Small businesses have needs that are unique and vary from business to business. Close to 90% of all functional businesses comprise less than 5 employees, and hence cannot work with accounting solutions tailor-made for gigantic companies.
Invoicing and accounting solutions specifically designed for freelancers and small businesses have grown in popularity over the last few years. Let’s have a look at the ones that are currently ruling the roost.
CloudBooks is a complete cloud-based accounting app that can keep you updated on all your business needs. You can track time and expenses, manage different tax rates and create estimates which can be converted into invoices in a single click. You can also prepare reports and generate automated recurring invoices.
CloudBooks allows your clients to comment on estimates and invoices. Recurring expenses can be automated and added to invoices so that you do not miss passing on the costs. PayPal and Authorize.Net are the online payment gateways available to you.
Customization of expenses allows you to add unique expenses and costs, which can be later passed on to the clients. This is a great app for freelancers and small business owners. It has great features that make invoicing a breeze. You can keep tab on payments and track delays. Client page allows the client to collaborate on projects and view invoices.
CloudBooks is also perfectly capable of supporting large teams and multiple projects. You can add and assign tasks, track time and manage projects with ease. Role–based permissions guarantee the safety and security of vital financial information while enabling collaboration.
Time-tracking is made simple and effective with automated timer. This allows you to view billed and unbilled hours instantly and raise invoices accordingly. CloudBooks is a feature-packed app that makes all aspects of your business accessible at your fingertips, right on your phone. They offer you a free trial period of 30 days where you can send 5 invoices, but it does not include online payment options and phone support.
The free version of the app is available if you have one client and no staff, and offers 5 invoices per month. The basic version costs $2 per month and the premium version $20 per month. The team plan costs $10 per month and is best suited for small businesses.
2) Sage One
Sage One is a cloud-based invoicing and project tracking solution. It has a convenient and user-friendly interface. The instructions are easy to follow and in a few clicks you are all set to go.
Customized invoicing is made easy by Sage One. You can assign multiple tax rates to different customers, track invoices and record payments and delays. There are facilities for online payment and recurring billing, as well as a reporting tool.
Project and expense tracking is facilitated by Sage One. Freelancers and entrepreneurs find it easy to collaborate and work on projects. There are tools to assign tasks, track expenses and costs, and monitor the time spent on activities. Email notifications and reminders help keep the team in the loop and on their toes. Invoices are raised correspondingly and dispatched in a timely fashion.
There is a 30-day free trial access to the full version. The basic version of the software costs $9 per month.
Nutcache is as efficient and effective as a free invoicing system can get. The cloud-based free invoicing program offers you unlimited number of users, clients and invoices in addition to tools for time- and expense-tracking.
Nutcache is delightfully simple and quick. It is easy to create quotes or estimates and mail them. But the default mail does not allow you to add additional attachments or let the client add comments. Users cannot create their own default email or modify the system-generated mail to be sent out to clients. This is a cause for bother for most of the users. There is also a problem of inconsistent customer support and limited online payment options. But most of these issues are minor.
Nutcache is multi-lingual (supports 10 languages) and extremely user-friendly. Its mobile app, Nutcache Time Logger, available in App Store and Google Play, also gets the customers’ vote on these accounts.
There are frequent updates and upgrades which make Nutcache interesting, innovative and customer-oriented. “Tax invoice” labels have also been introduced.
Invoiceable is hugely successful and widely used. It is a free cloud-based invoicing and billing software aimed at small businesses and freelancers. Invoiceable is simple and easy to use, and perfectly capable of meeting your demands.
Invoiceable allows you to create detailed invoices. Recurring invoices can be automated. You can also add discounts and accept partial payments. You cannot customize the invoices extensively. You can add in your company’s logo and change the header of the template.
Invoiceable allows you to create client statements and reports of invoices. There are no complex tools to manage inventory though you can save items to speed up data entry.
However, customer service is tardy and there are times when you are left on your own. Another drawback is you can only have one user per account. There is no mobile app available as of now. There have been no recent updates or additional new features, and there is nothing exciting on offer for customers.
The fact that it is free makes Invoiceable appealing to freelancers and mom-and-pop shops with no extensive business needs.
FreeAgent is a cloud-based accounting and invoicing solution. It is designed for small and mid-sized businesses.
FreeAgent is a highly useful tool if you bill for hours and work with several contractors on projects. The timer can be set for multiple users. It automatically records logins and log outs, and the total hours worked. You can also opt to manually track your time. This helps you bill your client efficiently and maintain updated timesheets.
Estimates can be created easily and sent to clients. Once approved, they are converted into invoices in a couple of clicks. FreeAgent allows you to add attachments or documentation to invoices. You can create your own default mail for invoices.
FreeAgent helps you set up automatic recurring invoices and automatic payment reminders, and send automatic thank you notes to clients when payments are made against invoices. This is a very attractive feature in FreeAgent.
Expenses can be tracked and added to costs. Employees can track unbillable expenses from their side as well which you will reimburse. Client contacts will be able to view project status, invoices and payments on their portal.
The excellent job-costing feature helps in project management. You can track unlimited number of projects, assign tasks and track expenses, and time. You can view the profitability of the project and all the related documentation and invoices comprehensively.
The developer has not come out with a dedicated mobile phone app but with API you can create one of your own.
FreeAgent offers a free trial period of 30 days. After that it has a fixed pricing plan of $24 per month for access to the full version. It also has an extremely attractive referral program.
Billbooks is a cloud-based accounting invoicing and billing app. You can send instant invoices and estimates to your clients, wherever you are. The app makes it quick and simple to raise invoices. Enter in few details and your invoice is ready to be dispatched. You can also add discounts and set up automatic recurring invoices and payment reminders.
Estimates can be sent out in multiple languages which makes it a handy tool for users with foreign clients.
Billbooks has plenty to offer by means of payment gateways including, but not limited to, PayPal, Authorize.Net and Stripe. Reports are generated in a timely and neat format. If you are working on projects, profit and loss reports can be generated on a project-to-project basis.
Invoices and estimates can be exported to PDF format, edited and printed with ease. There is an option for data import which makes your expense tracking and invoicing easy. Billbooks makes it easy to share data and copies of estimates with different staff members as well as with contacts on the client’s side.
Search feature helps you dig out past invoices and you can ‘star’ your clients which makes it easy to access their data.
Billbooks charges according to the number of invoices you want to send out. Twenty invoices costs $10, 50 invoices $20, 100 invoices $35 and 200 invoices $60. The invoices never expire and you have access to the full set of features, and can support any number of clients.
Invoicing is a time-consuming activity. Try the above invoicing solutions for small business and stick with any you like. They will definitely prove to be a value-addition in no time.
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