Last editedNov 20222 min read
Budgeting is key for cash-strapped small businesses. Usingautomated billing software saves time and money on your invoicing process, but it often comes at a cost. Fortunately, there’s a range of free billing software for small businesses that can help you get paid. In this guide, we’ll cover what your options are and how to find the right fit.
Why should you use billing software?
Billing software automates your invoicing operations, generating professional invoices and submitting them to your clients to help you get paid. While manual invoicing can be time-consuming and error-prone, automated software ensures all goods and services provided are accurately stated on each invoice. The best free billing software for small businesses not only helps you create and track invoices, but also integrates with payment processors to collect what’s due.
Here are just a few reasons to use billing software:
Track your invoices and payment status in real time
Streamline the accounts receivable process
Keep financial data safe in the cloud
Keep track of inventory more accurately
Offer clients a portal for easier payment
The best free billing software for small businesses
Many popular billing and invoice software providers offer a free trial period. You can give software like Xero, Sage50, and others a try for 30 days free of charge to see if they’re a good fit. However, you’ll have to choose a payment plan after the trial has ended. When it comes to the best free billing software for 30 days and beyond, here are four good choices.
We’ll start the list with Chargebee, billing software specifically designed to tackle recurring subscription payments. It helps your small business manage all aspects of subscription billing, including trial management and invoicing. Chargebee integrates with a variety of payment gateways to automate payment collection. Email reminders and customer management encourage timely payments for improved cash flow with less admin involved.
Another free billing software is Zoho Invoice, suitable for any small business with fewer than five clients. Like others on this list, it automatically tracks and monitors invoices to free up your time for other financial tasks. Zoho Invoice can also tackle expenses and billable hours. Create and send professional invoices using built-in templates, following up with reminders as needed. Additional free tools include a revenue forecaster, expense report generator, and income tax calculator.
While there are pricing plans with more complex features, small businesses can opt into the basic free version of QuickBooks to tackle invoicing tasks. This accounting software helps fill in invoices automatically with your customer details. You can set up invoices in advance, scheduling when and where they’re sent. Track invoices from your choice of device to follow up with clients. QuickBooks also connects with your bank account so you can track income and expenses as they take place.
FreeAgent’s powerful cloud-based billing software normally starts at £9.50 per month for sole traders and £14.50 per month for limited companies. If you hold a business current account with NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, or Ulster Bank NI, however, the cost is free. FreeAgent is also free of charge for those holding a Mettle business account. In addition to invoicing and billing services, FreeAgent is also handy for your business tax preparation and accounting. It automatically fills in most of your HMRC Self Assessments, while generating VAT returns.
How to choose billing software
While all of the software mentioned above is free at the point of use, it’s important to read the fine print carefully. Free plans are often basic, limiting the number of invoices, clients, or users. For small businesses just starting out, this usually isn’t an issue. As you grow, you’ll need software that handles a higher volume of invoices, clients, and transactions. At this stage, it might be worth upgrading to a different pricing plan.
In addition to features and fees, make sure the software of your choice integrates with major payment processors. GoCardless integrates with all billing software above as well as over 350 partners for a streamlined workflow.
We can help
GoCardless is a global payments solution, setting people and businesses free from the frustrations and cost of outdated payment methods. Find out how GoCardless can help you with one-off or recurring payments.