If you’re a freelancer, consultant, or any business with billable hours, finding the best invoicing software for your business will set up a foundation for its success. Doing so makes it easier to manage payments, create custom invoices, send out overdue notices, provide discounts, generate reports, and much more.
There is a variety of invoicing software that can help businesses of all sizes streamline their finances and keep their accounts up to date. Knowing what features and integrations make sense for you will help you decide which invoicing program to choose.
Choosing the correct invoicing software for your business is essential to ensure accuracy and efficiency when sending out invoices and collecting customer payments. However, with so many features available in various billing programs, it’s hard to know which is best for your business.
In this article, we will take a look at some of the key considerations when selecting an invoicing software that’s right for your company.
What is invoicing software?
Invoicing software is a platform that generates professional, customized invoices quickly and easily, streamlines your payment processes, and helps you get paid faster.
Invoicing software helps you create custom invoices that include all the necessary information, including:
- Customer information
- Descriptions of the products or services sold
- Prices, taxes, and discounts
Many platforms give you the ability to add your logo and other custom details to ensure your invoices stand out from the competition.
Another key feature of invoicing software is the ability to set up automatic payment reminders that can be sent out to customers at predetermined intervals. This ensures that customers remember to pay their bills on time, saving you time and hassle in the long run.
Invoicing tools also offer online payments that allow customers to pay directly from their credit card or bank account without leaving their website or office. In addition, some integrate with third-party payment solutions like PayPal to make it easier for your customers to pay quickly and securely — giving them peace of mind while also helping you get paid faster.
Benefits of using invoicing software
Overall, invoicing software is a valuable tool for businesses of all sizes that want to simplify their billing process while ensuring they get paid quickly and securely. The right software will help you:
- Get reporting in real-time
- Analyze information effectively
- Streamline your invoicing
- Get paid faster with online payments
- Maintain accurate recordkeeping
Get reporting in real-time
Real-time reporting with this digital tool will give you the power to make data-driven decisions faster than ever, making running a business easier. With access to real-time reporting, you can do a deep dive into your workflows and find areas of peak performance that make your operations more flexible and productive.
Creating, managing, and tracking transactions is easy using your invoicing software. In addition, the invoicing software can help you identify areas that will improve your business, such as identifying patterns of customers' behaviors and providing valuable insight into your performance. These insights will allow your business to increase efficiency, accuracy, and profitability.
When you have multiple parties, remote teams, and vendors involved in a project, having the correct type of data and insights into productivity and areas of improvement requires getting real-time data customizable to your operational needs. Invoicing software will give you advanced tools in your workflows, resources, and team members, providing valuable information to make decisions on the go.
Streamlining your invoicing
A customizable invoicing software will help you get insights into your operations, allowing you to save time and money. For example, without invoicing software, tracking, and recording is often done manually.
But with invoicing software, you can streamline many of the more tedious, time-consuming tasks related to invoicing, such as generating and sending invoices, recording payments, and keeping track of client accounts.
By automating your invoicing, you can more accurately record and bill for time and resources spent on a project, eliminating the possibility of human error, and enabling your business to operate more accurately.
Get paid faster with online payments
With automated invoicing, you can get paid faster and more accurately. Integrating your invoicing software with online payment options will provide your clients with more convenient ways to pay and for you to receive those payments more quickly.
Some features of invoicing software will make sending out invoices easier and speed up the process of tracking and receiving payments. You’ll also have automated payment reminders to avoid missed or late payments and help your customers avoid unnecessary penalties and fees.
Maintain accurate recordkeeping
Another critical benefit of invoicing software is that you can more accurately record transactions, resources used, and hours spent on a task. Maintaining more accurate recordkeeping makes tracking your payments easier, leading to better accounting and cash flow for your business come payment and tax time.
How to choose the right invoicing software
There are a few factors to consider when choosing the best invoicing software for your business. Your selection should have features that make it easy to create professional invoices and offer automated payment reminders to ensure customers pay on time.
Additionally, you want to ensure the system is user-friendly and has a streamlined workflow. It should also be able to integrate with other methods, such as accounting software, to ensure your data is always up to date.
Look for the following four essential qualities in your invoicing software to ensure an increase in efficiency and productivity.
Features and Functionality
Features and functionality are important considerations when looking for the best invoicing software to fit your business needs. After all, you want to ensure the software has all the tools and capabilities for creating professional invoices and ensuring quick payment.
Look for features that will help you:
- Streamline your invoice process by drafting, sending, and tracking invoices with one easy-to-use system.
- Get paid faster by securely accepting payments through multiple payment options for customers like PayPal or Stripe.
- Automate alerts that let you know when invoices are received, viewed, or overdue.
- Generate detailed reports of sales, unpaid bills, and other financials at the click of a button.
- Quickly clarify any discrepancies or disputes with integrated tools like note wizards and customizable fields.
- Create recurring billing systems.
Ease of use
Ease of use should be a top priority when shopping for invoicing software. If your technology and software are clunky and difficult to incorporate into your operations, the reality is that your teams will be reluctant to use them. Being able to have a better user experience and more intuitive functions will make the workflows of your team members more efficient and productive.
Fortunately, most modern invoicing solutions are designed with user-friendly interfaces and easy navigation, so anyone can get up and running quickly. In addition, it will more than likely come with helpful tutorials and video walkthroughs to help you get started.
Another ease-of-use factor to consider is customization. Options such as custom fields or templates and an intuitive drag-and-drop invoice builder should be included.
When researching your invoicing software, the cost is another critical consideration to factor. Fortunately, there are a variety of options available on the market that are both affordable and feature-rich.
For those on a tight budget, desktop-based solutions are more affordable upfront than cloud-based ones, which usually require a monthly subscription fee. However, remember that you will likely sacrifice customization and integration capabilities with other software applications if you go this route.
On the other hand, if you need all the features that come with a top-of-the-line solution, plenty of cloud-based providers offer competitive rates. Just make sure to read reviews from other customers to ensure you're getting quality customer support as well as value for money.
Simple integrations of invoicing software with your other digital tools
The last significant element to consider when looking for the best invoicing software for your business is the ease of integration with the digital tools you already use.
Even better, you can use a tool like Harvest that provides accurate invoicing and time tracking. The software turns your team’s tracked time and expenses into invoices and lets you collect payment quickly with integrated online payments like PayPal and Stripe.
In general, your invoicing software should make your job easier, not harder. It should allow you to make faster decisions with real-time reporting, streamline invoicing processes, and strengthen customer relationships with easy payments and increased visibility.
Does the invoicing come with customer service? Finally, regardless of which invoicing software you choose, be sure to check out their customer support options. You’ll want an invoicing solution that, if you ever run into any issues or have questions, there is someone there to help you quickly and easily.
Is there an online tutorial or additional support help provided? Look for a company that offers both online tutorials and live chat or phone support so that you can get the answers you need when you need them. Additionally, many providers offer premium services such as custom integrations if you want a more comprehensive package.
Does the invoicing software come with all the features I need for my business? Depending on the invoicing software you choose, it's important to ensure it meets all of your business needs. First, identify your business goals & objectives as it relates to invoicing and then back into how invoicing software can help streamline your existing processes that may be taking too much time.
Ask yourself questions such as: Does the software offer the features I need, such as professional invoices, automatic payment reminders, and online payments?
Also, does it come with mobile apps and remote access? Being flexible and able to access your invoicing software on the go is crucial, so make sure it’s mobile-friendly.
What will it cost? Finally, ask what does the invoicing software cost? What features are included, and are there hidden fees for add-ons or customization? Do they have a free version of the product? Or a way for you to try the software before purchase?
The digital tools you choose should help make your job easier and automate many time-consuming tasks. For example, the right type of invoicing software can elevate your project management tools to keep your budgets within sight, give better insights into your team’s capacity, provide you the tools for better time analysis that lets you dive into the details, helping you understand costs and resource allocation in the future.
Harvest’s easy-to-use time tracking tool does all of the above, and much more. Try Harvest for free today.