10 Best Invoicing Software for Small Businesses and Sole Traders in Australia
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Small businesses and sole traders face the uphill task of staying in the black and developing their businesses from day one.
While launching a business, hiring people, and managing daily operations is definitely hard work, there’s something far more arduous for traders and small businesses to deal with: financial security.
Around 20% of Australian startups fail in the first year, with 60% not making it beyond three years (source: Fundsquire). The failure rate is much steeper for sole traders because their businesses are not as well documented as startups.
It is thus crucial for small businesses and sole traders to conduct quick business dealings and receive payments on time.
A great way to ensure that is to use business automation through a small business crm software or automation in the form of software to do tasks like generate invoices and send them to clients.
In this blog our focus is on invoicing automation for small business and sole traders and what are the best invoicing software in the australian market to cater to their requirements.
Now an Invoicing software does more than just reduce paperwork.
It also helps businesses to keep track of payments, automate their management, and even automate reminders for clients.
Furthermore, many invoicing applications are often bundled with accounting software, which allows tradies and businesses to keep their finances under watch and in total control.
This article offers a thorough summary of the ten best invoicing applications for small businesses and tradies in Australia.
SquareUp has to be the first invoicing software you look at if you want to create invoices for free.
Rather than limit you, the free version offers you a wide range of services that allow you to create invoices in minutes and even collect deposits.
The main features you can access using SquareUp are:
- Real-time tracking to check on the status of your invoices at any time
- Automatic payment reminders to keep clients up to date
- Simple recurring invoices that allow you to keep in contact with your regular clients
- Discounts and tax invoice generations that get your receipts ready
While you can use the service for free, you will have to get the paid plan if you want customization, real-time tracking, milestone-based payments, and generating invoices from estimates.
The paid plan starts from $20, which you pay after a 30-day trial.
However, the paid plan can become quite costly as you look for more features.
Therefore, SquareUp should be something you look at only if you want invoicing software for free.
What we like about SquareUp
Free version has numerous necessary features
Recurring invoices keep your payments consistent
Simple interface makes it easy to learn
What we do not like about SquareUp
The paid plan is far too expensive for the features offered
Processing rates in the paid plan are far too high
Xero takes us into a completely different territory from SquareUp.
Not only is it a paid-only software, but it is also a fully equipped and competent accounting software that is used in over 180 countries around the world.
The full extent of accounting services includes invoicing, payrolls, cloud access, and quoting services. It is an online application that you will not need to download even though you will get all the features you need.
However, it can be quite expensive due to its many features, a lot of which small businesses and tradies would not need.
Moreover, it can be difficult to learn to use, but Xero has ample resources for you to educate yourself.
So, if you’re looking for consummate invoicing software, Xero is what you need.
What we like about Xero
Great customer service makes Xero fun to use
Numerous add-ons available
Regular updates adding new features
What we do not like about Xero
There is no independent invoicing service
The whole accounting software package can be too expensive for sole traders
A sole trader’s invoicing needs are even simpler than those of a small business. They don’t need complex or heavy software, and that is where Hello Bonsai comes in.
The web-based software aims to make invoices simpler and more efficient for freelancers, but its services are also used by quite a few small businesses around the world.
Bonsai is a solid choice because it is relatively cheap and offers a wide range of services for the price point.
They include useful templates, great documentation, and tax add-ons along with all the basic invoicing features you need.
Beyond that, Hello Bonsai doesn’t ground you with a lock-in contract. You can cancel your subscription at any time.
What we like about Bonsai
Non-binding contract makes it a good fit for sole traders
Quick, efficient interface
What we do not like about Bonsai
Lack of recurring invoices can turn small businesses away from it
For small businesses, accounting doesn’t get much easier than it does with Wave.
The same holds true for invoicing as well, with Wave offering online services completely free of cost.
Yes, you read that correctly.
You can use Wave’s accounting services, including its invoicing, without having to pay.
These services include automated payment reminders, recurring billing, invoicing in multiple currencies, email integration, invoice customization, and automated sales tax calculation.
The only times you have to pay while using Wave is if you process payment through the platform or use their payroll service.
To top it all off, Wave is backed by a fantastic team that has delivered its services to over 3 million people!
Wave’s a catch for sure
What we like about Wave
It’s actually free!
User-friendly interface makes it easy to use
What we do not like about Wave
Limited features that don’t scale
Inconsistent customer service
If you’re just looking to keep things simple, Invoice Simple has that in its name.
For Australian sole traders, this invoicing application will work like a charm because it does nothing more than creating invoices for them.
However, these invoices will look highly professional and represent their business without a cinch.
While it may not be very fancy, Invoice Simple still allows users to track payments and send reminders.
All this starts at $6.99 per month and goes up to $9.99 if you want the mobile application as well.
What we like about Invoice Simple
Simple payment tracking
Option for sending reminders
What we do not like about Invoice Simple
The free version is a ruse
Poor customer service
Zoho offers some of the most impressive accounting software options for small businesses, with its Zoho Books application competing with the likes of FreshBooks and Xero.
Zoho Invoice is one of the tools offered in Zoho Books, but you can also access it independently.
Free for up to five users, Zoho Invoice is the perfect option for an Australian startup.
It boasts expense recording and reporting as an additional feature, along with the basic features found in most of the software mentioned on this list.
Backing all that is a great support team that is ready to help you out at any moment.
What we like about Zoho
Detailed reports with graphs
Feature for auto-scanning receipts
What we do not like about Zoho
Consistency in plans is a major concern
Invoicera is a well-developed invoicing cloud application that offers the full range of services needed by an Australian small business.
It is economical and offers a 15-day free trial to help you test services such as custom workflows, financial reporting, and creating purchase orders.
These services, of course, come along with all of the other services you would expect.
Furthermore, with more than 35 integrations and 25 payment options, Invoicera helps make life easier for you and the clients you are billing.
However, it can get a bit pricey and the customer support for Australian clients is sorely lacking as of now.
What we like about Invoicera
Customisable invoices are a big plus
Very easy to use
Great mobile application
What we do not like about Invoicera
The free plan has very limited features
Your business is bound to grow with time, and you will want your invoicing software to carry that extra load.
Australian application MYOB can be a big asset for you in such cases, allowing you to develop custom invoices and track them with numerous resources.
However, it is a tad on the expensive side. So, maybe you will have to wait a bit until you can afford it.
What we like about MYOB
Has fantastic integration features
What we do not like about MYOB
Too expensive for sole traders and newly launched businesses
Part of the Due.com group of financial tools, Due Invoicing is free to use and offers you the ability to send unlimited invoices to your clients.
It also supports payment processing and multiple currencies but can be a bother to use since the owners are selective about who they let on their website.
What we like about Due Invoicing
Simple to use credit card facility for invoice recipients
Simple interface for sole traders
What we do not like about Due Invoicing
Poor customer service
FreshBooks brings us back to expansive accounting software that caters to Australian small businesses.
It might be a bit too complex for sole traders, but its wide range of services, such as custom branding on invoices and project management features, makes it a great invoicing software for anyone.
What we like about FreshBooks
Fairly cheap given the features it offers
Offers small businesses more than just invoicing
What we do not like about FreshBooks
Lack of simple invoicing features which would cater to sole traders
Recommendation for the Best Invoicing Software for Small Businesses and Sole Traders:
We compared all the required parameters for the invoicing software that a small business might need (features, pricing, customer service, etc) to name a few.
Our recommendation for Small Businesses and Sole Traders looking for an invoice solution that is value for money is Zoho Invoice.
Why Zoho Invoice?
Lastly, it is a part of the Zoho suite of products where in the future you can add more products like Zoho CRM, etc to your business.
What to look for in a Small Business and Sole Trader Invoicing Software?
There are several software solutions available for most tasks nowadays, and invoicing is no different. So, just what should you be looking for in such applications?
The first step is to understand just what an invoicing software does.
To make that easy for you, here are the primary features you will find in most invoicing software options:
- A service for printing receipts, invoices, and statements
- Ability to create accurate invoices by simply sitting on your computer or phone
- Storage for client contact information
- Features to track outstanding balances and pending payments
- Generating and analyzing reports on income and expenses
With that out of the way, let’s look at what you need to scrutinize while searching for the right invoicing software:
Ease of Use
The most important aspect of invoicing software for you has to be ease of use. You do not want a complex application that will take you weeks to understand. You simply do not have the time for that.
Therefore, before you purchase any invoicing software, you must take a look at how simple they are to you. Look for ones that have a simple dashboard layout without any clutter, as well as responsive features that you can easily access.
The willingness of the developers to help you make sense of the software is important as well. After all, why would you want to get software that does not have the backing you need?
Wide Range of Payment Options
Although the invoicing software is supposed to make things easy for the business, you must also make life easier for your clients. That’s why you should look for invoicing software that supports several payment options.
The way to get your money quickly is to offer the clients ways to pay you off without having to work for it. While it is impossible to accommodate them entirely, having multiple payment options in your invoicing software can be a lot of help.
The payment options you must have are bank transfer, PayPal, and credit cards. You can’t process checks with software, so just don’t expect those.
Option to Customise
You do not want to just use the in-built templates offered by the invoicing application. You would want to make your invoices have an identity according to your business. Look for invoicing software that offers you customization options, such as different layouts, fonts, and colors.
Integration with Other Software
It is much simpler and more efficient to have an integrated application that deals with all of your financial needs instead of different software. Therefore, you should look for invoicing software that you can integrate with the other software you use.
The software you would want to integrate into an invoicing application would be the ones you use for your finances, such as accounting software and your customer relationship manager.
You want to be able to send an invoice no matter where you are, especially if you are a sole trader. Look for invoicing software with cloud compatibility that you can access via the web and mobile.
Doing so allows you to keep track of your invoices from anywhere on the planet.
Solid Customer Support
You cannot allow problems with your invoicing software to delay your payments and hamper your business’ finances. Having solid customer support backing you up is a huge relief as it allows you to focus on regular operations even if your invoicing software glitches.
Now that you are well aware of what you need to be looking at in invoicing software, here are 10 solid options for you to explore:
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