This article is part of a larger series on Accounting Software.
Invoice Ninja is a free open-source billing and invoicing solution that allows you to create and send invoices, set up vendors and track expenses, and manage projects for free. Some of its core features include auto-billing and recurring invoices, real-time invoice PDF creation, and bulk invoicing. It’s free for up to 20 clients, but you can upgrade to a paid plan for as low as $10 per month. You can use the cloud-based software or download the open-source version and self-host it on your computer. Sign up for a 30-day free test drive of Invoice Ninja.
- Locally installed version requires development skills to customize invoices
- Not a complete accounting solution
- Free and Pro plans are limited to one user
- Free plan is limited to 20 clients
- No automatic sales tax calculation based on customer address
- Small businesses with in-house developers: Experienced developers can customize the user interface (UI) to fit their business’ unique accounting and reporting needs. If you think you need something else, check out our picks for the best invoicing software.
- Companies with no more than 20 clients: Invoice Ninja’s free plan allows you to manage up to 20 clients with unlimited invoices and estimates.
- Businesses that need a free invoicing solution: You can use Invoice Ninja’s basic invoicing features for free, including tracking and billing time to clients.
- Companies with more than 20 customers seeking an affordable invoicing solution: If you need to upgrade to a paid subscription to invoice unlimited customers, the Pro and Enterprise plans are still a low-cost solution for you.
- Service-based businesses: You can create service quotes and proposals easily in the platform and convert them into invoices once they’re approved.
- Users who need simple-to-use software: The self-hosted version requires developer skills. It’s also full of features, which can be confusing if all you need is to send an invoice occasionally. If you need a simpler invoicing solution, we recommend FreshBooks.
- Businesses collecting sales taxes from multiple states: Collecting sales taxes from customers in multiple states can be a nightmare that Invoice Ninja can’t simplify. You should consider QuickBooks Online, which can apply the appropriate sales tax automatically to each invoice based on the customer’s address.
- Businesses with multiple users who want free invoicing: Invoice Ninja’s free plan includes only one user. If you have multiple accounting users and you’re on a tight budget, Wave is a great free alternative that allows unlimited users.
Do you need more than just invoicing? Read our guide to the best small business accounting software to see our top-recommended complete accounting solution recommendations.
Invoice Ninja Deciding Factors
Supported Business Types
Small and medium-sized businesses looking for affordable invoicing without the need for full-fledged accounting software and those with in-house developers or coders
30 days, with no credit card information required
Email support, online forms, support forums, and user guides
Invoice Ninja Notable New Feature for 2023
The new desktop app—available on Google Play, App Store, and Snapcraft (for Linux users)—includes all of the features of the browser interface, including invoicing, bill management, time tracking, and project management.
Invoice Ninja Alternatives
Best for: Collect sales taxes from multiple states
Best for: Companies looking easy-to-use invoicing software
Best for: Businesses with multiple users that need free invoicing
Cost: From $30 per month
Cost: From $17 per month
Invoice Ninja vs. Competitors
We compare Invoice Ninja with FreshBooks and QuickBooks Online to see which has the advantage. Invoice Ninja is the most affordable as it has a free plan, but it trails behind in customization because of the limited number of templates from which to choose. Since it’s an open-source platform that requires coding skills, it’s more difficult to use than QuickBooks Online, FreshBooks, and most other cloud-based programs.
Invoice Ninja vs. Competitors FSB Case Study
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Invoice Ninja Free; paid plans start at $10 per month
QuickBooks Online From $30 per month
FreshBooks From $17 per month
Invoice Ninja offers a free subscription for users with 20 or fewer clients. If you need to invoice more than that, then you can upgrade to the Ninja Pro Plan for $10 per month or $100 per year. Both the Free and Ninja Pro plans only support a single user. If you need additional seats, sign up for an Enterprise subscription, with prices that start at $14 per month. You can try Invoice Ninja free for 30 days with no credit card information required.
$14 for one to two users
Cost for Additional Users
Only one user
Only one user
$26 for 3 to 5 users
$26 for 6 to 10 users
$44 for 11 to 20 users
Maximum Number of Clients
Number of Invoice Templates
Add Logo to Invoice
Auto-Billing & Recurring Invoices
Real-Time Invoice PDF Creation
Option to Remove Invoice Ninja Watermark
Email Invoices via Gmail & MSN
Bulk Email Invoices
Attach Files to Emails & Client-Portal
Fully Branded Client Portal
Visit the provider’s website to learn more about the features available in each plan.
Invoice Ninja Features
Invoice Ninja offers most of the features expected from an invoicing solution and even adds some unique touches to the mix. Here’s a list of some of Invoice Ninja’s most essential features.
While invoices in Invoice Ninja are highly customizable, there’s a limit to the number of invoice templates you can choose from. For instance, Free and Ninja Pro subscribers can only pick from four templates. When you upgrade to a paid plan, you can choose from 10 professional templates that are highly customizable.
Nevertheless, we’re impressed with the level of customization it offers. You can upload your logo, change invoice colors, and add a personalized message for your clients. One of the best features is that Invoice Ninja uses a live PDF that allows you to view any changes as you make them.
Below is a PDF version of a sample invoice created in Invoice Ninja.
Another feature we like is the ability to add custom fields to different sales forms, including invoices. Every industry is unique, so it’s helpful to have the option to create specialized fields needed for your invoicing needs. For instance, if you’re a law firm, you may need to add a field for legal case number to your invoice. If you have a nonprofit, you may need to add a donor ID somewhere in your invoice.
Just like the other invoicing software we reviewed, a minor issue we found in Invoice Ninja is that it doesn’t allow you to add an item for a service contract. Apart from that, we believe that Invoice Ninja has many time-saving and useful features.
If you have multiple clients that you charge on a weekly or monthly basis, then you can benefit from Invoice Ninja’s recurring invoices. It allows you to create invoices for ongoing jobs or services automatically and send the current invoice to your client on a predefined basis.
To create a recurring invoice, you need to provide the starting date, remaining cycles, and the frequency, whether it’s weekly, biweekly, monthly, or something else.
Invoice Ninja lets you select multiple invoices and send them out in a single email together. This helps you save a lot of time as opposed to individually sending out each invoice to each email address one by one. This feature is only available for Ninja Pro and Enterprise users.
When a quote is approved by your client, you can convert that quote into an invoice easily with a single click of a button. Alternatively, you can also set up auto-conversion from client approval so that every time a quote is approved, the program turns it into an invoice automatically.
When you subscribe to the Ninja Pro plan, you can create up to three invoice email reminders to alert your client of an invoice due. You can select the timing schedules, you can customize the email reminders, including the subject line and body text, and adding a unique message. You can create auto-reminder emails from the Advanced Settings menu, under the Templates and Reminders section.
If you have clients struggling to pay their overdue invoices, you can use the Invoice Ninja partial payment feature to invoice them for advanced deposits. After a client makes a deposit, the invoice is updated automatically to reflect the partial payment and show the outstanding amount. This feature is helpful for contractors since long projects are invoiced multiple times throughout the project until the final invoice is issued. Invoice Ninja’s partial payment feature is available for free users.
Invoice Ninja supports approximately 50 currencies and 20 different languages. It enables you to customize a host of settings based on your language, primary currency, and your location. You can also modify time zone data, time and date formatting, and more.
Pro plan users can customize the URL of their invoices. A custom domain not only adds a level of professionalism to your invoices but also boosts your presence as a brand.
All plans allow you to manage up to 10 different company profiles under a single account. Each company profile can have a separate dashboard. You can switch between companies with a few clicks, and you can also divide your company into multiple departments, allowing you to create separate financial reports for your businesses.
To add billable expenses to an invoice, import your expenses to Invoice Ninja by uploading your file of statements manually or by connecting to your bank or credit card account.
You can even convert your expenses into invoices easily. First, create a new expense from the Expense List page by completing the various fields and checkboxes, such as vendor, date, category, currency, amount, and client. The expense item you create will show up as an entry on the Expense List page, and the notes become your item description once the expense item is added to a client invoice.
Kanban boards provide you with an easy way to view multiple tasks in one place. These little note cards can be customized using color codes and can be edited, moved around, and slotted into different predetermined columns.
For time-based services, Invoice Ninja comes with a built-in time tracker to monitor your team’s work and invoice your clients by minutes or hours. You can use the downloadable desktop icon, or you can launch it from your online Invoice Ninja account.
Your clients have their own dashboard where they can view their total invoices, outstanding balances, and payments. They can also view, download, approve, and print estimates as well as pay invoices. All plans include a client-side portal, but premium users have a higher level of security. For Pro users, client portals come with a password-protect feature. If you want a fully branded secure portal for your clients, you need the Enterprise plan.
On Google Play
On App Store
The Invoice Ninja mobile application lets you create invoices and quotes, get paid online, and create tasks and track time whenever and wherever you are as long as you have an internet connection. You can download the app on Google Play, the App Store, and GitHub.
Pro users can access typical financial reports, including P&L, client statements, and aging reports. However, because Invoice Ninja isn’t a double-entry bookkeeping system, you cannot print a complete balance sheet showing your company’s assets and liabilities. The majority of reports are summaries of specific features, such as invoices, quotes, activities, clients, credits, documents, tax rates, tasks, and payments. You can export data as CSV, XLS, or PDF files.
Invoice Ninja Ease of Use & Customer Service
The user interface of the cloud-based version looks a bit busy and outdated. It’s not as easy to use as other top invoicing software, such as FreshBooks and Square Invoices. For instance, the forms for creating invoices, expenses, and other transactions are a bit crowded, with several fields to complete. The self-hosted program has very particular system requirements, and it’s difficult to implement and set up unless you’re a proficient programmer.
The good news is that Invoice Ninja offers plenty of customer support options to help you familiarize yourself easily with its features. You can reach Invoice Ninja’s customer support through email or by submitting a support form. From within the system, you can access the community forum, user guide, knowledge base, support form, and YouTube videos.
Many users are impressed with Invoice Ninja because in addition to invoicing, it allows them to track billable time and income and expenses. Others commented that it’s more affordable than most invoicing software. A few reviews we found are about the lack of multi-company support and difficulty in setting up recurring invoices.
Invoice Ninja has excellent ratings on popular review websites, such as:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can Invoice Ninja replace an accounting solution?
No, as it’s specially designed for invoicing and doesn’t track total income, expense, assets and liabilities. If you want full-fledged accounting software, check out our guide to the best small business accounting software.
Is an open-source software like Invoice Ninja easy to use?
It should be easy to use if you have coding experience. This makes Invoice Ninja a great choice for businesses with in-house developers.
How do I get paid by my clients?
Invoice Ninja helps you collect funds online easily through integrations with more than 40 payment gateways, including PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, 2Checkout, and WePay.
How We Evaluated Invoice Ninja
We evaluated Invoice Ninja and our other best invoicing software using a unique scoring rubric developed around five key accounting categories. We assign a certain weight to each category based on their importance to our invoicing software evaluation.
Here’s a detailed breakdown of our rubric:
15% of Overall Score
Pricing is evaluated based on the software’s cost and limitations, including the number of clients you can manage and the number of invoices you can send.
20% of Overall Score
The best invoicing software lets you customize your invoice by adding your company logo, choosing from different templates, changing the invoice color, and adding a personalized message for your clients.
30% of Overall Score
Some of the general invoicing features we wanted to see include the ability to create recurring invoices and accept short payments from customers.
25% of Overall Score
We checked how easy it is to create and send invoices using the software and what types of customer service options it offers to support new users.
10% of Overall Score
We gathered unbiased user reviews from popular online review websites.
Invoice Ninja is a great invoicing solution as long as you don’t need full-fledged accounting software to track assets and liabilities and income and expenses. The self-hosted version is ideal for businesses with experienced in-house developers. One of the best things about Invoice Ninja is that its Free plan offers plenty of features that you can’t find in many other invoicing software packages. It may have some weaknesses, such as limited reports and invoice customization in the free plan, but it’s still ideal for businesses looking for an affordable yet full-featured invoicing solution.