Getting payment from clients used to a difficult process which often involved significant amounts of manual labor and numerous calls and emails to the client, however today thanks to online invoicing, getting paid by clients is significantly easier than in the past. In fact, many invoicing tools allow clients to make payments virtually upon receipt thanks to integration with many payment processors such as PayPal, while also streamlining the invoice creation process by allowing time sheet data to be entered automatically into all notices. Add the fact that many online invoicing tools have nominal fees and interfaces which are much easier to use than Microsoft Excel and QuickBooks and it becomes clear that today using an online invoice provider is a no brainier in today’s hectic world.
One of the leading invoicing tools on the market is Zoho Invoices which provides users with a simple to use interface which allows for: rapid creation of elegant invoices, time tracking of client projects, creation of estimates, tracking of expenses, and tight integration with a wide array of other business tools make the program much more than a one trick pony. Aside from integrating Google Checkout, Paypal, and Stripe (amongst many other options) into invoices, Zoho provides users with the ability to mail paper invoices to clients on their behalf for a nominal fee if they prefer paper over electronic copies. Zoho’s free tier has a cap of five customers and unlimited invoices and estimates while the premium plan provides unlimited customer support, users, and invoices for $30/month.
Harvest is another useful invoicing tool which is popular with business owners for its easy to use interface and powerful feature set. By allowing business owners to track time in one click while still being able to view highly detailed reports of employee activity, Harvest is a great tool for any project manager or business owner who needs fine detail for their financials. A key feature in the tool not found in many other tools is the ability to track a client retainer. Additionally Harvest’s mid and premium plans include the ability to have an administrator approve all employee timesheets before they are officially entered. The free tier of Harvest allows for two projects, four clients, and one user while the premium plan sells for $99/month; includes 10 users; and unlimited clients, projects, invoicing; and timesheet approval.
Last but not least, Chrometa is an invoicing tool which helps business owners save time by automatically logging the time and applications being run throughout the work day. This eliminates the need to manually punch a time clock and also helps ensure accuracy when invoicing clients. Although this form of logging might sound extreme, it’s important to note that screengrabs are not being taken and the only data saved is the name and duration an application runs. In contrast, many outsourcing sites provide employers with highly intrusive systems to view the screens and keystrokes of employees. Pricing for Chrometa with invoicing capability starts at $29/month, which includes two months of data storage and supports exporting data to a wide array of applications. The top plan costs $49/month and bumps the device cap to four devices.
The advantage of online invoicing is that all the tools have iOS, and Android apps available plus invoicing data is available from any internet connected computer meaning no matter where the user is, they can still conduct business on the go.