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Invoicing software allows small-business owners to keep track of what goods and services they’re providing to customers and how much those customers owe. The best versions of this software let businesses manage that process end to end — from creating estimates for new projects to tracking hours worked to collecting payments.
All of our best invoicing software picks offer these features and more to help business owners stay organized.
Zoho Invoice: Best overall, free invoicing software
Users can create estimates, log expenses and track task hours and staff hours. All three types of information can be converted into or added to invoices.
Clients can access a password-protected portal where they can see their estimates, payment history and receipts.
Small businesses can access all features for free.
Zoho Invoice integrations may be limiting for some small businesses. It integrates with several products like QuickBooks Online, Stripe, Slack, Office 365 and G Suite, but the majority of native integrations are with in-house products like Zoho Books and Zoho CRM.
Why we like it: Zoho Invoice is comprehensive yet easy to use. You can keep track of hours or tasks on a variety of projects in an app or browser. When work is complete, you can send highly customizable invoices to customers, along with automated email reminders to customers whose payments are overdue. Businesses can access all of Zoho Invoice’s features for free, but invoices are capped at 1,000 per year.
Invoice Ninja: Best low-cost invoicing software
Price: Free plan includes unlimited invoices for 20 clients. For unlimited clients and additional features, users can upgrade to the Ninja Pro plan at $10 per month or the Enterprise plan, which ranges from $14 to $44 per month depending on the number of users.
Unlimited quotes and invoices to 20 clients in the free plan. Higher-tier plans include unlimited clients.
Users can create quotes and track time, and both can be converted into invoices.
Integration with more than 45 payment gateways so sellers can accept credit cards and payment in many currencies, including cryptocurrency.
No seamless integration with bookkeeping or accounting software. Invoice Ninja can integrate with other apps, including QuickBooks and Xero, via Zapier but users need to set up those integrations themselves. (If you’re focused on a completely free solution, note that this could result in an additional cost, since Zapier’s free plan only allows a small number of automations.)
Why we like it: Invoice Ninja offers all of the key features that free invoice software should, including time tracking integration, the ability to ask customers to pay a deposit up front and the opportunity to add taxes and discounts to invoices. The paid versions come with additional useful features like bulk invoicing, but the free version is so robust that you may never need to upgrade, as long as you don’t exceed 20 clients.
Hiveage: Best invoicing software for freelancers
Price: Free plan includes unlimited invoices for up to five clients; $19 per month for up to 50 clients; $29 per month for up to 250 clients and five team members; and $49 per month for the enterprise version, which supports up to 1,000 clients and 10 team members. Users can save up to 17% by subscribing to an annual plan instead.
The free version allows business owners to serve up to five clients, which could be enough for many freelancers and solopreneurs.
Simple, straightforward software that’s easy to use.
Supports a dozen payment gateways and allows users to accept partial payments.
Limited in-house, direct integrations for tasks outside of payment processing, such as bookkeeping or processing payroll. Users can use Zapier to connect with other software instead.
Why we like it: If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of the features other software programs offer and all you need to do for your freelance business is send invoices and receive payments, Hiveage stands out for its simplicity. Creating one-time and recurring invoices is straightforward, the dashboard is easy to navigate, and it offers time, expense and mileage tracking even in the free version. Hiveage can also integrate with accounting, CRM and project management software via Zapier.
Harvest: Best software for hourly invoicing
Price: Free for one user with two active projects; $12 per month (or $10.80 per month when billed annually) for unlimited users and unlimited projects.
Advanced time-tracking features, including integrations with Google Calendar, Slack, Asana, Trello and other project management tools.
Expense-tracking features, including the ability to upload receipts and track mileage.
Project managers can add other team members to projects so that they can track their own time and expenses within Harvest.
Invoices aren't particularly customizable — free users can’t add a logo, and Harvest offers only one template.
Limited pricing options mean all but the smallest businesses will have to pay $12 per month.
Why we like it: Harvest allows members of a project team to track their hours and expenses in detail, often within whatever apps project managers are using. Managers can set the budget for a project and track expenses and hours to make sure teams are working efficiently. When it comes to invoicing, Harvest’s estimate, invoice and payment collection tools are easy to navigate, and it offers helpful features like automated email reminders to customers.
FreshBooks: Best all-in-one invoicing and accounting software
Price: $15 per month for up to five billable clients; $25 for up to 50 billable clients and additional accounting features; $50 per month for unlimited clients and additional customization features. Additional team members cost $10 per person per month. Custom pricing available beyond these options. Users can save 10% by subscribing to a yearly plan instead.
Native integrations with dozens of other software programs, including payroll, inventory and e-commerce software.
Well-designed versions of standard features, including automated payment reminders, the ability to add discounts and taxes, and updates when an invoice has been viewed or paid.
Bookkeeping and accounting features.
There is no free option. And while FreshBooks’ project management and collaboration tools are helpful, adding team members comes with additional costs.
Why we like it: FreshBooks offers invoicing features that are competitive with others in this space, albeit for a price. On top of that, its accounting services — including double-entry accounting reports and the ability to add your accountant as a team member — set FreshBooks apart (in fact, it’s one of NerdWallet’s picks for the best accounting software for small businesses). If you’re a solopreneur or leader of a small business looking to ease communication with your clients and accountant, this all-in-one solution could help.
How to choose your invoicing software
Ask yourself these questions to help determine what invoicing software is right for you.
Is it scalable?
Make sure to think about the future, not just the present. Since most invoicing software determines pricing based on how many clients you have, business growth could mean rising costs. Look for software that will support the business you’re planning to be running in a year without requiring you to leap up to a much higher pricing tier.
Is it easy to use for you and your clients?
Most invoicing software makers offer free trials to potential customers. Take advantage of these to make sure you understand how to use the features you need. Choose payment gateways that accommodate your clients, especially if you have clients abroad and need to support multiple currencies. Take time to test the software from the client's end, too.
Does it integrate with the software you already use?
If you rely on other software programs already, look for an invoicing option that integrates with them. Many of the options on this list integrate with other software via Zapier, an intermediary software that users have to set up themselves. Make sure to test those integrations before you commit to one program.
The right invoicing software might allow you to consolidate some of your tasks into one place. If you use a time-tracking app, for instance, consider switching to an invoicing software with native, or built-in, integrations that can meet those needs too.
How much does it cost?
The “freemium” model of most invoicing software programs can make it hard to project costs. Growth in your client base or changes to your staffing levels might bounce you into a different price tier. Plus, some important features might actually be add-ons with additional fees.