Freelancing means constantly dealing with the business aspects of your work: finding clients, retaining them, invoicing, chasing payments. We are problem-solvers and even if we don’t like it, we’re also our own accountants.
Invoicing is one of the biggest parts of running a freelance business. It’s usually considered annoying and complicated but being organized is key and helps in considering this everything but a hassle or complicated.
In this guide, you’ll find useful information on the best invoicing tools for freelancers: each of the tools has been tested and reviewed. The goal is not to give you a chart with the best and the worst, but a good idea of the different options that you have when it comes to invoicing as a freelancer.
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Why do freelancers should use an invoicing software?
When it comes to invoicing, traditional software like Word and Excel do a good job: they’re easy to configure and deliver a good final product. But they’re somehow old-style, especially if you deal with a lot of numbers and data because they require manual data input.
Here comes an invoicing software: SaaS invoicing is more efficient, easier to use and they usually integrate a payment system, making it easy for clients to pay you with as little hassle as possible.
Invoicing doesn’t require a stunning design but of course, a professional design always makes a good impression on prospects and clients.
Last but not least, by using an invoicing software you take advantage of every benefit brought by the automation: imagine having the ability to set up an automated recurring invoicing schedule to all your clients where all the figures are automatically updated.
In short, an invoicing software allows freelancers to track, record, write and send invoices without losing time and without updating different Word or Excel rows and columns.
How to Choose the Right Invoicing Tool for your Freelancing Business
“One size fits all” doesn’t apply in the case of invoicing software: you as a freelancer have to take into consideration your needs and what you’re looking for from an invoicing system to determine which may be a good fit for your small business.
In choosing the right invoicing tool for your freelancing business you need to answer to the following questions or part of them:
- How many clients do I have?
- How many recurring invoices do I plan on sending monthly?
- How do most of my clients prefer to pay?
- Do I need the software to be integrated with other tools?
Once you’ve figured out these things, you’re ready to start exploring the amazing world of the invoicing tools and software.
The Best Invoicing Tools for Freelancers and Self Employed
The Internet is savage when it comes to invoicing tools for freelancers: there’s a crazy amount of invoicing services that will save you time, keep you organized, and ensure that your records are accurate and always updated.
We’ve tried and tested a few of these apps and tools and we want to give you an overview of the best ones. The list includes simple and complicated tools: the simplest tools only focus on invoicing, the more complicated include other things such as tax tracking and most advanced accounting tools.
1. Quickbooks Online
Possibly one of the most used invoicing systems by freelancers Worldwide, Quickbooks Online is a certainty and it comes with a lot of features. You do not have to be an accountant or bookkeeper to use QuickBooks: the only task required is to purchase the product that is right for your business, customize it to fit your business needs, and start using it. You can choose between the online version and the desktop one.
QuickBooks Online offers a free trial of 30 days. The pricing starts at 14 euro /$20 per month for the Simple Start Plan and you can pay monthly or yearly.
QuickBooks Desktop has a licensing pricing model and yearly subscription pricing model: QuickBooks Pro, the cheapest, costs $299.95 for a single user. The online version of QuickBooks is much easier to use than the desktop version and way more suitable for freelancers.
Self-employed can avail of QuickBooks Self-Employed at a price of $15; the Self-Employed Tax Bundle also includes Turbo-Tax.
Learn how to use Quickbooks
Mastering QuickBooks Online is a comprehensive and understandable course on Udemy.
If you’re looking for a more comprehensive course, we definitely recommend The Ultimate QuickBooks Pro Training Bundle – 60+ Hours.
Wave Invoicing offers the majority of the invoicing services for free making money on the transactions between you and your client. In fact, for every invoice you send they retain a percentage on every single transaction, in case you use their integrated payment system.
Wave charges 1.4% + €0.25 per transaction for European issued cards excluding VAT and 2.9% + €0.25 per transaction for non-European issued cards excluding VAT. 1% for bank payments, where available.
There are two additional fees for specific use cases for processing online payments: a dispute fee of $15 if the account holder disputes a payment transaction and a return fee of $5 per item.
Wave is 100% web-based, but you can use their mobile invoicing and receipt scanning apps for iOS and Android.
Bonsai has been around for years and its motto, “Make more, Manage less” expresses what the software is: an all-in-one product suite with smart automation.
The suite includes a set of proposal templates to be used every time you need to send out a proposal or an estimate, a time tracker and a tracker for expenses.
The invoicing system is definitely interesting: not only you can send your invoices via Bonsai and set up your recurring ones. In fact, Bonsai reminds clients of any unpaid invoices and automatically adds a late fee to any invoices that aren’t paid by the due date: no more chasing around! You can also schedule invoices for later, send invoices via a different link, or download them as PDFs.
The pricing starts at $19/month for the Workflow Plan, but you can try HelloBonsai for free using this link.
HoneyBook has been created with freelancers in mind, and offer the opportunity to manage projects and get paid easily. The Pipeline is the dashboard where you can see your projects and their status and from here you can send an email, keep tracks of the proposal and check the status of your relationship with a client or a prospect. Honeybook also gives access to a form that you can use on your website to collect leads, and start building your business relations from there.
Honeybook also includes an invoicing system to manage clients & payments in one place, including automatic payment reminders, payment tracking and direct deposit funds to your account.
If you want a solution that is comprehensive and easy to use, AND.CO it’s considered one of the best in the market.
AND.CO claims to allow you to “Invoice in 20 seconds or less” and this is absolutely true. This invoicing system is one of the clever and simplest and it’s perfect for freelancers: it automatically creates invoices for you and alerts you when they’re viewed or paid, accepts payments directly, and sends you an alert when payment has bee received. The comprehensive AND.CO suite also includes Proposals’ area, Contracts’ Area, and for the most attentive a Time Tracking and Task Management.
Free account for freelancers with very low demands, while the PRO version costs $18/month and of course includes more features (such as removing AND.CO branding from invoices and documents).
Try AND.CO using this link.
Invoicely offers all the features a freelancer needs when it comes to invoicing and the best part is that it is completely free if you do not need advanced stuff. The free plan includes sending unlimited invoices, billing in any currency, and integration with Paypal to accept payments. The Basic Plan is priced at $9.99 per month. Easy-to-use software that gives freedom to invoicing quickly and with zero hassle.
7. Invoice Ninja
Invoice Ninja is another invoicing software loved by freelancers, for a very significant reason: the free version offers a lot of advanced features, such as the possibility to create unlimited invoices for up to 100 clients, recurring invoices, proposals, integration with 40+ payment system, and more.
The Pro plan is priced at $8 per month and it’s a great solution for freelancers on the lookout for a comprehensive and easy-to-use invoicing tool.
FreshBooks is almost unanimously considered the alternative to QuickBooks and even if it’s younger than the rival, it has a large following. FreshBooks offers three different pricing levels that support just one user. One of the best elements of FreshBooks is the adaptability to the market so if you’re a user from Europe, for example, you can use the VAT Return Report to file your VAT directly within the software and transmit to your Government.
FreshBooks is one of those accounting tools that can also be used as an invoicing tool and that’s why we recommend it: it’s an all-in-one solution that will limit the waste of time and will allow you to keep track of everything in just one place. It’s also customizable and easy to learn, and this makes FreshBooks one of the best accounting software out there.
As already said above, when it comes to invoicing tools and software the famous saying “one fits all” cannot be applied. Every freelancer is different and has different needs, meaning that each self-employed has to decide what’s the best invoicing system based on his business. The invoicing tools we’ve reviewed are all extremely valid and easy to use. They’re different from another, but they all solve the same problems: save your time, allow you to be paid on time, and reduce paper.
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