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Top 25 Online Invoicing Tools for Businesses on a Budget

Top 25 Online Invoicing Tools for Businesses on a Budget

Every service-based business has to send out bills and invoices to get paid. It’s one of those tasks that every business owner dreads spending their time on. It can eat into time you would rather spend on making money or finding new clients to increase revenues. However, invoicing must be done to maintain cash flow to pay your own bills and to pay any employees. You can pay freelancers, as well on reinvest in marketing efforts.

The process can be made more efficient by using certain tools. Paperwork and labor can be reduced. There is a wide range of invoice tools and invoicing platforms that can be used. They are either free or low cost. They can provide your freelance or small business with an affordable solution for billing.

This list of 25 invoice tools and platforms includes some of the most widely recognized invoicing, billing, and payments companies. It includes solutions that offer a wide range of tools that tackle other tasks within your small business:

1. Due

Due has evolved from an online invoicing platform to a payments solution company. The company offers a wide range of payment-related services. It also includes time tracking, project management and integration with Basecamp. It offers custom estimates and invoices. It also offers domestic and international credit card processing. Great features include free invoice templates, over 100 currency and language options. It also offers document attachment, email, and website embedded invoices. There is an option to pay directly. It offers integration with PayPal as well as several other companies. Additionally, due has a free digital wallet feature and ACH payments. Unlimited professional invoices can be sent each month. Take advantage of a low flat-rate transaction fee of 2.75% for credit card processing. It includes international payments.

2. ReliaBills

This is a completely free cloud-based solution for small business owners. It includes the ability to have unlimited customers, invoices, and emails. The service includes customizable invoices, options for subscription, recurring, and project billing. There is an upgrade called ReliBills Plus. It provides extra features like credit card and ACH processing. A customizable customer portal and tools like automated past due reminders.

3. MoneyPenny

Founded in 2013, MoneyPenny is a low-cost online invoicing company. It charges $15 per month per user. It has been touted as an excellent solution for freelancers or work-from-home small business owners. It offers an automated work timer, customizable online invoices, online and mobile payments. It also offers payment processing, many currency options, and settings.  It has automated reminders and recurring invoices.

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4. BillQuick

At $14.95, BillQuick is a low-cost option. It comes with a free trial. You can try out the integrated time and expense, project management, billing and invoicing. you can also try accounting and payment processing features. It was designed and built by CPAs and engineers to address the specific needs of professional services firms. The powerful features and tools included are automated work time and multi-currency tools. It also has the customer database and notifications. It has hourly billing, recurring and retainer billing. It also offers online customizable invoices, online payments, and payment processing.

5. Bill4Time

Starting at $15 per month, this online and billing system offers customizable invoices that you can send via email, as a PDF, or online. If you still prefer to print your invoices, you have that option as well. It offers the web and mobile platforms for greater convenience. Features include service ticket billing and online customizable invoicing. It also has many currency tools, notifications, and payment processing.  The customer features like a portal and database are also present.

6. Zoho Invoicing

Zoho is a comprehensive platform for invoicing and payments. Options include branded and customizable invoices, a time tracker, and shareable data. It is integrated with payment gateways. There are PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, and 2Checkout.  They offer a range of payment processing options.

7. AccountSight

It starts at just $10 per month per user. AccountSight provides a way to invoice unlimited clients and projects. The scalable, cloud-based software includes time tracking and resource planning. It also has expense tracking, estimates and invoicing, reports, and a dashboard. Other features include notifications, many currency tools, subscription and recurring invoicing and payment processing.

8. Paymo

Paymo provides some comprehensive project management features. It offers free online invoicing system. Features include time tracking, desktop, and mobile access. Also offers customizable invoices, an estimate, and invoice template library, and recurring invoices. Payment methods include payment gateways like PayPal and Authorize.net.

9. Online Invoices

The free plan allows for 15 clients, 15 invoices, 7 subscriptions, and 30 estimates per month. It also includes two invoice layouts while other plans increase the number of each. Features include estimates, recurring invoices, time tracking, expense, and income tracking. Other features are many tax settings, document attachments, security features and invoice templates. Many payment portals can be integrated, such as eWay, Paymate, Authorize.net or PayPal.

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10. InvoiceOcean

InvoiceOcean has tools for invoices, buy orders, receipts, disbursements, and receipts. It also has tools for reports on cash flow and fiscal health. Many currencies and languages are available to better service international clients. Its primary payment system is PayPal, providing a way to accept bank and card payments.

11. Invoicera

Freelancers love Invoicera because of the number of free features it offers. It includes tools like online estimates and invoices, time tracking and invoice templates. it also has tools for subscription billing and many currencies. The dashboard offers an overview of revenue, expenses, and finances. it also gives the overview of projects, staff, tasks and clients, and outstanding invoices. it gives all the overviews in one location. Payments can be accepted through Authorize.net and PayPal.

12. Hiveage

Hiveage is a free online estimate, invoice, and payments platform. It offers a standard account for free as well as other fee-based accounts for larger businesses. Hiveage features include unlimited invoices and customers, many currencies, and PayPal Standard integration. A low-cost premium account includes other tools for mileage, expense, and time tracking. It also has tools for subscription and automated billing and financial reports. Besides PayPal, other processing systems can be integrated within the premium account. Other systems include Stripe and 2Checkout.

13. FusionInvoice

Although it’s not free, there is a low one-time fee of $60 that makes it worth consideration. That’s it. No costs will pop up later. Hosting it on your own server, this invoice tool comes customized with estimates and invoices. Also has many currencies, the ability to import data from anywhere. There are recurring invoices and a dashboard as well. It provides real-time updates on your billing and payments process. To accept and process payments, Fusion Invoice integrates with PayPal, Stripe, and Mollie.

14. Invoice Machine

Invoice Machine offers a free account for one user with up to three estimates and three invoices per month. Other accounts are low cost and increase the number of users. It also increases estimates, and invoices allowed each month. The invoice company has many features. It has customizable estimates and invoices, many languages and currencies. It also has recurring invoices and automated notifications and acknowledgments. Options include email invoices or PDF invoices. It integrates with Basecamp for project management. It also integrates PayPal and Authorize.net for payment processing.

15. Simple Invoices

Simple Invoices is a basic, open source invoicing system. It allows you to use and even contribute to improving this tool without charging you. Features include an invoice template library and export capability to Word or Excel. PayPal integration lets you receive payments to your PayPal account. Also allows you to receive a bank account, or credit or debit card.

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16. FreshBooks

FreshBooks comes with a 30-day free trial and then has a low-cost plan. It is perfect for small business owners and freelancers. Its features include customized quotes, estimates, and invoices. It also has the ability to print, download a PDF, or email invoices to clients. Other features are time tracking, expense management, and receipt inclusion on an invoice. Payment processing capability includes PayPal, Stripe, or Authorize.net.

17. Harvest

Harvest offers a 30-day free trial as well as offers a free account for one user and up to four clients. Other low-cost account options upgrade you to unlimited invoices and clients. The features include basic time tracking, many currencies and online invoicing. Also offers mobile functionality, reporting, and data import and export. It integrates with a diverse amount of third-party apps. It brings your business tasks altogether in one platform. Payment processing for invoices includes Stripe integration.

18. Ronin

Ronin is a scalable invoice solution built for every company type and size. Their free plan includes one user, two clients, and SSL security while other tiers offer up to 30 clients. Payment processing integration with PayPal or Authorize.net is available. itcomes with their $29 per month plan. The free invoicing plan includes a dashboard, estimate and invoice capability. It also includes client and project management, and user profiles.

19. Invoice Journal

Invoice Journal has a free account that includes one user, unlimited customers, and 30 invoices per month. Other plans increase user access and the number of invoices per month. All plans come with customized estimates and invoices. The invoice templates, many currencies, and languages are also included. There is invoice and payment tracking, reminders and acknowledgments as well. It includes reports, data export to Excel, and contact import from Gmail. You can integrate PayPal and Amazon payment gateways.

20. Box Billing

Box Billing is a free tool. For just $5 per month, most of these features can be upgraded to unlimited status. Other tools include automated invoicing, invoice tracking, customization, and many languages. Payment integration includes PayPal, Payza, AlertPay, PaySera, 2Checkout, and WebMoney.

21. Apptivo

The free plan offers you access to 50 of Apptivo’s standard apps. It offers functions like billing, supply chain, CRM, project management and more. The invoice tool offers customization, automation, and notification features. Payment integration is available in the $10 per month plan and offers PayPal, Zipmark, or Authorize.net. By upgrading to this fee-based plan, you will also get all Apptivo’s mobile apps. You will also get unlimited customization, Google apps integration, and email integration.

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22. Wave Accounting

Wave Accounting is a large suite of programs and tools designed to cover all the financial tasks in your business. You can build the solution that fits your business and budget. Among the available tools is online and mobile invoicing and payments, which is offered for free. Payment processing involves a small transaction fee. Features include customizable invoices, payment, and overdue invoice tracking. It also has invoice templates and custom messaging to personalize your invoice communications.

23. Quickbooks Online

Quickbooks Online is an affordable solution that averages $12.95 per month. It is the cheapest plan although there are regular promotional discounts and discount options for paying in advance. Its online invoice solution offers customizable estimates and invoices. It also offers the ability to synch your bank account. Other features include a variety of payment processing integration options and mobile capability.

24. MakeSometime

This is a free online invoicing system and business management platform. It allows you to create customized quotes, estimates, and invoices. You are alerted when the invoice has been viewed and paid. You will be able to accept online payments through the web and mobile channels. Features also include an automated time tracker, multiple currencies, notifications, recurring and subscription billing. It also has customer features like a database and portal.

25. BillBooks

This online invoice company offers a free plan. It includes three invoices and free estimates as well as unlimited staff and client. While a $10 per month plan offers all that, but increases invoices to 20 per month. Available in 120 countries, it is a favorite among freelancers and small business owners. Features include many currencies, notifications and complete customization on invoices. It offers other things like recurring billing and online payment processing, and mobile payments.

Take Control of Your Cash Flow

While there are many more invoicing products and platforms available. These 25 options stand out for their value with free or low-cost plans. They are packed with practical features for your small business. By using one or more of these payment choices, you will be able to focus on your core business. You can rely on an efficient, professional, and fast invoicing and payment solution.

Featured photo credit: imore.com via cdn.imore.com

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Last Updated on April 17, 2019

10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

What’s the secret of professional success? Some of it lies in the mastery of your discipline and all the technical skills you have to carry out your job; but a much bigger part lies in the soft skills list you possess.

Soft skills are your people or relationship skills—how well you get along with others and your ability to communicate and collaborate—as well as the personal characteristics you bring to the job, such as optimism, a can-do attitude and the motivation to work hard. These skills are not always easy to point out, but their absence can cause serious problems and negatively affect the whole work atmosphere.

They say that hard skills will help you get the job, but soft skills will help you get along—and get ahead. With that in mind, here’s the top-10 essential soft skills list to help you advance your career.

1. Communication Skills

Communication skills are hands-down the most sought-after soft skill that bosses want, and this one ability covers a lot of ground.

To communicate well, you have to listen carefully, interpret the context of the conversation, express yourself clearly, persuade others of your point of view, check your body language and use an engaging presentation style that won’t intimidate or bore your audience. That’s a big ask!

Your personality traits can influence the way you communicate with others. For instance, some people get straight to the point and center their arguments around facts and logic; others are cooperative and sensitive to how others feel. Both these approaches are equally valuable but there can be misunderstandings if you don’t understand where the other person is coming from.

Taking a comprehensive personality test can help you understand why you communicate the way you do and where your blind spots are. It can also help you understand other communication styles is so you can tailor your communication to the person you’re dealing with.

After all, connecting with your conversation partner is the hallmark of good communication.

2. Flexibility

Change is an essential part of any business. Companies need employees who are flexible enough to work with new initiatives, open to new ideas, and generally are able to tough it out when things don’t go as planned.

Research has found a link between job performance and flexibility over the long term because there will be times when you have to step outside your routine and rise to fresh challenges that didn’t exist before.

Being flexible doesn’t mean you have to hop into a new task or job role like an expert. Rather, it’s about showing you’re willing to accept new responsibility and learn different things.

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Bosses look for people who are prepared to step outside their comfort zones and are open to alternative solutions when their first idea doesn’t work.

3. Being a Team Player

Working on a team can be challenging but learning to do it well can definitely help you get ahead in your career. Employers look for people who can negotiate, cooperate and manage conflicts with other people to achieve a common goal. That includes the ability to build lasting relationships with customers and clients.

What makes a good team player? Essentially, it’s someone who knows the goal and knows her role. Employers look for evidence that you know your strengths, your responsibilities and how you can best contribute to the team, then put those skills into action by sharing ideas and communicating in a respectful manner. That’s the definition of being a good team player.

This is another area where taking a personality test can help you get ahead. When teams work together, each member brings a unique set of skills and qualities to the group. Research has shown that different combinations of personalities affect how teams collaborate and how productive they are.

Knowing who you are, and how you work on a team, can drive new insights and open the door to better teamwork.

4. Positive Mental Attitude

There are plenty of things you can’t change at work, like the people you work with or the fact that the printer is broken again. The one thing you can change is how much you let these things bother you.

Bosses like people who are calm, rational and upbeat—those who diffuse tensions in the workplace, not get all grouchy and go around slamming doors.

Studies show that people who maintain a sunny disposition have better relationships at work, are happier in their jobs and make better decisions than those who whine and complain. Some suggest that a positive mental attitude can also make you live longer—which means it’s beneficial for every area of your life![1]

It’s not always easy to keep a “glass half full” mentality when work is stressful and the deadlines are piling up. But there are some things you can do to help maintain a positive attitude. Laughing at your unfortunate circumstances keeps the work environment positive, and taking “sanity” breaks can help you keep your cool in high-pressure situations.

Managers look for positive mental attitude in a team member that is ready for a promotion, so it really does pay to keep your cool in challenging situations.

5. A Strong Work Ethic

People with a strong work ethic are committed to the role, persevere when things get tough and are inspired by challenge. These people are ambassadors for the organization, and will always be seen as top talent and ideal candidates.

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If you can exhibit this skill, then expect to be seen as a great candidate, eligible for new opportunities and positions throughout your career.

Since a strong work ethic can mean different things to different people, it helps to show specific examples of your exceptional work ethic during a performance appraisal or interview. For instance, you might talk about:

  • A time when you persisted in the face of challenges and did not shy away from hard work.
  • How you volunteered to help with projects even though these tasks did not form part of your job description.
  • The networking, workplace learning and skills betterment you’ve undertaken, which shows ambition and drive (people with a strong work ethic have those qualities in spades).
  • How you own your mistakes and never, ever point the finger of blame at others.

For help with building a strong work ethic, check out these tips: How to Build a Reliable Work Ethic

6. Public Speaking

Who’s terrified of public speaking? Pretty much everyone, since public speaking is America’s number one fear, ahead of death at number five and loneliness at number seven.

Yet, according to Warren Buffett, mastering this one skill you could increase your personal value by 50 percent.[2] That’s huge!

If you’re not natural at public speaking, you’re in good company. Buffett had to work hard to overcome his stage fright and once dropped out of a public-speaking course before it started—because he was afraid of public speaking! He eventually realized that he needed to build up his confidence by just doing it; over and over in front of small groups.

For a more structured approach, Toastmasters International teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a variety of pathways. Membership of this non-profit looks good on your resume but the real payoff will come when you can put your newfound skills to use on the job or in the interview room.

Or, you can check out this advice: The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

7. Integrity

From a manager’s point of view, the two integrity skills that will set you apart are:

  • Always doing what you say you will do
  • Owning an error instead of minimizing or hiding it

…even when no one is around to check up on you.

There are lots of people who have climbed the ladder without scruples, but they are not the people who others trust, respect and support when promotion time comes around.

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Behaving with integrity is a safe and consistent way to enhance your reputation and achieve your professional goals.

8. Managing Your Time

Phone calls, texts, Slack pings, meetings, huddles, side projects, multitasking—we are busier today than any generation before us. There’s no denying the workplace is an incredibly distracting place to be.

A lot of us have traded effectiveness for busyness which we wear as a badge of honor, both as a proxy for productivity and to show our value to the company. But what bosses want, what they really, really want, is someone who actually gets stuff done on time.

Time management is not merely the art of being on time, but of managing your time so you focus on the projects that really matter and add value to the business. This means prioritizing well, sticking to schedules, delegating, and not getting distracted by tasks that are easier to perform or less important. It means planning ahead and learning when it’s appropriate to say no.

Time management can be a tough skill to maintain, but not a difficult one to pick up. Monitor your actions for a few days—how long do your tasks take to finish? What’s interrupting you? What causes you to lose focus? Once you have the answers to these questions, you can set a schedule for yourself to make sure you’re spending your time wisely and this valuable asset is never wasted.

These 20 Quick Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity are also great to try.

9. Assertiveness

In any workplace, you typically will find people with the following conflict styles:

  • Passive: Those who go out of their way to avoid conflict.
  • Passive-aggressive: Those who express their negative feelings through actions rather than words.
  • Aggressive: Those who respond to conflict in a hostile and rude manner. These people get their opinion heard but they won’t make any friends in the process.
  • Assertive: People who stick up for their rights while still respecting the rights of others.

Managers look for assertiveness above all other styles because it allows decisions to be made without conflict or alienating people.

How do you use this information for yourself?

It starts with understanding your personality so you can anticipate how you will react when conflict arises and address your own shortcomings. Then, you can start influencing the team for top results, and securing your own career advancement in the process.

Learn how to be assertive and gain respect:

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How to Be Assertive and Stand up for Yourself the Smart Way

10. Creative Thinking

LinkedIn recently analyzed over 50,000 skills that employers search for when looking for candidates to find out what skills are currently in demand.[3] Taking the number-one slot on the 2019 soft skills list was creativity: the ability to solve problems and think outside the box.

Creativity is about bringing fresh, and sometimes unorthodox, ideas to the table. This helps companies to innovate, and companies that do not innovate will not survive very long.

How do you showcase your creative thinking skills? The golden rule is to participate.

Be brave and share your ideas during group brainstorming sessions. Volunteer to run a society, networking event or recruitment drive. Ask “what if” questions: “What if we add this information to the client welcome pack?” “What if we eliminate step 3 from the process?”

These activities demonstrate that you’re prepared to go beyond “business as usual” towards creative problem solving—an ability that will serve you every day, all throughout your career.

You can learn to unleash your creativity power:

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

Final Thoughts

The good news? Every item on this soft skills list can be learned. Although you may feel lacking in certain areas, taking an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to focus in on the areas that you’ll benefit from developing.

So take an inventory of your personality, skills, and talents. This will give you a baseline for your communication style, attitude to change, conscientiousness and more. You can then identify your weak areas and develop strategies for improving your team-building, assertiveness and conflict skills.

The better news? The effort is worth it. Developing your soft skills opens the door to a new job or a promotion, and helps you succeed once you get there.

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Featured photo credit: Rachael Gorjestani via unsplash.com

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