Invoicing is an important part of making money for your business. There’s some good software available, self-hosted and cloud based that can help you invoice your customers like a boss.
When considering my top 3 invoicing systems, I ask, how much can it be customised to my business? How simple is it to use? and How will my invoices look for my clients?
I’ve tried a few invoicing systems and can provide you with some recommended invoicing systems, best to use for small businesses including web design businesses and freelancers.
Freshbooks is a cloud based invoicing service providing small businesses with a fast and easy way to invoice their clients. The interface is very user friendly and is quite intuitive, within 30 minutes, you could be a Freshbooks master. Freshbooks really is an invoicing system, it does have ability to track expenditure – however for real accounting you’d best go for an actual accounting system.
The overall process of adding a client and sending them an invoice is very simple and your clients will receive an e-mail with an invoice with your business branding. A really cool feature is that you can see when your clients have opened the invoice, as they need to click on a link to view it. Freshbooks also has all of the integrations to take PayPal and even credit card payments directly as well as a simple app from iOS and Android to manage your invoices through your mobile device.
The real downside of Freshbooks is that doesn’t allow you to use a CNAME for your system. for example – accounts.yourbusiness.com. When clients view their invoices, they are directed to the Freshbooks domain, eg. yourbusiness.freshbooks.com. Some of you might not care, but keeping everything in line with your brand without advertising another company is a good way to go to keep your business uniform.
When I first started out as a web designer, I used Freshbooks and it worked very well for a while. As my business grew, I found freshbooks to be a bit more difficult to manage my clients with, especially for my clients with recurring invoices, though with that being said, it did work very well for my small business and would work well for yours too!
Xero is technically not just an invoicing system, however, it’s a very powerful system which allows you to invoice and do your accounting all-in-one. I’ve been extremely impressed with Xero, so have added that to my top 3 invoicing systems as a result.
Xero is a cloud based solution meaning that you don’t need any physical hardware to store your data, it’s all up in the cloud! Xero provides you with ability to connect directly to your bank account so you can reconcile your expenses and income with the click of a button. Xero’s invoicing system is also able to be customised to your branding.
The downside of Xero, like freshbooks is that you cannot customise where the e-mails come from or when your client views their invoice online, it directs them to Xero’s website. These things may not be important to you, but could possibly be seen as a weakness to some of your clients, implying how small your business really is.
Other than that, Xero is probably the best cloud accounting system there is, as well as allowing for quite efficient invoicing.
1. Fusion Invoice
Fusion Invoice is a self-hosted solution for your invoicing. Buy it once and host it on your own web hosting.
It requires some web knowledge for installation but is reasonably easy to set up. This is my number one because it has NO recurring fees apart from your web hosting and is very simple to use.
Fusion Invoice runs off laravel and is able to be customised if you are keen on getting in the code and changing things to suit your business. This system provides a lot of benefits from recurring invoicing, invoice template customisation, custom fields and payment integrations.
You can also track if your clients open up your invoice as there is a client portal.
In terms of cost, Fusion Invoice ticks all the boxes for a small business, web designer or freelancer to send customised, branded and self hosted invoice to their clients. It is a one-time fee, which is a HUGE positive. Many of my clients have used this software and so far we’ve had no complaints!
Buy and download Fusion Invoice