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10 Best Billing Software Systems

FreshBooks No. 1 Alternative

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What is the best billing software system?
The best billing software system is Freshbooks, taking into account its ability to handle billing requirements and provide all the accounting needs of both small and large businesses. This easy-to-use tool comes with a very intuitive interface that allows even novices to handle any accounting project. Its invoice-to-payment tool lets users brand invoices, send out due dates, charge due dates, track billing and send overdue notifications.

If you are still relying on spreadsheets in billing your clients, then you are no stranger to complications that arise from unclear invoices, billing errors and delayed payments. These problems can adversely impact your finances in the form of revenue leaks that could otherwise be plugged if you are using billing and invoicing software.

Most of these systems come in the form of accounting tools, which perfectly integrates billing and invoicing and functionalities that range from modest single-entry products to sophisticated bookkeeping to meet the needs of different businesses. In this article, we will discuss what billing platforms can do for your business by looking into their common features and the benefits they offer. By the time you finish this reading, you should be able to recognize the benefits that these software offer, determine your need for such tools and even be able to choose the right product for your business.

billing software systems

Billing and invoicing needs differ significantly from one company to the other, but what is very common in the corporate environment is to look for billing software that eliminates manual entries and automates routine operations to cut time consumption. The same goes for top invoicing tools, which are designed to make invoice creation easier through automation. And because 49% of small businesses have been found to have a hard time following on late payments while 46% have problems with timely payment, investing in such a system makes perfect sense. Apart from these, electronic billing helps businesses avoid errors. These make billing features part and parcel of popular accounting platforms as seen below.

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While it is almost impossible to discover a one-size-fits-all billing software system, there are ones that cater to most vertical industries, and incorporate configurable methods for payment collection to ensure usability on different markets. These systems have been helping companies, big and small, ensure billing accuracy and timely bill payments by improving the way they handle billing. This has resulted in the wide use of the platform as can be seen in current electronic invoicing trends among many companies.

1. FreshBooks

FreshBooks is the top dog in our billing software category. Our experts firmly believe that FreshBooks can respond to the most important accounting needs of both small and large companies as it eases and tracks collection in a very reliable manner. It is also well known for its modern and beautiful interface, thanks to which even non-savvy users undertake and complete complex projects. To make this happen, FreshBooks offers a fully-featured invoice-to-payment suite where you can set due dates, charge late fees, brand invoices, send overdue reminders, and track billing.

This award is given to the best product in our Accounting Software category. It highlights its superior quality and underlines the fact that it's a leader on the market.
USER SATISFACTION 99%
OUR SCORE 9.8
FreshBooks won our Best Accouting Software Award for 2018

On top of these, FreshBooks saves all your billing history, reports on profits and losses, and handles taxation issues. If you want to try out this solution first there is a great free trial plan available (with no credit card required).

You can easily sign up for FreshBooks free trial here.

FreshBooks dashboard example

Pros

  1. Unified financial control. With FreshBooks, you can manage invoices and collect payments all in the same platform
  2. Simple and intuitive interface. FreshBooks has a modern and easy-to-navigate interface for natural collaboration and automates task prioritization.
  3. Full invoice-to-payment suite. With FreshBooks, you can set invoice due dates, track billing and charge late payments, and collect finances making sure all taxation issues are taken into account.
  4. Tracking expenses. In FreshBooks, you can log expenses with a single click, track those on a daily basis, and use them for reimbursement deals.
  5. Powerful reporting. FreshBooks processes data automatically, generates expense reports and balance sheets, and summarizes taxes.
  6. Convenient pricing. FreshBooks’ monthly payments depend exclusively on the number of active clients in the system.
  7. Integrations with a large number of third-party apps and leading credit card providers.
  8. Fully functional mobile apps. FreshBooks helps take finances out of the office, namely to access records and do accounting on Android and iOS devices.

Cons

  1. No invoice tags. Unfortunately, FreshBooks doesn’t offer invoice tags that could help customers find the invoice they’re looking for.
  2. Doesn’t record non-billable expenses. For the moment, non-billable expenses should be entered in the system manually.
  3. There is no Free Plan for small teams and sole accountants.

2. Sage 50cloud

Online accounting platform Sage 50Cloud is built with SMBs in mind, offering functionalities that include inventory, cashflow, taxes, billing and invoicing and budgeting. These, along with useful features like payroll and credit card processing add-ons, make the product a great investment. It is designed to help you comply with tax rules while being able to easily track your finances even while in the field. You can bill clients, make payments and give your accountants access to your books–all in real-time. This app is a cross between a desktop and a cloud-based tool that provides you with unparalleled access while serving as secure storage for your accounting data. The app is essentially an add-on service that complements the vendor’s Sage Business Clod Accounting, which allows it to integrate with the cloud.

You can find out more about the product’s features if you sign up for a Sage 50Cloud free trial here.

Pros

  1. Mobile payment and tracking. You can use Sage 50Cloud to pay bills and track vendors and purchases. It can also be linked to your bank accounts, allowing you to record sales and receipts.
  2. Stock and inventory management. The software can update your stock levels while allowing you to use stock valuations and audits in asset management.
  3. MS Office 365 integration. The tool’s integration with MS Office 365 enables users to work anywhere with the use of Microsoft tools.
  4. Data security. All your accounting information are kept secure as the platform is hosted in the cloud. It also syncs them across its servers and desktops.
  5. Accessibility. Sage 50Cloud allows you to access your reports from virtually any device provided it has Internet connectivity.
  6. Scalable solution. The app gives you the ability to choose only the features that you need, meaning you only pay for what you require.

Cons

  1. Prone to glitches. As of the moment, moment, some users have reported glitches in the system, forcing them to spend more time with tech support.
  2. Functionality loss from updates. Sage 50Cloud is known to lose a bit of features from updates. This is seen to adversely impact payroll processing.

3. Zoho Books

Zoho Books is one of the most prominent members of Zoho’s productivity family, designed to facilitate financial management in small and medium business environment. The cash flow control it provides helps companies grow and develop, as they can automate invoicing and collect payments all from a single platform. What makes the system unique are automated bank feeds and live collaboration with clients, while you can also use it to manage your inventory, track time and manage projects, and facilitate reconciliations using Stripe.

Should you want to investigate the platform firsthand, you can easily do so when you can sign up for the Zoho Books free trial here.

Zoho Books dashboard example

Pros

  1. Automated bank feeds. Zoho Books imports all bank and credit card transactions to save time and align your operations to bank rules.
  2. Online collaboration with customers & contact management. Zoho Books is one of the rare systems that lets you involve customers, namely letting them access their estimates, track bills, and make online payments through the same portal.
  3. Facilitated reconciliation. Zoho Books integrates with Stripe to reconcile transactions, and to give you the full picture of how money is moving in and out of your accounts.
  4. Stock and inventory management. With Zoho Books, you can create and track purchase orders and run inventory reports in less than no time.
  5. Retainer invoices. Zoho Books covers companies and sole accountants collecting prepayments and retainers for the time they spent working. For the purpose, the system records offline payments, and associates them to the final invoices.
  6. RESTful API for unlimited integrations. Thanks to its rest-based API, Zoho Books can work in every software infrastructure.

Cons

  1. Custom reporting is slightly more limited than compared to the one of FreshBooks.
  2. Won’t work for large enterprises.
  3. No Free Plan for sole accountants

4. QuickBooks Enterprise

Financial services tool QuickBooks Enterprise provides users with top-of-the-line accounting tools without having to implement an ERP. It is created primarily for medium-size companies, offering them an integrated system that houses features such as inventory, payables, and payroll tracking, among many others. The system comes with a myriad of features that can be tailored to cater to any business from practically any sector.

Despite the many improvements to the software, it retains QuickBooks’ plain language and intuitive interface, along with its navigational tools, making it one of the easiest tools to use. Aside from its on-premise version, you have a cloud-hosting option, which allows you to access the platform from anywhere at any given time. It’s sold on a single package, which sports features like Sales and Customers, Payroll and Employees, Reporting and Finances and Inventory.

The vendor offers a comprehensive free trial to get you up to speed with the features. You can sign up for the QuickBooks Enterprise free trial here.

Pros

  1. Simplified financial management. QuickBooks Enterprise’ income tracking feature gives you visibility into every transaction while letting you enter expenses with ease. Formatting can be saved and reports exported to Excel by refreshing saved worksheets.
  2. Powerful reporting. The app provides you access to report templates that are industry-specific, which can include those created by other users. Enterprise Solution’s standard reports can also be used in report creation.
  3. Financial statement creation. Using the Intuit Statement Writer that comes with the system, you can generate professional financial statements easily.
  4. Invoice and collection tracking. Overdue invoices can be quickly identified using the tool’s Collections Center.
  5. Fixed asset tracking. Fixed assets like office equipment and computers can be tracked using the tool’s Fixed Asset Manager.

Cons

  1. Slow and freezes at times. The app has been reported to be slow and freezes up from time to time.
  2. Does not support transaction uploads. The software does not allow users to upload transactions, which could save them a lot of time.

5. Sage Business Cloud Accounting

Formerly Sage One, Sage Business Cloud Accounting is a cloud-deployed accounting platform that is known for ease-of-use. It is an add-on service designed to give Sage 50Cloud the ability to integrate to the cloud, giving it great accessibility and secure storage in the cloud. The system comes with a powerful dashboard that can generate visuals that reflect your transactions and therefore, a bird’s eye view of how your business is performing.

Sage Business Cloud Accounting can run on any smartphone, allowing you to access client data and record transactions from any iPhone or Android device. Readily come up with quotes, which can immediately be sent to customers, who you can likewise contact directly using the app. For small businesses, the app offers expense and income tracking. Its dashboard is easy to navigate not to mention highly-intuitive. These and more make the product one of the top accounting software currently in the market.

The vendor has an appealing free trial where you can tinker with the features at no cost. You can sign up for the Sage Business Cloud Accounting free trial here.

Pros

  1. Small business-friendly tool. Sage Business Cloud Accounting is designed to cater to SMBs, giving them features such as expense management, accounting, compliance management and project accounting capabilities, among many others.
  2. Easy Access to accounting information. The tool makes it easy for you to access all your accounting data using a singular dashboard. This allows you to always stay in the know when it comes to receivables and cash flow.
  3. Tax management. It can calculate applicable taxes based on your transaction information.
  4. Intuitive interface. The interface that comes with the software is easy-to-use, with all needed features available in an instant.

Cons

  1. Internet dependent app. The system can be prone to slowdowns when hooked up to a slow Internet connection.
  2. Does not conduct direct backups. Sage Business Cloud is unable to generate direct account backups. Backing up requires report printing.

6. Xero

Xero is another top performer in our Billing & Invoicing category, often labeled as the market’s best financial collaboration system. The business value of this product lies in transforming standardized and complex financial concepts into operations understandable even for non-accountants, and the multiple connections to third-party software that helps you extend its functionality. You can set it up in less than no time, and use its premade templates to simplify transactions and make them more business-specific. Xero is also handy for managing robust inventory (adjust taxes for more than 20 states), and pulls off awesome reports including Cash Flow Records and Income Statements.

Xero dashboard example

Pros

  1. Standardized accounting logic. As robust and powerful as it is, Xero still allows accountants to work in a familiar environment and customize their operations.
  2. Small-biz friendly Expert Setup. Small teams with modest accounting firms looking to move money quickly can consult Xero for express setup options.
  3. A single dashboard to compare all finances. Xero’s functionality is bundled in seven tabs where you can create records for all payroll needs, enter all your information, find and alter checks, bank accounts, and expense claims.
  4. Transactions made simpler. The system offers ready-to-use templates and transaction forms and minimizes the risk of financial fraud with two-factor authentication.
  5. Transformed inventory management. Xero also processes and runs payrolls, and automatically adjusts taxes for more than 20 states. It also offers a Stock Management Powerhouse where you can create tax status and purchase records, and add them to your transactions.

Cons

  1. Bank account data cannot be synced for reconciliation. Instead, you have to upload it yourself.
  2. Not all expenses can be displayed in a different currency.
  3. No Free Plan for sole accountants.

7. FreeAgent

Online accounting tool FreeAgent is targeted specifically at SMBs and freelancers. Hosting a suite of accounting applications, it has everything you need to keep a handle on your finances. Such is done through numerous features that let you manage invoices, expenses, and even payrolls. Its built-in timesheets and stopwatch, meantime, allows you to keep a record of time. Bank transactions can be imported automatically into the system.

Monitoring your cash flow is also possible with the solution, which can be done directly from the dashboard, from which they can be viewed readily. What’s more is that the software allows you to keep track of taxes you owe while being able to integrate with numerous third-party apps, including popular payment gateways like Stripe, Paypal, Zapier and Receipt Bank. FreeAgent has become the tool of choice for many businesses around the world, with users describing the platform as a one-stop-shop for managing invoicing and books.

Pros

  1. Ease-of-use. Being an intuitive solution, FreeAgent is quite easy to use. This is in part due to the support resources that the vendor provides, making navigating the system a breeze. Its dashboard is also able to generate graphs and charts to help users better understand accounting data.
  2. Accounts payables management. Easily generate and manage bills while being able to add bills to specific projects when the need arises. Bills can likewise be customized with attachments.
  3. SMB-friendly. FreeAgent is designed to cater to small businesses, providing them with all the tools that they need to manage their finances. Its numerous features are also expected to benefit freelancers and professional contractors.
  4. Payment processing. The vendor has imbued the tool with the ability to process payments directly. Links to global payment systems can also be attached to invoice templates. Clients are allowed to pay through providers such as Stripe, GoCardless and PayPal.
  5. Tax management. All reference schedules for tax preparations can be used with the software while operations that are often the turf of professionals are made simple that even novices can manage the entire tax preparation process.

Cons

  1. Lack of export file formats. While the app can easily export data in pdf format, .csv and .xls files are seen as useful additions.
  2. Too pricey for single users. For single proprietorships, the tool may prove too expensive. Reducing cost to cater to single users should resolve this.

8. BigTime

Billing and invoicing tool BigTime is a fully-integrated suite that is designed to aid businesses, government contractors and professionals in improving their billing and invoicing processes. The software effectively resolves problems associated with billing and invoicing, improving accuracy and speed. What’s great about the product is that it can suit just about any organization, offering features that can be customized as needed.

Using BigTime, you can track both expenses and time–offline and online. Tasks, work-in-progress and workflows can be easily managed while billing information can be easily collected. Clients are sure to receive accurate and timely invoices as the system takes care of project budgets, expense and time tracking and other billing needs.

Pros

  1. Billing. Billing rates can be set up by staff, project task and work codes, with invoices customized in accordance with customer requirements. You can also personalize invoices and make them reflect your brand using the tool’s template editor.
  2. Expense tracking. All sorts of expenses, including purchases and mileage can be tracked by the system–directly from mobile devices. Expenses can also be organized with digital reports supporting attachments.
  3. Powerful reporting. The software’ in-app tools allow you to use search options and filters, among many others, to customize your reports. All information and analytics can be accessed easily and exported in .xls, pdf and Word formats.
  4. Timekeeping. For government workers, the platform offers DCAA requirement compliance, allowing them to create logsheet formats that comply with the DCAA. Esignature is also supported, which is used in timesheet certification.

Cons

  1. Lack of phone apps. The tool does not have a phone app through which users can access files.
  2. Budget summary limitations. BigTime’s budget summaries do not reflect invoice totals that are cumulative.

9. Sage Intacct

Cloud-based financial management tool Sage Intacct combines the power of Sage and Intacct. It essentially harnesses the power of the cloud in providing users with financial management and accounting capabilities. It has become a popular platform among many business organizations using AICPA tools. Prominent features include accounts payables and receivables, cash management, expense management and order management, to name a few. Its provision of valuable financial insights and flexibility have known accounting firms and value-added resellers offering the tool to members of their clientele.

Pros

  1. Scalable platform. The vendor allows you to choose what features to include in your plan as it has optional features that you can do away with if you do not need them.
  2. Numerous features. The system makes data entry a lot easier through its general ledger, while reducing inaccuracies. Revenue leaks are also effectively plugged while handing you absolute control over margins and costs.
  3. Reports customization. Sage Intacct’s ready-made templates enable you to customize your reports. You can likewise track sales and analyze performance using balance sheets.
  4. Solid reputation. The solution enjoys the status of being the best finance-related app provider to CPAs. Its partnership with the AICPA gives accountants the opportunity to make sound decisions based on insightful statistics and data.

Cons

  1. Support problems. Customers have reported delays in support from time to time.
  2. Editing and payment recording. Some users have experienced inability to edit specific transactions while payment recording features are seen as inadequate.

10. QuickBooks Online

Intuit’s accounting platform designed for small businesses, QuickBooks Online also caters to freelance bookkeepers, startups and independent accounting firms. It comes with a vast array of tools that are bound to make financial management and accounting much simpler for you. These include invoice management, expense tracking, sales monitoring and tax computation. It greatly reduces time spent on accounting tasks, helping you focus on other areas of your business.

QuickBooks Online is an all-in-one accounting solution, capable of customizing invoices, profit and loss reporting and bills payment while being able to generate reports and monitor finances in real-time. This allows you to gather insights on critical financial information. And because it runs on both desktops and mobile devices, you can perform accounting functions anytime, anywhere.

Pros

  1. Easy data syncing. QuickBooks Online’s automatic syncing features make sure that staff and accountants are always on the same page, resulting in accurate financial computations. All your devices also get to have accurate accounting information as they are constantly updated by the system.
  2. Financial information consolidation. The tool’s automated data collection feature sees to it that all financial info are constantly updated. This gives you the ability to create reports quickly while being able to consolidate data on customer-related processes.
  3. Flexible pricing. QuickBooks Online is being offered in affordable pricing plans, ensuring that you get the most value for your money. Plans are sold according to features, meaning you get to choose plans that have only the features you need.
  4. Secure platform. The system puts emphasis on data security, protecting your data from prying eyes. Information can even be backed up, which can be exported into spreadsheets when the need arises.

Cons

  1. Limitations on customization. Although the system has customization options, It does not allow users to remove generic accounts. The same goes for journal entries, which cannot be numbered.
  2. Support problems. Some users have reported slow customer service, specifically in countries outside the US.

Billing Software: What’s on the Horizon?

Cloud To Rule Billing Software Market

Cloud-deployed systems will continue to dominate the billing software market, with more and more companies choosing applications that can easily be moved to the cloud.

Increased Billing Complexity

Newly-drafted regulations such as those in Europe are seen to drive ease-of-use and simplicity in billing systems. They have also resulted in more companies searching for niche markets in sectors like the automotive and medical industries.

Consumer Demand for Improved Payment Channels

With Millenial spending skyrocketing to more than $500 billion, businesses are left with no choice but to give in to demands from the age group, which include a wider selection of switching cost and more customized payment methods.

Increased Revenues From Cloud Billing

Global telecom cloud billing is seen to increase to around $22.84 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 27.9%. This is seen to be driven by increased demand for cloud billing solutions that can employ complicated billing schemes.

And that’s about it, the 10 best billing software systems as determined by our experts. You may be itching to get your hands on one and rightly so. There are top invoicing apps that can also get the job done but remember there are considerations to be made if you are to find the right solution for your company Go for free trials to evaluate a platform for yourself. However, if you want to immediately experience the benefits of such a tool, you may opt to go for our top software, FreshBooks.

You can easily sign up for a FreshBooks free trial here.

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