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The 7 best invoice apps for small businesses

A variety of invoice apps are available to help small business owners with their client billing and online invoicing. Which one is the best invoice app for ease of use, pricing, and other useful features? Compare seven of the best invoice apps to find the right one for your business.

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As an independent business owner, you’re going to need some help getting your invoices clients and getting paid on time. It all comes down to offering a smooth invoicing and payment process for your clients. Ideally, you’ll want to find software that can offer features such as invoice templates, auto-pay, payment reminders, payment processing, and a mobile app to use on the go, along with other useful features. That means you need to identify the best invoice app for your purposes.

Many invoice apps are available to help you send invoices to clients and process their payments. Let’s take a look at seven of the best invoice apps, including HoneyBook, Square, Invoicely, PayPal, Stripe, FreshBooks, and Zoho. Read on for more information to help you find the best invoice app for you.

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What should go into a professional invoice?

A service invoice is a statement for clients indicating the total payment due for services rendered. It can be for services already provided or for recurring services. Independent businesses can make invoices themselves, or they can use online invoice templates to get started. You can send your invoices as a PDF through email or an online invoicing platform.

Invoices should include the following basic elements:

  • Invoice number
  • Date of services rendered and date of invoice issuance
  • Your business name, address, and contact information
  • Line item description of services provided
  • The total amount owed, plus taxes, if applicable
  • Payment instructions
  • Payment due date
  • Payment terms
  • Payment options (credit card, bank transfer, check, etc.) and instructions

How to evaluate invoicing software

Using the best invoicing software can make sending invoices and collecting payments much easier. The right invoicing software not only makes things easier for you: It also streamlines the whole process for your clients. This ensures that you get paid faster and that your business looks like a well-oiled machine of professionalism. 

When you’re evaluating a prospective invoice app, consider the following:

  • Ease of use: Opt for software that prioritizes user-friendliness. Intuitive interfaces and straightforward features streamline the invoicing process, saving time and minimizing errors.
  • Pricing structure: Carefully evaluate the pricing plans of different invoicing apps. Seek transparency with clear, straightforward pricing structures that align with your budget, whether you’re a startup or an established business.
  • Additional features: Beyond basic invoicing, consider the supplementary features offered. These may encompass customizable invoice templates, automated payment reminders, mobile accessibility, and support for diverse payment methods.
  • Invoice tracking: Ensure the selected software provides robust invoice tracking capabilities. Real-time updates on invoice statuses, including payment receipts and overdue notices, empower you to stay on top of your financial transactions.

Some invoicing software even comes with a customizable invoice generator that allows you to design professional invoices that fit your small business’s brand.

The seven best invoice apps for small businesses

Rather than waiting for paper checks in the mail, which is a much longer process, invoicing software lets you send invoices and collect payments in multiple ways. Which invoice app is best for you? Consider the following list of some of the best invoice apps available for small business owners.

1. HoneyBook

HoneyBook is a clientflow management platform with many features in one platform. Here are some things to consider about HoneyBook:

Ease of use

You’ll first notice that HoneyBook is very easy to use. Your account home page offers an all-in-one overview of your business, including inquiries, your calendar, invoice and payment tracking, and notifications of any projects with new activity. To create or edit invoices, it also comes with a simple builder that allows you to work in sections and add media like photos and videos. 

Pricing

Starter PackageEssentials PackagePremium Package
$16 per month$32 per month$66 per month
Includes:
– Invoices and payments
– Unlimited clients and projects
– Reports
– Automation
– Professional templates
Includes:
– Starter features
– Online registration for QuickBooks
– An additional team member
– Additional report features
– Expense tracking and management
Includes:
– All other package features
– Priority support
– Unlimited team members
– Advanced reports (coming soon)

HoneyBook bills its packages yearly or monthly and often offers discounts, so you may get up to 50% off when you sign up. Plus, there’s a seven-day free trial to try out its features. Plus, HoneyBook’s processing fees are some of the most competitive of the top payment processing applications on the market.

HoneyBook invoice template
Example of a HoneyBook invoice template

Additional features

HoneyBook sets itself apart with its additional features. HoneyBook strives to be the source for managing your client touchpoints by offering you a communication platform: a place to set payment terms and collect contract signatures, schedule appointments, and automate various workflows. With a HoneyBook account, you’ll also get: 

  • Lead capture
  • Automations
  • Scheduling
  • Interactive file templates (contracts, proposals, questionnaires, and more)
  • Task management
  • Client communication and client portal 
  • Mobile app for work on the go 

Invoice tracking

Beyond creating and sending invoices, HoneyBook allows you to track the status of outstanding invoices and offer your clients a gentle nudge to remind them to pay on time. 

Pro tip

Choose an invoicing app that includes integrated payment processing to make receiving payments easier like HoneyBook.

2. Square

Square is one of the most well-known modern payment processing solutions. Here’s a look at what it offers.

Ease of use

Ease of use is considerable, as Square lets you save user profiles and payment methods, but it’s mostly known for serving in-person clients and collecting payments right away rather than invoicing and collecting later. This is great if you work with clients in person but becomes more complicated if you primarily invoice online

Pricing

Free PackagePlus PackagePremium Package
Free + processing fees$29+ per month + processing feesCustom pricing + processing fees

Square’s pricing structure is a bit more complicated, as it offers hardware that allows you to accept in-person payments, and it’s generally suggested that you set up a hardware POS — point of sale — system if you want to use their invoicing features as well. 

Additional features

With Square, the additional features for each of the above packages vary depending on your industry. They can include:

  • Advanced POS features
  • Retail reports
  • Inventory tools
  • Automated appointment reminders
  • Payment tracking

Invoice tracking

Square allows you to schedule recurring invoices and track payments to help you manage your incoming revenue. It also offers automated reminders to help you collect payment from clients on time. 

3. Invoicely

As you can guess based on its name, Invoicely is an invoicing platform for small to medium-sized businesses. It lets you track your time and expenses for services rendered and, like many others, offers a free plan. 

Ease of use

Overall, Invoicely is an easy-to-use and straightforward application. Its simplicity makes it a very manageable option for invoicing, payment processing, and expense tracking. 

Pricing

Free PlanBasic PlanProfessional PlanEnterprise Plan
Free $9.99 per month$19.99 per month$29.99 per month
Includes:
– Five invoices per month
– Three saved clients
– Zero additional team members
Includes:
– 100 invoices per month
– 25 saved clients
– Two additional team members
Includes:
– 500 invoices per month
– 100 saved clients
– 10 additional team members
Includes:
– Unlimited invoices per month
– Unlimited saved clients
– 25 additional team members

Additional features

Invoicely offers the unique added feature of being able to invoice and collect payments in any currency through integrating with larger payment processing companies, such as PayPal. However, it’s not until the upper tiers that you can invoice enough clients to run a business. Other additional features include sending branded estimated quotes and generating summaries of earnings and expenses. 

Invoice tracking

Invoicely also offers invoice tracking that allows you to send payment reminders to clients automatically. These automatic payment reminders offer convenience in getting paid on time by letting you set the reminder parameters ahead of time.

4. PayPal

PayPal has been a household name in business for over two decades and is known worldwide. PayPal is so ubiquitous that in 2022, it generated over $27.5 billion in revenue. How did it do that? Fees.

Ease of use

PayPal is generally considered easy to use, but the interface isn’t distinctly amazing at helping you navigate through the platform. Though everything is labeled and pretty straightforward, the platform can be a bit overcrowded. 

Pricing

Transaction TypeFees
PayPal Checkout3.49% + fixed fee
PayPal Guest Checkout3.49% + fixed fee
QR code Transactions2.29% + fixed fee
Send/Receive Money for Goods and Services2.99%

This is just a snapshot of the extensive fee program PayPal uses. And, if you’re wondering what the additional “fixed fee” for each transaction is, that depends on the currency in which you’re receiving payment. 

Additional features

While the constant advertising of their banking products can clutter up the platform, they’re also useful additional features. PayPal offers competitive cashback credit cards for your business and several other financial products that help keep your endeavors funded. 

Invoice tracking

PayPal also claims to let you track invoices from anywhere you have an internet or data connection. It also allows you to set up payment reminders on your phone so you don’t have to do extra work to remind clients when they have an outstanding payment due.

5. Stripe

Stripe is a well-reviewed, well-rounded invoicing and payment processing application. It allows businesses to accept payments through various methods, including credit and debit cards, ACH bank transfers, and digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Ease of use

Ease of use with Stripe depends on what you want to accomplish. While the general invoice and payment tools are straight forward, Stripe also gives you the option to fully customize your checkout flow. While this is a great feature, user reviews claim it isn’t easy. Some reviews claim the customization process requires advanced technical knowledge that may include some coding.

Pricing

Invoicing StarterInvoicing Plus
0.4% per paid invoice0.5% per paid invoice
Includes:
– Dashboard analytics
– Hosted invoice page
– Customer portal
Includes:
– Starter package features
– Smart retries for automatic collection
– Email reminders for payment
– Auto-reconciliation

Stripe has one of the most unique fee structures on this list and these fees seem to only cover the invoicing, not the payment collection. For payments, the Dashboard fee structure varies based on the form of payment your clients utilize. For example, The fee changes to 0.8% for ACH transfers and 2.9% + 30 cents per successful charge.

Additional features

Though the Starter package is quite basic, as you get into Stripe’s additional features that you can add, there’s a lot to love, like:

  • Real-time reporting
  • QuickBooks and Netsuite support
  • iOS and Android dashboard apps
  • Technical support on Discord
  • Acceptance of over 135 currencies

Invoice tracking

Stripe also makes it easy to track the status of an invoice from the invoices page found on the app dashboard. This feature is rather straightforward with Stripe, as it simply provides a list of invoices you’ve created and shows a brief status. 

6. FreshBooks

FreshBooks is a comprehensive invoicing and accounting software designed for small businesses and self-employed professionals. Here’s a look at the vitals.

Ease of use

FreshBooks software is reportedly easy to use with an intuitive interface. However, user reviews also report that few customizable options make other applications more accessible to use. Additionally, it’s noted in multiple reviews that the platform is best for freelancers and very small businesses, which could make it challenging to continue using as you grow.

Pricing

Lite PlanPlus PlanPremium PlanSelect Plan
$17per month$30 per month$55 per monthCustom
Includes:
– Unlimited invoices to five clients
– Run reports of taxes
– Expense tracking
– Credit card and bank transfer payments
Includes:
– Unlimited invoices to 50 clients
– Recurring bills and client retainers
– Mobile mileage tracking
– Business health reports
Includes:
– Unlimited invoices to unlimited clients
– Automatic expense tracking
– Financial and accounting reports
– Invitations to your accountant to view your account
Includes:
– Unlimited invoices to unlimited clients
– All other plan features, plus a selection of additional chosen features

Additional features

FreshBooks is perfect for adding extensive accounting and reporting features to your invoicing application. At the highest tier, it offers the following additional features:

  • Checkout links
  • Line items on bills
  • A dedicated number for exclusive support

Invoice tracking

FreshBooks invoice tracking lets you see if an invoice you’ve created is:

  • In draft
  • In progress
  • Overdue
  • Outstanding

Additionally, FreshBooks allows you to utilize both automated and manual reminders, to ensure your clients know when payments are due.

7. Zoho

Zoho Invoice is a customer relationship management software — CRM — designed to offer free and simple invoicing. 

Ease of use

Generally, this application is straightforward and touted in reviews as a great entry-level CRM software. So, though it’s easier to use for beginners, business owners looking to scale their business may find this no longer fits the bill.

Pricing

StandardUltimateProfessionalEnterprise
$14 per user each month$23 per user each month$40 per user each month$52 per user each month
Includes:
– Basic modules
– Email insights
– Other basic features
Includes:
– Macros
– Sales signals
– Assignment rules
Includes:
– Multiple scoring rules
– Webform analytics
– Data encryption
Includes:
– All other level features
– Zoho analytics

Additional features

In addition to the tiered features you see about, Zoho offers the following additional features:

  • PayPal and Stripe integrations for payment processing
  • Customizable invoice templates
  • Additional languages and currencies for invoices

Invoice tracking

Zoho offers invoice tracking that sends automatic reminders to clients with due or overdue payments. While this is helpful as invoices come due, it still requires you to remind clients to pay on time to avoid fees and so that your revenue stream remains consistent.

Invoicing and payment processing in the best invoice app

When choosing your invoicing software, you’re going to want a platform that does more than just send invoices to clients. Luckily, a clientflow platform like HoneyBook can help you with writing legally compliant contracts, using invoice templates, and processing payments from clients.

You can send proposals, schedule meetings, and manage client communications. The platform also allows you to save client details to fill in invoices, making invoicing even quicker. When a client pays, you’ll also be notified in real-time.

Since invoicing and booking are so integral to your clientflow, why not use a platform that’s built for your processes? With HoneyBook, you can combine key actions, so there’s no need for you or your clients to jump back and forth between different software. Communicate with leads and clients, book projects, and manage your work in one place.

Fast, reliable payments

90% of HoneyBook invoices are paid on time or early.

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