If you’re still sending out printed invoices, or even creating invoices on a case by case basis and delivering them via email, an online invoice tool could have a serious impact on your operational efficiency. Find out why switching to an online invoice tool could be a more productive option and check out our rundown of the best online invoice tools for your business with our simple guide.
What is an online invoice tool?
An online invoice tool, sometimes referred to as online automated invoicing, is a software package that allows you to create, schedule, send, and process invoices for your clients. Online invoice tools ensure faster payment, as you can deliver your invoices as soon as work is completed, while it also makes tracking significantly easier as most systems come complete with a dashboard highlighting which invoices have been paid, which are pending payment, and which are overdue.
Furthermore, online invoice tools massively reduce the amount of admin and paperwork associated with the invoicing process. There’s no need to sift through paperwork and dig through your old invoices to reuse an old template – with online invoice tools, you can create and send the new invoice in just a few clicks. Plus, with a “pay now” option within the invoice form itself (enabling immediate payment), online invoice tools tend to be much easier from the client’s point of view as well.
Are there any free online invoice tools?
Although you may be able to sign up for a free trial of certain software packages, there aren’t any free online invoice tools that will provide you with the full suite of services necessary to create, process, and send invoices. However, there are a couple of free online accounting tools to create invoices (also referred to as invoice generators). It’s important to note that these types of free online invoice tools can’t actually send or process invoices and won’t integrate with your accounting software. As such, it’s best to stick with a paid option that provides you with greater functionality throughout the invoicing process.
Top 5 online invoice tools
Now that you know a little more about the benefits of using online invoicing software, let’s look at some of the best online invoice tools on the market today:
Xero – Xero’s online invoice tool has a host of useful features that can help you to simplify the invoicing process, from one-click payments and personalisation options to the ability to view all your debtors at a glance. Plus, Xero allows you to see when your customers open and check their outstanding invoices, so “lost invoices” are a thing of the past.
QuickBooks – QuickBooks is a very popular online invoicing option for creating and sending invoices. In addition, this software package also provides the functionality to track overdue invoices, making it much easier to manage late payments.
FreeAgent – Designed with small businesses in mind, FreeAgent is a holistic online invoice tool that allows you to issue and track invoices. Furthermore, FreeAgent’s automated invoicing software can chase late payers for you, so you’re always on top of your incoming invoices.
KashFlow – Based out of the UK, KashFlow offers an automated invoice package that can help reduce the weight of the time-intensive invoicing process. Since it’s built for the UK market, KashFlow can link your accounts directly to HMRC, helping you to produce VAT returns and file them in a timely manner.
Clear Books – Finally, Clear Books offers a simple online invoice tool that’s ideal for small businesses. There are also several automation options to help make the invoicing process easier, including recurring invoices and auto reminders.
While you’re exploring these online invoice tools, be sure not to weigh up all the options and choose the package that’s right for your business’s needs. QuickBooks, for example, is relatively expensive, so if you’re still in the start-up phase it may not be the best bet. FreeAgent, on the other hand, is specifically designed for small businesses and freelancers, so if you’re running your own operation, it could be the best online invoice tool for your company’s needs.
We can help
GoCardless helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of admin your team needs to deal with when chasing invoices. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.