Invoicing is an essential yet time-consuming business activity, but the right invoicing software can help you take control and win back some of your valuable time. It can also lead to improved invoice accuracy, valuable financial insights, and faster payments, all of which can benefit your business.
The right invoicing software for you depends on several factors, including your budget, your industry, the size of your company, and any personal preferences you may have.
To help you decide, we reviewed over 20 invoicing apps and narrowed them down based on pricing, ease of use, additional features, and integration capabilities. Read on for our list of the top invoicing software to find out which one is right for your business.
The Best Invoicing Software for 2021
Best for Payment Processing
Best Free Option
Best for Mobile Invoicing
Best Automation Solutions
Best for Detailed Reporting
Best Overall : FreshBooks
FreshBooks offers a scalable invoicing option with polished templates, convenient payment processing solutions, inventory tracking, and a bevy of other accounting tools and services.
Integrates with over 100 apps
Recurring invoice & auto payment
Limited functionality on mobile app
Limited template customization
More expensive than basic invoicing software
We chose FreshBooks as the best overall invoicing software because of its affordability, accessibility, and scalability for business owners, regardless of the size or nature of their business. This software also comes with a suite of accounting tools and award-winning customer service.
FreshBooks gives users customizable invoices with options for recurring invoicing and auto payment. Clients can make credit card or ACH payments, making it a winning combination for business owners and customers alike.
Invoicing and other services can be accessed via desktop, tablet, or mobile, though some users report that the mobile app lacks some features offered by the desktop version. Fortunately, you can still send and review invoices with the FreshBooks mobile app.
In addition to invoicing, a FreshBooks account also gives users access to time and expense tracking project management, payments, and reporting. The software integrates with over 100 third-party apps, including, Salesforce, Gusto, Zoom, and Spotify.
FreshBooks offers a 30-day trial, and if it’s a good match for your business, you can upgrade to one of the following paid plans:
- Lite: $15 per month for five or fewer billable clients
- Plus: $25 per month for six to 50 billable clients
- Premium: $50 per month for 51 to 500 billable clients
If your needs exceed the Premium plan, FreshBooks also offers custom pricing for businesses that exceed 500 customers.
Best for Payment Processing : Square
Square has a reputation for helping small businesses manage online and point-of-sale purchases. Their streamlined approach to payment processing is mimicked in their invoicing services, making Square the perfect option for business owners looking for software that does both.
Real-time invoice tracking
One-click payment option for customers
No monthly fee
Transaction-based fee can add up
Limited invoice customization
Since 2009, Square has become a mainstay for small business owners who need simple and streamlined payment processing. In 2014, Square also added a free invoice functionality. When combined with some of the additional features covered below, we think Square Invoice is one of the best apps for business owners who want to centralize their payment and invoicing needs.
Square Invoice lets users create and send customized invoices, schedule recurring billing, and track the status of an invoice in real time. One-click payments make it easier for customers to pay online from their phone or tablet, and 75% of Square invoices are paid within a day.
While many other invoicing apps require a monthly payment, Square Invoice is free to use, and you’re only charged when an invoice is paid. Each Square Invoice is subject to a 2.9% + $0.30 fee. As such, Square may not be the best option for high-volume or high-risk industries. However, since fees are standardized, Square can offer you some predictability without a commitment.
Best Free Option : Invoice Ninja
Thanks to Invoice Ninja’s Forever Free plan, users can send unlimited invoices and estimates to up to 100 clients and access a number of features that can make account management easier.
40+ Payment gateways
Unlimited invoices and quotes
Integrates with thousands of apps through its many Integration Partners
No phone support
Limited third-party integration
Free account only accommodates up to 100 clients
Invoice Ninja is a 100% open-sourced development invoicing company that was designed to give freelancers and small business owners access to premium accounting services without a hefty price tag. Since 2014, the company has succeeded at reaching its goals and today over 150,000 businesses rely on this unique software application.
Invoice Ninja earned our pick as best free invoicing software because of its generous Forever Free plan. Once enrolled in this plan, users can send unlimited invoices and quotes to over 100 clients, set up auto-billing and recurring invoices, manage projects and tasks, and leverage a dozen other features. Invoice Ninja also offers access to over 40 payment gateways and supports 50 currencies and 20 languages, making it ideal for business owners with a global reach.
If your business grows and you need to process more than 100 client invoices, you can still take advantage of Invoice Ninja’s services by signing up for one of their highly affordable paid plans. The Ninja Pro plan ($10/month) will let you send an unlimited number of invoices to an unlimited number of clients, and it will also give you access to other features, like a custom URL. If your needs extend beyond that, the company also offers an Enterprise Plan ($14/month), which provides further enhancements, like a fully branded client portal and multiple-user access.
Best for Mobile Invoicing : Invoice Simple
Invoice Simple is an easy-to-use app that was designed for business owners who are on the go. Its mobile app offers full-invoicing functionality, including payment options, all at an affordable price point.
Accept payment via debit and credit card
Free trial is limited to three invoices
Single payment gateway for credit card transactions
No in-app reporting
Most of today’s most popular invoicing software platforms offer desktop and mobile access, but many mobile invoicing apps lack the same functionality as their desktop companions. That’s not the case with Invoice Simple, which lets users create, customize, manage, and track invoices and estimates right from their phone or tablet. The app also makes it easy to accept credit or debit card payments, and the company is currently testing PayPal functionality, with the intention to introduce it to all users in the near future.
If your goal is to find an efficient way to send invoices from your smartphone, Invoice Simple will meet your expectations without draining your bank account. The app is easy to use and is a top-rated choice for Android and iOS users. The app does not, however, offer a wide range of accounting functions or reports, so if you’re looking for an all-encompassing app to manage all your accounting needs, it may not be the right one for you.
If you’re considering Invoice Simple, you can send up to three invoices for free. After that, you can subscribe monthly for $6.99 or annually for $59.00 ($4.99/month). Overall, the low price-point combined with the ease of use and overwhelming customer satisfaction make this an affordable and efficient app for invoicing clients on the go.
Best Automation Solutions : Zoho Invoice
Zoho Invoice offers business owners access to automation and invoicing functionality that is affordable and scalable. That makes it one of the best invoicing software applications for those who want to streamline payments and workflow.
Set up recurring invoices and payments
Automations for internal and external needs
Invoice in multiple currencies
Custom automation requires some developer skills
Automation is limited to 10 workflows
Free service is limited to five client invoices or less
Zoho offers a wide range of business services designed to help users with everything from sales and marketing to finances. Zoho Invoice, which is a standalone invoicing application, offers customizable invoicing and payment services. It also offers some solid automation features, making it our favorite invoicing software for business owners who also want to simplify and automate common invoicing and client relation activities.
Zoho users can set up recurring invoices as well as automatic payments, but the automation benefits extend past sending invoices. Zoho Invoice also allows users to set up workflow scenarios that trigger email alerts, field updates, and in-app notifications. Users can also customize automation for specific scenarios, like order discounts or late fees.
Zoho offers four different account plans, each of which offers access to at least five automated workflows:
- Free: Unlimited invoicing for up to five clients; five automated workflows
- Basic ($9/month): Up to 50 clients; five automated workflows
- Standard Plan ($19/month): Up to 500 clients; 10 automated workflows
- Professional Plan ($29/month): Unlimited client invoicing; 10 automated workflows
Best for Detailed Reporting : QuickBooks
The QuickBooks suite of business management tools has long been the go-to resource for individuals, small businesses, and not-so-small businesses alike. Its powerful data collection, organization, and reporting capabilities make it especially attractive to those seeking to wrangle their business's metrics.
Access to other QuickBooks accounting tools
Robust resource center
Not as affordable as other invoicing software
Some users find interface hard to navigate
QuickBooks is known for offering comprehensive accounting tools, and its invoice functionality doesn’t disappoint. With a QuickBooks account, users can customize and automate invoices, add billable hours, and duplicate similar invoices to send to multiple customers. The program also offers a wide range of bookkeeping and record-keeping services, making it the best option for business owners looking for detailed reports that provide insights on invoicing and other important financial metrics.
QuickBooks users can focus on invoice-related metrics or expand reports to cover an abundance of financial metrics that, when combined, lead to improved efficiency and more educated decisions. Reports are readily accessible through the QuickBooks dashboard, which makes it easy to obtain information fast.
Access to reporting, invoice or otherwise, depends on the plan you select. The Simple Start plan ($25/month) allows you to run general reports (e.g., profit and loss, balance sheets, cash flow, etc.) and create custom tags to monitor expenses. Each subscription tier will give you increased access to reporting functionality, with the most comprehensive reports available under the Plus plan ($70/month) and the Advanced plan ($150/month).
The price tag associated with QuickBooks can be a deterrent, but if reporting is your primary goal, then this software can be well worth the investment. That’s particularly true when you factor in the other accounting tools that are available to QuickBooks users. You can try QuickBooks invoicing and reporting services for free for 30 days, and you can easily upgrade if you decide you want further enhanced reporting.
Regardless of what type of business you own, invoicing software will help you save time and get paid faster, but not all invoicing software is alike. Before you choose, it’s helpful to consider your needs. If your primary goal is to find a quick, easy, and affordable way to send invoices, companies like Invoice Simple, Invoice Ninja, and Zoho Invoice may be your best options. These apps have a single focus—invoicing—and are often affordable, if not free.
If you want to manage invoices but also gain access to a suite of additional accounting tools, invoicing software from FreshBooks and QuickBooks may provide the most benefits. These apps may have higher price points, but they can provide a single point of reference and management for all your business needs.
Compare the Best Invoicing Software
|Invoicing Software||Key Benefit|
|Full suite of accounting tools Integrates with over 100 other apps|
Best for Payment Processing
|Real-time invoice tracking No monthly fee|
Best Free Option
|Full-featured software for free Unlimited invoices for up to 100 clients|
Best for Mobile Invoicing
|Full-featured mobile app Affordable|
Best Automation Solutions
|Automated workflows Recurring invoices and payments|
Best for Detailed Reporting
|Customizable reports Reports extend beyond invoicing|
Frequently Asked Questions
Is QuickBooks Good for Invoicing?
QuickBooks offers a variety of accounting tools, including invoicing. As a QuickBooks user, you can send customized invoices, set up recurring payments, and automate payments. QuickBooks also provides a wealth of reporting that can lead to insights that extend well beyond a single invoice. However, QuickBooks does not offer a standalone invoicing software application.
Instead, invoicing is part of a larger suite of accounting tools. Business owners that are looking for full-service accounting software will find this beneficial, but it does come with a cost. Basic access to QuickBooks, including the invoicing tool, is often more expensive than premium plans for invoice-specific software.
Is Invoicing Software Safe?
Storing information online will always have inherent security concerns, but many of today’s popular invoicing software applications take several precautions to ensure the safety of user data. Here are a few things to consider before you sign up for any accounting service, invoicing or otherwise:
- Storage: Most invoicing software companies rely on cloud storage to give users quick and easy access to data no matter where they are. Reputable invoicing software companies should make sure your data is both physically and electronically secured. That means storing servers in a location with limited access and leveraging backup servers to prevent loss in the event one set of servers is damaged.
- Transit: Data can be compromised in storage, but it’s also vulnerable during transit. To prevent that, your invoicing software company should encrypt sensitive data (e.g., banking information, SSN/EIN numbers, etc.) while it’s being sent and received.
- Password Protection: Protect all your invoicing accounts and any device you use to access them by creating strong passwords. Passwords should be at least 12 characters and include a mix of numbers, letters (capital and lowercase), and symbols. Cybersecurity experts also recommend avoiding “dictionary words,” names, and dates that can be easily guessed by a malicious entity.
Are There Free Invoicing Options?
Many invoicing software companies charge for their services, but there are a few that offer free access, often with limitations and usage caps. If you’re looking for free invoicing options, here are a few questions that can help you determine just what “free” means:
- How many invoices can I send before I have to pay for the service?
- Are limits based on clients or the number of invoices?
- If an invoice results in payment, how much is the transaction fee?
- What, if any, invoicing services are excluded from the free plan?
Can You Make Invoices With Microsoft Office?
Yes, you can use Microsoft Office to create invoices. Both Word and Excel include a number of business-specific templates, including ones for invoices. Templates can be customized according to your needs, invoices can be saved, and files can be sent to customers via a third-party platform (e.g., email, Dropbox, etc.). Unfortunately, you cannot send invoices, receive payments, automate invoices, or gather reports directly from Microsoft Office, making invoicing a manual process.
We researched over 20 invoicing software companies and evaluated each based on factors such as affordability, customization options, usability, mobile access, and integration options. First, we considered features availability and pricing to determine which applications were affordable and most likely to meet the needs of business owners with various needs (e.g, startups, freelancers, seasoned businesses, etc.). Then we reviewed customer feedback and software limitations to determine which applications offered the best user experience for the price. Finally, we identified unique benefits or features that made the invoicing software best for a specific audience.