responses and payments
Instead of manually tracking invoices and payments by email or spreadsheet, invoice software allows you to automatically track your invoice’ status. It will save you a headache when it comes time to track down an unpaid invoice.
Save templates for later
With invoice software, you don’t have to start from scratch every time you want to send an invoice. You can save templates and client info for later, saving you hours of repetitive work in the long run.
Generate invoices on the fly
Small business owners and operators are busy. There’s a lot to do, and invoice software allows you to do it no matter where you are. Good invoice apps will let you seamlessly create and send invoices on mobile and online, giving you the freedom you need.
What You Need to Consider for Small Business Invoice Software
With all of the invoice software available these days, it can be difficult to narrow down your options. These are a handful of considerations as you decide on invoicing software for your small business:
- Time: Will the tool actually save you time, or will it be difficult to set up with your other accounting processes?
- Cost: How much does the tool cost? If it saves you six hours each month, how much are you paying per hour saved?
- Look: Does the tool offer many different template options? Does it give your invoices a professional, branded look?
- Payment Options: Does the tool allow flexible payment options (i.e. credit card payments)?
Who Can Use Invoicing Software?
Small businesses come in all shapes and sizes — but all of them need to use invoices to keep their business running.
These are just a few areas where invoice software can be beneficial for small businesses:
- Construction: Outline work completed and time put in, materials used, government approval processes and more.
- Freelance: Instead of resorting to Paypal or awkward emails, freelancers can use invoices to reflect the value of the work they have provided. This goes for graphic design, photography, writing and more.
- Contractors: General contractors typically make their living with smaller, one-off projects. With invoice software, it’s easier to track work completed, who has paid and who still owes.
- Rentals: Late payments are frustrating for any landlord. If you run a small rental or real estate business, use invoices for payment reminders and tenant tracking.
- Consulting: Even if you are on a fixed hourly or retainer agreement, an invoice for consultants will help clients track which services they are paying for and help consultants stay on top of getting paid.
You can also use the invoice templates on the pages above to make a start sending professional-looking invoices and getting paid faster.
How to Create Invoices for Your Small Business
Near the top of this page, we cover your basic options for invoicing software: an invoice generator, a cloud-based invoice tool and full-fledged business accounting software. You also have a fourth option (though we don’t recommend it): creating an invoice from scratch.
But the method for creating a business invoice matters less than how the invoice looks when you send it.
No matter which method you run with, there is a right and a wrong way to create a winning invoice. Whether you use accounting software or an invoice template, keep these tips for creating small business invoices in mind:
- Personalize your invoices. Bring a professional edge to your small business invoice with your logo, in addition to your business info.
- Invoice on a regular cycle. For your own sanity and for a better response from customers, create a regular cycle for invoices. It could be every 15 days, at the end of the month or as soon as you finish a project for your client.
- Stick with the same delivery method. Start by asking your customers how they prefer to receive their invoice. Then stick with that delivery method so your invoices don’t get lost in the shuffle of day-to-day operations.
- Include all relevant info. Keeping your invoices complete and detailed will help you avoid late and unpaid invoices. Itemize your work, include your full business information, and double check your dates and numbers.
Invoicing Software for Small Business: Frequently Asked Questions
What is an invoice for small businesses?
Invoices itemize the transaction and include payment amounts and terms. Invoices are a written agreement verifying the exchange between the buyer and seller, which establishes an obligation to pay on the part of the buyer. Invoices are often referred to as “sales invoices”, “bills”, or “statements”.Traditionally, invoices were paper documents, but now are commonly sent electronically.
See more on our page: what is an invoice?
Why should I look into invoicing software for small business?
An invoice tool — whether an invoice generator, template or online software — will save you time and money. It saves you time by allowing you to focus on only the most important elements of the invoice, instead of fiddling with a PDF or Word document. And it saves you money by making billing more effective, reducing the need to track down reticent clients and unpaid invoices.
What is the difference between accounting and invoicing software?
Accounting software typically includes a host of business-related features. These include tax documents, profit and loss statements, expense reporting and more. Invoicing software focuses in on the billing process for small businesses, offering a simplified solution for limited operations.
Are small business invoicing tools expensive?
They can be, but they don’t have to be. Simple tools designed to send professional invoices can run around $5 per month. More advanced, desktop accounting software can run closer to $300 per year.
Which invoice software is best for small business?
It really depends. If you have your accounting straightened out and just need a simple way to create and send invoices, a template or generator will do the trick. But if you have more complicated accounting and billing needs, it may be worth looking into a more advanced software subscription.
What are essential features for invoicing software for small businesses?
Any invoice software you use for your small business should:
- Make creating invoices fast and easy.
- Include options for adding payment instructions, shipping details, discounts, etc.
- Let you add your logo and keep your brand.
- Feature notifications to keep payment tracking straightforward.
- Save invoices and templates so you can use them later.
- Allow debit or credit card processing.
- Give secure access across devices.