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Review: Invoicing Software

Invoice artOf all the new invoicing software packages out there, which one is right for your clients? As accounting professionals, we know, we will get these questions from our clients. This review will help you serve as an advocate for your clients. Any accountant or CPA can answer a client's question, but how many offer advice before they are asked? I have earned many of my clients by providing this type of advice to clients. Be seen as a partner with your client instead of just a number cruncher.

This review was eye opening for me. I didn't even realize how many different solutions there were out there for our clients. While they all appear to be similar, they are not. Of the packages I examined, I am only going to discuss those that are real solutions for our clients. Some vendors think that having a great looking invoice was the way to impress customers. I don't know about you, but having a nice-looking invoice from one of my vendors has never impressed me. But having a package that tracks payments accurately and knows what they are billing you for and why they are billing is much more important. So, the software that allows your customers to go online and view prior invoices is an important feature.

After a lot of research, the invoicing software we are reviewing are FreshBooks, Bill.com, Billing Boss and Invoiceit. Each would provide your clients with a very good solution. Which product you chose for your client will depend on their individual needs.

Toronto, Ontario
(866) 303-6061
Price: Single client, free; three clients, $19.95 per month; Unlimited clients, $29.95 per month; Unlimited clients plus second user, $39.95 per month.

FreshBooks offers invoicing, time tracking, estimates, expenses, client and staff, contractors, documents and reports. You can set up recurring invoices and auto-billing to automatically charge your client's credit card. You can bill in multiple currencies. You can use online payments through PayPal, Authorize.net, LinkPoint, Landmark, VeriSign, 2co, Psigate, Wlectracash and iTransact.freshbooks logo

Late payments can set up so that they are automatically emailed. There is iPhone access to manage clients, send invoices, run timers, and more. You can give your clients online access to their invoices and account history. You can create invoices based on time, expenses and fixed cost services/items or any combination thereof. You can also choose to have FreshBooks send out the invoices for a nominal fee. And your data is backed up and secure because all facilities are SAS-70 compliant.

All in all it is a very solid invoicing program that should meet the needs of many of your clients.

Palo, Alto, Calif.
(877) 345-2455
Price: $19.99 per month (one user); Each additional user, $9.99 per month; Payment via Bill.com ePayments, 49 cents each; Paypal payments, 99 cents each; five check payments per month, free, additional checks, 99 cents each.

Bill.com, a very robust program,  integrates with accounting programs like QuickBooks, Intacct, Thomson Reuters Write-up CS and Shoeboxed.com. So, if you are already using one of those programs for some of your invoices you can continue to do that and Bill.com will sync up with it

The other unique feature of this program is that it has payables built in. You go into the program and can see a calendar with projected cash flow for the month. It is a pretty cool feature that you don't see in other programs. In addition, you can make payments for your payables by check, ach or paypal. There are lots of reports in the program as well.

If a check doesn't clear in 20 days you get an automated notification. If there are multiple invoices for one vendor, you can combine them into one payment. They too use 256-bit SSL encryption. The system allows you to collaborate with co-workers and other accountants. It too can be accessed from a mobile phone or an IPad.
Inset pricing chart.

Billing Boss
Price: Free

Billing Boss
Billing Boss has a unique marketing in that the system is free. The catch is that there are some items you can add for nominal fees. But of all the systems I reviewed, this was the one real free system.BillingBoss

Billing Boss  allows businesses to share access with their accountants. It has reports and it is super easy to use: once set up with client information, they are ready to go. Customers import can be imported from a cvs file. It has recurring invoicing, quotes and online payment tracking. The data is stored in a secure location with regular back ups. Clients can accept credit cards using via smartphones. The program can also be accessed via  iPhone, Blackberry or Android.

Although is not as robust as the others in this review,  it can meet the needs of some of your smaller clients.

The Scrambled Card Company
Auckland, New Zealand
Price: $99.95 (single-user, includes free email support.

Invoiceit! is a very robust program. It has a contact manager, inventory, service charges, purchase orders, quotations, invoicing, auto invoicing, job and time billing, scheduler, cashbook accounting, e-mail marketing, direct mail, and customized reports.invoiceit logo

The screen reminds me of the older type of program. It is very much a database type of applications It is one of the harder programs to use but that is because it has so many features for you. You can import vendors.

Julie Lepper, EA

Julie S. Lepper, EA, MBA is the Principal of Julie S. Lepper, Accounting & Tax Service, LLC, a small local accounting firm in Pinckney, MI. She earned her Master's of Business from Eastern Michigan University and her Bachelor's of Accountancy from Walsh College in Michigan. Julie has over 16 years in consulting with client not only accounting and tax issues , but also on software and sales engagements. She specializes in focusing on start-up businesses and small to medium client needs.

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