10 Best Invoice Software for Small Businesses

Billie Anne Grigg

Billie Anne Grigg

Billie Anne Grigg has been a bookkeeper since before the turn of the century (yes, this one). She is a QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor, LivePlan Expert Advisor, FreshBooks Certified Beancounter, and a Mastery Level Certified Profit First Professional. She is also a guide for the Profit First Professionals organization. Billie Anne started Pocket Protector Bookkeeping in 2012 to provide an excellent virtual bookkeeping and managerial accounting solution for small businesses that cannot yet justify employing a full-time, in-house bookkeeping staff.
Billie Anne Grigg

As a small business owner, you need to be able to invoice your customers quickly and accurately, and using invoice software is the most streamlined way to do so. But, as is almost always the case, the best invoice software for you depends on the type of business you own.

If your business is very small—or if you’re just getting started—you might choose to use free invoice templates and keep track of your outstanding invoices in a spreadsheet. And if your business has grown so that you’re regularly using bookkeeping or accounting software, you might choose to use the invoicing module right inside that software.

But if you’re like many small business owners, you’ll find yourself somewhere in the middle. Maybe your business has grown to the point where free templates don’t work effectively anymore, but you aren’t quite to the point of purchasing accounting software and using it regularly. Or maybe you do have accounting software, but you want to keep your invoicing function separate from the rest of your books so you can easily delegate the invoicing function.

To simplify the navigation process, we’ve chosen 10 options as the best invoice software for small business, depending on what you need from your invoicing solution.

The Best Invoice Software for Small Businesses: 10 Great Options

There are dozens of invoice software options on the market. The trick—as always—is to choose the best invoice software for your business’s unique needs.

So, let’s take a look at the 10 best invoice software options for your small business. For ease of comparison, we’ve separated this list into four different categories: Infrequent Use, Free, Ease of Use, and Robustness, and then we chose our All-Around Favorite. Pick and choose among these categories depending on the kind of invoicing solution your business needs.

The Best Invoice Software for Infrequent Use: Your Payment Processor

If you only invoice your customers occasionally, check out the invoicing feature right inside your payment processor. Stripe, Square, and PayPal all allow you to send invoices at no additional cost, and all three platforms support recurring invoicing or recurring payments.

Aside from their invoicing service being free, there’s an added benefit to using one of these popular payment processors for your invoicing needs: Multiple studies have shown that including a payment link on your invoices helps you get paid faster. The problem with some payment links is that your customer has to manually enter their payment information. But when you use a service your customers already use, like, and trust—like Stripe, Square, or PayPal—your customer can simply log into their existing account and pay you with a few clicks.

Keep in mind that other invoice processors can offer better rates than those offered by Stripe, Square, or PayPal. As your invoice volume grows, you’ll benefit from investigating other options available.

The Best Free (or Nearly Free) Invoice Software: Invoice Ninja

If you serve fewer than 100 clients, check out Invoice Ninja as a free solution for your invoicing needs. This open-source invoice software allows you to choose from four different invoice templates, integrates with more than 45 payment processors, and supports auto-billing and recurring invoices.

For less than $10 per month, you can upgrade to Invoice Ninja’s “Ninja Pro” subscription. Ninja Pro removes the 100 client limit, adds the ability to create custom quotes, and throws in some light project management capabilities, as well.

Support for Invoice Ninja is 100% web-based, but they do have active support forums where users can help each other with technical questions.

best invoice software

The Best Invoice Software for Ease of Use: Due, Invoice2Go, Bill.com, Zoho Invoice

Note that some of these easy-to-use options can do much more than just invoicing, but the invoicing features are still easy to set up and use.

Due

Due is a popular invoicing processor, largely because of their low processing rates. Unlike many other payment processors that use complex pricing algorithms for their processing rates, Due charges transparent flat rates starting at 2.8%.

But even beyond low rates, Due is a robust solution that is also easy to use. Time tracking is available right inside the software, taking the guesswork and duplicate entry out of your billing. Reports and analytics tell you exactly how each project is performing. Multiple, secure payment options are available, and ecash and digital wallet options are in the works, as well.

Due is easy to use, but if you do happen to get stuck, Due has a live support team on deck Monday through Friday, and they strive for a 24-hour support ticket turnaround time.

Invoice2Go

If you’re a busy freelancer or sole proprietor on the go, Invoice2Go might be the best invoice software for you. First off, Invoice2Go lets you send estimates and invoices and accept payments, right from your phone. You can also track your receipts and expenses, see the “read” status of the invoices you have sent, and run reports on your business’s performance.

Pricing starts at under $10 per month when paid annually, meaning you can invoice your customers without breaking your budget.

Bill.com

Bill.com lets you easily manage both your invoices (receivables) and bills (payables). And if some of your customers aren’t quite ready to embrace cloud-based technology yet, you don’t have to print a PDF, put the document in an envelope, buy a stamp, and put your invoice in the mail—for a low fee, Bill.com will take care of all of that for you.

Like the other picks on our list, Bill.com also supports electronic payments, and you can even set the system to send out automated reminders if a customer falls behind on paying your invoices.

Pricing varies significantly depending on the services you choose. Bill.com’s most popular plan costs $59 per user per month, but their Essentials package is an affordable $29 per user per month.

Zoho Invoice

We like Zoho Invoice not only because it’s easy to set up and use, but also because of its ability to grow with your business.

Zoho Invoice lets you send estimates and invoices, accept payments, and track billable expenses, either on your desktop or using their mobile app. And as your business grows, you can integrate Zoho Invoice with Zoho’s other products, including Zoho CRM and Zoho Projects, which help you manage your sales pipe and your internal projects, respectively.

Freelancers might be able to use Zoho Invoice’s free option, but most users will want to go with the $9 per month plan.

The Best Robust Invoice Software Solutions: BQE Core, Harvest, Online Invoices

Sometimes even the smallest businesses need a more comprehensive invoicing solution, which incorporates elements of project and inventory management.

BQE Core

If you’re an architect, engineer, or attorney, check out BQE Core. BQE Core is actually much more than invoicing software—you can manage your accounting with it, too—but it’s often the “next step” invoicing software for growing project-based businesses.

With BQE Core, you can track project time, mileage, and other billable expenses, and then easily turn this information into an easy-to-understand invoice for your customers. And beyond invoicing, BQE Core has a reporting feature that shows you how profitable your projects are, which can help you make better business decisions as your business grows.

BQE Core prices by the role, which ensures that you never pay for services you don’t use. Contact the company for a price quote.

Harvest

Like BQE Core, Harvest goes beyond invoicing and delves into practice management and project profitability reporting. Harvest isn’t quite as robust as BQE Core, but it is still a great solution for project-based businesses. And as your business grows, you can incorporate Harvest Forecast, which helps manage your team’s workload across multiple projects.

Harvest’s pricing is simple: $12 per user per month will let you manage unlimited projects.

Online Invoices

With Online Invoices, you can choose either to use just the invoice feature, or you can enable different modules to get a fully customized accounting, CRM, and/or inventory management solution for your business. Online Invoices has both simple and advanced reporting tools to let you see at a glance how your business is performing.  

Pricing for invoices that don’t carry the Online Invoices branding starts at under $10 per month, with extra staff user subscriptions available for less than $5 per user per month.

best invoice software

Our All-Around Favorite Invoice Software: FreshBooks

FreshBooks has evolved into a powerhouse accounting software for small businesses and self-employed individuals, but that doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten their roots as an invoicing and time-tracking solution. FreshBooks lets you electronically invoice and collect payments from your clients, track and bill for your expenses, and collaborate with your subcontractors. The accounting module is there when you’re ready for it, but you don’t have to use it to benefit from the invoicing features.

Plus, FreshBooks is incredibly easy to use—their setup and ongoing use is intuitive, and their support documentation is excellent. You don’t need to be concerned about wading through pages of online FAQs to try to solve any snags with the software, either. FreshBooks has excellent customer-service associates who respond quickly to your questions, often replying within an hour.

And FreshBooks is a great solution for small but growing businesses. In fact, many professional services firms start as solopreneurs and then grow to small teams using FreshBooks. It’s only when the firm reaches a point of needing robust project management that they often “outgrow” FreshBooks.

The icing on the cake? FreshBooks is one of the most affordably priced options on this list. Prices start at $15 per month, though most small businesses will need the $25 per month plan.

How to Find the Best Invoice Software for Your Small Business

All 10 of the invoice software options on this list will help you streamline your invoicing process and collect payments from your customers quickly and easily. Still, though, you might be wondering which is the best invoice software for your particular small business.

We recommend starting small and upgrading as necessary. Choosing the most comprehensive option on this list before your business needs it can lead to confusion, frustration, and unnecessary cost. Take some time to carefully consider your business’s invoicing and reporting needs, narrow down the choices on this list to three or four options, and then take advantage of the risk-free trial periods to test the software.  

Your business’s invoicing shouldn’t be a chore that takes you away from generating more revenue for your business. The best invoice software for your business will handle all your invoicing needs easily and streamline your payment collection process, freeing you up to serve more customers without having to worry about your cash flow.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Billie Anne Grigg

Billie Anne Grigg

Billie Anne Grigg has been a bookkeeper since before the turn of the century (yes, this one). She is a QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor, LivePlan Expert Advisor, FreshBooks Certified Beancounter, and a Mastery Level Certified Profit First Professional. She is also a guide for the Profit First Professionals organization. Billie Anne started Pocket Protector Bookkeeping in 2012 to provide an excellent virtual bookkeeping and managerial accounting solution for small businesses that cannot yet justify employing a full-time, in-house bookkeeping staff.
Billie Anne Grigg

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