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The Best Billing and Invoice Software of 2016

The Best Billing & Invoice Software
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The Best Billing and Invoice Software of 2016

Our Ranking Billing and Invoice Software
1 FreshBooks
2 QuickBooks
3 Zoho Invoice
4 Invoice2go
5 SliQ Invoicing
6 Express Invoice
7 kBilling
8 BillQuick
9 Invoiceit
10 PaySimple
Summary
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The Best Billing & Invoicing Software for Small Businesses

The top performers in our review are FreshBooks, the Gold Award winner; QuickBooks, the Silver Award winner; and Zoho Invoice, the Bronze Award winner. Here's more on choosing an application to meet your needs, along with detail on how we arrived at our ranking of the top 10 billing and invoicing software programs.

Small business owners typically don't have an accounts payable department; usually the task of billing and invoicing customers and vendors falls to you. Using billing and invoicing software can speed this process and help you manage your billing so you get paid on time.

Our reviewers tested 10 different programs to find the best invoicing software. We tested each program thoroughly and compared how easy it was to use them. We looked for useful tools like batch invoicing, mobile apps and the ability to process a customer's order online. The best billing software has intuitive and simple platforms anyone can use. It can send invoices by email and allow you to create reports to analyze your billing.

If you are in need of software that offers more than billing and invoicing, our Accounting Software reviews can help you pinpoint programs to manage your business's finances. For more information on these software and services, take a look at our articles on billing and invoice software.

Our Verdict & Recommendations

FreshBooks is our top-rated billing and invoice application. It has one of the highest scores for ease of use, with a simple online platform that makes creating invoices easy. It has a variety of useful features, including the ability to set up recurring invoices, plus it can generate quotes and estimates. A built-in timer allows you to bill for hourly work. FreshBooks has a variety of payment options so customers can pay you online. This invoice software offers a free 30-day trial and has subscription plans that vary depending on how many clients you bill.

Zoho Invoice is another good choice for small business invoicing and billing. It has the most complete suite of invoicing features of any software we reviewed. With this application, you can send invoices to multiple clients, customize your invoices, process payments online and get access to a wide array of reports. Zoho Invoice is part of a larger suite of business software that includes CRM and accounting software. You can use Zoho Invoice for free, but the free version is limited.

QuickBooks is one of the most well-known invoicing programs, and it offers solutions for a variety of businesses, from independent contractors to services to nonprofits. It offers all the requisite tools for creating invoices, including a built-in timer so you can keep track of how much to charge if you bill by the hour. Your customers can log into a portal to make their payments. QuickBooks also offers some of the strongest reporting features, with over 40 different reports. QuickBooks offers a free 30-day trial and has various pricing plans for businesses of different sizes.

Invoice2go is an app-based billing program that is a good fit for smaller businesses. You can accept payments through the app. SliQ Invoicing offers an intuitive platform and good reporting options but has limited payment options.

Billing & Invoicing Software: What We Looked For, What We Found

Our reviewers tested 10 billing and invoicing programs. We sought out programs that are intuitive and straightforward, make it easy to create and customize invoices, and that allow you to process payments with ease and create reports to track sales.

Invoicing
At their core, these programs all fulfill the same task: invoicing customers for the goods and services you provide. We evaluated how easy it is to add and edit customer and product information and to navigate the program. Our Ease of Use score reflects our experiences, with higher scores going to invoicing programs that have a simple setup process. Typically, online platforms are easier to use than desktop platforms.

We looked for features that help you manage your invoicing more efficiently, incorporate technology for more accurate billing, and that allow you to customize your invoices to better manage your brand. The best invoicing software allows you to send out multiple invoices at once and set up automatic invoices for recurring transactions. If you charge on an hourly basis, you want a program with a timer so you can track your hours and ensure you bill for the time spent on a project. If you work for a service that offers estimates or quotes, you want the ability to quickly create those in the program and send them to potential clients.

Billing & Payment
The second most important aspect of these programs is their capabilities when it comes to billing your customers and accepting payment. Our processing score reflects the ease with which you can set up a billing account by connecting the program to your email and posting payments online. Again, online programs scored better than desktop software. Desktop software required additional setup (server and port number settings when connecting to a POP email).

The best billing programs include a customer portal so your customers can log in and make their payments directly instead of mailing a payment. These programs can also accept multiple currencies, so if you serve a global market, you can accept payments from your foreign customers.

Most billing software offers options for accepting payments online. Typically, you're charged a percentage of each transaction. To learn more about the costs associated with accepting credit cards online, check out these reviews.

Reporting
Each of the billing and invoice software applications we reviewed offer a variety of reporting options. Reports help you chart your finances and track which invoices are outstanding. Reports can be automated and exported as PDF files. The best applications also allow you to receive reports by email.

Help & Support
Finally, we considered the customer support options each software provider offers. Every company can be reached by email, and many have phone or live-chat support. Most include a knowledgebase with FAQs and manuals to help you with questions you have about the program.

Being a small business owner often means keeping track of the bills and invoicing customers yourself. A good billing and invoicing program can make that work easier so you can focus on other critical aspects of running your business. These programs are easy to set up, your customers can pay online, and with the reporting features of many of these applications, you can glean key insights into your business you may otherwise not have with your current system.