Why Choose Invoicing Software?

Back when most payments were made in cash and records were kept on paper, human error was the biggest cause of delayed payments. For small businesses, delays in payment can be catastrophic and have a terrible knock-on effect. Today, with technology like online and electronic transfers, card payments, and tools to manage our finances, payments are quick and painless and erroneous billing is a thing of the past. 

Year after year, more businesses migrate to electronic invoicing for its benefits over traditional, paper-based billing. What makes it particularly attractive are speedy processing times, reduced administrative work and affordability over traditional paper invoicing.

As a business owner, you understand the importance of having the best tools for the job. Creating invoices accurately and sending them to your clients promptly improves your chances of getting paid on time.

Invoice templates and invoice generators have made the work much easier and both have great advantages over paper invoicing that make the otherwise painstaking process much more efficient – we even encourage visitors to our website to try out our free versions of both.

However, the obvious choice of invoicing tool is the online invoicing software, which boasts all the advantages of templates and generators as well as having an intuitive UI, other linked business tools and the added benefit of being run on the cloud, tied to a database where all your information is safely stored for fast, easy invoice creation. It really is a no-brainer.

Pros & Cons of Using an Invoice Template

Invoice templates are easy to download and customize – they allow you to send consistent invoices with a common and recognizable design. Invoice templates are a great way to start automating your financial administrative tasks and allow you to edit only one file from which you can export each subsequent invoice, keeping on top of invoice numbering and general invoice management.

As there is relatively no learning curve or financial cost of using an invoice template, these are aimed at small businesses who are just starting out and who don’t yet require a customer or product database.

Invoice Template Pros

  • Files can be sent electronically
  • Your invoices will boast a consistent design and are completely customizable
  • One file to edit
  • One tool to learn (usually Word or Excel)
  • Free (assuming you have Word or Excel)
  • Excel files can be programmed
  • Available in multiple designs

Invoice Template Cons

  • Stored locally on your machine (if you lose your data, your invoices are lost)
  • Slow to create invoices
  • Customer and product information must be manually added and saved from a different location
  • Are not linked to your bank or any other tools
  • Invoice numbering and history is dependent on how well you manage your files
  • Input error is still common and calculations must be done manually
  • Not scalable or suitable for high-volume invoicing

We offer a few invoice templates in various designs as, although they aren’t the ideal solution, they’re better than manually creating each invoice.

Pros & Cons of Using an Invoice Generator

An invoice generator offers similar benefits to an invoice template but presents users with a UI which operates much like an invoicing software – it’s less manual work and quicker to create invoices with a generator than with an invoice template.

Invoice generators are offered online by a number of invoice software providers in the hope that site visitors will try out the basic functions of the software without signing up for an account. It’s a fast way of determining whether the full software will be right for you or your business.

Invoice Generator Pros

  • Quick to create invoices
  • Files can be sent electronically
  • Your invoices will boast a consistent design
  • Lets you trial a software before making a decision
  • Calculations will be correct and more complex invoicing is sometimes supported
  • Free

Invoice Generator Cons

  • Invoices aren’t saved unless you download them
  • Are only really designed for single use
  • Customer and product info must be manually added
  • Are not linked to your bank or any other tools
  • Invoice numbering and history is dependent on how well you manage your files
  • Not scalable or suitable for high-volume invoicing

As generators are often free like invoice templates, they are also aimed more towards businesses who have yet to choose an invoicing solution. Looking to try one out? Check out our free invoice generator.

What is Online Invoicing Software & Why Choose it?

An online invoicing software is a computer program that enables you to create invoices quickly and efficiently, straight from your internet browser.

An online software invoicing solution doesn’t require you to create invoices from scratch – all product and customer data which you input each time you create invoices is stored safely and securely in the cloud (which is a fancy way of saying that it exists on a server somewhere which you access through the internet). All you need to remember is your log in details for your account and you’re good to go.

Many invoicing software providers also offer a mobile app so that you can manage your invoicing on the go.

Why Invoicing Software is Better

Creating invoices with a software couldn’t be simpler. They often feature a professionally designed user interface (UI) which makes creating the invoice intuitive and straightforward. You just enter the basic details required on your invoices and the software will generate an invoice which you can either send via email right within the UI or download as a shareable link, PDF file.

Invoicing software usually includes a number of connected features such as online payment systems, various invoicing templates to choose from, report generation and other business tools.

There are many different providers on the market and, although they vary in features and capabilities, most invoicing software shares the following benefits:

1. Your Invoicing Data is Secure, Centralized & Organized

Security may be the most critical part of any financial system. 

When using invoicing software, everything related to your invoicing is stored in an extremely secure, easily accessible database. If you have a problem with file management on your own computer (we’ve seen some horrible desktop organization in our time) then cloud-based software solutions are your best friend.

You should never have to worry about backing up or data leaks if you don’t store sensitive and important information on your own system. Invoice software also has up-to-date firewalls and anti-malware that protect your financial details as well as your client’s

Outsource your worry with a cloud-based solution.

2. Invoice Creation & Reviewing Accounts is Quick & Easy

Client and product information is stored so that future invoice creation is as quick as possible. If set up properly, you won’t have to touch your keyboard and invoices can be created and sent in a few clicks.

Another benefit of having all this information in a database is that you can review the performance of individual accounts and products without having to dig through records and collate the results manually. Does your accountant need to pull up the history from a particular client or product of yours?

Work like this is made easy with an invoicing software.

3. Bank Account & Payment Integration

Invoicing software providers collaborate with payment processing companies so that you may allow your customers to pay your invoices via credit card, debit card or PayPal. If your invoice software account also integrates with your bank account then payments can often be reconciled against invoices automatically, making your end-of-year tax returns simple.

With integrated payments, invoices can be paid via clickable link and your clients have no excuse for not paying invoices by their due date. Facilitate faster payments and make the process painless for your clients.

4. Other Financial & Helpful Business Tools

Invoicing is part of a wider process of small business financial management. But whilst we’re on the topic, invoicing software usually allows users to set up recurring invoices with their clients and to also split invoices into multiple payments (this is handy if you use deposits or down-payments).

Estimates and quotes are an important part of winning work for service providers and these integrate directly with invoicing software when you can convert these to invoices. Time-tracking features allow you to track the number of hours worked on a project and convert this directly into an invoice.

Despite it being the primary function, invoices usually aren’t the only thing you can create with a cloud-based invoicing software.

5. Automation (Especially Payment Reminders)

Automation is the key to better business. If you automate the boring administrative tasks that you don’t want to do, you free up time to focus on what matters – getting more clients and making more sales.

One of the great features of invoicing software is the ability to set automated payment reminders to be sent to your customers. In the run-up to the invoice due date, a friendly reminder can go a long way to you getting paid on time and ensures that payments don’t fall through the cracks.

That’s just one of the automated processes which comes packaged with an invoicing software to help you run your business more efficiently.

6. Advanced Reporting

Most invoicing software provide reporting features. Waste no time digging through invoicing history to summarize the information for your accountant – generate a report and send it off. They’ll be accurate and easy to understand.

One thing that’s often overlooked when you create and send invoices manually is the ability to translate exactly what each of those invoices means for your business on a higher level. When you can see financial information visualized in a number of different ways, it helps you diagnose problems in your operation and services, ultimately helping you succeed.

7. Accessible Everywhere

One of the best things about cloud-based invoice software is its portability.

You have guaranteed access to your invoices from any device, be it Android or MacOS. Send new invoices and estimates anywhere, from your phone, your computer or in the library. Not having access to your work machine is no longer an excuse for not being productive.

Discover new ways of working when you can invoice anywhere.

Final Verdict

Invoice templates can be perfectly suitable for small businesses, start-ups, and freelancing who want to save a bit of cash. We actually recommend anyone who hasn’t yet made the decision to move to a different invoicing process to check out these options first (though you can still use Zervant to send estimates and invoices to 5 customers for completely free).

There’s no doubt about it – invoicing software is the better solution for all enterprises and invoice software provides technology features that significantly boost the efficiency of operation in your business.