Best Invoice Software for Small Businesses + How HubSpot Makes It Better

Curt del Principe

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Business is booming and you’ve finally outgrown making invoices in your word processor. Congratulations! Whether you’re a freelance designer or the leader of a sales team, you’ve got more important things to do than manually bill your customers.

Small business owner using the best invoice software

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But a freelancer and a sales team won’t have the same billing process, so they shouldn’t have the same invoicing software. For instance, a designer may not need inventory management, while a sales team may never track billable hours. The best invoice software will be the one whose features meet your business’ needs.

We’ve analyzed those features and broken down our recommendations by category. So you can focus on the features you need, and find the best invoice software for your business.

1. HubSpot Payments: Best Invoice Software Overall

Example of HubSpot payments invoice softwareHubSpot payments is a powerful tool included in Sales Hub. With HubSpot payments, your invoice software doesn’t just integrate with your CMS, it’s already a part of it. By combining your payment data with your customer data you can accomplish a wide range of tasks that invoice software couldn’t do alone. For example, you can connect your billing process to workflows to automatically send quotes, invoices, or renewal notices with secure payment links embedded inside. These links allow your customers to pay directly from the invoice, so you get paid faster.

Or instantly update customer accounts with purchase history, so your sales team can make informed recommendations.

Cost: Included with Sales Hub Starter or above, starting at 45/mo.

Payment Method: Credit card, Debit card, ACH

Payment Cost:

  • ACH - 0.5%, capped at $10
  • Credit - 2.9%

Multiple Currencies? Yes

Free Trial or Demo? Free demo

Integrates with HubSpot? Built-in

What You’ll Love

  • Completely integrated with your sales and marketing process
  • Allows customers to pay directly from your invoice
  • Create secure, shareable links that can be included in quotes, emails, chats, etc.
  • Allows recurring payments or subscriptions via ACH or credit card
  • Over 1,000+ custom tool integrations

2. Freshbooks: Best Invoice Software for Freelancers

Freshbooks invoice software websiteYou don’t have to be a freelancer to use Freshbooks, but it has unique features that freelancers will love. Set a retainer fee and track billable hours against the retainer. Automatically calculate deposits by percentage. Access time-tracking or inventory management from your desktop or smartphone.

Freshbooks can grow with you through their tiered pricing model. While their Lite plan focuses more on invoicing, the software quickly becomes an all-in-one accounting solution. Higher plans can also handle payroll, inventory, ecommerce, and more.

Cost: Starting at $6/mo. for 5 clients, up to $20/mo. for unlimited clients

Payment Method: Credit Card, ACH

Payment Cost:

  • ACH - 1%
  • Credit - 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction

Multiple Currencies? Yes

Free Trial? 30 days

Integrates with HubSpot? Yes

What You’ll Love

  • Access invoice software online from desktop or mobile devices
  • Set up automation for emails or payments
  • Include deposits in your quotes
  • Track revenue by inventory or hours

3. Chargify: Best B2B Invoice Software

Chargify invoice software websiteChargify is great for B2B companies because they specialize in recurring billing and subscription management. Their best feature by far is being able to choose from dozens of different billing models. Whether your sales model is product-based, usage-based, time-based, or even event-based, Chargify can handle your invoicing.

Choosing a pre-made model doesn’t limit your billing process though. You can customize your invoices with options like trial periods, one-time fees, promotions, or even freemium offers.

Cost: Starting at $599/mo. (may include setup fee depending on plan level)

Payment Method: Credit Card, ACH (through payment gateway integration)

Payment Cost: Depends on payment gateway

Multiple Currencies? Yes

Free Trial? 30-day access to a sandbox environment

Integrates with HubSpot? Yes

What You’ll Love

  • Allows you to use dozens of billing models, including usage-based, subscription-based, or even event-based
  • Advanced data reporting allows you to monitor product and customer trends
  • Integrates with popular tools like HubSpot, Salesforce, Quickbooks, Zendesk, MailChimp, and more

4. Zoho Invoice: Best Free Invoice Software

Zoho invoice software websiteZoho Invoice is a lightweight, cloud-based invoicing app that is still powerful enough for most small businesses. While it may not have the bells and whistles of some of our other entries, Zoho handles invoicing, expense tracking, and time tracking completely free of charge.

Zoho lets you create and send invoices via email or text message. It also lets your customers access a self-service customer portal where they can make payments. And all of this really is free.

Later on, if you find yourself in need of more robust accounting software, Zoho Invoice can integrate directly with Zoho Books. This paid software offers end-to-end accounting, including tracking payables, receivables, and banking.

Cost: Free (up to 1,000 invoices per year)

Payment Method: Credit Card, ACH Payment

Payment Cost: Depends on payment gateway

Multiple Currencies? Yes

Free Trial? It’s always free

Integrates with HubSpot? Yes

What You’ll Love

  • Create and send estimates that automatically turn into invoices
  • Make invoices based on time and expense tracking
  • Send invoices via text, email, or customer portal
  • Self-service customer portal lets customers view invoices and make payments

5. PayPal: Easiest to Use Invoice Software

PayPal invoice software templateIf you’re like most people, when you think of PayPal you think of online purchases. So you may be surprised to see it recommended as invoicing software.

Most of our recommendations are examples of invoicing software that can also handle payments. PayPal is payment software that can also handle invoicing. Their invoicing tools are simple but intuitive and come free with your merchant account. Just create an invoice by template, and send it by email.

If you’re already in need of a payment gateway, but don’t need fancy time-tracking or inventory management, PayPal may be the right path for you.

Cost: Free

Payment Method: Credit Card, Debit card, ACH Payment, PayPal

Payment Cost:

  • Credit card - 2.59% + $0.49 per transaction
  • PayPal - 3.49% + $0.49 per transaction
      • ACH - 3.49% + $0.49 per transaction

Multiple Currencies? Yes

Free Trial? It’s always free

Integrates with HubSpot? Through Zapier

What You’ll Love

  • Accept partial payments or even add a tip field
  • Automatically send scheduled or recurring invoices
  • Share invoices via email or link
  • No subscription fee

6. Harvest: Best Invoice Software for Teams

Harvest invoice software websiteAnother surprise entry, Harvest is time-tracking software that happens to offer invoicing tools. But don’t let that discourage you from giving it a try. Your project manager is going to love Harvest.

What sets Harvest apart is its unique ability to track and report on invoices at the project or team level. This means you can analyze past projects to better estimate time or cost for future work. Or automatically generate an invoice based on team hours and expenses.

Cost: Starting at free for 1 user and 2 projects, $12/mo. for unlimited users and projects

Payment Method: Credit card, ACH

Payment Cost: Depends on payment gate

Multiple Currencies? Yes

Free Trial? 30 days

Integrates with HubSpot? Through Zapier

What You’ll Love

  • Integrates with project management tools like Asana, Trello, and Slack
  • Add team members to projects to track expenses and time by project
  • Allows managers to set budgets for teams to work within
  • Automatically copy invoices to your accounting software, like Quickbooks or Xero

6. QuickBooks Online: Best Name Brand Invoice Software

QuickBooks Online invoice software websiteIf you have a business, you’ve heard of QuickBooks. They’re considered by many to be the gold standard in accounting software.

QuickBooks Online is way more than simply invoice software, and that’s their biggest strength. With QuickBooks Online, your invoices and payments are automatically connected to your accounting tools. When a customer pays an invoice, it’s instantly recorded in your bookkeeping. And instantly included in your reporting dashboard, letting you peek in on cash flow, profit & loss, and other financial data.

Cost: Starting at $12.50/mo., up to Advanced for $90/mo.

Payment Method: Credit Card, Debit card, ACH Payment

Payment Cost:

  • Credit card - 3.4% + $0.25 per transaction
  • Invoiced credit card - 2.9% + $0.25 per transaction
  • ACH - 1%, capped at $10

Multiple Currencies? Yes

Free Trial? 30 days

Integrates with HubSpot? Yes

What You’ll Love

  • Accelerated invoicing feature lets you duplicate similar invoices across customers
  • Split invoices by percentage of work or line item
  • Detailed reporting with easy-to-read dashboards
  • Real-time invoice tracking can send you updates via text message or email

Who needs invoice software?

Ok, so you’ve outgrown spreadsheets and word docs. Couldn’t you just use an invoice template? That might make it a little faster but would still require you to manually enter data each time. Invoice software stores your business data, so you can generate invoices in a matter of seconds.

But invoicing software is about more than just sending out a bill. It can also help your contractors track hours and inventory. Connect sales and marketing teams by putting real revenue in your reporting. And increase cash flow by simplifying the payment process.

Invoice software allows you to manage your full payment process from start to finish.

What to Look For When Choosing Invoice Software

It may be tempting to choose on price alone, but you should consider invoice software to be an investment. Of course, we all have our budgets to keep, but the right invoice software can free up time and increase sales.

Here are some questions to ask when considering which invoice software is right for you.

  • Does it have the ability to grow with you?
Many invoicing apps offer plans based on how many invoices you can send, how many clients you can bill, or how many users you have. You’ll want to make sure these limits won’t stop you from growing your business. It's better to aim high now than to go through the hassle of switching software later.
  • Does it support automated invoicing and reminders?
Having to manually create and send invoices takes a lot of time that could be better spent focusing on your clients. Not to mention having to send reminders or track down late payments.Choosing software that offers automation may be well worth any additional cost.
  • Does it accept payments and multiple payment methods?
Combining your invoice software with your payment gate streamlines your billing process. When you make it easier for your customers to pay, you’ll get paid more often. The same is true when you offer multiple ways to pay.
  • Does it integrate with your existing sales tools and CRM?
Having to enter data twice not only wastes time but makes errors more likely. Integrations cut down on busywork and help ensure accuracy. Not only that, they can expand your reporting, enhance your sales process, and help your service team delight your customers.

How HubSpot Makes Your Invoice Software Better

Linking your invoice software to your CRM is one of the most powerful connections you can make. Imagine if your service reps could quickly view purchase history or payment activity while talking to your customers. Or if your sales and marketing teams could see how their work impacts recurring revenue.

Whether through built-in APIs or automation software like Zapier, all of the software in our list above can be connected to your HubSpot account. Here are just a few of the other ways businesses use HubSpot to make their invoice software better:

  • Automatically generate quotes based on lifecycle stage
  • Preload invoices with customer data
  • Analyze payment trends against marketing campaigns
  • Automate renewal notifications with payment links embedded
  • Build email workflows based on payment activity
  • Instantly notify sales teams when a payment has been made

HubSpot lets you connect your billing data to every step of your sales, marketing, and service strategy.

Frequently Asked Questions About Invoice Software

What is the best free program to create invoices?

If you send fewer than 1,000 invoices per year, Zoho Invoice is the best free invoice software. It includes invoicing, time tracking, and expense tracking. It even offers simple automation and a self-service customer portal.

Does QuickBooks invoice?

Yes, QuickBooks lets you create custom invoices right from your accounting software. You can make custom invoices, turn estimates into invoices, or even duplicate invoices across multiple customers.

Is QuickBooks free to use?

QuickBooks is not free to use, but they do offer a 30-day free trial. After that, the starter plan begins at 12.50 per month (as of the time of publishing).

Does Zoho do invoicing?

Zoho offers free invoicing through their Zoho Invoice app. Zoho’s online accounting software, Zoho Books, also includes invoicing tools.

What is the difference between Zoho Invoice and Zoho Books?

Zoho Invoice is free software that focuses exclusively on invoicing tools. It includes features like invoice templates, time tracking, and online payments. Zoho Books is a suite of online accounting software that also handles tasks like tracking income and expenses or tax calculations.

How long is Freshbooks’ free trial?

Freshbooks offers a 30-day free trial, with no credit card required. After that, their Lite plan begins at $6 per month (as of the time of publishing).

Ready? Set. Invoice!

Now that you’ve outgrown handmade invoices, it’s time to choose invoice software that will keep you growing. Think about the features that will fit your business right now, and also where you want it to be in the future. Then make use of free trials and demos until you’ve found the best invoice software for your business.

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Topics: Payments

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