Simple and free invoice software is all you need for your invoices. However, one that is more elaborate, can also support you in steering and managing your work.
What solutions are available and which should you choose? We have selected some free invoice software, but also paid but budget-friendly tools for you to find the one made for your business.
What does an invoicing software do?
Billing and invoicing management
An invoice software comes in the form of a single platform that permits you to edit and manage invoices, expenses, and quotes. The aim: to have an accurate view of past, current and future receipts and payments (quotes for prospective customers, order form, delivery form, sales revenues...)
Respecting the legal framework
Invoices have some legal obligations to respect which are dictated either by the commercial code or by the industry. The terms can change, for instance, in 2014 VAT within the catering sector increased from 7 to 10% in France. A software solution for quotes and invoicing can serve as a watchdog for this: it is a sure way to issue invoices which are valid and up-to-date with current regulations.
Fluidity in accounting
Invoicing software does much more than Excel. By importing your bank flows, it connects them to the corresponding invoices, turning them into accounting entries. The process is semi-automatic. Your certified accountant, management center or you as a businessperson, no longer need to manually enter and connect the entries. Once generated, they are inserted directly into the statement.
How can I choose the right software for me?
What are my needs?
To find software that is best suited to your work, take into consideration:
- The number of users
- Monthly bills, etc.
- Will you need to personalize the documents with the logo of your business?
How will I use this software?
Will you need mobility? If this is the case, software that also has a mobile app is vital for you. Don't underestimate the software appearance and the interface, they are what will make its usage more enjoyable and its setting-up easier. Interoperability is also a key factor, you want this software to be compatible for further time-saving.
What to make of free invoicing software
Some 'free' invoicing software are actually paid services with a free version. This tends to be downgraded and unsatisfactory.
The free version of AlauxSoft, for example, doesn't offer a receipt or disbursements tracking, even though this is a basic function. Others won't be able to connect with your bank. You then have to manually import your bank flows in CSV format. Then there are the others, like Go-Facture, that don't allow you to send your invoices via email from your software to your customer folder. You have to export the invoice and send it from your email account as an attachment.
A fixed maximum
Some software limit the number of invoices on their free version. On Go-Facture, for example, this limit is fourteen invoices per month. This might be enough as free software for the self-employed at the beginning, but the day when you surpass this number, you need to switch to the paying version. With other software, it's the number of possible users which is limited. With NCH Software, the maximum is five.
Free software worth trying
Zervant is an online tool that stands out for its user-friendliness. Designed for small businesses, in particular very small businesses or entrepreneurs. You can create your cost estimates and invoices in just a few clicks! Email, PDF or a hard copy- it’s up to you!
In terms of its features, Zervant proposes:
- Management of your client base
- Sending documents
- Monitoring your sales
- The option of personalized documents
- Multi-lingual management of your cost estimates and spending, etc.
- You can see within a few minutes if your bills have been paid, are waiting to be paid or are overdue. Providing up-to-date knowledge or your cash-flow straight away.
Up to 10 customers, unlimited email invoicing, standard support in 5 languages, online payments. For a service with more options, monthly prices start at $4.
Used by 100, 000 small businesses to create, personalize and send professional-looking estimates and invoices to clients within a matter of seconds and the touch of a few buttons. Download for it to be yours.
- Invoices in any language or currency in a matter of seconds delivered swiftly to clients
- The receipt of instant online invoice payments from any location, any client and in whatever world currency,
- Get compensation: Turn hours, miles and expenses into invoices and bills at the click of a button and ensure you are reimbursed for the work your business does
- Customize Invoicely by adjusting every element of your control panel, log-in screens and statements to suit the design to your specific business.
- Manage multiple businesses from the one space
- Finances in all in the same location
- Monthly, yearly and customizable summaries on your earnings and expenses, invoices, estimates, and bills
Free version- unlimited invoices and billing in any currency, with limited branding ability. More options with the paid version that starts at $9.99/ month, but that is to be expected.
Ins and outs of free billing services
Let's say that a problem occurs, that you need an invoicing template or that you need some clarification: the ability to contact support services is crucial. Whether it's by email, chat or phone, the qualified individual will be able to solve the problem. But free versions obviously do not offer support.
Some free versions are available for download. They are intended to be installed at your work post. Unlike an online invoicing software, you won't be able to access it on the move from another device, nor complete invoices online. In the case of a legal change, it's up to you to take care of updating. You also have to independently conduct regular backups of your accounts.
Free... to an extent
Some publishers play with words. They claim the software is free when it's actually just a free trial period. That's the case with Faktum Facture. It banks on the hope that once using that tool, you won't want to change. Once you have set up the administration of the customer contacts and paired the software with your bank account, it is indeed a hindrance.
A matter of business models
It's not unusual that free versions leave something to be desired. If we think about that business model, totally free software would imply that they are produced on a totally voluntary basis. This would inevitably reduce service and product quality - with regards to ergonomics, reliability, and functions. Unless it is a non-profit organization, the publisher must generate profit. If they offer a free solution, we have to ask ourselves about where they profit. Nowadays, data is a sought-after commodity, and some undoubtedly make a profit by reselling the information you give for commercial purposes.
Paid invoice software to meet your needs
Within the category of paid software, some are offered under a license with a maintenance agreement for updates and others are offered via subscription in SaaS (Software as a Service) mode. Regarding the size of your organization (self-employment, micro-company, small and medium-sized enterprises), there are different solutions.
Focus on other tasks whilst Freshbooks takes care of the billing. With its help, you can send invoices and receive payments sooner. Complete with automated payment reminders as well as tracking ability. Brand your system and design invoices with your company's logo and colors… so that your clients might even enjoy receiving bills!
- Award-winning customer support
- On average, FreshBooks customers save 16 hours a month
- Chat and collaborate on work
- Assign project due dates
- Invite your staff, clients or contractors to a project
- Share images and files from within FreshBooks
- Professional touches
- Create an invoice in seconds
- Ability to charge late fees
- Get paid up to 11 days faster
Quickbooks is also a popular online accounting solution, with 2.5 million users across the world. It is the most trusted online accounting solution amongst small businesses and a very sensible choice. This solution alerts you in the case of payments not yet received. To avoid noticing late that a customer hasn't paid you, you may install an email reminder to know in advance. Quickbooks comes equipped with excellent ergonomics and an anti-fraud system.
Quickbooks offers a range of features which allow you to:
- Monitor your daily cash flow: track profit and loss
- Detect anomalies to save any business blunders
- Simplify bookkeeping: quickly enter your accounts thanks to your integrated accounting plan and automatic management of VAT
- Connection with numerous banks
- Intuitive control panels
- Commercial management: Send quotes and invoices to clients after you have created them with Quickbooks
- Monitor current payments
- Get an overview of your activity so that you can better manage your enterprise
- Attractive interface with a range of features to simplify your daily administration tasks
- Web-based access: Does away with the storage of your accounting, commercial and financial data
- Not necessarily a free solution, but at times it offers promotions to enable businesses with smaller budgets to afford quality software.
A Sage offer for very small companies that lack in accounting expertise. It is complete and comes in the form of a control panel for a real-time view of your administration. This management and assistance tool help you to access and change your work from anywhere using your mobile app and desktop computer alike.
Clever functions of Sage One:
- Reference your articles and products and create your own personalized quote model
- Automatically does calculations excluding taxes and including taxes, and automatically formats documents
- Helps you to avoid wasting time by making sure you don’t make the same errors that were always a problem with Excel
- Quotes and invoices can be sent via email in one click, getting them to clients sooner
- Bank synchronization means you can track client payments in real time
- Your accountant can be granted secured access, allowing them to find all the necessary information for bookkeeping purposes
- A mobile app for managing client payment reminders
- Very attractive price
- No redundant functions for VSBs
- The learning environment, quick uptake
Have you chosen your invoicing software yet?
Obtaining a reliable invoicing solution is absolutely necessary. While some call themselves free, they often hide some inconveniences. If you have to choose your own, look closely at your expectations in terms of functions, ease of configuration and choose one which is satisfying, upgradeable and customizable in the long run.