Margo Ovsiienko, 2021-01-22
With the abundance of invoicing tools on the market, understanding which invoicing software suits your business needs the best is not easy. In this article, you will explore some ideas to help you evaluate available options and make a smart decision. Let’s get started!
If you are looking to make invoicing as effortless as possible, consider using a simple invoice generator that doesn’t include dozens of features only your accountant would get in grasp of.
Well, it comes in handy to have an option of inviting your accountant to manage your invoices for yearly statements.
However, as you are going to use the tool quite often, it should be user-friendly and intuitive. Creating and sending invoices should not take longer than 30 seconds.
If you want your invoices to look professional, pay attention to the customization options of invoicing software. With your new invoice generation tool, you should be able to add your company brand colors and logo with a few clicks. If you prefer to add your signature to each invoice, look for this option as well.
Also, make sure your future invoice generator has an option to edit templates – in case you want to move some elements, change fonts, colors or put some elements in bold. Some tools can let you import your own invoice templates (usually as a code snippet).
Some invoicing tools have arranged their pricing strategy around usage, charging based on the number of invoices you create or contacts you add to the database on a monthly basis. It works similar to the way you are paying water or electricity bills – the more you spend, the more you have to pay.
This pricing strategy is usually a bad fit for companies that need to generate a lot of invoices every month such as eCommerce stores.
There is one more catch in this pricing strategy. Businesses usually complain about invoicing software counting old contacts and documents within the total volume of the available contacts and documents for a given period of time. It makes it easier to exceed the monthly limit. Why would you have to pay for the documents and contacts you are no longer working with?
If you prefer to have flat rates for your invoices, look for a tool that would not limit you by the number of invoices or contacts. “Unlimited invoices” is what you have to look for in the features table.
There is one more thing that you should pay attention to when comparing pricing – multi currency and multilingual invoicing.
Quite often invoicing tools offer multi currency invoicing in the most expensive plan, while even small businesses would find this feature indispensable to doing business internationally.
As a result, when one needs a certain core feature, buying a higher plan is the only solution. However, you may find the price is not justified as you wouldn’t use the majority of features.
That is why you have to define what jobs to be done your invoicing software needs to accomplish for you. Then look for the most optimal price for the plan that contains most of your desired invoicing features.
If you want to get paid on time, you have to consider using automated payments. They make it easy for your clients to settle payments with a click of mouse.
Some invoicing tools offer adding a “Pay now” button and integrating it with your chosen payment provider.
Some of the most popular payment providers such as Paypal, Stripe, or Braintree. Your clients can potentially prefer one of them so it is worth looking into what integrations your invoicing tools offer and this brings us to the next tip.
Importing data from other tools can decrease the time spent on manual entries and document downloads. By integrating your invoicing tool with other software you are using to store information, you can easily streamline the data flow saving your time.
So what integrations should you be looking for?
Pay more attention to ecommerce and payment integrations.
If you have an ecommerce business you want to make sure that your online store can integrate with your chosen invoicing software. If you are considering using autopayments, make sure the invoicing tool integrates with some major payment providers that your clients would like to use.
Getting paid faster and keeping control over cash flow is extremely important. That is why you should be looking for some software that can send notifications to clients for due invoices.
Also, another advantage of sending reminders is avoiding uncomfortable conversations with your clients and begging to pay your invoices. By setting reminders on autopilot, you can write a personalized email once and never get back to it again.
As you choose to set recurring invoices, you can also save time on creating the same invoices every month. This feature comes in handy for the services businesses that operate on the retainer or subscription basis such as software houses, marketing agencies, or Internet providers.
Some invoice generators are great for small businesses that need to issue one or two invoices per month in the simplest form possible.
However, they don’t offer sufficient options for growing businesses that collect and process more data every month and manage complex imports or exports of data.
Are you planning to grow your business and have your invoicing tool meet your increasing needs? If so, you should look for the features your company will need in a year or two.
What’s more important is the company’s ability to adjust to changing customer needs by adding new features based on user feedback. Customer centricity is a one of the company culture elements you should be keeping your eye on.
If your invoicing software is built by a user centric company, you can be sure they will take into account your feedback and suggestions. As your request is added to a product roadmap, you will eventually get the features or can expect improvements that will make your work easier.
If you need to involve other team members in using an invoice system, check if the tool you are considering offers different levels of access for users. This is important as you want to assign roles depending on responsibilities – some users would need higher user access to view and modify invoices, while others would use view only mode.
Are you conducting business all over the world? The ability to issue invoices in multiple languages and currencies can be a priority. As it is convenient for you and your client to create and receive invoices in your local language and currency, check if your invoicing software allows for bilingual invoices.
When it comes to currencies, it would be useful to define your exchange rates as quite often they eat out your margins. Instead of losing on currency exchange costs, you can easily add them to your invoice by adjusting an exchange rate.
Tax regulations vary across countries – in the US, sales tax rates vary across states. while in the EU different VAT rates are applied.
Pay attention to how your invoicing solution is adjusting their software to national regulations and if they add the features that would make their software compliant with national law.
I hope the article helped you get a few fresh ideas on the criteria for choosing the best invoicing solution. What are the next steps? You can add them to the list of your requirements – they will help you make a more informed choice. Next, evaluate available invoicing solutions, sign up for a trial period and test out for yourself. Good luck with finding the best invoicing tool for your business!