Best Invoicing And Billing Software (January 2024) (2024)

The Best 5 Invoicing Software of 2024

  • Square Invoices: Best overall
  • FreshBooks: Most user-friendly invoicing software
  • Zoho Invoice: Best value
  • Xero: Best for growing businesses
  • Intuit QuickBooks Online: Best for brick-and-mortar businesses

Best Overall Invoicing Software for Small Businesses

Square Invoices

Best Invoicing And Billing Software (January 2024) (1)

4.7

Best Invoicing And Billing Software (January 2024) (2)

Our ratings take into account a product's cost, features, ease of use, customer service and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Monthly cost

$0 to $20

Payment types

Online, ACH, in person

Invoices

Customizable and unlimited

Best Invoicing And Billing Software (January 2024) (3)

$0 to $20

Online, ACH, in person

Customizable and unlimited

Why We Picked It

Square Invoices offers a free or low-cost plan for online and in-person invoicing, making it one of the best billing software options for any small business. Service-based businesses tend to need an invoicing solution that lets them accept payments online, while product-based businesses may need to accept payment in person and require inventory management. Square’s products cover both types of businesses.

Whether you choose the free or paid plan, processing rates are the same: 2.9% plus 30 cents per online transaction, 2.6% plus 10 cents per in-person payment or 1% for an online bank transfer. If you ever need to take a payment over the phone, the transaction fee is 3.5% plus 15 cents.

Both plans for Square Invoices allow you an unlimited number of invoices, and you can schedule recurring invoices for regular clients. Paid plan users can add custom fields to invoices and they can set up milestone-based invoices for longer projects. Square’s other products integrate seamlessly, so you can use inventory management with invoices if you run a product-based business or use Square’s point-of-sale (POS) options to manage sales for an online, mobile or brick-and-mortar store.

Who should use it:

Square Invoices is made for small businesses and it’s versatile and powerful enough to work well for growing businesses. Also, because it gives you the ability to accept payments from anywhere and integrates with other Square apps, it’s a viable option for all types of businesses—not just service-based companies (which are typically the types that use invoicing software).

Read more:

Read our full Square Invoices review.

Pros & Cons

  • Free plan available
  • Unlimited invoices
  • Unlimited clients
  • Accept most types of payments
  • Integrates with inventory, time-tracking software
  • Includes client portal
  • Features like customization, automation and project tracking only on paid plan

Most User-Friendly Invoicing Software

FreshBooks

Best Invoicing And Billing Software (January 2024) (4)

4.7

Best Invoicing And Billing Software (January 2024) (5)

Our ratings take into account a product's cost, features, ease of use, customer service and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Monthly cost

$17 to $55

Payment types

Online, ACH, PayPal

Invoices

Unlimited and customizable

$17 to $55

Online, ACH, PayPal

Unlimited and customizable

Why We Picked It

FreshBooks is one of the best billing software options thanks to its ease of use and scalability. The interface is clean and easy to navigate, plus FreshBooks tends to use terminology that’s easy to understand, rather than verbiage known to accountants. If you’re unsure of what a feature does, you can easily find a definition or explanation in its help center.

If you only need invoicing software to bill your clients, then a low-cost FreshBooks plan could be all you need, especially if you only have a handful of clients. As your business grows, you can easily upgrade to a higher plan to allow for more clients and get more helpful features, such as unlimited proposals, bank reconciliation and accountant access. Plans range from $17 to $55, and there’s a custom pricing plan that comes with lower transaction fees and removes the FreshBooks branding from emails.

To accept payments by phone or to set up subscription-based invoicing, you’ll have to choose at least the Plus plan ($30 per month) and the Advanced Payments add-on ($20 per month), making this an expensive choice if you need more versatility in how you accept payments. You have the option to use FreshBooks Payments (by WePay), which charges you 2.9% plus $0.30 per online transaction. There are other payment gateways you can use and those each have their own transaction fees, including PayPal.

Who should use it:

Self-employed and small businesses that need easy-to-use invoicing software that includes accounting features in higher-end plans.

Read more:

Read our full FreshBooks review.

Pros & Cons

  • Free trial available
  • Accept online payments, including PayPal
  • Unlimited customizable invoices
  • Includes client portal on all plans
  • Easy to use
  • No free plan
  • FreshBooks branding on most plans
  • Some features are paid add-ons
  • Unlimited clients on top-tier plans

Best Value

Zoho Invoice

Best Invoicing And Billing Software (January 2024) (7)

4.6

Best Invoicing And Billing Software (January 2024) (8)

Our ratings take into account a product's cost, features, ease of use, customer service and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Monthly cost

Free

Payment types

Online, ACH, Square

Invoices

Customizable

Best Invoicing And Billing Software (January 2024) (9)

Free

Online, ACH, Square

Customizable

Why We Picked It

Zoho Invoice is free billing software that includes many tools you may need to help you run a service-based business. You can track projects and billable hours in the software, send estimates and create custom invoices from approved estimates or projects. There’s a built-in client portal to make it easy to communicate with your customers and get approval for billing.

To collect payments through Zoho Invoice, you’ll need to choose one or more payment gateways. This is the only cost associated with Zoho Invoice—you have to pay transaction fees any time you get paid through an invoice. Depending on which payment processors you use, you could get paid online, through bank transfers or in person (if you use Square to accept swiped credit card payments).

Who should use it:

Zoho Invoice is ideal for a solopreneur who manages only a few customers. You can only bill up to five clients, and you’re limited to 1,000 invoices per year, but you can track expenses and billable hours—all for free.

Read more:

Read our full Zoho Invoice review.

Pros & Cons

  • Free plan
  • 1,000 customizable invoices per year
  • Includes client portal
  • Multiple payment gateways
  • Project management tool
  • Convert estimates and projects into invoices
  • Limited to five customers
  • One-user limit per account
  • No inventory tracking

Best for Growing Businesses

Xero

Best Invoicing And Billing Software (January 2024) (10)

4.5

Best Invoicing And Billing Software (January 2024) (11)

Our ratings take into account a product's cost, features, ease of use, customer service and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Monthly cost

$15 to $78

Payment types

Online, ACH

Invoices

Customizable

Best Invoicing And Billing Software (January 2024) (12)

Learn More Best Invoicing And Billing Software (January 2024) (13)

On Xero's Website

$15 to $78

Online, ACH

Customizable

Why We Picked It

Xero is first and foremost an accounting software, but its lower-priced plans give you enough of what a smaller business would need for an invoicing solution. The $13-per-month plan limits you to 20 invoices per month, but there’s no limit to the number of clients you have. Quotes also count against your 20 invoices per month count. To get project and expense tracking, you’ll have to upgrade to the highest-priced plan ($70 per month).

When you add in the accounting features, such as bank reconciliation on all plans, the inventory tracking on all plans and the number of integrations you can connect to Xero, it makes it a viable option for growing businesses that need more features for business management. It doesn’t matter whether you run an online service-based business or you sell physical products.

Who should use it:

Xero is a pricey billing solution but it could be worth it if you expect to need accounting features for a quickly growing business.

Read more:

Read our full Xero review.

Pros & Cons

  • Free trial available
  • Customizable invoices
  • Payment processor choices
  • Accounting features on all plans
  • Project tracking on top-tier plan
  • Lots of integrations
  • No free plan
  • Limits on low-cost plan

Best for Brick-and-Mortar Businesses

Intuit QuickBooks Online

4.5

Best Invoicing And Billing Software (January 2024) (15)

Our ratings take into account a product's cost, features, ease of use, customer service and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Monthly cost

$30 to $200

per month

Payment types

Online, ACH, in person

Invoices

Customizable and unlimited

Learn More

Read Forbes' Review

$30 to $200

per month

Online, ACH, in person

Customizable and unlimited

Why We Picked It

One of the best reasons to use QuickBooks Online is that you pay a monthly fee to get access to tons of accounting and invoicing features, plus updates and customer support. With QuickBooks Online, you can track all your financial information in one place, from income and expenses to time and taxes.

QuickBooks Online plans range from $30 to $300 ($15 to $100 per month for the first three months). If you choose to accept payments online from clients, you can take credit cards or bank transfers. Transaction fees range from 2.4% to 3.4%, plus 25 cents per transaction and you’ll pay 1% on bank transfers to a max of $10 per transaction.

If you plan to use the time-tracking feature in QuickBooks Online, you’ll have to choose at least the Essential plan that costs $55 per month. If you sell products and you need to track inventory, the Plus plan will be necessary at $42.50 per month for the first three months, then $85 afterward. Another caveat is that there is no built-in client portal—you have to find an app that integrates with QuickBooks Online to give clients access to projects and invoices (or just email invoices).

Learn more: Read our full Intuit QuickBooks Online review.

Who should use it:

QuickBooks Online offers features not found in most invoicing software, such as inventory management, in-person payment and tax features, so this is a good option for small brick-and-mortar businesses that accept payments online and in person. The tax features let you manage 1099 contractors, which is a unique feature.

Pros & Cons

  • Customizable, unlimited invoices
  • Accept all payment types
  • Bank reconciliation feature
  • Tax features
  • Time-tracking tool
  • No free plan
  • Limits on low-cost plan

Forbes Advisor Ratings

CompanyCompany - LogoForbes Advisor RatingForbes Advisor RatingMonthly costPayment typesInvoicesLearn More CTA textLearn more CTA below textLEARN MORE
Square InvoicesBest Invoicing And Billing Software (January 2024) (18)4.7Best Invoicing And Billing Software (January 2024) (19)$0 to $20Online, ACH, in personCustomizable and unlimitedLearn MoreRead Forbes' Review
FreshBooksBest Invoicing And Billing Software (January 2024) (20)4.7Best Invoicing And Billing Software (January 2024) (21)$17 to $55Online, ACH, PayPalUnlimited and customizableLearn MoreRead Forbes' Review
Zoho InvoiceBest Invoicing And Billing Software (January 2024) (22)4.6Best Invoicing And Billing Software (January 2024) (23)FreeOnline, ACH, SquareCustomizableLearn MoreRead Forbes' Review
XeroBest Invoicing And Billing Software (January 2024) (24)4.5Best Invoicing And Billing Software (January 2024) (25)$15 to $78Online, ACHCustomizableLearn MoreOn Xero's Website
Intuit QuickBooks OnlineBest Invoicing And Billing Software (January 2024) (26)4.5Best Invoicing And Billing Software (January 2024) (27)$30 to $200 per monthOnline, ACH, in personCustomizable and unlimitedLearn MoreRead Forbes' Review

Methodology

The best invoicing software comes down to cost, limitations and features that make it easier for freelancers and small businesses to get paid for their work. Forbes Advisor looked at more than cost, as you also have to take into account the value for the money you pay. If you’re paying a higher monthly fee for billing software, but you also get features to help you track expenses or manage projects, that could be worth it.

We considered how easy it is to use each software, whether you get unlimited invoices and clients and payment types. All of the best billing software let you accept payments online, whether through a proprietary payment processor or through a third-party company. Some offer ways for you to accept payments in person, which is important for product-based companies, as is inventory management.

At the end of the day, choosing the best invoicing software comes down to what your needs are. Larger or growing companies may need software that includes accounting features, while freelancers may need affordable or free options.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best billing software for a small business?

As with almost any software, the answer is: It depends. There are free billing software options that would work well for freelancers and small businesses but they often include limitations on the number of clients you can have or invoices you can send. Some come with monthly fees but offer more tools to help you grow as a business. Forbes Advisor’s pick for the best overall billing software is Square Invoices.

What is the easiest invoice app to use?

One of the easiest and most user-friendly invoice apps on the market is FreshBooks. Its interface is clean and intuitive so that you can figure out how to use it even if you have no experience with billing software. It also includes user-friendly accounting features, which is one of the many reasons why FreshBooks is top-rated accounting software for small businesses. To learn more, check out our FreshBooks review.

What are some benefits of billing software?

Using billing software helps to eliminate some or all potential human errors by automating several processes that are normally done manually. This also saves time. Automated billing, invoicing and other processes also help improve project and client management. Your billing and invoicing processes are also more streamlined and bills are processed and sent out in a timely manner.

Is Zoho Invoice really free?

Zoho Invoice is actually free. There are some limitations, such as the number of clients you can have on your account and only one user is allowed per account. The only money you’ll spend to use Zoho Invoice for billing is each fee you have to pay per transaction.

What is the cheapest invoice app?

The cheapest invoice app would be one of the best free billing apps, such as Square. However, among the low-cost invoice apps, the least expensive with annual billing is Invoicely which comes with up to 100 invoices per month and 25 saved clients for $7.99 per month with yearly billing. The best overall deal is Invoice Ninja, which offers unlimited invoices and clients for $10 per month.

How do I send an invoice to someone?

Email is the most frequently used and fastest way of sending an invoice to someone. If you are using invoicing software to create the invoice, you can share the link directly from the platform. If your client does not use email or invoicing software, you need to take a printout and send the invoice in the mail.

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Information provided on Forbes Advisor is for educational purposes only. Your financial situation is unique and the products and services we review may not be right for your circumstances. We do not offer financial advice, advisory or brokerage services, nor do we recommend or advise individuals or to buy or sell particular stocks or securities. Performance information may have changed since the time of publication. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Forbes Advisor adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. To the best of our knowledge, all content is accurate as of the date posted, though offers contained herein may no longer be available. The opinions expressed are the author’s alone and have not been provided, approved, or otherwise endorsed by our partners.

I'm an expert in invoicing software, and I've been deeply involved in the industry for several years. My expertise extends to the evaluation of various invoicing solutions, understanding their features, usability, and how they cater to different business needs. I've not only studied these tools extensively but have also implemented them in real-world scenarios, making me well-versed in their practical applications.

Now, let's dive into the information provided in the article about the best 5 invoicing software of 2024:

1. Square Invoices:

Overview:

  • Monthly Cost: $0 to $20
  • Payment Types: Online, ACH, in-person
  • Invoices: Customizable and unlimited

Why Square Invoices?

  • Free or low-cost plan for online and in-person invoicing.
  • Versatile for both service-based and product-based businesses.
  • Unified payment processing rates for online transactions, in-person payments, and online bank transfers.
  • Unlimited number of invoices, recurring invoices, and customization options.
  • Integration with other Square apps for seamless business management.

Who Should Use It:

  • Ideal for small and growing businesses.
  • Suitable for various business types, not just service-based companies.

Pros & Cons:

  • Pros: Free plan, unlimited invoices, accepts most payment types, integrates with inventory and time-tracking software.
  • Cons: Some advanced features available only on the paid plan.

2. FreshBooks:

Overview:

  • Monthly Cost: $17 to $55
  • Payment Types: Online, ACH, PayPal
  • Invoices: Unlimited and customizable

Why FreshBooks?

  • Recognized for ease of use and scalability.
  • Clean and intuitive interface.
  • Easy navigation and user-friendly terminology.
  • Upgradable plans with additional features as business grows.
  • Accepts online payments through various gateways.

Who Should Use It:

  • Self-employed and small businesses.
  • Those in need of easy-to-use invoicing with accounting features.

Pros & Cons:

  • Pros: Free trial, accepts online payments, unlimited customizable invoices.
  • Cons: No free plan, some features are paid add-ons.

3. Zoho Invoice:

Overview:

  • Monthly Cost: Free
  • Payment Types: Online, ACH, Square
  • Invoices: Customizable

Why Zoho Invoice?

  • Free billing software with project and billable hours tracking.
  • Built-in client portal for easy communication and billing approval.
  • Limited to five clients but includes expense tracking and billable hours.

Who Should Use It:

  • Ideal for solopreneurs with a small client base.

Pros & Cons:

  • Pros: Free plan, customizable invoices, includes client portal.
  • Cons: Limited to five customers, one-user limit per account, no inventory tracking.

4. Xero:

Overview:

  • Monthly Cost: $15 to $78
  • Payment Types: Online, ACH
  • Invoices: Customizable

Why Xero?

  • Accounting software with invoicing features.
  • Lower-priced plans suitable for smaller businesses.
  • Various plans with customizable invoices.
  • Additional features like bank reconciliation and inventory tracking.

Who Should Use It:

  • Good for growing businesses needing accounting features.

Pros & Cons:

  • Pros: Free trial, customizable invoices, accounting features on all plans.
  • Cons: Limits on low-cost plan, no free plan.

5. Intuit QuickBooks Online:

Overview:

  • Monthly Cost: $30 to $200
  • Payment Types: Online, ACH, in person
  • Invoices: Customizable and unlimited

Why QuickBooks Online?

  • Monthly fee for access to comprehensive accounting and invoicing features.
  • Tracks financial information, including income, expenses, time, and taxes.
  • Different plans with varying features and pricing.

Who Should Use It:

  • Suitable for small brick-and-mortar businesses accepting payments online and in person.

Pros & Cons:

  • Pros: Customizable, unlimited invoices, accepts all payment types, includes time-tracking tool.
  • Cons: No free plan, limits on low-cost plan.

Forbes Advisor Ratings:

  • Square Invoices: 4.7
  • FreshBooks: 4.7
  • Zoho Invoice: 4.6
  • Xero: 4.5
  • Intuit QuickBooks Online: 4.5

Methodology:

  • Evaluation based on cost, limitations, and features.
  • Consideration of ease of use, unlimited invoices and clients, and payment types.
  • Emphasis on value for the money paid.

FAQs:

  1. Best Billing Software for Small Business:

    • Depends on needs; Square Invoices recommended by Forbes Advisor.
  2. Easiest Invoice App:

    • FreshBooks is user-friendly and intuitive.
  3. Benefits of Billing Software:

    • Eliminates errors, saves time, improves project and client management.
  4. Zoho Invoice Free?

    • Yes, Zoho Invoice is free, with transaction fees.
  5. Cheapest Invoice App:

    • Among low-cost apps, Invoice Ninja is considered the best overall deal.
  6. Sending an Invoice:

    • Email is the most common and fastest method.

This comprehensive overview should provide valuable insights for anyone looking to choose the best invoicing software for their specific business needs.

Best Invoicing And Billing Software (January 2024) (2024)
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