Invoices are one of the building blocks of any business. But despite their ubiquity, there isn’t a standardized way to create, send, or even request payment for an invoice. When it comes time to put an invoice together, some people draw up an Excel spreadsheet, some people use their accounting software, and some even hire professional designers to mock up a picture-perfect invoice.
When it comes to creating an invoice online, there’s no right or wrong tool to choose–so long as the final product has every essential element of an invoice.
The truth is, there are a ton of online invoice generator tools, each with their own pros and cons. We’ve assembled a comprehensive list of the best online invoice creation tools and who they’re best suited for.
So which online invoicing tool should you use? The options might seem daunting at first. But by figuring out what your invoicing needs are, you can pick a tool that consistently work for your business needs.
1. For One-Off Invoices: Use a Free Invoice Template
When people build invoices themselves, they sometimes forget to include important information, like invoice payment terms.
The good news is there are lots of invoice templates with Excel, Google Sheets or other platforms that business owners can download and modify to quickly send out an invoice.
Looking for something more professional than a spreadsheet? Our free online invoice template will help you create professional-quality invoices. Enter your information in three steps: Company Info, Customer Info, and Product and Services. The template provides a variety of customizable color and font options for your invoices, so you can incorporate your brand’s aesthetic into your finances.
2. For Invoice Record-Keeping: Get Started at Bill.com
One issue with creating one-off invoices in Excel or Google Sheets is that the records can get messy. If you’re not careful to properly rename and file each invoice, you can easily lose track of an unpaid invoice from three months ago.
If you set up an account with Bill.com, you can automatically sync your financial information to the site’s interface. Each account comes with a customizable page that lets your customers pay their invoices online. In addition, Bill.com provides three templates to help you format your invoice, helping you both pay and receive payment.
3. Automate Your Invoices with Zapier
If you’re using multiple kinds of accounting software, you’re likely spending a lot of time getting data from one app and into the other. Setting up a connection between them with Zapier can help streamline your workflow.
Let’s say you use QuickBooks for your accounting and PayPal to manage customer transactions. By using the PayPal to QuickBooks zap, Zapier will automatically create an invoice within QuickBooks each time a customer pays you with PayPal. No more hopping back and forth trying to make sure your spreadsheets are in order.
For those of you who don’t use PayPal or QuickBooks, you’re still in luck. Zapier is an incredibly flexible tool, and they’ve even pulled together a list of 101 zaps to create invoices online, depending on what kind of accounting tools you use.
4. Never Miss a Payment Again With Fundbox
In order to stay on top of your accounts receivable, you need customers to pay their invoices on time. If you have one or two invoices out, that’s no problem. But once you start dealing with a lot of invoices and clients, it can be harder to manage.
Fundbox is a great tool to help business owners keep track of which invoices in Quickbooks need to be paid. With Fundbox, you can advance outstanding invoices to your clients and receive full payment ASAP.
5. Invoice and Track Billable Hours with Hours Logger
If you’re sending invoices for an hourly rate, you should absolutely use a time tracking tool.
Hours Logger is an incredibly useful app not just for tracking your hours, but to seamlessly create invoices from them. With their mobile app, you can track your billable times from your phone and then use this schedule to generate an invoice directly to QuickBooks Online.
6. For an Easy Customer Interface: Use Invoice Sherpa
Want a great user experience for your customers? Try an invoicing program that delights your customers.
Invoice Sherpa is one of many invoicing tools that does just this. They have a sleek platform with multiple payment options, so your customers can pay in the best manner for them. It has a lot of bells and whistles for customers, but provides easy to read record keeping on the business side as well.
7. Use Apps to Automate Your Recurring Invoices
Working with customers on a long-term basis? Sending the same invoice over and over again. Try using a tool like the Automatic AR and Recurring Billing Platform. This app automates the invoice creation and tracking process with a multi-user interface that allows teams and their clients to access relevant financial information.
8. Go Pro with QuickBooks
- Create, send and track invoices
- Accept payment via ACH bank transfer or credit card
- Reconcile your books
- Estimate quarterly tax payments
- Track your time
- Bill for expenses
It’s the most complete and hassle-free way to get paid. Try it free for 30 days.