5 Tips for Selecting Invoice Software for Your Small Business
Yet, despite the obvious benefits, you may be tempted to put off selecting and implementing an invoicing software for your small business. There’s just so much to consider, so much research to do, and so little time, but it’ll be worth it in the end. That’s why, in this post, we’ll quickly overview five tips for selecting invoicing software.
How to Choose the Right Invoice Software:
1. Understand Your Needs
You likely have a rough idea of what you need from your invoicing software, but it’s worthwhile to take it a step further. Evaluate your current processes, strategies, and tools so you can understand how easy or difficult it will be to implement new software. Also, take this time to nail down what features you must have.
For example, you may need the ability to accept online payments, grant access to multiple users, or manage the software remotely. You should also consider what add-on services you’ll require — such as payroll — and if you’ll need the software to integrate with other systems.
2. Compare Prices
Once you’ve determined what you need, make sure to compare vendor prices . Many modern invoicing software vendors have moved to a subscription-based model, meaning you pay a monthly fee to use the software. According to Capterra, invoicing software costs can range from entirely free to about $40 per month.
That said, free invoicing software is generally very basic and only suitable for very small businesses. Prices will depend on what features, integrations, and add-ons you need as well as the number of users who need access to the software.
3. Ask About Customer Support
It’s important to keep in mind that invoicing software is just a tool. Even with the perfect invoicing software, you should have a certain level of financial literacy and knowledge to keep everything running smoothly. For this reason, it’s important to conduct research on any invoicing software vendor’s customer service.
Ask the vendor about their customer service and do online research to find reviews. If you’re doing a free trial, open a customer support ticket and see the level of responsiveness you can expect. If you don’t have an accountant in-house and plan to run the software yourself, bad customer service could be a deal breaker.
4. Consult with Your Accountant
If you have an accountant, you should ask them about what invoicing software you should select. Assuming your account is familiar with your business — and they should be — he or she can tell you exactly what features you’re going to need.
In addition, there’s a good chance they’ve used invoicing software before which makes them a great source of information. Finally, if your accountant will be using the software you eventually purchase, you should make sure they’re comfortable with it.
5. Consider Reporting Capabilities
The reporting capabilities of different packages of invoicing software vary greatly. This makes it especially important to know what reports you’re going to need before you select invoicing software. An easy way to decide on what capabilities you’ll require is to review what reports you send to your accountant on a regular basis.
That said, you may also want other more advanced reporting capabilities related to inventory management and sales tracking. If that’s the case, keep those capabilities in mind and determine if the software you’re evaluating has them.
A quick online search will reveal several invoice software vendors including Quickbooks, Freshbooks, Stripe, and Zoho, just to name a few examples. Do yourself a favor, though, and don’t jump into your search right away. First, review the tips we covered in this post and keep them in mind before evaluating specific solutions.
That way, when you do begin the selection process, you can avoid getting sidetracked by add-ons, integrations, or features that you won’t use. In the end, taking this slower, measured approach will make your business more efficient, saving you time and money.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.