We might be a little biased here at ZipBooks, but we think that our invoicing software is some of the best in the industry. But we also know that it isn’t going to be the perfect fit for every business.
So, how do you evaluate which invoicing software solution is going to be best for your business? The key to getting the right answer for your business is knowing the right questions to ask.
Here are 10 questions you should be asking about your invoice software before you pull the trigger on what you use.
The long-term viability of a company is a big deal. You don’t want to have to switch up your operations a couple years down the road. Switching software can confuse customers that are used to the old format of email notification and invoice layout. They might wonder if the new invoice is real if it’s suddenly different from the old ones.
If your financial software just does invoicing, it might speak to the long-term viability of the company. It also may be an indication of the level of expertise of the people running the business. The truth is, creating software that just sends an invoice isn’t that difficult. That’s why there’s a million options out there.
The other reason to get a software solution that does more than just invoicing is that the more integration you have between the different financial aspects of running your business, the less headaches you are going to have.
You’ll have fewer logins to manage and less chance that programs will be incompatible. Ultimately, if you can find a free solution that does time tracking, accounting, and payment processing as well as invoicing, you’ll going to save a lot in software subscription fees.
Because there are so many fly-by-night invoicing solutions, it might help to see what other customers are saying about that software. Even a lukewarm endorsement is probably a bad sign in the face of so many options. At ZIpBooks, we are proud of our customers’ glowing reviews that have flooded the internet about our invoicing and other features. We also have a five-star rating on our Facebook page.
Here’s the hard truth about software: sometimes it breaks. Sites go down, features have hiccups, and if you don’t have anywhere to turn for help and answers, you’ll be out of luck. Look for an invoicing solution that at least has free email support. If they real-time in-app chat support like ZipBooks does, that would be ideal.
A company that offers a bank feed option and credit card processing, will handle your data with a lot more security than a company that just whipped together an invoicing solution. ZipBooks encrypts your data in transit and “at rest” and tokenizes data that we don’t save on our servers for an extra layer of security.
Not every programmer has the access to the design skills that it takes to make an invoice look professional. Send a sample email to yourself before you even think about sending an invoice to a real customer.
Even if the company shows you a sample of what the invoice looks like, it’s possible that their marketing material could be out of date or that something might be broken when you send the invoice. When it comes to a new software program, especially one that is an extension of your business’s brand, assume that nothing is going to work properly until you verify that it does.
You never know how the needs of your business will change over time. Even if you don’t have any international customers right now, you may in the future. Make sure that the programmers include the currencies that you might need to bill in, because it can be a major headache to make any changes later.
You might be excited to start using a invoicing program that doesn’t charge a monthly fee, but what if you have hundreds of invoices to send and they end up charging you per invoice? Make sure you understand what the cost structure is before you lock yourself in and how that cost structure will impact your bottom line. ZipBooks is truly free so we sail through this one with style.
This one can be easy to miss. Some invoicing solutions will say that they are free when they are actually a “freemium” product, meaning that they are free to use but they are going to put their company logo in big print across the invoices until you pay a ransom to remove it. It’s not very professional on their part, and it certainly won’t leave a great impression with your customers.
Some free invoicing programs are only free up to a certain amount. After that you have to pay more. Or it might be a tiered pricing system that starts charging your monthly once you start sending invoices.
Another popular way to limit invoices that you’re allowed to send out is to limit the number of customers that you can email invoices to. For example, maybe you can email one customer for free but emailing up to 5 customers is going to cost you, and it will just keep increasing.
ZipBooks lets you send an unlimited number of invoices to an unlimited number of customers for free. We don’t even cap how many team members you can have on the account.
Tim is Founder and CEO of ZipBooks. He keeps his desk really nice and neat.