I’ve been looking at various Invoicing and Billing tools for a few weeks now and I still can’t decide which one to choose for my business.
I’ve completely outgrown my current system, which was built two years ago and now with my business becoming VAT registered and taking on more staff, we need to find a system that will allow us to grow even further without having to worry about re-building or migrating to another system in another 2 years.
CannyBill – I’ve been looking at CannyBill thanks to my free account that I was given when I signed up with VPS.net. CannyBill is a great web app and is perfect for companies that sell ‘off-the-shelf’ products or services, such as web hosting or domain names or software downloads. They’ve recently had a website re-design and it’s looking great. I considered CannyBill for a while and it has a few pitfalls and they have a great guy replying to queries from their Twitter account (@CannyBill).
My main reason for not going with CannyBill is that we provide customised services for customers and creating a package, followed by an Invoice and then having to login as the customer to purchase the package was rather long-winded. However, I do like the simplicity and the ability to customise email templates and allowing customers to login to their own portal is great, they also have automated late fee’s for when customers don’t pay.
Xero – One of the leading online bookkeeping tools on the internet. Xero is great, especially if you are a large company and have an in-house bookeper. It’s very advanced and offers some great features for managing your finances and it’s overall style and layout is clean and professional.
Xero is simply too advanced for me and has so many features that I wouldn’t use.
Curdbee – A fairly new typically American web app. Curdbee offers some great features and a large number of them are free. They also offer a Pro (paid) version, which starting at only $5 per month is the cheapest solution I’ve been looking at, although I feel that it is still in its infancy and is lacking some key features, such as being able to customise your Invoices and add further client information. – They are great at replying to queries on Twitter @Curdbee.
FreeAgent – A fantastic UK offering, which seems to fit my criteria perfectly, it allows you to add more features as you grow, such as payroll and corporation tax. They also offer the ability to design your own Invoices, including recurring Invoices, although it’s unclear whether you can modify the standard layout, their knowledgebase article needs further clarification. FreeAgent also allows you to manage your expenses, add petrol receipts and create projects so that you can work out your profit margins on individual projects very easily.
FreeAgent is also a web app that is growing and improving constantly, they have just annouced today that they have a new strategic partnership with IRIS Software.
The only thing putting me off from signing up to FreeAgent is whether my accountant would use the system, so I’m about to fire off an email to them to find out!