As a small business owner finding the best invoicing software is crucial for business finance.
Invoicing software is so much more than sending an invoice to a customer for goods or services. It can also include multi-currency, accept payments online, recurring invoices, payment reminders, and so much more.
The most important thing to look at is to create professional-looking invoices. It will include adding your logo, colours, layout and additional information.
In this article, we will look at the following:
- Different Features
- Review on each invoicing and billing software
- Comparison Table
- Alternatives to invoicing software
- Top tips on invoicing
How to Choose the Best Invoicing Software for Small Businesses
There are lots of things to look at when choosing the best invoicing software.
The most important is to look at the features to see if they fit the small business requirements.
Cost can also play an important part; some free products usually have restrictions in features or how many invoices you issue in a period. Some providers also provide a discount for the first few months or speak to your accountant; they may have reduced subscriptions with a software partner.
One of the easiest ways to find the solution for your small business is to take out a free trial to see the software in action.
When you take out a trial, check which level they have put you on, some will do the trial on a top range package, that you do not need all the features. Other packages might start you on the lowest version, and you will not see all the features required. If it happens, contact support and ask if the can change it.
All our solutions are cloud-based and are available to access anywhere with internet access.
Best Invoicing Software for Small Business Comparison
Below is a comparison table of the best invoicing software options within the accounting software. As you can see, most offer the same features, but a few offer a few additional options.
|Price from||£11||£8||£12||£12||Free / £12|
Best Invoicing Software Features
Along with standard invoicing, there might be other features that a small business needs to look at, including:
A business may require invoicing and estimates. An estimate is helpful for quotes, proposals or bids to send to a customer to confirm a price and work to complete. The estimate can later turn into an invoice with one easy click.
If you invoice for expenses and time or products, some products have it built-in. Any recorded expenses are available to allocate to a project and invoice it.
Expenses may include mileage, travel, overnight stays and other sundries.
If you are out on the road, a mobile app will allow you to complete a job, create and send invoices immediately. For some business owners, this is essential for all accounting features, including tracking time, tracking expenses, photographing receipts, checking bank balance and reporting.
The download for invoicing mobile apps is available for both Android and Apple.
Do you need to invoice in more than one currency? There are a few options available, including Sage, QuickBooks and Xero.
Most providers offer payment processing or payment gateways. An invoice will include a link allowing the customer to pay directly using payment gateways. It enables businesses to get paid faster but will have a processing charge.
Issuing automatic payment reminders can save a lot of time in the process of credit control. It is essential to keep on top of credit control for cash flow.
If the business is subscription-based, recurring invoices is essential. It is also helpful in invoicing regular services. Setting up recurring invoices is usually done within the invoice.
All offer standard templates which allow uploading of logos and colours. The options may also enable you to create a template for the business and even more than one template. An example of this is a business that has two divisions, both requiring different invoice layouts.
If you charge by the hour, keeping track of time is essential. An option on some mobile apps is to track in real-time and allocate to a project.
Best Billing and Invoicing Software for Small Businesses 2021
We have split the reviews into three sections, invoicing software within a complete accounting package, stand-alone invoicing software, free invoicing software and Excel templates.
One thing to consider when selecting the best option for your business, if you complete a tax return in 2024, HMRC will introduce Making Tax Digital. It will mean that the self-assessment tax return will need filling using third-party software. All the accounting software packages listed are MTD compliant.
You will notice that Zoho appears in all three categories because they offer a stand-alone invoicing platform, a free plan, and paid accounting software.
Here is our top list for best billing and invoicing accounting software:
- FreshBooks – Includes project tracking and estimates
- QuickBooks – One of the full all-round accounting software packages for small businesses
- Sage – Excellent invoicing software, including estimates
- Xero – Excellent user interface with easy invoicing
- Zoho Books – includes lots of features and offers a free version
Top list for stand-alone Invoicing software:
- Zoho Invoice
- FreeAgent – free with a current account with NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland or Ulster Bank NI
- Pandle – Unlimited use
- Zoho Books – Free version up to turnover of £35,000
FreshBooks: Alround accounting solution
One of the best invoicing features for FreshBooks is their estimates, proposal and project tracking feature, making it ideal for contractors.
Pricing on the Lite platform starts from £11 but only allows five clients. Their plus level is £19 and allows 50 clients.
Their invoicing template is simple and easy to change, adding in a logo and colours. They have three different templates, hopefully with one to suit the business. Unlike some other packages, you can’t upload or change the templates.
QuickBooks Online invoicing and Billing Software
QuickBooks is an excellent all-around accounting software solution for small businesses if you are self-employed, freelancer or limited company.
Pricing – From £8 per month for self-employed or £12 for small businesses.
QuickBooks Online Features include time tracking, mobile app, automatic reminders, payment processing and customised templates.
QuickBooks Online is one of the most popular accounting solutions. Invoices are quick and straightforward to create from the dashboard.
Sage Business Cloud Accounting Software: Best invoice reports
Sage Cloud Accounting includes everything you need for invoicing and billing.
Pricing – The start package is £12 per month and includes all the features needed to raise and track sales invoices. The standard package at 24 per month includes quotes and estimates.
Many bookkeepers and Accountants use Sage. It includes excellent billing software, including quotes and estimates. They also offer excellent reporting including, top customer and product sales.
For larger businesses, Sage offer upgrades, making it easier to change as the business grows.
Xero – Best invoicing software for Business
Xero is an accounting package for unlimited users. It has an easy to use interface.
Pricing starts from £12 per month for their starter and £26 for their standard plan.
Xero allows you to have several branding themes in the invoicing. It will enable a business to invoice everything in one place for different brands of the company.
One advantage of Xero is if you require approval of invoices before sending them to the client. There is an option to have them as draft, approval, awaiting payment, paid and recurring. Roles can be allocated to users so that they only see the records that they require.
Xero has a wide range of reports enabling you to see all the data required. You can also set auto-payment reminders saving time.
Zoho Books offers easy to use invoicing software for small businesses. With lots of great features built into the software, making it easy to create and send invoices. They also have a stand-alone invoice version and a free plan with a turnover of up to £35,000.
The paid plans start at £12 per month for 3 users and 5,000 invoices or the professional plan at £24 per month for 5 users and unlimited invoices.
Invoices are easy to set up, including payment gateways, and recurring invoices, making it ideal for businesses and freelancers.
It offers many features for small business owners, including project management, expense tracking, accept credit card payments, multiple currencies and other additional features.
Stand-Alone Invoicing and Billing Software
In this section, we will look at stand-alone invoice software. These offer invoicing only and do not include any other accounting solution like a purchase ledger and full company reporting.
They are ideal for very small businesses and freelancers, who do not buy goods.
InvoiceBerry is great for freelancers wanting to send branded invoices to clients.
Pricing is £10 per month for unlimited invoices, 35 clients and 2 users. They are making it cheaper than some of the accounting solutions.
It offers 15 different templates as well as adding your logo. As part of the software, estimates are available. They have also created a mobile app, making it easy to invoice on the go.
Reading through reviews, users find it easy to set up and use.
Invoicely offers a free plan for five invoices per month, making it an ideal solution for freelancers and self-employed starting out.
Pricing – Basics plan $9.99 per month for 100 monthly invoices.
Invoicely offers the following features in the basics plan, multi-currency, recurring invoices, accept payments online, track time expenses and mileage.
Zervant is designed for small businesses and entrepreneurs to invoice quickly.
There is a free version with unlimited invoices for up to 5 customers per month. The starter plan is £7 per month, but if you are unregistered for VAT, they will add 24% for Swedish VAT.
The starter plan is for 30 customers per month and includes turning estimates into invoices, payment reminders and sending attachments with the invoices.
Zoho Invoice is an entirely free invoicing tool and everything you would expect from a paid version, including:
- Send unlimited invoices
- Accept card payments online
- Payment reminder
- Recurring invoices
- Time tracking to invoicing a client
- Billing to add to a client invoice
Zoho Invoice is one of their earliest products and is also part of other platforms they provide, including accounting, expense reporting, subscription billing, inventory management and payroll. It means that as the business grows, you can expand Zoho Invoice to include other accounting solutions.
If you are looking for invoicing and billing software only, Zoho Invoice is one of the best available for free.
What is the Best Free Invoicing App?
In this section, we will look at the best free invoicing apps.
If you have a bank account with Natwest, Royal Bank of Scotland, Ulster Bank Ni or Mettle you are entitled to FreeAgent completely free of charge. The price is usually £29 per month.
Freeagent includes all the features you would expect from a complete accounting software solution.
Their invoicing solution is what you would expect from any of the top software companies and includes the following:
- Mobile app
- Lots of templates or customise with CSS
- HMRC compliant
- Set up recurring invoices
- Create product lists
- Professional invoices with a logo
- Automate late payment reminders
If you are entitled to a free plan, it is one of the best free invoice software solutions.
Pandle has an entirely free version of the accounting software. The paid version is only £5 per month and includes bank feeds, projects, cash flow forecasting and stock control.
The features of their free invoicing and billing are:
- Making Tax Digital ready
- Add logo
- Payment terms
- Use Pandle pay to get paid quicker, it automatically allocates to the invoice
- Automatic payment reminders
- Recurring sales invoices
Zoho Invoice and Zoho Books both offer a free invoice version of their invoicing and billing software.
If you require an all in one accounting solution, Zoho Books is the best option. Due to their additional integrated apps, the software will grow with the business.
Alternatives to Invoicing Software
An Excel sales invoice template is a good alternative if you do not want to sign up for an app.
We have created two templates that you can brand, one for VAT and one non VAT.
They are easy to use and free to download.
If you have a PayPal business account, there is a feature to create professional-looking invoices. It also allows you to track payments, so you know which ones are outstanding.
Create invoices, receive payments, send reminders and track payments.
Square is free to sign up and charges 2.5% for online payments.
Stripe offers an invoicing solution, allowing you to create invoices in multi-currency, different languages and branding.
Stripe is free to sign up but charges 20p per transaction and 1.4% for European cards.
If you run a WordPress website with WooCommerce there are free invoicing apps to invoice directly from the software.
Top Tips for Invoicing
When you create invoices for a client, it is essential to include as much detail as possible. Here are our top tips on billing and invoicing:
- Unique invoice number – each invoice must have a unique number, it is best not to start with 1.
- Brand your invoice – Add a logo and brand colour where possible.
- Business details – Add all your business details, including address, telephone, email and website.
- Customer details – Ensure the customer details are correct, adding contact name if possible.
- Purchase Order Number – If one is supplied, ensure it is added to the invoice.
- Goods and Services – Include a full description, quantity and price.
- Payment details – Make sure it is clear where payment is made. It might be a payment gateway, bank details or who to make a cheque out to.
- Payments terms – If the invoice is due immediately, 7, 14, 30 days or net monthly.
- Payment due date – Make sure the due date is clear.
All of the above tips will make it easier to get the invoice correct and reduce the client’s risk of refusing to pay.
Conclusion for Best Invoicing Software
As a business owner, when looking at the best invoicing software for the company, it is essential to look at the features required.
Always take out a free trial to ensure that it is the best solution available. If you plan to expand the business in the future, look at how the software can grow with you.
It is also worth considering the overall business accounting and if the plan you are looking at is suitable for long term use.
For more options on the best Invoicing software read our software reviews.