This article is part of a larger series on Accounting Software.
The best invoicing software allows users to create customized invoices quickly and get paid faster through invoice management features. Before investing in specialized invoicing software, consider whether comprehensive small business accounting software, which includes an invoicing function, might be better. Overall, you should determine which platform can best provide you with solutions to your particular problems.
Here are our seven picks for the best invoicing software for small businesses:
- QuickBooks Online: Best overall invoicing software with sophisticated accounting features
- FreshBooks: Best invoicing for solopreneurs and freelancers
- Invoicera: Best standalone invoicing software
- Zoho Invoice: Best free invoicing software
- Square Invoices: Best invoicing software for Square users
- ZipBooks: Best invoicing software with basic accounting features
- TimeTracker: Best invoicing software for professional service firms
Best Invoicing Software Compared
Our Expert Rating
Number of Users
Complete Bookkeeping System
$30 to $200
9.66 out of 10 points
1 to 25
$15 to $50; has custom pricing option
9.20 out of 10 points
1 plus $10 per additional user, monthly
$0 to $149
9.22 out of 10 points
1 to unlimited
8.68 out of 10 points
1 to 20
Requires subscription to Zoho Books or QuickBooks Online
$0 or $20
8.62 out of 10 points
Paid plan only
$0 to $35
8.25 out of 10 points
1 to unlimited
$7.50 to $30 per user with base fee of $12.50 to $22.50
6.77 out of 10 points
QuickBooks Online: Best Overall Invoicing Software with Sophisticated Accounting Features
One reason QuickBooks Online is our overall best small business accounting software is its exceptional invoicing capability. Unlike any other bookkeeping software we’ve reviewed, it’ll calculate the sales tax rate automatically to apply to your invoice based on the customer address. It then tracks your sales tax collected by jurisdiction and helps you file most required returns. You can try QuickBooks Online for free for 30 days with no credit card required.
QuickBooks Online Is Best For
- Small businesses in general: It is our overall best small business accounting software because it can be customized to different kinds of businesses. QuickBooks Online Plus, our most recommended plan, can provide you with all the necessary accounting features for your business, including inventory management and time tracking.
- Tracking sales tax: It lets you set, include, and track sales taxes. A sales tax field also appears in the invoice creation screen.
- Ecommerce businesses: It has direct integration with popular ecommerce platforms for a seamless transfer of ecommerce data to your accounting system.
Standout Invoicing Features
- Faster invoice creation: In QuickBooks Advanced, you can save time through invoice duplication. You can apply duplicate invoices to multiple customers and reduce your data-entry time. This feature is helpful if you process more than 50 invoices per day.
- Invoice summaries: You can track the payment of clients, status, and the percentage of the amount paid over the total balance. This feature can help in tracking the performance of your jobs.
- Customizable invoices: QuickBooks Online has different invoice templates that you can choose from, including invoice colors. You can also add your company logo and choose a specific font for your invoices. For the ultimate customization, you can create an invoice from scratch in Word and then import it into QuickBooks Online while mapping the fields on your template to QuickBooks Online data fields.
- Easier invoice payment tracking: On QuickBooks Online, you can see unpaid and paid invoices side by side easily. This feature is helpful if you want to assess the speed of collections from customers and the status of outstanding invoices, especially those that are overdue or nearing the due date.
QuickBooks Online can produce advanced invoices for nearly any industry. For instance, construction companies can convert estimates to invoices automatically, including creating in-progress invoices by entering the percentage of the projected completion. Companies that bill multiple customers the same amount can produce invoices in batches, and businesses billing customers for subscriptions can create recurring invoices.
However, QuickBooks Online’s features might be too much for a company that just needs to send a few invoices a month. Instead, we recommend choosing free invoicing software in this guide, such as Invoicera, Zoho Invoice, ZipBooks, and Square Invoices, as a starter.
Learn QuickBooks Online for FREE
Learn how you can create and send invoices in QuickBooks Online, plus other 45 free online courses brought to you by Fit Small Business’ in-house QuickBooks ProAdvisors and accounting experts. Check out our eight-part series of QuickBooks Online courses.
FreshBooks: Best Invoicing for Solopreneurs & Freelancers
While FreshBooks now provides an entire bookkeeping system, it started as a way to produce great-looking, professional invoices. It continues to stress invoicing while adding features like the ability to track hours and assign them to invoices. There’s no credit card required to start a 30-day free trial.
FreshBooks Is Best For
- Freelancers and solopreneurs: If you’re a freelancer, FreshBooks is a simpler accounting software than QuickBooks Online. It’s a suitable accounting and invoicing software for users without bookkeeping knowledge and experience as it is easy to understand and use.
- Creating outstanding invoices: FreshBooks started as an invoice creation software before venturing into bookkeeping. It is popular for its powerful invoicing capabilities that combine flexible customization and efficiency, such as modifying invoice designs and adding elements.
- Service businesses: FreshBooks has a great time tracking tool for service businesses, but lacks the inventory accounting needed for wholesaling and retailing companies.
Standout Invoicing Features
- Customizable invoices: On FreshBooks, you can change the invoice style, add your company logo, change the theme color, and much more. Once you’re done, you can send the invoice through the customer’s email, print it, or download it as a PDF.
- Sales tax tracking: You can set up sales tax rates manually on FreshBooks and apply different rates in making your invoices. Also, you can review your tax obligations and payments in the chart of accounts or by generating a general ledger report.
- Create estimates and convert them into invoices: FreshBooks lets you create an estimate for clients. Your clients can view and comment on your proposal. When clients are satisfied with your proposal, they can accept your offer easily by clicking the “accept” button at the top.
- Time and project tracking: Project-based businesses will like FreshBooks because they can compare actual to estimated project time and expenses.
Not only does FreshBooks have great-looking invoices, but it also has all the features of a bookkeeping system. It accepts online payments, calculates late fees automatically, creates recurring invoices, and prints a list of outstanding invoices.
Beyond those typical invoicing features, FreshBooks will connect with your bank to import transactions, reconcile bank and credit card accounts, and print basic financial statements like a balance sheet and profit and loss (P&L) statement. It may have accounting features, but it’s best suited to service or project-based companies. If you’re looking for robust accounting features not found on FreshBooks, like inventory management, QuickBooks Online is the best option.
Invoicera: Best Standalone Invoicing Software
Invoicera combines accounts receivable (A/R) management (sending invoices) and accounts payable (A/P) management (receiving invoices) in a single dashboard. While not a complete bookkeeping system, it makes cash flow management simple by focusing on two of the most important aspects of your business: collecting cash from your customers and paying your vendors. You can try Invoicera for 15 days without providing a credit card.
Invoicera Is Best For
- Managing A/R and A/P: Invoicera offers A/R (invoices) and A/P (bills) management. It’s a two-in-one solution if you need to send clients invoices and receive bills from vendors.
- Companies looking for standalone invoice software: Invoicera is an invoicing and billing solution for businesses that want to have dedicated software for A/R and A/P. It also integrates with multiple accounting software like QuickBooks Online, so it will be easy to transfer data to your bookkeeping system.
Standout Invoicing Features
- Customizable invoices: Invoicera lets you customize your invoices—you can upload your logo and choose colors to apply to its multiple invoicing templates.
- Personalized templates: In case you have a different design in mind, you can send your invoice template design to Invoicera, and it will make the template available to you in Invoicera.
- Credit note management: Small business owners often find credit memos a hassle. Fortunately, Invoicera’s credit note management feature is helpful for keeping track of credit memos and adjusting affected accounts.
As our standalone best invoicing software for small businesses, Invoicera allows you to track time and expenses by project, and then add them to invoices. You can request a personalized invoice template by sending your specifications to Invoicera. The software doesn’t include any accounting functions outside of A/R and A/P management and needs accounting software integration. Generally, we recommend that your invoicing be integrated with your accounting system, but if you’re looking for a standalone system, Invoicera is a good choice. Otherwise, you may want to choose QuickBooks Online instead.
Zoho Invoice: Best Free Invoicing Software
Zoho Invoice is our choice for a totally free invoicing software, making it suitable for very small businesses, startups, and freelancers who are new to invoicing. Unlike other software on this list, it doesn’t have paid options.
Zoho Invoice Is Best For
- Zoho users: Zoho offers a suite of software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions for those wanting to run their business in the cloud. If you’re using Zoho products like Zoho Books, Zoho Mail, or Zoho CRM, it’s wise to use other Zoho products like Zoho Invoice for harmony between services and fast integration.
- Startups: New businesses can use Zoho Invoice for invoicing without committing to paid plans. Zoho Invoice can accommodate basic to intermediate invoicing functionality.
Standout Invoicing Features
- Recurring billing: The recurring billing feature is more often than not a premium feature in other invoicing software. But in Zoho Invoice, recurring billing is free. This software is also one of our best recurring billing software for small businesses.
- Invoice statuses: You can set and filter invoices in eight different statuses (Draft, Pending Approval, Accepted, Rejected, Sent, Partially Paid, Paid, Overdue) while other invoicing software only have five or six.
Zoho Invoice is a free option for new businesses and freelancers. It’s an ideal stepping stone for business owners who are new to invoicing. Zoho Invoice only offers basic to intermediate invoicing features, which is suitable for small businesses. However, we recommend upgrading to a more sophisticated invoicing software like Invoicera because you can manage multiple businesses under a single account—Zoho Invoice is good for one business only.
Square Invoices: Best Invoicing Software for Square Users
Square is a merchant services provider with no monthly fee, making it a great choice if your business processes less than $10,000 per month in credit card transactions or if you’ve been using other Square services. Square Invoices, included in your free Square account, lets you offer multipackage estimates and send contracts with estimates.
Square Is Best For
- Square users: We recommend choosing Square Invoices if you’ve been using other Square services like Square Payments and Square Point of Sale (POS).
- Project-based businesses: You can ask for in-progress payments from clients based on project milestones or completion in just one invoice
Standout Invoicing Features
- Multipackage estimates: Some businesses can offer a combination of different products and services. If you belong to that kind of business, Square is very convenient since you can send multipackage estimates to clients at one time. There’s no need to send separate estimates for different plans. Send them all at once, and let the client choose which is the best for them.
- Send contracts with estimates: Estimates are just prices and included features. Some clients want to know more about the terms and conditions of each plan. Conveniently, Square lets you send contracts to clients along with estimates so that they review the legal aspects, making everything faster and clearer.
Square offers one of the best invoicing features along with affordable credit card processing rates for low-volume businesses. While not as feature-packed as accounting or standalone invoicing options, Square Invoices does let you create, send, and track invoices online or through its mobile apps. You can also create automatic payment reminders and recurring billing.
If you’re unsure about Square’s features, the safest alternative for standalone invoicing software is Invoicera. It also lets you manage A/R and A/P, track time, and integrate with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.
ZipBooks: Best Invoicing Software With Basic Accounting Features
ZipBooks provides a template that you can tweak with your logo before entering your sales information. While not as customizable as some other software, the invoices look nice and provide a good first impression to your customers. The free subscription is all you need to create, send, and track invoices for an unlimited number of customers.
ZipBooks Is Best For
- Companies looking for affordable invoicing and accounting software: Although QuickBooks Online and FreshBooks are our top picks for accounting software, we recommend ZipBooks’ Sophisticated plan, which costs $35 monthly, if you need basic accounting and invoicing functions for unlimited users.
- Sending a few invoices per month: Invoicing in ZipBooks requires you to encode each invoice manually. Hence, it’s best for businesses that send only a few invoices each month.
Standout Invoicing Features
- Customizable invoices: ZipBooks offers invoice templates based on your industry. However, it doesn’t offer different invoice layouts unlike others in this guide. Regardless, its templates are professional and clean.
- Convenient auto-billing: Collect payments faster with ZipBooks’ auto-billing feature. If you have recurring invoices that’ll increase in certain increments after several months, ZipBooks can accommodate this. You can set fixed charges and add price increments after several months without setting up a new recurring invoice.
- Invoice quality score: ZipBooks provides an invoice quality score that you can review prior to sending an invoice. Although the score doesn’t guarantee fast payment, it is a safeguard against poor invoice preparation. You’ll get a high score if you include all relevant invoice details like due dates, reminders, and credit card payments in your invoice.
ZipBooks doesn’t require any complex setup to create and send invoices. You can type your services and products directly into the invoice template, upload a logo, and send your invoice. The downside is that, by not setting up predefined products and services in the free plan, you’ll need to type the description every time you create an invoice. If you send many invoices, you’ll want to upgrade to the Smarter plan to save item descriptions. However, ZipBooks’ accounting features aren’t as robust as QuickBooks Online, especially for inventory. We recommend choosing the latter for intermediate to advanced accounting features.
TimeTracker: Best Invoicing Software for Professional Service Firms
TimeTracker by eBillity offers lawyers, accountants, engineers, and other professional service firms an invoicing option integrated with powerful time tracking features. It makes sense to combine these functions for professional service firms since billable hours are the primary item on your invoices. The platform has a 14-day free trial, no credit card is required.
TimeTracker Is Best For
- Offline tracking: TimeTracker by eBillity can continue to track time for invoicing billable hours even if you are offline. By using the mobile app, you can track time even without internet connection then synchronize data once you reconnect to the internet.
- Law firms: LawBillity is a specific time tracking and invoicing solution for lawyers. It can export invoices in Legal Electronic Data Exchange Standard (LEDES) and Legal Solutions Suite (LDS) file formats.
- Accounting & bookkeeping Firms: It tracks hours invoiced and written off so that you can track your realization percentage, which is a key performance indicator (KPI) for professional service firms.
Standout Invoicing Features
- Auto reporting: Do you want reports coming to your email automatically? With TimeTracker, you can create auto-generated reports based on the rules you set. This feature is useful for keeping track of your performance without the need to look for reports manually.
- Rules for late payments: TimeTracker lets you set up late fees to invoices for customers who don’t pay on or before the due date. We like this feature because late fees are reflected automatically based on the rules you set.
- Integration with popular accounting software: TimeTracker can integrate with QuickBooks, Xero, Sage Intacct, and Sage 50 easily. If you’re a user of these accounting programs, TimeTracker is a great addition to your invoicing system.
TimeTracker is a unique invoicing option because it’s built around a time-tracking system, which makes it ideal for businesses where time tracking and invoicing go hand in hand. What sets it apart from other invoicing options is that it tracks billable hours that are written off. A billable realization report shows the billable hours sent to clients vs written off, which is a crucial report to gauge the productivity of your professionals and the profitability of your firm.
The downside is that it can be expensive since it’s on a per-user basis. If a high price tag is a concern, we recommend that you go with QuickBooks Online since it offers unlimited time-tracking for a fixed price. However, QuickBooks doesn’t track hours written off, so you can’t commute a realization percentage. If you’re looking for a simpler accounting software than QuickBooks Online, ZipBooks is a much more affordable option than QuickBooks Online.
How We Evaluated Invoicing Software
Choosing invoicing software requires careful consideration of the features that you need. We considered four categories in evaluating the software listed here.
- Pricing: 15%
- Customization: 20%
- Invoicing features: 30%
- Bookkeeping system integration: 35%
15% of Overall Score
In evaluating pricing, we considered the number of billable clients, the number of users that can use the system, and the pricing plans. We gave it a low weight because most of the invoicing software on this list are free or affordable. However, we gave more emphasis on software services that have annual billing options, which give additional savings when compared with monthly billing.
20% of Overall Score
Customization options must give users the ability to choose an invoice template and redesign invoices that resonate with their brand. In our evaluation, we gave more weight to the availability of invoice templates because it can help small businesses and mom-and-pop operations pick a decent-looking invoice and avoid having to make one from scratch. We also considered the ability to upload logos, edit or customize invoice fields, change invoice colors, and insert a personalized message below the invoice.
30% of Overall Score
Our overarching criteria in assessing invoice features are convenience and flexibility. The invoicing software must give users the ability to create and manage invoices in one place. We give this a higher weight than customization because we believe that functionality comes before aesthetics.
35% of Overall Score
We believe that invoicing should be tied to your bookkeeping system so that cash received from invoicing can be tied to cash deposited in bank accounts. In evaluating this portion, we give full scores to accounting software with built-in invoicing features. Standalone invoicing software gets a half score but may receive additional points if it can integrate with popular accounting software. At the maximum, standalone platforms with accounting software integration options can get as much as 80% of the perfect score. The reason behind this is that integration entails additional cost and hassle and isn’t an optimal solution.
With these seven best invoicing software for small businesses, we hope that you’ll be able to choose an invoicing software that matches your business needs. We have presented free and paid options with varying features. To make a decision, we recommend that you consider your business’s invoicing and information needs and possible integration with existing software or migration from legacy systems.