Best Invoicing and Billing Software for Small Businesses of 2024

Invoicing software can help your business handle more than just billing.
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Written by Hillary Crawford
Lead Writer
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Edited by Sally Lauckner
Assigning Editor
Fact Checked
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Invoicing software, also known as billing software, helps small-business owners and freelancers track the goods and services they provide and how much customers owe. The best options help you automate the entire invoicing process online — from creating estimates to tracking hours to collecting payments. Our top invoicing software picks offer a combination of these features, plus mobile apps and more.

Many times, accounting software has built-in invoicing features that may offer everything you need. An invoicing-only product, on the other hand, can be a less expensive, simpler solution if you need only invoicing and expense tracking.

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The 7 Best Invoicing Software for Small Businesses
ProductStarting atPromotionLearn more
FreshBooks

FreshBooks

NerdWallet Rating 
4.5
Learn more

on FreshBooks' website

$19/month 

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $33, $60, custom.

30-day free trial 

or monthly discount (terms vary).

Learn more

on FreshBooks' website

Square

Square Invoices

NerdWallet Rating 
5.0
Learn more

on Square's website

$0 

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $20.

30-day free trial 

or monthly discount (terms vary).

Learn more

on Square's website

Zoho Invoice

Zoho Invoice

NerdWallet Rating 
4.5
Learn more

on Zoho Invoice's website

$0 

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $20.

N/A 
Learn more

on Zoho Invoice's website

Invoice Ninja

Invoice Ninja

NerdWallet Rating 
4.0
$0 

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $20.

N/A 
Hiveage

Hiveage

NerdWallet Rating 
4.5
$0 

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $20.

14-day free trial 

of the Pro plan.

Harvest

Harvest

NerdWallet Rating 
5.0
$0 

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $20.

30-day free trial 

or monthly discount (terms vary).

Invoice Home

Invoice Home

NerdWallet Rating 
4.0
$0 

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $20.

N/A 

A closer look at our top invoicing and billing software picks

FreshBooks

Best for all-in-one invoicing and accounting software
FreshBooks
FreshBooks

FreshBooks

NerdWallet Rating 
4.5
Starting At 

$19

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $33, $60, custom. 

  • $19 per month for the Lite plan.

  • $33 per month for the Plus plan.

  • $60 per month for the Premium plan.

  • Custom pricing for the Select plan.

Why we picked it: FreshBooks got its start as an invoicing product designed for freelancers and creatives. Though it doesn’t offer a free plan like some of its competitors do, its accounting services — including double-entry accounting reports and online bank feeds — set it apart from standalone invoicing products. In addition to accepting online credit card, Stripe and PayPal payments, the software enables ACH transfers for a small fee. Unlike some of its competitors in the accounting software industry, all of its plans include time tracking, mileage tracking and the ability to mark expenses as billable. If you're looking for an all-in-one invoicing and accounting product with a sleek mobile app, especially if you’re a solopreneur or freelancer, FreshBooks is a great choice. Read our complete FreshBooks review.

Pros

Stay in touch with clients through the FreshBooks mobile app and get notified when invoices have been viewed or become overdue.

Intuitive, customizable invoicing capabilities compete with those of more robust accounting solutions.

Track time and add billable hours to invoices in all plans.

Weekday phone support in all plans.

Cons

Lacks features that quickly growing companies need, like audit trails for accountants to review.

Highest-tier Select plan only comes with two users (additional users add $11 per month) and lower-tier plans put limits on billable clients.

Least expensive plan lacks double-entry accounting reports, bank reconciliation and accountant access.

Square Invoices

Best for sending digital contracts
Square
Square

Square Invoices

NerdWallet Rating 
5.0
Starting At 

$0

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $20.  

  • $0 per month for the Free plan.

  • $20 per month for the Plus plan.

Why we picked it: You can include terms in a typical invoice, but you never know if your clients take the time to read and understand them. Square Invoices lets you emphasize those terms by supplementing your invoices with contracts that require clients’ e-signatures. That way, you can make sure you and your customers are on the same page when it comes to payment terms, due dates and refund policy. Another highlight of Square Invoices is its clean layout. The simple, user-friendly interface makes it easy to create invoices or contracts, set up recurring invoices or request a deposit upfront. Read our Square Invoices review.

Pros

Unlimited invoicing, estimates, contracts, users and clients in all plans.

Integrates with Square’s all-in-one payment platform.

Streamlined and intuitive.

Ability to process in-person and online card payments as well as cash, checks, ACH transfers, Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Send recurring invoices.

Automatic payment reminders.

Gives clients the option to include a tip.

Cons

Must use Square’s in-house payment processing to accept online payments.

Free plan does not enable custom invoicing fields and the ability to auto-convert estimates into invoices.

Zoho Invoice

Best for free invoicing software
Zoho Invoice
Zoho Invoice

Zoho Invoice

NerdWallet Rating 
4.5
Starting At 

$0

Free. 

Free.

Why we picked it: Zoho Invoice is comprehensive yet easy to use. You can keep track of hours, expenses and inventory items 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 if payments become overdue. Businesses can access all of Zoho Invoice’s features for free, but invoices are capped at 500 per year. In addition to online credit card payments, Zoho Invoice lets you accept cash, check and ACH payments. Zoho Books, the company’s accounting software product, also comes with invoicing features.

Pros

Send up to 500 invoices per year for free.

Portal lets clients pay invoices and view their transaction history.

Payment gateway integrations include Stripe, PayPal, Square and more.

Photograph receipts and attach them to expense reports.

Free invoice app for iOS lets you add a timer widget to your home screen, send invoices via iMessage and add new contacts by taking photos of their business cards.

Cons

Limited third-party integrations outside of other Zoho products and QuickBooks Online.

Invoice Ninja

Best for payment flexibility
Invoice Ninja
Invoice Ninja

Invoice Ninja

NerdWallet Rating 
4.0
Starting At 

$0

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $12, $16. 

  • $0 per month for the Free plan.

  • $12 per month for the Ninja Pro plan (or $120 billed annually).

  • $16 per month for the Enterprise plan for up to 2 users (or $160 billed annually); price increases with more users.

Why we picked it: In addition to the payment gateway freedom Invoice Ninja offers, it also enables you to ask customers to pay a deposit upfront, set a minimum payment requirement, and add taxes and a tipping option to invoices. Clients can pay online or use ACH payments to transfer funds. The paid plans 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. You can add additional users to only the most expensive Enterprise plan (for a fee).

Pros

Free plan supports unlimited invoices for up to 20 clients.

Automatically transfer credit card processing fees to customers and allow them to tip on invoices or pay incrementally over time.

Integrates with more than a dozen payment gateways including Stripe, PayPal, Square and Apple Pay.

Built-in inventory tool tracks items as they’re invoiced.

Portal lets clients view their invoices and payment history.

Cons

No direct integrations with bookkeeping or accounting software.

Enterprise plan pricing increases as you add more users.

Hiveage

Best for simple billing software
Hiveage
Hiveage

Hiveage

NerdWallet Rating 
4.5
Starting At 

$0

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $19, $29, $49. 

  • $0 per month for the Free plan.

  • $19 per month for the Basic plan (or $16 per month billed annually).

  • $29 per month for the Pro plan (or $25 per month billed annually).

  • $49 per month for the Plus plan (or $42 per month billed annually).

Why we picked it: With Hiveage, creating one-time and recurring invoices is straightforward and the dashboard is easy to navigate. The billing software includes time and expense tracking even in the free version. You can accept online payments with any plan, but to accept offline payments through cash, check and bank transfer, you’ll have to subscribe to the most expensive Plus plan. Hiveage can also integrate with accounting, customer relationship management (CRM) and project management software via Zapier.

Pros

Free plan supports unlimited invoicing for up to five clients.

Integrates with a dozen payment gateways including Stripe, PayPal, Square and more.

Assign different billable rates to each type of task.

Direct clients to your own custom domain with the Plus plan.

Cons

No direct integrations with bookkeeping or accounting software.

All plans have client limits (highest-tier Plus plan caps at 1,000).

Harvest

Best for project invoicing
Harvest
Harvest

Harvest

NerdWallet Rating 
5.0
Starting At 

$0

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $12 per user.  

  • $0 per month, 1 user, for the Free plan.

  • $12 per user per month for the Pro plan (or $10.80 per user per month billed annually).

Why we picked it: Harvest allows members of a project team to track their hours 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 with late payments. If you’re concerned about credit card processing fees adding up, you can switch off the ability to pay with a credit card through Stripe. Instead, your invoices will give clients the option to pay only via ACH transfer.

Pros

Offers a free plan (limited to two projects).

Advanced time tracking features, including integrations with Google Calendar, Slack, Asana, Trello and other project management tools.

Display billable hours by task, person or project on invoices.

Snap and upload photos of billable expense receipts with the mobile app.

Integrates with QuickBooks Online and Xero for accounting.

Cons

Invoice customization options are limited. Free users can’t add company logos to invoices, and Harvest offers only two templates (one PDF and one GDoc).

Payment integrations are limited to Stripe and PayPal.

Invoice Home

Best for free online invoice templates
Invoice Home
Invoice Home

Invoice Home

NerdWallet Rating 
4.0
Starting At 

$0

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $9. 

  • $0 per month for the Free plan.

  • $9 per month for the Unlimited Invoicing plan.

Why we picked it: Invoice Home offers a generous library of free invoice templates, and for a reasonable monthly fee, you can send an unlimited number of invoices to an unlimited number of customers. If all you need from your invoicing software is the ability to quickly spin up a large volume of invoices and make it easy for your customers to pay them online, then Invoice Home is a strong solution. You can use the billing software for free if you invoice less than $1,000 per month.

Pros

Large library of customizable invoice templates.

Invoice up to $1,000 a month for free.

Payment gateway integrations include PayPal, Authorize.net and Stripe.

No contract and no cancellation penalty.

Cons

Lacks additional features such as time and expense tracking.

No direct integrations with accounting software.


Additional invoicing and billing software to consider

In our review of fifteen invoicing software products, NerdWallet determined a few products that don’t make our “best” list are still strong contenders that are worth consideration. Consider one of the following solutions if those on our list above don’t suit your small-business invoicing needs.

Xero

Another solid choice for all-in-one invoicing and accounting software.

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
  • $15 per month for the Early plan.

  • $42 per month for the Growing plan.

  • $78 per month for the Established plan.

Why it’s worth considering: Xero lets you send automatic payment reminders to clients, create customizable invoice templates and accept payments via ACH transfer, Google Pay, Apple Pay or card. To access time tracking and mileage tracking or claim expenses, you’ll have to subscribe to the Established plan. On the accounting software front, Xero stands out as a scalable solution that supports an unlimited number of users in all plans. This makes it a great fit for small-business owners who need to give multiple employees access to the software. Read our full Xero Accounting review.

Wave Invoicing

Another good option for free invoicing software.

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
  • $0 for the Starter plan.

  • $16 per month for the Pro plan.

Why it’s worth considering: Wave is a simple accounting and invoicing solution for freelancers, solopreneurs and microbusinesses that mostly receive payments via invoice. However, there is no easy way to mark expenses as billable so that you can add them to invoices later. While you can create a reimbursable expense account as a workaround, it isn’t as convenient as the billable expense features other accounting products offer. Read our full Wave review.

Hopscotch

Good for early access to invoice funds.

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
  • $0 per month for Hopscotch plan.

  • $45 per month for Hopscotch Pro plan (or $36 per month billed annually).

Why it’s worth considering: Hopscotch’s Flow feature is comparable to invoicing financing, in that it lets you access invoice funds before your client pays them. Since this service comes with a fee, it’s not something you’ll want to use for every invoice. However, if you trust that your customers will promptly pay their outstanding invoices, it can be a helpful short-term solution to cash flow issues. The software also lets you connect your bank account, send payment reminders to clients and pass on credit card fees to clients.

How we determined the best invoicing and billing software

To determine the best invoicing and billing software for small businesses, NerdWallet considered the following features:

Invoicing capabilities. The best invoicing and billing software should offer invoice customization options, the ability to send automatic payment reminders and accept online payments, a dashboard to easily track invoice and billing status plus some reporting capabilities. Standout products also make it easy to convert estimates to invoices and offer most or all features within a mobile app as well.

Affordability. Most of the plans for the software included on our list start below $20 per month (and many offer free plans).

Integrations. Ideally, standalone invoicing and billing software directly integrates with popular accounting software, like QuickBooks Online and Xero. Some of the higher-rated products on our list also offer direct integrations with e-commerce, CRM, inventory and other software applications.

Additional consideration was given to customer support availability, pricing transparency and whether a free trial is offered for paid products.

NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.


How to choose invoicing or billing software

Consider the following factors to help determine what invoicing software is right for your small business.

Scalability

Make sure to think about the future, not just the present. Because 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 to a much higher pricing tier.

Ease of use

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.

Software integrations

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, 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 time tracking software, for instance, consider switching to an invoicing software with native, or built-in, integrations that can meet those needs, too.

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. If budget is top of mind, though, there are plenty of free invoicing software options available.

Should your small business use online invoicing?

Online invoicing software, as opposed to paper invoicing, has become the norm for many small businesses. Consider online invoicing if you’re interested in the following benefits:

  • Immediate customer receipt. Customers receive online invoices instantly, cutting out the delivery time of nondigital methods.

  • Faster payments. Adding a link in an invoice to pay it online is not only convenient for customers but also good for your business’s cash flow. And if you’ve connected your bank account to the invoicing software, the funds should get directly transferred. 

  • Streamlined accounting records. Invoicing software options usually integrate with accounting programs and consolidate record-keeping in one location. For example, lots of accounting software products let you view unpaid invoices right from your dashboard. 

  • Saved time. You’ll spend less time tracking which invoices are paid, prepping new ones by hand and mailing them to customers.

While online invoicing is preferable to paper invoicing in most situations, there are a few potential pitfalls to be aware of:

  • Processing fees. Offering your customers the option to pay online is convenient, but it often comes with a payment processing fee, unlike receiving payment by check. 

  • Spam filters can hide invoices. Sending invoices by email means a customer’s inbox could tag them as spam, so you might still have to call a few customers who are unaware they have an invoice waiting.

  • Email can be hacked. Privacy might be compromised if a customer’s email is hacked, which is much less likely if an invoice is mailed.

Frequently asked questions

Bills are technically different from invoices, but the terms are often used interchangeably. Both indicate that payment is due, but bills are typically paid on the spot, whereas invoices include payment terms that establish a set amount of time a client has to submit full or partial payment. Invoices also serve as a detailed, itemized record of goods and/or services exchanged and the costs associated with each line item, whereas a bill typically offers more general price and tax information. Regardless of when payment is due, you might hear clients refer to an invoice you issued as their “bill.”

In that sense, invoicing software and billing software are essentially the same thing, unless you run a subscription-based business. In that case, you might look specifically for subscription billing software.

The best invoicing software for your small business depends on what type of company you own, whether you provide products or services, your budget and which features you need. For example, project-based businesses may need more granular invoicing details, like billable hours by task or person, than retail businesses.

Think about where your billing process begins and ends. Maybe it starts with a quote and progresses into recording billable hours and expenses. After creating and sending an invoice, you might email automated payment reminders to your client and, finally, accept their payment online. The best invoicing software for you will be able to accommodate each step.

If you’d like to accept payments online, make sure your payment gateway is PCI compliant — this means it follows the data security standards established by global leaders in the payment industry.

When choosing invoicing software, look for basic features like the ability to send estimates and bill for hours and expenses. Each product also has its own invoice templates, so you’ll want to verify that they contain the fields you need. You’ll usually find invoice fields for sales tax and due dates, for example.

Other invoice software features to consider include the ability to set different billable rates depending on the job, a client portal and integrations. Ideally, your invoicing software will share data with your accounting software and accommodate your payment gateway.

Standalone invoicing software can cost from $10 to $49 or more per month, but many products offer free subscriptions, too. Some invoicing software charges per user, while other products make you upgrade if you want to send unlimited invoices to an unlimited number of clients.

However, if you already use accounting software, the least expensive option would be sticking with its invoicing feature as opposed to subscribing to an additional product.

NerdWallet writers Rosalie Murphy and Whitney Vandiver also contributed to this article.

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