Five invoicing tools for consultants and contractors
Invoicing is an essential part of working as a consultant or contractor, however monitoring which invoices have been paid, the value of each invoice and who it was invoiced to can be an administrative nightmare.
Using simple word processing templates is effective for some, but going 'paperless' can help to automate your business (saving time previously devoted to drafting invoices), reduce payment calculation errors and reduce accountancy costs. In addition, you could receive your money more quickly as many invoice services provide customers with the ability to make fast payments using instant options such as PayPal.
Some businesses prefer to install more complex, in-depth software on company computers and to store all their data locally, but web invoicing (known as 'cloud accounting') is becoming increasingly popular with consultants and contractors who are on-the-go; accounts can be accessed from anywhere at any time and all the records you need are backed up and stored online.
Here are five examples of web and software based invoicing tools available for consultants and contractors.
An online system focusing on speed and ease of use. Alongside a web app with a whole host of features is a smartphone app that can be used to track, create and search invoices on-the-go. A free limited option is available but for more advanced features and options, paid plans are offered starting from £12.99 a month.
BillGrid's slogan is "easy bill easy go"; its platform is designed to be intuitive and user-friendly. This means professional-looking invoices can be created in seconds, with the option to add your logo and choose amongst several instant payment options for your customers. BillGrid offers a free 30-day trial and prices range from £5 a month to £13 a month, depending how much functionality you need.
A sophisticated online billing system which allows you to create invoices, receive online payment, automatically notify customers and calculate monthly VAT. Prices start from £5 a month, up to the 'Titanium' £65 a month.
An advanced software system that automates repetitive tasks and provides feedback on projects and management functions, as well as performing all the basic accounting tasks. With a simple interface and easy navigation, BillQuick has extras such as tracking options and to-do lists. This software package retails at around £115.
A software system featuring extras such as the ability to e-mail customers and automatically charge credit cards. Due to its many capabilities, time may need to be invested in order to master kBilling. It offers excellent support options and has a free telephone helpline. The software can be bought for around £65.
Please note: Markel do not endorse or recommend any one product and this information is intended as a guide only.
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