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In our previous article we only discussed two different software companies; however, we decided that since we all know there are endless amounts of software regarding this topic we wanted to bring you guys an even more detailed review of five companies. We believe you can never have too much knowledge, especially when it comes to your money, and your business. Also, maybe you are a business fresh off the ground and you cannot afford monthly payments for a service yet. Well, you are in luck because we have found some very professional services that allow you to use their service for free, but they do charge a small percentage on all credit card transactions made through their software. You can’t beat that! Professional services like this can potentially save you tons of money in the beginning which can help your business take off with both feet off the ground. Also, there is an added bonus to this as well, and that is if you love the service you can always keep it rather than switching to a service that has a recurring billing cycle. However, we will be discussing those kinds of services too in this article as well as what benefits they bring to the playing field of business. So, if you are ready to take a step in that direction we have you covered! If there is one thing you take away from reading this article I want you to take away the invaluable knowledge that you are being accurately, and honestly informed about what would suit your small business best regarding invoice software. I want you to feel safe, and secure about the dos and do nots regarding making choices. I am sure you make hundreds of choices every day in your small business; but, make sure you are making not good choices, but great ones! Are you excited to hear about these companies? Are you excited to make the billing process painless and easy? I know I am ready to make it painless for you, so let’s get started!
In addition, here is the software company Due, so why are they special? I am glad you asked, because I will show you why. When we visit Due’s website it has a simplistic, yet very professional feel to it, which makes its very easy to navigate. They offer both e-mail and phone support which makes it convenient whether you have a problem from the office, or on the road. Due also does not charge you any kinds of setup fees, or other hidden fees that some companies do have. They charge you strictly a 2.8% transaction fee. This price is for both domestic, and international credit card processing. This company looks like a perfect choice for businesses that are fresh out of the water, but it is also great for businesses who don’t want the hassle of making monthly payments to another company (www.due.com/). However, if your business is making more than two hundred and fifty thousand dollars per month they will impose custom fees. With further investigation, we have also found that Due software does comply with standard payment inscription as well as PCI compliance. No complaints yet! Security is always a must have when you are dealing with any kind of payments online, or offline that requires a credit card. This my friends, is always a NO BRAINER! Always try to keep that in mind. If the company doesn’t offer some type of inscription for payments, or SSL protection, then do not buy their software because it probably isn’t safe for either you or your clients. This software also has quite a list of bells and whistles it will offer you if you decide to go ahead and use them for your invoicing. They offer you many options on customization, which includes allowing you to upload your own personal logo, adding personal messages to your invoices, and even allowing you to send your customized invoices via email or PDF extension. This is very standard practice for most billing software, but it still remains quite cheaper than most while still keeping the idea of making billing easy and professional. Due also has another very cool feature that actually lets you see when a client has viewed your invoice, and it allows you to customize which kind of currency you are billing in, which can be an awesome feature if you are doing work with clients that are not located here in the United States. Due also has something we talked about in a previous article that is very important, and that is credibility. On their invoicing web page they have five different testimonials which I think is always important. Testimonials from outside sources show that other people have tried their software and usually were more than happy with their results. Due was featured on Fox Small Business as “a top invoicing startup company that business owners should be using”, and they were also featured on Fox News as “the best option on the market for small business owners” (www.due.com/invoicing). Lifehack claims there is no better option for invoices, and Mash17 ranks it in the top featured invoicing products for small businesses as well (www.due.com/invoicing). After looking at each individual feature from this product I would say it offers just as much as everyone else minus the monthly payments, so it earns five stars from me either way.
Next, I want to inform you about another invoice product called Sighted. Sighted offers almost the same kind of options as Due, and similar invoice software; but, it wants you to pay for the extras little by little. What this means is that Sighted does offer a free version of its software as well as two different payment options if you decide the basic version isn’t right for your small business. The premium version offers businesses very little extra except you have the option of having fifty quotes and invoices instead of twenty per month as well as unlimited expenses versus twenty, and finally as a business you are allowed up to thirty clients a month versus ten on basic. I believe in reality most businesses cannot survive with ten, twenty, or even thirty clients a month unless the services you are providing are outrageously expensive. These options aren’t very practical regardless of the services you are providing. Sighted does have one final option labeled as super premium which would be very practical for any business, but it does come with a twenty-five dollar a month price tag. Want to know the drastic difference between basic, premium, and super premium with this software license? Here is the meat and potatoes, super premium gives you a few more features that neither basic, or premium offer. These options include Multi-user function which hides your information and invoices from other non-administrative users. Also, PDF templates with customization allowing you to choose what the different users see. Super premium will also let you track your invoices, but I think this should come with all versions, right? This option does the same thing that Due’s platform does by letting you see when these invoices were viewed; however, Due is still free. I mean this sounds like a standard option, so they will lose serious points with many small businesses on the practicability side of things even more after they see other platforms offer this for free. Furthermore, super premium throws in a time tracker to track hours worked on your different projects. Okay, let’s go over the final super premium features, and then we will give this platform a rating for you guys. The final commodity this version offers is a customizable dashboard for your invoices along with being able to send unlimited quotes, track unlimited expenses, and having the luxury of having unlimited clients (www.sighted.com). Now you must remember most platforms will give you things like a customizable dashboard, and invoice tracking for little to no cost and less than twenty-five dollars a month. I am going to have to rate this platform three stars at best, because there are much better options out there. This platform also does have some testimonials on their website, but they both are done by essentially freelancers, and not necessarily small businesses. This platform might suit freelancers much better than your typical small business owners.
Moving on, the third product we will review is one you guys might remember from a previous article, and that platform is known as Freshbooks! This platform blows Sighted right out of the water on just about every level. Freshbooks starts their different payment plans at fifteen dollars a month and goes all the way up to fifty dollars a month. Customizable dashboards are included regardless of what plan you choose, and they offer a free thirty day trial which is great to kind of gauge if the platform works best for your small business or not. In fact, they explain on their website that with each of their plans you can categorize expenses, create and send different estimates, create late payment reminders, accept online payments, know when a client has viewed their invoice, and even time track projects! So even if you decide to use Freshbooks lite plan which is the cheapest, you will still be paying ten dollars less a month than if you went with Sighted.
Here is a starter tip, if you can save money on something that offers the same features for a cheaper price than its competitor, then take it. In instances like these you have nothing to lose, but everything to gain! This is what is so great about shopping around, or researching different companies extensively. Always be sure to research, research, and research again! By doing this you could end up saving yourself hundreds, or possibly thousands of dollars down the road. Freshbooks is also one hundred percent web based, and that means it is accessible via web browser so you don’t have to worry about installing any specific software too! What makes this platform even more exciting is that it also supports mobile smart phones, and Mac users!
Another good feature available to you through Freshbooks is its capabilities to provide different types of financial reports. These reports can be sales tax reports, expense reports, revenue reports, and even account aging reports. So far Freshbooks is outclassing Sighted by a long shot no matter what way you look at it, and that means we are one step closer to finding the best invoice platform for your small business. I am going to give Freshbooks a four-star rating in this scenario for the simple fact that their pricing is very ambiguous, and it doesn’t really explain what the different options give you. However, like the other sites they too have credibility from several different business owners, so we can also consider this still a very respectable platform to use for your invoicing.
Here is another fun tip for running a business, if you are listing different prices options for the same service please kindly explain what you get for the higher prices. Example, list the extra bells and whistles on the premium service versus the basic service. This is also considered good general business practice! Inform your clients what they are paying for people, and never leave them in the dark! I mean how would you like it if you received a bill for a thousand dollars from the phone company without any reason, or explanation on why it was one thousand dollars? I bet you would be more than a little upset, in fact, I bet you would be extremely agitated with smoke billowing from your ears!
Here is a little more food for thought on this subject before we continue on to discuss our fourth invoicing platform, Zoho. If you choose to go ahead and leave your clients in the dark it could possibly lead to several more severe repercussions for your business. One of the very first things it will sabotage is your reputation for being credible and honest. The second thing that will happen is decreased overall customer satisfaction. After all, as I said before why should someone be happy about getting billed for something he or she knows nothing about? The third consequence that more than likely will come and spread faster than a viral video of Kim Kardashian is bad recommendations. These bad recommendations happen through word of mouth, and they are usually told in person, through social media, or other channel of communication. In business this means these clients, and your potential profit just got flushed down the toilet. Who knows, one of those clients that received the negative feedback about your company might have been willing to invest significant cashflow in your product, or services. If this were to ever happen to your reputation it will probably take an extreme amount of dedication, and an amazing press release to prove you are the reliable, and honest company that everyone thought you once were. Have I made an everlasting impression into your brains? I better have, because if this didn’t sink in your going to pay for it, and I mean that literally.
Next, we have Zoho. This is a software that right off the bat I am going to rank five stars as well, and I will tell you why. Zoho has four different payment options with the first payment option being forever free if you have five customers or less. The second payment option is seven dollars a month and this payment option is for businesses with fifty customers or less. Have more customers? No problem, the third payment option is only a miniscule fifteen dollars a month, and this is for businesses with five hundred customers or less. Pretty shabby so far, yeah? Well if you have more than five hundred customers you can buy the professional option for only thirty dollars a month! Zoho gives each payment option the same luxuries as the free version except for the custom domain name for your small business website. Zoho offers a whopping twenty-six different software luxuries that are automatically included in each of their payment options, and yes this even includes the forever free version! They include everything that other competitors include in their invoice software too! They have recurring billing, SSL encryption, payment reminders, time tracking, expense tracking, heck they even have the multi-currency option that some of the other competitors don’t have. Furthermore, they also include estimates or quotes, and unbranded e-mails. If you aren’t so keen on e-mail, or you needed to do things the old fashion way they will even include a snail mail option! What? Who includes that kind of service anymore besides the obvious like USPS, or Fedex? I believe Zoho’s low prices and very well thought out pricing options are why I am ranking it a five-star platform for small businesses everywhere. It is disappointing however, that I never seen any testimonials for Zoho, because I am astounded at what they offer! In case you are wondering, they too offer customer support in case you would ever need assistance with your account. In case your small business needs require help that is outside of the finance department Zoho will probably be able to offer you the help you need in other areas as well. I won’t spend too long discussing these other services; however, in case you are interested they also offer sales and marketing campaigns, automated human resources department, and collaboration tools! This is great for small businesses who require a little more, but don’t know where to start!
Besides that, we finally have a platform famously called Invoicera. Invoicera incorporates all of the features previously mentioned from the other invoice software; however, this software has one special feature under its belt that I would love to share with you. Do I have your wheels turning? Can you guess what it’s about? Let me give you a clue, dramatic pause. Saving even more money without sacrificing any commodities, or utility that comes with previously mentioned software like Due, Sighted, Freshbooks, or Zoho. Invoicera offers only two different payment options which can make for easier decision making on the consumer side of things. That would mean you small business owners (https://www.invoicera.com/). However, buyers beware the free version only gives access to billing up to three different clients, and not five like most other competing software. Also, the pro edition will only grant you the access to bill one hundred clients which means no unlimited billing for your small business; therefore, you would be forced to switch to a different platform once your business spreads its wings. The price alone makes this product worth taking a gander at, but just like Freshbooks their pricing is quite ambiguous, because it really doesn’t explain everything you are getting for fifteen dollars a month other than you are allowed to bill up to one hundred clients, add one staff member, and have API access. So, I guess we are back to the question, “is this purchase a good purchase, and is it reliable”? I am going to give this product four stars because it is geared specifically to small businesses and this topic; although, since it is ambiguous in pricing and its testimonials are strictly anonymous I cannot give it the full five-star treatment. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy this software, but if you are wanting full functionality with an even smaller cost I would refer you back to Due, and their software. Here is a real world example of why Invoicera is somewhat inappropriate for some small business owners. What if you are a small business owner who is in the business of owning his own restaurant? Do you think you can survive on serving one hundred clients a month? Absolutely not. This is yet another outstanding reason why it really does pay to do your research. Invoicera, sorry you’re only getting four stars.
Free versus Paid Software
Okay, so we let you know about each product, and their core features. So, which ones are really free who give excellent service, and which ones are worth paying for? If you need full functionality with the option to bill a large consumer base; but, you aren’t ready to make monthly payments to another business for their software, then you definitely need to choose Due. Sighted, Freshbooks, Zoho, and Invoicera can’t compete with Due in the free platform. This is because all of the other platforms have no practical value with their free versions. In other words, their capabilities are too limited to be worthwhile as free software. If Due doesn’t quite fit your style, and you are okay with making monthly payments I would suggest giving Zoho a fair try. Zoho is a paid software for most small business owners, but their pricing is not ambiguous, and they have everything a small business owner would get from other types of invoice software.
Which Software is Most User Friendly?
Furthermore, we have pointed you guys in the right direction regarding free software versus paid software, and what has more functionality for your bottom line; but, you might be wondering what software is more user friendly, and we can help you right now! This question is rather an easy one considering the fact most of the software we discussed is virtually setup the same way. You have a place to put your custom logo, easy links to setup your invoices, quotes, expenses, and virtually everything else. The setup is literally just about the same with every product we just discussed. So, to answer this question in simple terms I doubt that any small business owners would have a problem with the graphical interface of any of these five platforms. I will however, leave a small piece of advice for those of you that are frightened to try out something new. Don’t let software graphical interface discourage you from trying out the product itself. I have learned over the years that sometimes the real quality of a product is not in its aesthetics, but the efficiency that the software offers. In essence, since each of these platforms offer near the same layout I will be hesitant to say one software is better than the other.
Who Supports Recurring Billing?
In essence, all of the software previously mentioned supports recurring billing as well as late payment reminders. Again, no real difference in this category. Due, Sighted, Freshbooks, Zoho, and Invoicera have this type of billing included into each and every one of their options, regardless of the type of service you buy.
The Best Software for Your Business
Finally, this is what everyone is itching to know. The real meat and potatoes! Based on several different factors our recommendation is Due if you don’t want to spend any money, and Freshbooks if you want the easiest to use Quickbooks based invoicing software. Here are the reasons why. Due offers a great pricing plan for businesses of any size. This pricing plan is also extremely helpful for those businesses who can’t commit to a monthly payment to another business just yet. Due will only take a small transaction fee that comes straight out of the credit card transactions themselves. No hidden fees, or surprises! So, we give them even more bonus points for giving it to us straight. Also, due seems like its software is mainly for the small business owner, because they don’t increase any pricing unless you sell more than two hundred and fifty thousand products a month. The target audience here is definitely you guys! We should be thanking the developers at Due for keeping the little guy in mind. We also kept in mind of all the features that invoicing software should have like the features of customizing your logo, recurring billing, payment reminders, payroll, ease of use, and the ability to access the platform from different operating systems. Due really has it all, hands down. I hope this answers your questions about these products, and which of the top five invoice platforms you should choose; because, I do believe we have covered more than enough to give you the confidence that you need to pick the company that best suits you for your invoices! Have a wonderful day, and get out there and make some money! What are you waiting for? Go get Due!