Invoices pay our bills and put food on our tables. They’re a freelance writer's best friend, and yet they can be so dull and time-consuming. As writers, we want to spend our time writing, not staring dolefully at spreadsheets.
So why subject yourself to unnecessarily complicated invoicing procedures? As with most things these days, there’s an app for that. Check out these easy invoicing tools and let your numerical troubles drift away!
Wave provides financial services and software to freelancers and small/micro-business owners. They have 2.3m global customers and deal with accounting, lending, payments, payroll and receipts.
They also do invoices, which they describe using five words: professional, easy, unlimited, customisable, and (our favourite) FREE!
Wave comes equipped with a slew of features, including (but not limited to):
- Estimates, statements and receipts
- Recurring and duplicable invoices
- Tracking, tailoring and reminders for payments
- Knowledge of when a client views an invoice
- Flexible and customisable templates
- Accounting integration
- Cash flow insights
- Automatic backup
Wave allows for multi-currency invoicing and offers desktop, iOS and Android apps. Clients can pay by Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover, OR over the phone or in person.
Wave’s invoicing software is comprehensive, but – best of all – it’s 100% free to use. Yes, you read that correctly: no trial period, no tiers to draw you in. You can access all the features and you won’t have to pay a cent. Score!
Zoho describes itself as an ‘operating system’ for business. They’ve got apps for sales and marketing, email and collaboration, business process, human resources, IT and help desk, and finance.
Zoho Invoice, which is the app we’re interested in, is supposed to be hassle-free and fast – care to create and send an invoice in two minutes?
There are four pricing plans for Zoho Invoice, the first of which is Free. This gives you:
- 5 customers
- 1 user
Beyond this, however, all plans have the same functionality, including:
- Estimates and credit notes
- Time, payment and expense tracking
- Flexible reports and invoice templates
- A customer portal
- Recurring invoices and expenses
- Payment reminders
- CRM integration
- SSL encryption and two-factor authentication
Zoho is multi-currency, multi-lingual, and is supported on Windows, iOS and Android mobile devices. It accepts credit cards and at least ten online payment gateways, including PayPal and Stripe.
Zoho’s pricing tiers increase with the number of customers and users. Basic gives you 50 customers and 1 user for $7/month. The Standard ($15/month) plan offers 500 customers and 3 users, while Professional ($30/month) is unlimited.
As a freelancer, however, you’re probably operating as a sole trader, so save your money and stick with a lower tier.
3. Invoice Ninja
Create, send, and get paid from anywhere and everywhere – that’s the way of the Invoice Ninja. This one is described as the ‘leading open-source platform’ for invoicing, payments, and expense and and time tracking. Actual ninjas may or may not be included.
Invoice Ninja features three pricing plans, with Forever Free offering:
- 100 clients
- Unlimited invoices
- Branding and 4 professional templates
- The ability to make deposits and full OR partial payments
- Alerts, auto-billing and bulk emailing
- A client portal
- Real-time PDF creation
…and a couple of other goodies.
Your clients can pay with credit cards or choose one of 45+ payment gateways. Invoice Ninja is another multi-currency platform and comes with its own Android and iOS apps.
Invoice Ninja plans simply add more bells and whistles like customisation and security – they don’t deprive you of functionality until you pay.
Ninja Pro is $8/month while Enterprise is $12/month, but unless you want to add more users (or third-party files), don’t worry about the latter.
Sighted is marketed specifically to freelancers and solo entrepreneurs, and is supposed to ‘take the hard work out’ of their lives.
This software is designed for invoicing and expense tracking, and boy, does it have a need for speed. The website claims it will have you up and running in mere minutes – that’s what we all want, right?0
Like Invoice Ninja, Sighted gives you a choice of three pricing plans. Unlike Invoice Ninja, its free Starter package is fairly lean, giving you:
- A single user
- 10 clients
- 20 invoices, quotes and expenses per month
- Online payments
- A profit and loss report
Still, it supports multiple currencies – over 220, in fact – and accepts Visa, MasterCard, AMEX and PayPal payments. It’s also in the mobile app gang, but it looks like it’s only available for Android users.
Sighted’s Premium plan offers up to 30 clients, 50 invoices, and unlimited expenses, while Super Premium is unlimited and multi-user (with some extra features for good measure).
Take note of the significant price difference, though: it’s just $4.99/month for Premium, but $25/month for Super Premium.
Invoicely is the weapon of choice for over 100,000 small business owners. At the time of writing this article, over 5 million of its invoices had been sent in the past month alone. it’s hard not to be slightly impressed by those numbers! Simple and secure, Invoicely is supposed to look after your finances while you focus on growing your business.
Invoicely allows you to choose from four plans. At first glance, the Free one seems pretty scant, offering:
- 1 user
- Multiple businesses
- Unlimited invoices
- Limited branding
At the same time, however, there are no limits on the number of clients, expenses and so on that you can work with. Perhaps simple really is best?
If you’re working for free, Invoicely only supports PayPal. It’s also the first invoicing tool on this list to be totally devoid of mobile apps. However, it is multi-currency, and – should you choose to pay – your clients will be able to use credit cards, Mollie, Stripe, WePay, PayLane and Authorize.net.
Invoicely’s three paid plans have full functionality – the only thing separating them is the number of users (2 for Basic, 10 for Professional and 25 for Enterprise). There’s a steady increment in the monthly price from $9.99 to $19.99 and finally $29.99. But one has to wonder: if you’re only after the basics, could you get by with Free?
In my quest for simple invoicing solutions, I came across a few platforms that were good, but didn't quite cut the mustard. So I'd like to hand out some participation awards to:
Xero is easy to use and free for the first 30 days. After that, however, you'll have to pay a minimum of $25/month.
This seems reasonable given that Xero offers fuller accounting software than other invoicing tools, but it's probably better suited to small businesses than sole-trading freelancers.
Quickbooks is a highly rated platform and has plans specifically tailored for sole traders! Sadly, none of them are free.
After your free 30-day trial, individuals will have to pay $4.99/month – which isn't too expensive, but you'll only get a handful of features.
Different people want different things from their invoicing software, but there are a couple of things that we all look for: we like our tools to be clean, intuitive and speedy. And as much as the platforms in this list differ, they’re all here because they meet these criteria in one way or another.
Know of better software? Leave a comment below – as they say, sharing is caring!