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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 December 5, 2018

How to Lead a Team More Effectively and Be a True Leader at Work

How to Lead a Team More Effectively and Be a True Leader at Work

Being an efficient manager and a charismatic boss at the same time can seem like an impossible task. Is there a way to deliver the desired results for your business while remaining liked and respected by your staff?

We all know bad examples of team leaders who seem to fail at one aspect or the other, or even at both. But we’ve also heard of awesome managers who seem to juggle both things well enough.

How do they do it?

By sticking to few proven ways that let them maintain a positive karma score while remaining efficient. In this article, we’ll guide you through 11 smart management tips on how to lead a team and become something more than a boss – a leader.

1. Find a Management Strategy and Stick to It

There’s nothing worse than a boss that keeps changing his or her opinions and assignments depending on their mood or a book they read this week. Chaotic decisions increase the insecurity and frustration of your team, so you better find your strategy and stick to it.

If you do find some new methods you want your staff to follow, make sure they don’t contradict the general direction you are taking. Otherwise, you risk making your team take one step forward and two steps back.

2. Set Goals​ and Track Progress in Reaching Them

Set individual and collective goals​ for your team and track the progress in reaching them. This might sound obvious at first, but too often we find ourselves stuck between daily customer requests and monthly reports, and the bigger goal or vision seems to fade away.

According to Elon Musk (and many other successful CEOs around the Globe), it’s crucial to have a clear and motivating aim to where the company is heading. His aim for the space transportation company SpaceX is “to make humankind a multi-planetary species”.[1] That’s a huge goal but the company is slowly moving closer to it by reaching smaller steps and milestones, like launching self-landing rockets. This is also a very inspiring and meaningful goal that helps employees endure the company’s extremely high expectations and 60 to 70-hour work weeks.[2]

Even if your goals are not as grand, setting and reaching milestones will give you a clear insight into the team’s overall efficiency and daily progress. With time, you will be able to see the weak spots and improve your results.​

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3. Demand Learning from Your Team

CEO of print on demand startup Printful, Davis Siksnans, believes that:[3]

“The key for a company going through rapid growth is to empower your employees’ self-development.”

His company with 500 employees spanning two continents demands a culture of learning and provides all the tools necessary to do it.

Their idea is –  as the company scales, people have to grow in their positions too, which means that they have to be constantly learning. Siksnans says:

“We try to hire people for what they might become, but they need to have that drive.“

Alternatively, you can provide educational courses for your employees or invite informal lecturers to educate and inspire your team. You can also encourage peer-to-peer learning by asking employees to teach their particular experience or skill to co-workers.

4. Invest in a Pleasant Work Environment

Studies show that a well-designed office environment can increase your team’s overall performance by as much as 20%. You’ll be surprised to see that even very small interior tweaks that don’t require major investments can improve your workers’ performance.

Some ideas for a more productive and pleasing work environment:

  • Invest in modern furniture – offer ergonomic chairs, standing desks, and individually arranged workplaces​.
  • Start an in-house library – reading for pleasure just 30 minutes a day is proven to be enough to become more effective at work,[4] improve focus, and deal with problems like depression and anxiety.​
  • Play jazzy office music – rhythmic background music will help workers feel more energetic and enthusiastic while doing everyday tasks.​
  • Set up entertainment or break rooms – being able to relax and have fun at work creates a strong commitment, helps employees relax and clear their minds, and boosts productivity.​
  • Bring in uplifting office decor – it’s been found that art in the workplace can boost productivity,[5] lower stress, and even encourage employees to innovate.​
  • Decorate the office with live plants for freshness and a welcoming feel. Furthermore, plants are found to ensure better air quality and increase workers’ productivity by 15%.[6]

5. Be Kind and Sincere to Your Team

Did you know that 50% of employees quit because they dislike working with their manager?[7] In fact, most times when people leave their jobs they actually leave their managers. Being friendly and sincere may not be enough to be a successful manager, but it’s a big part of it.

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Some ways to show you appreciate and care for your staff:

  • Celebrate the progress and achievements of your employees. And don’t be shy to simply say thanks.​
  • Talk to your employees regularly and really listen to what they have to say. Address their concerns, help them reach their goals and do your best to improve their work and daily life.
  • If you’re having a bad day, don’t pour out your stress and anger on the staff. Instead, try to recharge yourself by appreciating the achievements of your team and setting the next goals.
  • Try not to overload your team with work. Every company has rush periods when it’s okay to have more work than usual. But remember that people cannot work under prolonged pressure and stress.
  • Don’t be selfish – it can be very demotivating to see that the manager only focuses on what you can do for him and doesn’t care about your goals and well-being.​ As the CEO of Xerox Anne M. Mulcahy put it,[8]

    “Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person — not just an employee — are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled.”

Whenever you are having doubts about your kind attitude, remember – satisfied employees are productive employees which lead to satisfied customers and eventually – success for your company.

6. Offer Flexible Work Hours

The traditional Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 job is beginning to slip away. Increasingly more people are working remotely or having flexible work hours, and we can expect this trend to continue. To adapt to these changing habits and remain competitive in the labor market, more employers are offering the chance to choose your own work hours, work from home or even from another city or country.

Offering flexible hours is a powerful way to inspire your existing staff and give them intrinsic motivation. Why not let your employees choose their preferred working hours while keeping the 8-hour day? For example, night owls are unhappy and unproductive if they have to come to work before 10 AM, while others might prefer to start at 7 and finish earlier.

You can go even farther and hire remote workers – this way you’ll be able to recruit from a global talent pool and even save money on office expenses like desks, stationery, electricity, etc.[9]

7. Track Your Team’s Productive Time

Not monitoring your employees’ progress and efficiency can result in poor performance and slacking. Instead of letting things go with the flow, you should consider installing time-tracking software on your employees’ computers and see who’s doing great and who might need a productivity boost.

But don’t get it wrong – there’s no need to become big brother and watch every step your employees take. If you use the time-tracker as a spying tool, you will only see increasing suspicion and insecurity around you, and your employees’ happiness levels will drop.

On the contrary, choose software that allows employees to mark private time that won’t be tracked. In addition, consider these time-management tactics:

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  • Allow flexible work hours. (see Tip No 6)
  • Encourage breaks – studies show that employees who take regular breaks are more productive than those who don’t.[10]
  • Enable remote work to show your employees that you trust them and that they can work from home or even from another country (if they can maintain sufficient productivity).
  • Consider offering bonuses to your most productive employees (those who show productivity levels above 90 or 95%).

8. Use Only Constructive Criticism

Constructive criticism means offering valid and rational opinions about the work of others, involving both positive comments and remarks about what should be improved. Constructive criticism is usually expressed in a friendly manner rather than an oppositional one.

When you evaluate your team’s work, give them feedback that’s helpful, specific, and sincere. Don’t be shy to praise, but also be direct and even strict when necessary.

9. Don’t Give Special Treatment to Yourself

The boss’s actions are – directly or indirectly – observed by your team. This means that your employees look up to you and often mimic your attitude towards your work and the company – especially if your actions don’t show commitment. Nobody wants to work for a leader who doesn’t go all in or inspire motivation.

What you should do is lead by example. If you expect your employees to arrive at work on time and work 8 hours, do the same yourself. If you want them to show initiative, show it yourself and encourage others to do the same.

Jeff Weiner is the CEO of LinkedIn – a company of 3,000 employees that consistently ranks as one of the best workplaces with a 92 percent employee-approval rating.[11] Weiner’s workdays are reported to be equally long or even longer than those of his employees, allowing him to stay “extremely credible as a leader.”

10. Empower Your Employees

Here’s a common mistake many managers make:

They don’t motivate their staff and assume they simply love to work for their company.​ Such belief can result in painful losses for the company – especially these days when many companies are in desperate need of a reliable workforce.

Instead of directly thinking about bonuses and perks, consider intrinsic motivation. For example, enable flat organization in your team and listen to your employees’ ideas when they come up with opinions and suggestions. Your company might actually benefit a great deal from the feedback, and the unique ideas employees come up with.

You can also start an initiative where employees can freely share or pitch their business ideas to you or the founders of the company. If the idea is accepted by the management, the project can be developed, and the employee can have equity options.

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If people feel they have an impact in the company, they become more motivated, engaged and interested in the company’s growth.

11. Nurture Your Company Culture

Company culture is the personality of a company that defines the overall work environment and relationships between teammates. It also includes company mission, values, ethics, and goals.

Some examples of company cultures are the Horizontal corporate culture (collaborative and equal; popular among startups and free-spirited businesses) and Conventional corporate culture (a more risk-averse and hierarchy-based approach common in traditional companies).

However, you don’t have to stick to pre-existing boxes when creating your corporate culture. You might think of your team as a family, a sports team, or even a hippie camp if it fits your business and purpose. But keep in mind that by the time a company’s size reaches 20 employees, the company culture is set,[12] and any changes will need to be implemented in smaller teams.

Whichever personality you choose for your company, make sure to live by it and nurture it. Some things that might help:

Team building events, relevant books in your office library and proper on-boarding for the new employees to get everyone on the same page from the very beginning.

Be a Leader, Not a Boss

Using the words of Printful’s CEO Davis Siksnans, the ultimate goal is to “Hire great people who don’t have to be managed.”

However, when you do need to demonstrate some initiative and control, act as a leader rather than as a boss.

In other words, don’t be afraid to show the personality behind your role. And keep these 11 tips close to your heart.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Reference

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