Benefits of Using Online Invoice Generators
Not only can online invoice generators help speed up a crucial part of your business practice, but most online invoice-generation software enables you to access it from anywhere in the world.
That means even if you’re not at your physical desk, you can be at your virtual one, ensuring you get paid.
Here are some of the benefits of using an online invoice generator.
1. Speed and Efficiency
Manual invoicing is not only time-consuming – it’s a waste of resources for a small business!
Online invoicing can help you more efficiently and quickly send invoices so that you can receive payment for your work and get back to top-priority tasks.
2. Reduced Human Error
If you’re doing things manually, human error is inevitable. However, invoice errors can be costly for your business and prevent outstanding payments from being made on time.
Invoice generators can save your invoices as pre-formulated templates and autofill options, meaning that invoicing can be as simple as a few clicks, even for new clients.
3. Improved Cash-Flow Management
Every business knows that the main hurdle is often cash-flow management. Manual invoicing doesn’t just waste resources and time; it could also be costly if it takes too long for your invoices to reach your clients or if you have to follow up manually.
Instead, let an online platform take the burden off you. At a minimum, a successful online invoice generator should allow you to send automated follow-ups and reminders to clients in case of missed payments.
4. Professional Appearance
Are you still writing your invoices by hand in a logbook? With an online invoice generator’s customizable templates, you can ensure that your invoices are consistent and look professional without employing a graphic designer.
Most invoice generators will have many templates you can use as a starting point, and if they don’t have quite the right feel for your business, you can create your own from scratch.
5. Eco-Friendly as It Reduces Paper Usage
Every business knows they should attempt to reduce their carbon footprint and become more environmentally responsible. Traditionally, manual invoicing requires many items that do the opposite of this, including pens, ink, paper, stamps, envelopes, and transport.
However, online invoicing can remove these extra resources, making your business more eco-friendly. While this is excellent, it’s also appealing to customers and clients.
6. Accessibility: Anytime, Anywhere
Manual invoicing or even desktop software-based invoicing can tie you to your desk. However, online invoicing allows you to be flexible and send invoices from anywhere worldwide when needed.
Need to look up a past invoice? You can access those easily, too, streamlining your business practices and speeding up your client response time.
How to Choose the Right Invoice Generator for Your Business
What should you look for in an online invoice generator when options are saturated?
Firstly, remember what you hope to achieve in the long term for your business, as this will help you choose the right software and provider.
If you anticipate massive growth, pick something that will be able to grow with your business; switching software isn’t unheard of, but it can be frustrating to have to learn a new system (not to mention potentially costly).
You should also consider:
1. Overall invoicing needs
How often do you send invoices? How many clients do you have? Do you need to be able to customize different invoices?
Be sure to look at accessibility and whether or not the platform is user-friendly.
2. Can the software adapt and scale as necessary
Think about more than just the business you have now but the business you hope to have. While what you may need currently is minimal, will the software you choose be able to serve you in a year, five, or even ten?
Can you add your company brand assets, including logos, colours, and signatures?
4. Your budget
While some free invoice creators are on the market, they offer limited functionality. If you’re a growing business, you may want to consider other paid options that can provide you with many more features.
Some online invoice generator providers charge flat rates — perfect if you send out many monthly invoices. But others will be based on the number of invoices you create or how extensive your client database is.
Investigate your options thoroughly to find the right software for your budget.
5. Can you integrate your other business tools into the software?
If you’re using other business tool software, i.e., accounting or e-commerce-based, your online invoice generator software should integrate.
For example, can you collect payments directly from your invoicing software, or do you need to set up a separate client billing solution? Look for an all-in-one solution. The less manual work you must do, the more efficient you’ll be.
6. Do your research correctly.
When looking for an effective online invoice generator that will work for your business, you should read reviews, ask for recommendations, and take advantage of free trial periods.
Don’t be afraid to “try before you buy” and look for software that allows you to do so! Don’t forget to check what support is available, too — you never know when you’ll need it.
Best Online Invoice Generators
Bonsai — Best Overall
Thanks to its automated features, Bonsai is a great way to manage multiple projects and deal with invoice generation all at once. It will also scale with you, as it has many more useful financial tools to assist your business and growth.
And let’s not forget that Bonsai has worked with in-house lawyers, meaning all documentation will hold up in court and is legally binding.
Quick and easy to sign up for and a breeze to use, it’s our top pick for online invoice generators.
- Automated creation of legally vetted contracts can save you time and lawyer’s fees.
- Offers an all-in-one business hub with plenty of tools for freelancers
- Allows you to collect payments directly from the invoice
- Sends automated invoice reminders
- Currently only available in English
- Time tracking cannot log evidence of work.
- Automated contract creation only goes so far.
Wave — Best for Upscaling Business
Wave is an all-in-one accounting and invoicing solution that is great for businesses in the middle of growth. It offers built-in accounting capabilities, such as running payroll through it, setting it apart from solely invoiced-focused competitors.
- You can add unlimited users at no extra charge
- Send unlimited invoices, which are all fully customizable
- Can automatically add sales tax to invoices
- Clients can pay using Apple Pay, bank transfers, and all major credit cards through the invoice
- Extensive reporting functioning available.
- Inventory management is lacking
- Customer service is limited
- You cannot track income and expenses by class or location
- Unable to reconcile bank statements across different time zones.
PayPal — Best for Convenience
PayPal is the most convenient online invoicing software on our list.
Not only is PayPal accepted and able to be used in most countries around the world, but it’s also mobile-friendly – allowing you to create and send invoices anywhere in the world from any digital device in minutes.
- Offers multiple-currency support
- Allows batch invoicing, up to 100 invoices
- Invoices are customizable
- You can send unlimited invoices
- Customers can pay directly through PayPal or with a card
- Ability to track invoice status and enable recurring payments.
- Bank transfers are often delayed by several days
- For instant access to funds, you’ll be charged a 1% service fee
- Limited use only, which could lead to suspended accounts and frozen funds.
Zoho Invoice — Best for Invoicing With a Mini-CRM
Zoho is best used for small businesses that only have a small client base and mini-CRM (customer-relationship management).
Packed with great features, if you’re a small business or freelancer, this may be the software for you.
- Automated workflow, such as calculations and adding discounts
- Extensive invoice customization available
- Supports multiple currencies and languages
- No limit on the client base
- Integrates with other Zoho-based apps as well as multiple payment options.
- Unable to edit invoice templates on the mobile app
- Not as user-friendly as competitors (some functions require developer skills)
- No live chat or telephone support available.
Invoice Home — Best for Ease of Use
Invoice Home caters to small to medium-sized businesses and is our top pick for ease of use.
If you’re a growing business that needs to hit the ground running, this software will allow you to do just that.
- Designed to be efficient and convenient to use
- Integrates with PayPal and Stripe
- Syncs automatically across devices.
- Not as visually appealing and intuitive as others on the market
- Somewhat limited features
- It needs to be more transparent when it comes to cost.
Bonsai: A One-Stop Solution
While, as you can see, there are many options available to you, in our opinion Bonsai is a comprehensive and user-friendly solution for businesses switching to online invoicing, whether you’re a freelancer, small business owner, or more.
This software contains many of the desirable features we’ve discussed, making it easier for you to get paid and run your business.
Incredibly easy to use, you’ll be off to a flying start with Bonsai in no time.
With a number of customizable templates and options, you’re sure to find one to suit all your business needs and preferences.
Integration Capabilities with Accounting Software
While some invoice generation software can only integrate with other same-brand software, Bonsai can integrate with multiple accounting software, as well as allow clients to pay directly through your invoice (i.e., no need to set up a separate payment solution).
Multiple Currency and Tax Rate Options
Need to work across multiple states or countries? Bonsai supports multiple currencies and tax rates.
Secure Data Storage and Encryption
No need to worry about data leaks — Bonsai has strict security measures to protect your client’s data through encrypted storage.
Reporting and Analytics Features
Full reporting and analytics features in Bonsai will help you better your processes and keep your financial records up to date.
Automated Reminders and Follow-Ups
Don’t waste time chasing late payments — let Bonsai do it for you with automated reminders and follow-ups.
Tips for Effective Invoicing
So, now that you know which online invoice generator software is going to give you the best bang for your buck, here are our top tips for effective invoicing.
Be Clear and Concise in Your Descriptions
A confused client is a guaranteed path to a late payment. Keep things simple and straightforward, and be clear and concise on your invoice in your description so that they know exactly what they’re paying for.
Always Include Important Details (Due Date, Payment Methods, etc.)
Don’t forget to include the basics when you’re invoicing to keep things nice and simple (and make sure you get paid promptly!). That includes:
- What you’re invoicing for
- How to pay you (with links to payment methods, if applicable).
Use Branding for a Professional Look
Branding can be anything from brand colors to your logo. Not only will a properly branded invoice make you look professional, but it’ll also ensure brand cohesion.
Send Invoices Promptly
Want to get paid on time? Be sure to send your invoices promptly!
Follow Up on Overdue Payments Tactfully
There’s nothing worse than having to chase late payments, but you don’t have to hit the nuclear option if your invoice isn’t paid on time. Be clear on your initial invoice when payment is due and, if not paid by then, send gentle periodic reminders, before escalating if necessary. That’s where an automated follow-up system can come in handy!
The Bottom Line
Online invoice generators can greatly expedite your business processes and use your resources better, as well as help you get paid on time and manage cash flow.
While there are plenty of free and paid invoice creators available on the market, our top pick for online invoicing as well as an all-in-one business solution is Bonsai.
Bonsai allows users to bring automation, accuracy, and professionalism into their business, no matter the size. Plus, with your client billing built right into your invoices, you won’t have to worry about setting up another payment solution.
With comprehensive features, including a user-friendly interface and highly customizable templates, Bonsai will grow with you, allowing you to take control of your invoicing needs efficiently and quickly.
Why not give Bonsai’s free 7 trial a go today and revolutionize your invoicing!