Businesses are increasingly purchasing financial reporting software to simplify challenging processes requiring specialized skills for accurate and reliable results. But with the excessively pricey options for invoice and billing apps out there, it becomes pretty confusing to make a decision.
Continue reading for a review of the best free invoice and billing apps.
What Is an Invoice?
An invoice is a time-stamped commercial document that itemizes and records a transaction between a buyer and a seller. If products or services were purchased on credit, the invoice usually specifies the terms of the transaction and provides information on the various payment options.
A paper receipt, a bill of sale, a debit note, a sales invoice, or an online electronic record are all examples of invoices.
The Fundamental Elements of an Invoice
An invoice must state that it is an invoice on the front of the bill. It often has a distinct identity known as an invoice number, which can be used for both internal and external references. In most circumstances, an invoice contains contact information for the seller or service provider in the event of a billing issue.
Payment terms are included in an invoice, as well as information regarding any discounts, early payment details, or financial charges incurred for late payments. It also shows the item’s unit cost, total number of units purchased, freight, handling, shipping, and applicable tax costs, as well as the total amount owed.
#2. Timing and Printing
Companies can send a monthly end-of-month statement as the invoice for all outstanding transactions. In this case, the statement must state that no additional invoices will be sent. Historically, invoices were documented on paper, with many copies prepared to ensure that both the buyer and seller had a record of the transaction.
Computer-generated bills are now very common. They can be produced on demand or disseminated via email to each party. Electronic records also make it simple to find and sort transactions based on number, date, commodity, or client.
#3. Pro Forma
A pro forma invoice is a draft bill of sale given to buyers before goods are shipped or delivered. In most circumstances, the invoice will describe the purchased items as well as other important details such as shipping weight and transportation fees. In foreign transactions, pro forma invoices are widely used, notably for customs purposes on imports.
#4. Date of Billing
The invoice date is when the items were billed, and the transaction was legally documented. As a result, because the invoice date defines the bill’s credit duration and due date, it provides essential payment information. This is especially critical for companies that offer credit, such as Net 30, which means payment is due in 30 days.
Similarly, businesses that allow customers to return items typically have a deadline based on a certain number of days from the date of purchase, which is mentioned on the invoice.
#5. Electronic Invoicing
Since the start of the computer era, people and businesses have found it easier to rely on electronic invoicing as an alternative to paper. Electronic invoicing, often known as e-invoicing, is a sort of electronic billing that generates, preserves, and tracks transactional documents between parties. As a result, the obligations of their agreements are met.
What Are the Advantages of Using Invoice and Billing App
It can increase a company’s operational efficiency, data accuracy, and financial information visibility dramatically. Accounting software is frequently used to automate and simplify day-to-day bookkeeping procedures.
Meanwhile, other products offer additional advantages to developing businesses, such as global tax management and compliance with global accounting standards. In addition to the benefits described above, some important advantages of good financial reporting software include:
#1. Increased Accuracy
By automating data entry and other accounting operations, accounting software dramatically minimizes the possibility of human error. Storing all financial data in a single system decreases the possibility of errors when copying and pasting data between programs.
#2. Improved Operational Efficiency
Accounting software improves operational efficiency by automating daily financial chores like transaction input, invoice production, and bill payment. Automation greatly increases the ROI of accounting software because it frees up staff to concentrate on problem-solving and analysis while also speeding up paperwork processing.
It helps interface with ERP systems, allowing businesses to manage their entire organization with a single set of apps, minimizing repetitive data entry, speeding up workflows, and improving departmental communication.
#3. Real-time visibility and collaboration across the entire organization
Managers and team members get instant access to financial data, such as payments, account balances, and sales, offering a comprehensive picture of the company’s activities.
They can quickly evaluate a company’s strengths and discover any concerns that need to be resolved with customizable reports, dashboards, and other analysis tools. Managers can acquire significant insights from company data, allowing them to make educated decisions about implementing new strategies and adapting to market developments.
Accounting software today provides the organization with instant access to precise and comprehensive information from all departments.
Accounting software that is right for your organization can help you grow by allowing you to scale effectively. Cloud-based accounting software simplifies corporate growth by eliminating the need for expensive hardware or on-site software installation, allowing for efficient function and user addition.
Accounting software is intended to meet the complicated needs of expanding firms, such as foreign operations, numerous currencies, and subsidiaries.
#5. Financial Processes that are Accelerated
Accounting systems streamline financial processes that would otherwise be time-consuming. They help businesses consolidate and reconcile information to speed up financial close procedures and reduce effort at the end of each period.
Businesses may prepare financial statements more efficiently and fulfill reporting deadlines thanks to built-in financial reporting.
#6. Improved budgeting and forecasting
By analyzing historical and current business data, leading accounting systems employ budgeting and forecasting to effectively anticipate a company’s future revenues, expenses, and profitability.
#7. Compliance with Tax and Accounting Regulations
Accounting software is a critical tool for organizations to use in order to maintain compliance with accounting regulations in each country in which they operate.
Some software, for example, can automate compliance with US GAAP and international IFRS, allowing businesses to reduce their accounting operations.
#8. Increased Security and Consistency
Accounting software uses security features such as encryption and customized access restrictions to ensure that only authorized individuals have access to critical data. Accounting systems frequently save financial data in the cloud, allowing for continuous access even during power outages or natural disasters.
Choosing the correct accounting software necessitates a thorough study of the features to ensure that it matches your company’s demands and avoids potential mistakes in the selection process.
Best Free Invoice And Billing Apps
#1. Xero: Excellent for Startups
Organizations of all sizes and across a variety of industries use Xero as a well-liked accounting tool. It is an easy-to-use financial reporting solution that includes all of the capabilities required by small enterprises and startups.
The software includes automated reconciliations, bank balance estimates, AI-powered cash flow predictions, and easily customized financial reports. Xero provides a flexible platform with numerous currencies, limitless clients and user accounts, as well as complete support and online courses.
Over 1,000 apps are integrated into the platform, including Shopify, HubSpot, MailChimp, Float, and Accelo, among others.
Xero is incredibly economical and provides several perks, such as unlimited users, invoicing capabilities, and automated receipt capturing. The downsides are the entry-level plan’s limited features and the top plan’s exclusive availability of several currencies.
Tipalti is a market-leading finance automation software with extensive financial reporting capabilities. Financial reporting, automation, internal controls over financial reporting (ICFR), procurement, and international accounts payable technologies are all available through the system.
The platform includes capabilities for automatic supplier validation before approval, internal control, and risk assessment. It efficiently searches suppliers for questionable payees on anti-narcotics, anti-terrorism, and OFAC lists, allowing for immediate reconciliations and the detection of fraudulent payments.
#4. Sage Intacct
Sage Intacct is a cloud-based financial reporting software solution for growing businesses with in-house accountants or accounting teams. Because of its customized workflows, automatic financial reporting features, and comprehensive audit trails, it is a highly recommended solution for developing enterprises.
The “Intelligent GL” (General Ledger) tool enables a rapid review of thousands of transactions to find abnormalities and mistakes, therefore speeding up consolidations.
Sage Intacct is an excellent choice for businesses with several divisions or subsidiaries looking to improve their financial consolidation and reporting procedures. Salesforce, Workato, Solver, Versapay, Omnidek, Tipalti, Paychex, and Workiva are among the platforms that have been integrated.
Sage Intacct offers various benefits, including a user-friendly workflow automation interface and industry-specific solutions. The system’s drawbacks include opaque pricing and the inability to modify manual payments.
#5. Oracle NetSuite: Best for Global Businesses:
NetSuite is a complete financial reporting solution that incorporates financials, inventory management, enterprise resource planning (ERP), commerce, and supply chain management.
The software is extremely adaptable, with advanced capabilities such as embedded analytics, user-friendly interfaces, and the ability to retrieve specific data for any period.
Oracle dashboards are very role-specific and customizable, allowing users to tailor their experience to their individual requirements. Shopify, Amazon Supply Chain, ShipStation, Adobe Commerce, Microsoft Excel, BIRST, Adaptive, and Oracle Analytics Cloud are among the integrations.
This software’s advantages include its considerable customizability, pre-built dashboards and analytics, and ERP features. It has significant limitations, such as expensive startup costs and a steep learning curve.
#6. Cube: Excellent for Developing
The Cube is a web-based financial planning and analysis tool that helps firms create strategic plans, conduct sensitivity studies, and synchronize data across numerous platforms.
Cube was chosen for its connectivity with Excel and Google Sheets, which enables teams to manage budgeting, forecasting, and financial data reporting more easily through configurable workflows.
For financial consolidations and general ledger account mappings, the software includes capabilities such as automated audit trails, customized dashboards, and saved data rules. Quickbooks, Salesforce, Sage Intacct, Xero, NetSuite, Google Sheets, and HubSpot are also supported.
The program has various benefits, including the ability to connect to multiple data sources, a user-friendly interface, and fast customer assistance. The main disadvantages of this product are its exorbitant price and the lack of suppress-zero capabilities.
#7. Freshbooks: Excellent for those on a Tight Budget
Freshbooks is a low-cost, user-friendly accounting software ideal for small enterprises, freelancers, and solopreneurs.
The solution has outstanding features such as yearly and interim financial statements, bank account synchronization, and comprehensive tax reporting. Freshbooks, in addition to basic reporting capability, provides a number of financial reporting options, such as invoicing, client management, payments, and spending management.
Hubspot, QuickBooks, Google Sheets, PayPal, Gmail, WooCommerce, Square, and Shopify are among the connectors. Furthermore, the software is simple to use; it interfaces with your bank for easy reconciliation and provides configurable invoices and email layouts.
#8. Budgyt: Excellent for Small Projects
This cloud-based software provides advanced financial planning and reporting tools.
The budget management software is simple to use and includes features such as multi-department cooperation, transaction-level data analysis, agile forecasting, audit trails, and user-based access controls.
Furthermore, Budgyt provides a wealth of instructional resources and guidance, such as webinars, videos, in-person training, and documentation, that users may put to good use.
Budgyt supports Quickbooks, Xero, ConnectWise, Great Plains, Oracle NetSuite, Sage Intacct, SAP, PeopleSoft, and Lawson integrations.
This solution’s advantages include budgeting and forecasting capabilities, good customer assistance, broad product support, and comprehensive training guides. It has limited integrations and is somewhat pricey for small organizations.
#9. Insight Software: Excellent for customized reports
Data export from ERP or EPM systems to Excel is made easier using Insight software, enabling for the construction of personalized dashboards. Because of its customized Excel reports, connection with departmental planning, and effective workflow management, I added insight software to my list.
Account Payable (A/P) and Account Revisable (A/R) aging, pre-configured queries, audit trails, and simple form, report, and dashboard design, as well as auto-prep and formatting capabilities, are all included in the software.
The report generator makes it easier to create tailored financial reports for team members. Microsoft Dynamics, Sage Intacct, Oracle NetSuite, and SAP are among the integrations.
This application has benefits such as an easy-to-use spreadsheet interface, quick data imports, and customized reporting choices. There are limitations to insight software, such as restricted analytical tools, and it may be prohibitively expensive for small teams.
#10. Spreadsheet Server: The Most Effective Excel-Based Solution
Insights software’s Spreadsheet Server is a user-friendly add-in for Microsoft Excel that provides analysis and live reporting of data from your ERP solution.
Spreadsheet Server is a highly customizable financial reporting application that allows users to import data from major ERPs into Excel and create a variety of reports and dashboards.
Report templates, customized dashboards, role-based user permissions, variance analysis, and ad-hoc reporting tools are among the capabilities provided by the software. Excel, Oracle NetSuite, SAP Business One, CMiC, SYSPRO, Workday, MYOB, Sage, and BannerFlow are among the integrations.
This tool’s advantages include its high level of customization, pre-configured data searches, and smooth connection with Excel. One disadvantage of the software is that it only supports eight languages, and there may be a learning curve for individuals who are new to Excel-based solutions.
Is there a way to create invoices for free?
Canva’s free invoice builder allows you to quickly create professional-looking invoices for your clients. Maintain brand consistency by quickly adding your own logo, brand colors, and fonts to hundreds of customizable invoice templates.
How do I send an invoice with no fees?
Because there are no hidden fees, Zoho Invoice is one of the top free invoicing software solutions. When clients pay an invoice, you must pay any transaction fees. Authorize.net, Stripe, Braintree, and ACH Payments are just a few of the payment gateways supported by Zoho Invoice.
Are Google invoices free?
Google Docs allows you to create cloud-based bespoke invoices for free, either by downloading a fully configurable professional template or by designing the invoice from start.
Does Google have an invoice system?
Google Workspace Marketplace – Invoiced. Overview Invoiced is an invoicing system that makes it simple for businesses of all sizes to invoice and get paid online (electronic invoice presentation and payment). We enable businesses to accept online payments in a matter of seconds, including credit cards, ACH, bitcoin, and PayPal…
Compliance with accounting rules and regulations becomes difficult without financial reporting software. Financial reporting software also decreases financial statement errors and inconsistencies caused by manual operations.
However, before implementing a solution, make sure to carefully weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each financial reporting software, and involve your teams in a consultation to determine the best solution for your firm. Finally, to guarantee a seamless and successful financial reporting process, take the time to thoroughly listen and think through information.