Billing and accounting are two different processes but the terms are often interchanged. SaaS solutions may be one of the causes for the confusion. Many accounting programs have integrated billing features and vice-versa.
Technically, accounting documents financial transactions, including being invoiced by suppliers. On the other hand, billing is specific to invoicing clients. For the purpose of our list, let’s focus on that billing part.
This list of best billing software list will help you decide the best app for you, specific to helping you create, send, and track invoices.
Give or take extra features including expense management or time tracking, but the apps included here are recognized above all by making life easier for you when invoicing clients.
FreshBooks is one of the top billing software choices by many small business owners for its simple interface and easy navigation. Freshbooks helps you to manage and track time, invoices, and expenses. If you don’t require double-entry accounting, Freshbooks frees you up from cumbersome billing process so you can focus on your business.
The software has an entry plan at $15/month for up to five clients. You can send customized unlimited invoices and accept online credit card receivables. Expenses can also be added and categorized. Plus, Freshbooks is accessible anywhere you have internet; it works on desktop, tablet, or phone.
Many users attest to the software’s jargon-less, intuitive navigation. They also cite the automatic follow-up on late invoices a big plus for Freshbooks.
The only drawback is that you need to manually fill in the balance sheet. Likewise, it has no direct e-commerce integration except through API. If you can get past these limitations, Freshbooks will be one of your most used cloud apps.
QuickBooks is the MS Word for entry-level accounting. That’s because for most small business owners, it’s the first full billing software they use after graduating from spreadsheets. Proof of this, you can get support, not just from the vendor, but often from a large support network of freelance consultants who see in QuickBooks users a huge market.
Designed for the user with limited accounting knowledge, the app is predictable and easy to understand. It is no secret that many small business owners would learn their basic accounting via QuickBooks, including: accounts payable, accounts receivable, inventory, payroll, and invoices.
It’s got good accounting reports and easily integrates with third-party apps. But perhaps it’s most attractive benefit is, at around $40 per month, it’s a lot cheaper than hiring a bookkeeper for about $300 per month.
However, bear in mind QuickBooks has limited features for bigger transactions. It lacks business-specific functions, such as, advanced reporting and has only limited number of inventory items. You may find one day that you’ll outgrow the basic version of QuickBooks, so prepare to transfer to another software with its associated logistic headaches.
3. NetSuite ERP
While it has ERP in its name, NetSuite is more like an advanced financial system with specialized features including multi-country management. For a small business, NetSuite ERP is a complete solution for, not just accounting, but CRM and ecommerce. Because it’s scalable, the software is also useful for medium and large enterprises with pricing based on modules and add-ons.
The main advantage of NetSuite ERP is, it’s one integrated system. You save yourself the pain of having to make separate solutions to work together.
Another key benefit is its solid global management capabilities. Multinational companies will like its real-time financial consolidation feature and visibility across multi-subsidiaries. Likewise, NetSuite ERP has industry-specific solution for wholesale, ecommerce, and professional services.
Being an all-in-one platform can also be a drawback if, say, you only need billing or invoice processing. The software can be one too much for your need.
4. Zoho Invoice
Small companies and freelancers like the professionalism Zoho Invoice lends to their business. They can generate customized invoices and run them automatically from sending to receiving online payment, all without appearing to beg. This web-based billing software also sends payment reminders, a lifesaver if the cash flow is running low.
If you have five customers or less, you’ll even like the app: it’s free (for one user). Paid plan starts at $7 per organization/month, still one of the most competitive pricing around.
The obvious benefit when using Zoho Invoice is that payment is fast-tracked and monitored. This allows you to focus on your core business. Aside from billing, the software has time tracking, expense management, and reporting.
Zoho Invoice integrates with PayPal and its suite of other Zoho products. Likewise, it handles multiple currencies. You need to keep up with the functions though, the vendor keeps upgrading the app, which is at once a source of customer satisfaction and frustration.
ZipBooks prides itself for being the only invoice app with built-in credit card auto-billing. This speeds up payment with significantly less hassle, but only if your client uses this mode of transaction. ZipBooks is also popular for really small businesses and contractors because it’s 100% free.
Unlike other freemiums, ZipBooks has no paid plans. The vendor earns when you use its Invoice Payment feature, where it takes a commission off a transaction. This is perfect for many users because they only pay when they literally have cash at hand.
Likewise, it is not uncommon to hear this software being used by people engaged in personal business. These include multi-level marketing or hobby-based business. Despite costing next to nothing, ZipBooks offers a watermark-free invoice. You maintain a degree of your branding.
Key features include: recurring invoices, payment reminders, iPhone app, quotation system, basic reporting, and Slack integration.
Surprisingly, ZipBook has advanced modules, such as, cash management, tax management, and database of CPA firms. On the other hand, it’s no surprise if it lacks serious reporting like balance statement. Plus, it only accepts online payment via American banks.
BillQuick is more than just a billing app. It has time tracking, accounting, and even project management modules. The idea is to streamline processes and increase your efficiency. The software is especially attractive to businesses with project-based services or per-hour billing.
The software is scalable from the needs of a freelancer to a multinational company. Small business can opt for its cloud solution to keep costs low, while large enterprises have on-premise or self-hosted options. Likewise, it supports myriad industries including architecture, engineering, construction, accounting, creatives, and consulting.
BillQuick starts at around $15 per user, which is quite higher than industry averages. A typical plan includes single-click DCAA compliance and multiple timers via text or speech-to-text recording.
Clearly, the software is a bit advanced for basic accounting. Users also note a learning curve, so prepare to dig down to technical details if you choose this app.
Arguably the most popular billing freemium, Wave is an all-in-one accounting platform that is hard to beat. It’s got invoicing, payments, payroll, and receipt management, all for free. Small businesses, freelancers, in fact, any company that wants to penny pinch can use Wave for double-entry accounting.
The vendor claims to have processed 96,000 payroll, 76,000 credit card payments, and 64,000 invoices daily.
There are plenty of things to love about Wave, but the best are: it’s easy to set up, just input business details, products, and taxation and you’re ready; export invoices to PDF; and run automated processes like bank sync, invoicing, and entries.
However, it is a bit clanky handling foreign currencies and you’ll feel clicking too many steps to process a task. The mobile app is also slow and limited to uploading receipts. But no one is complaining, it’s still a free robust app.
Bill.com works best as a billing add-on to accounting software. It integrates smoothly with QuickBooks, Intacct, Xero, and NetSuite. For instance, you enter bills in QuickBooks then sync and export the details into Bill.com and issue payment.
While the software is an excellent way to streamline payables, it works only if your vendors or clients are using online transaction.
Bill.com is also useful to approve bill and payment on the fly. If you’re always out of the office or physically inaccessible, the app lets you implement bill approvals online, so transactions move faster (to the delight of your suppliers). Many users appreciate its clean UI, mainly the grid that gives you an overview of daily and weekly due dates.
Other key features include bill payment, central inbox for all documents, and Hub Doc sync feature.
On the other hand, many users feel the entry price point at $29 per user/month is a bit high, and we couldn’t agree more.
If you’re into subscription business—for example, publishing, online tutorials, distance learning—Cleverbridge should be on your radar. It is one of the best cloud billing and monetization solutions.
It can improve your business manifold. First, it simplifies your plans, pricing, and, if any, promotions. Second, it automates free trials, freemium, and renewal processes. This greatly unburdens you of daily admin work that can overwhelm the business as it grows its subscription. Third, it is adaptive to your customers’ language, currency, and payment method.
The software also features reporting and analytics, localization, and customer self-service. Likewise, it understands global tax policies, so you collect net payments with accuracy. Cleverbridge is a critical app for your global audience.
Chargify gives Cleverbridge good competition, but the former focuses more on recurring billing. This makes the app ideal for businesses with larger subscription base.
You can set recurring offers in different ways. For instance, at the top of the funnel, trial vs. no-trial, or at the moment of conversion, credit card vs. no credit card. Likewise, you can set recurring offers by frequency, such as monthly/quarterly/annual; or incorporate deals like coupons and discount codes.
Plan starts at $149 per month inclusive of billing and subscription management. You also get an iPhone/iPad app for mobility.
Another key feature is Chargify allows you to customize pricing and product options via API, plus tweak CSS to style frontend pages. Likewise, the app has myriad payment gateway integrations.