All businesses no matter the size need a quality billing system.
A smart business owner can use it to automate tasks, ensure precise accounting figures, and reduce late payments. However, before you choose a software provider, there are many considerations you have to take into account.
Do you want to invest in a software as a service (SaaS) system? Does your budget allow for it, or do you need a free or pay as you go system? Maybe you need a system that can grow as your business does?
All of these questions will be answered in this article. Keep reading for a guide to the best billing software of 2018.
Types of Software
For budget-conscious entrepreneurs, the best invoice software for small business may be cloud-based systems. Many of these are free, but the unpaid versions are not as feature-rich. A good option for beginners is to start off with a basic plan and upgrade as you become more familiar with the program.
In addition to the lower price point, these types of billing programs don’t require any updating or maintenance.
Usually paid per month, a SaaS – or a software as a service program – is a mid-range choice. It also does not require maintenance, since the vendor hosts it on their server.
The priciest version overall is on-premise software.
This is hosted on your own server. It’s comprehensive and complex enough to handle most larger companies’ needs. It also usually requires a license, some setup, and for hardware to be installed.
Features You Need
Some of the basics every company needs in their billing programs are standard. Others you may not think are important, according to your business needs.
Among the basics are the ability to create an invoice.
The best invoicing software will allow for that invoice to be customized with your logo and/or branding. It should also be able to extract info from timesheets and projects.
The ability to create a customer record is also a basic feature. A database containing their purchases and personal information is a must. Then, to be able to easily find that customer, there should be a search facility.
A good program will also have support for your preferred payment methods. A feature to look for is the ability to automatically process credit cards. Newer payment methods such as PayPal are also a plus.
Integration with Other Programs
A deciding factor when you are choosing among programs could be how well it integrates with other systems.
Most important is the ability for billing and accounting to work together. There are programs like QuickBooks that do both, but the billing features may be lacking.
No matter what you choose, make sure that the two systems can “talk” to each other. If not, there could be a lot of manual data entry in your future.
Software Tailored to Your Business
There’s nothing better than a software program that intimately understands your particular niche. Many successful business owners choose to use software tailored to their unique type of practice.
For example, Genesis Chiropractic Software is a popular choice for chiropractors. Childcare software programs can include a feature that is specific to daycare providers. A beauty salon or other tailored retail program can incorporate point of sale systems.
Medical billing especially is a wide industry that has to cater for both outsourced billing and healthcare providers.
Look into if your industry has options that specifically cater to your business type.
Use the Free Trial
Once you have an idea of some programs to try, sign up for a free trial or demo.
By doing this you have the chance to try out all of the features that are important to your business. Testing more than one also means you have a basis to compare what each app can do. If you’ve never used billing programs before this can be a great introduction to the software’s capabilities.
There are quite a few choices out there, so starting out can be overwhelming.
The next item will give you a list of some of the more popular software programs. All of them have proven their worth in a wide range of industries and business types. You can also look at reviews to get an idea of what each offers.
The Best Billing Software for 2018
These five apps have a number of features and integrations that earn them a place among the top billing software programs.
This app is rated highly by Consumer Affairs, which highlights its sleek look on tablets. One of its best features is the ability to see the status of an invoice. You can check via the app to see if the client has seen it.
A great choice because many people already use QuickBooks for their accounting. There are great visual features in this program. They include an expense breakdown pie chart as well as tiles that give a snapshot of customer info and their total due.
Plenty of integrations, including Avalera for sales tax. This app is a top choice for small to medium-sized businesses. For a single user, you can use the app for free with capabilities for up to five customers.
Also free for basic functions, Wave allows you to do payments, premium support and payroll for a monthly fee. At around $20, it’s a good bargain for small businesses.
This integrates with both iOS and Android systems. There’s support for multiple currencies, good for you if you have international customers. A nifty feature is the ability to snap a photo of receipts to enter them into expenses.
Billing Software Benefits
Billing software has many benefits. The major ones are maintaining your company’s professional image and minimizing missed and late payments. Now that you know what to look for you can choose the best software for you.
Our blog has many more articles on how you can manage your company money. For more info on keeping track of your finances, check out this article on bookkeeping services.