Billing and Invoice Software Buyers Guide
Last updated: June 07, 2023
Billing and invoicing software is used mostly to perform accounting and financial tasks. This type of system arrays from simple single-entry programs that contain check writing and bookkeeping features to advanced double-entry apps that offer sophisticated features. Billing and invoicing software offers many benefits to users and you can use it to automate your routine tasks, eliminate manual data entry, and make sure your accounting figures are precise and accurate. Therefore, it has become essential for expanding businesses to invest in a quality billing and invoicing software system.
Every year, more and more companies are flowing to electronic invoicing for many reasons due to their advantages over manual, paper-based billing. Specifically, processing time and the related costs to it are streamlined compared to conventional paper invoices.
The cost and time savings accessible by invoicing software do not only come from postage and printing costs as well as reduced deadlines, but also from applying unified processes for all tasks pertinent to invoicing. A recent survey identified the various efficiency gains and cost savings to digital invoicing, which also include enhancements from working capital management and productivity to better relationships with clients and suppliers.
Features of Billing and Invoicing Software
The following features are the most common in the best billing software solutions:
Assign rates according to the project, employee, flat fee, or hourly. Track billable time, import into invoices.
Users can customize invoices by using company logos, payment terms, and client information.
Users can set up one-time or frequent invoices. Some systems will allow users to generate an alarm when an invoice has been viewed.
Online Payment Software
The system can be used to payment reminders, overdue fee alerts. The invoicing suite should be enabled to save time and enable billing by processing credit cards on dot, and allow recurring billing and secure customer management.
Make financial statements like expenses report, profit and loss, and payment collection record, accounting aging, etc.
Integrating with other systems
It should integrate with other external systems such as customer relationship management solution or project management application.
Benefits of Billing and Invoicing Software
The best invoicing software should be able to offer you the following benefits:
- Minimize late payments
The right software solution can help to streamline your billing and invoicing process and enable you to get payments on time. You can keep your data organized and not miss any collection, which will boost your profitability.
- Minimize missed payments
You can keep better track of your billing commitments to ensure you do not miss any payments. The advantages can be amazing in the long run.
A good billing and invoicing solution can help you to portray a professional company image. Most systems offer support for customized logos and other design improvements to payment documents and invoices. You can use the software to put forward an organized and Prompt approach that can enhance your reputation with your clients.
Types of Billing and Invoicing Software
There are various types of billing and invoicing tools, including free and basic suites but also ultra costly and accurate programs. Features can also be categorization criteria, as certain programs do nothing but to create online customer records, while others are more robust and they allow companies to use predefined communication templates, set up currencies, and even do some custom branding. Deployment is also an important factor based on which there are:
- On-premise billing & invoicing systems
These are covered with a single license and are hosted on the client’s local server. They qualify as the most expensive ones, due to the fact that they require complex setup and occasionally some hardware installation.
- Software-as-a-service billing & invoicing systems.
These are usually paid per month and are hosted on the vendor’s server. The business owner is not responsible for installation, updating, and maintenance.
- Cloud-hosted billing & invoicing systems
Most of these offer free basic plans and qualify as the most affordable ones due to their universal access and the fact that the client doesn’t need to update them or to pay for maintenance.
Billing and invoicing software buyers fall into the following main categories:
- Stand-alone buyers
Some purchasers need a high level of flexibility and customization in their billing software. These buyers focus more on billing and require a stand-alone system for their unique billing needs.
- Buyers of Integrated systems
Other purchasers want the billing and invoicing feature to be part of a bigger accounting system. These purchasers want a holistic software, where the billing and invoicing module automatically logs collected payments as accounts receivable in the general ledger. These purchasers place a high value on specific billing features. Suites other than accounting software can also offer to bill and invoicing features. For example, childcare management solutions include a billing feature particular to daycare units, salon software has these features together with point-of-sale (POS), and medical software vendors provide medical billing functionality for inpatient/outpatient care providers as well as outsourced services for healthcare units.
- Unique buyers
An example of these purchasers is utilities companies that need a list of exclusive tools for the specific billing processes of their industry. These companies usually create their own software or outsource the billing as custom work to a third party.