The best recurring billing software should allow you to easily set up scheduled invoices and have time-saving features, such as payment reminders, invoice approval workflows, a client-side portal, and an invoicing app. Additionally, they must provide sufficient invoice customization options, including the ability to choose from different invoice templates, upload your company logo, and edit invoice fields.
That said, here are our best recurring invoice software, including free options, standalone billing programs, and comprehensive bookkeeping solutions:
- Invoicera: Best overall standalone recurring billing software
- QuickBooks Online: Best bookkeeping software with outstanding recurring billing features
- FreshBooks: Best recurring billing software for project-based businesses that use retainers for ongoing services
- Zoho Invoice: Best free standalone recurring billing software
- Wave: Best free bookkeeping software with good recurring billing features
As expert writers, we explored the features and user experience of each recurring billing software so that we could provide you with unbiased insights, aligning with our Fit Small Business Editorial Policy. This allows us to delve into their strengths and drawbacks and identify their best use cases. As a result, we can recommend the most suitable recurring billing program based on your unique needs.
Best Recurring Billing Software: Quick Comparison
Invoicera: Best Overall Recurring Billing Software
- Not a complete bookkeeping system
- Time tracking and reporting are limited
- No live bank feeds
- Free plan is limited to only three customers
- Mobile app unavailable for Android
Invoicera offers four monthly subscription plans, each accommodating a specific number of users:
- Starter: $19; one user
- Business: $49; up to 10 users
- Enterprise: $99; up to 20 users
- Infinite: $149; unlimited users
You can try any of the aforementioned plans for seven days for free.
We selected Invoicera as our overall best recurring invoicing software because it’s a specialized invoicing solution with a more robust feature set than most similar providers. All of its plans allow you to create and send unlimited invoices to your clients and provide useful features, such as automated late payment reminders, scheduled invoices, and a client portal, which typically isn’t offered in general accounting software like QuickBooks Online.
The best part about Invoicera is its user-friendly approach to creating recurring invoices. The program has a dedicated Create Recurring menu in the dashboard, so you can easily locate the invoicing screen without navigating through several menus. From the Create Recurring invoicing screen, you simply select the invoice date and desired frequency, such as weekly, bimonthly, or monthly. This makes Invoicera a great option for businesses needing a straightforward recurring billing solution.
In addition to the standard features, Invoicera comes with advanced invoicing tools, depending on your plan. For instance, you can upgrade to the Business plan if you need to set up customized invoice approval workflows. This tool is great for companies with complex client billing processes.
A possible drawback to Invoicera is that it isn’t a complete bookkeeping software. For freelancers or small businesses that primarily need to invoice clients, Invoicera is more than enough. However, if you have complex financial transactions and need accounting features like inventory management and bank reconciliation, a complete bookkeeping solution like QuickBooks Online is more suitable.
QuickBooks Online: Best Bookkeeping Software With Outstanding Recurring Billing Features
- Requires you to subscribe to the higher plans if you have multiple users
- Is a bit expensive, especially for those who need only invoicing features
- A bit more difficult to set up than most specialized billing software
- Lacks a client portal
QuickBooks Online has four subscription levels, all of which include recurring invoicing. All plans also allow for an unlimited number of invoices and clients.
- Simple Start: $30 per month for one user
- Plus: $60 per month for three users
- Essentials: $90 per month for five users
- Advanced: $200 per month for 25 users
New subscribers can choose between 50% off for three months or a 30-day free trial.
Every business needs a good bookkeeping system. If you invoice clients on a recurring basis, then QuickBooks Online is a great bookkeeping solution because it has ideal built-in automatic billing software. Unlike Invoicera, QuickBooks Online is a complete accounting solution with other features aside from invoicing, including inventory management, project accounting, and bank reconciliation. This makes QuickBooks Online our overall best small business accounting software.
One of QuickBooks Online’s strengths is invoicing. It provides customizable invoices and allows you to create and send recurring invoices at specified intervals, such as monthly, quarterly, or annually. Also, it has unique features that assist with collecting sales tax on invoices. For instance, it can add the correct sales tax to invoices based on the location of the transaction. This is especially useful if you make taxable sales in multiple jurisdictions like cities or states. These features make QuickBooks our top invoicing software.
If your business primarily focuses on invoicing, you can consider specialized billing software like Invoicera or Zoho Invoice. However, if your company anticipates future growth and requires bookkeeping features, like expense tracking, detailed financial reporting, payroll management, and tax preparation, QuickBooks Online can be a scalable choice.
FreshBooks: Best Recurring Billing Software for Project-based Businesses That Use Retainers for Ongoing Services
- Allows you to bill up to five clients only in the entry-level plan
- Charges an extra fee for each additional user
- Has no client portal
- Doesn’t provide automated sales tax calculation based on the customer’s address
FreshBooks offers a choice of four plans that vary in terms of the maximum number of billable clients and the features available, such as a dedicated account manager. The recurring invoice feature is only available with the Plus, Premium, and Select plans:
- Plus: $33 per month for up to 50 billable clients
- Premium: $60 per month for up to 500 billable clients
- Select: Custom pricing for more than 500 billable clients
All plans include one user, and additional users are $11 per month. There’s currently a 30-day free trial available.
Just like QuickBooks Online, FreshBooks is a complete bookkeeping solution with built-in recurring invoicing features. However, we especially recommend it for project-based companies using retainers for ongoing services due to its strong project accounting features. For instance, if you are a marketing agency that provides recurring services, like social media management and ad campaign monitoring, you can use FreshBooks to send recurring invoices to your clients.
What makes it an ideal recurring billing platform for project-based businesses is that it supports project-based billing by integrating project management features with its invoicing tools. This means you can create and manage projects within FreshBooks, track time spent on these projects, and easily generate invoices based on the project details. Also, you can compare estimated and actual project costs, which is useful for budget planning.
A main drawback to using FreshBooks is that it can be expensive for businesses with multiple users. While all plans support unlimited invoices, only a single user is included in the base price, so you have to pay an additional fee for each extra seat. If you have multiple accounting users, consider Zoho Invoice or Wave, both of which are free and support an unlimited number of users.
Zoho Invoice: Best Free Standalone Recurring Billing Software
- Has no approval workflows for issuing invoices
- Doesn’t allow you create recurring invoices
- Manages outgoing invoices only
- Isn’t a complete bookkeeping solution; requires integration with Zoho Books
- Is unable to automatically calculate sales tax rates based on the customer’s location
Zoho Invoice is free with no credit card required to sign up.
For subscription billing, Zoho Invoice integrates with Zoho Billing (formerly Zoho Subscriptions), which allows you to handle your customer subscription billing life cycle from start to finish. Prices for Zoho Billing range from $20 to $300 monthly per organization.
Note that Zoho Invoice isn’t a complete bookkeeping system. You’ll need to integrate it with Zoho Books to manage the accounting side of your business. Head to our Zoho Books review to learn more.
Zoho Invoice has no dedicated recurring invoicing module, but you can clone an existing invoice to generate a new one with similar details. Despite lacking automated recurring billing features, it is completely free and provides many features to streamline your billing workflows.
For instance, it allows you to create automated payment reminders to alert customers of late payments, It also has a mobile app and a client portal that allows your clients to access their estimates, invoices, and unbilled time for projects in one place. They can also access their statement of accounts and accept or decline estimates and make payments in the client portal.
One of more than 40 apps in the Zoho suite of products, Zoho Invoice has the distinction of being free forever for all small and medium-sized businesses. It allows you to create an unlimited number of invoices and add as many users as needed without any fees. Zoho Invoices provides fully customizable invoices and essential invoicing features that are sufficient for most small businesses, including invoice tracking and late payment reminders.
However, just like Invoicera, Zoho Invoice isn’t a complete bookkeeping solution. That said, if you need bookkeeping features, you should consider integrating it with Zoho Books (separate subscription fee) or find an alternative like QuickBooks Online.
Wave: Best Free Bookkeeping Software With Good Recurring Billing Features
- Not able to set up separate income and expenses by classes or locations
- Poor customer support
- Not a good fit for businesses with inventory
- Can’t reconcile bank statements when timing differences exist
Wave is free for accounting and invoicing. It offers the following services for an additional fee:
- Wave Advisor: $149 per month for bookkeeping support
- Accounting and payroll coaching: $329 per coaching session and email support
- Receipt scanning: $8 per month through its mobile app
Wave, like Zoho Invoice, allows you to create and send an unlimited number of users and invoices for free. However, it’s a complete accounting solution, with basic features, like income and expense tracking, bank reconciliation, and financial reporting. You can also add as many users as you want for free—making it our overall best free accounting software.
It has decent invoicing features, including the ability to set up recurring invoices. You can customize your invoices, view outstanding invoices, and track sales tax collected by jurisdiction. Additionally, because of its built-in integration, Wave Payments, it’s a great option for businesses that accept online payments.
While Wave might be sufficient for simple invoicing, note that its accounting features are a bit limited. For instance, it has no inventory management and project accounting features like QuickBooks Online.
How We Evaluated the Best Recurring Billing Software
To evaluate the best recurring billing software, we used an internal scoring rubric that takes into account six key criteria:
15% of Overall Score
We considered the availability of a free plan and other factors, such as the affordability of the monthly plans and whether there are restrictions on user access and number of invoices that can be sent.
20% of Overall Score
A good recurring billing software provides various ways to personalize invoices, such as choosing from different invoice templates, adding your company logo, and customizing the invoice color.
30% of Overall Score
We looked into essential billing features, such as late payment reminders, invoice approval workflow setup, a dedicated client portal, and a mobile invoicing app.
15% of Overall Score
The invoicing process should be easy to understand and use, even for users with no accounting background.
15% of Overall Score
Ideally, recurring billing providers offer various customer support options, like phone support, live chat, email support, and self-help resources, like setup guides and tutorial videos.
5% of Overall Score
We gathered the average review rating of each software from leading third-party review websites.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The best recurring invoicing software should provide customizable invoices and have time-saving invoicing features, such as payment reminders, automated sales tax calculations, a client portal, and a mobile invoicing app.
Yes, and good examples are Wave and Zoho Invoice.
The best recurring software depends on your unique needs. If you want specialized invoicing software with enhanced features, then Invoicera is great. If you need bookkeeping features in addition to billing, you can choose between QuickBooks Online and Wave. If you only need invoicing and are on a budget, Zoho Invoice is great free recurring billing software.
Recurring billing software is designed specifically to prevent late payments, automate invoicing, and take the stress out of the process. Whether it’s a free solution like Wave or Zoho Invoice or a premium software that provides extra features, such as a client portal or automatic sales tax calculation, these options are suitable for many types of small businesses. The best platform for you is the one that suits the needs of your particular industry.