4 Free and Unlimited Online Invoicing Tools

If you run a small business or do any freelancing, you need a convenient way to send invoices to clients. Sure, you can keep track of all customer information in a spreadsheet, but you can also use an online invoicing tool. While I don’t have hundreds of clients for my side projects, I still get tired of wrestling with a spreadsheet for my invoicing needs. A friend recommended managing everything online, so I took a look at some online tools.

First of all, there are A LOT of options for online invoicing, both free and paid. Most companies, such as FreshBooks, offer a professional commercial invoicing system, but impose strict limitations on their free offering. Such limitations usually manifest themselves in the number of invoices you can send each month, or in the number of clients you can manage. While imposing limitations for a free product in order to urge customers to upgrade to a paid offering is understandable, some companies impose such strict limitations as to render the free offering practically useless. You mean I can only manage two clients and only send three invoices each month? Ridiculous.

On the other hand, there are a few companies that offer free and unlimited invoicing tools. All of the options listed below are completely free to use and impose no restrictions on the number of clients you can manage nor on the number of invoices you can send each month.

billing-boss-logo1. Billing Bosshttps://www.billingboss.com

Billing Boss is rare in that it is one of the only online invoicing programs that does NOT have a paid commercial upgrade. As of now, Billing Boss only comes in a free variety, and what you get for a grand total of $0 is surprisingly complete.

Billing Boss offers:

  • Unlimited invoices and clients
  • Multiple currencies
  • E-mail support (send invoices directly to clients)
  • Full PDF support (send attached PDFs to clients automatically)
  • Unbranded e-mails
  • Data sharing (add a partner or bookkeeper)
  • HTTPS support (log in here)
  • Payment recording
  • The ability to accept payments online via PayPal or their own payment services
  • Support for taxes, discounts, and your own logo
  • Mobile-friendly site (iPhone and Google G1 support)

In short, Billing Boss offers features for free that would cost a monthly subscription payment with most other companies. It’s my favorite online invoicing tool that I’ve found so far, and it handles my meager needs with aplomb. I wish it supported Google Checkout in addition to PayPal, but it’s hard to complain about such a complete feature-set.

The only other feature that I haven’t found yet in Billing Boss is support for recurring invoices. That said, Billing Boss is the most complete and feature-rich FREE invoicing tool that I’ve seen so far. View a video tour.

invoice-journal-logo2. Invoice Journalhttp://www.invoicejournal.com

Like Billing Boss, Invoice Journal is one of those rare programs that exists only in a free flavor; no commercial upgrade is available. Unlike Billing Boss, Invoice Journal is the creation of a single developer (as far as I can tell) instead of a large company. The application is still in active development, but is quite powerful already.

Invoice Journal offers:

  • Unlimited invoices and clients
  • Multiple currencies
  • E-mail support (send invoices directly to clients)
  • Unbranded e-mails
  • Payment recording
  • PayPal support
  • Support for taxes and discounts
  • Custom templates

Invoice Journal is nice, but certain features are more difficult to use than other programs. For instance, you can add a custom logo to your invoices, but you must first create/modify a custom template, then upload it to the server before you can use it. The silver lining is that Invoice Journal is rather powerful, but may take a little longer to get up and running than one of its competitors.

There are a few missing features that I’d love to see integrated, such as HTTPS support and an easy way to grant access to partners or other staff. Still, I welcome another completely free invoicing tool to the arena.

curdbee-logo3. CurdBeehttp://www.curdbee.com

CurdBee offers both free Standard and commercial Pro accounts.  The interface is impressively slick and easy to understand.

CurdBee (free) offers:

  • Unlimited invoices and clients
  • Multiple currencies
  • E-mail support (send invoices directly to clients)
  • Payment recording
  • PayPal and Google Checkout support
  • Custom logos

CurdBee looks great, no doubt about it, but their free feature set pales in comparison to competitors, such as Billing Boss. If you want extra features like PDF support, SSL encryption, support for taxes and discounts, the ability to send reminder and thank-you messages, plus unbranded e-mails, you have to upgrade to the Pro version. Granted, the Pro version is cheap ($5 a month), so it’s hard to complain much, but these features are available for free elsewhere.

CurdBee has a module-based upgrade model. Once you upgrade to Pro, you have to pay even more to unlock certain additional features. Want support for recurring invoices? Pay an additional $5 a month. Need support for the 2CheckOut payment gateway? Fork over yet another $5 a month. While CurdBee’s motto is Sweet and Simple Billing, these upgrades beyond the Pro level leave a bitter taste in my mouth.

As long as you understand the limitations of the free version, CurdBee works well, and manages to look great in the process.

billing-manager4. Billing Managerhttps://billingmanager.intuit.com

Created by Intuit, Billing Manager is a popular online invoicing sytem that has both a free and a paid couterpart.

Billing Manager (free) offers:

  • Unlimited invoices and clients
  • Multiple currencies
  • E-mail support (send invoices directly to clients)
  • Unbranded e-mails
  • HTTPS support
  • Payment recording
  • Support for taxes, discounts, and your own logo
  • iPhone-friendly site
  • Multiple templates

Billing Manager offers a lot for free. The main features lacking in the free version versus the paid upgrade are PDF support, recurring invoicing, and the ability to create and send estimates. Still, you can do a lot worse than Billing Manager. Plus, you may find it comforting knowing that you have the power of Intuit behind you.

The main drawback of Billing Manager versus the competitors is a complete lack of the ability to accept payments online for free. No, they have no support for gateways such as PayPal and Google Checkout. Instead, you have the option to apply for a Merchant Service account, which will give you the full capability to accept credit cards and eChecks online, but will also cost you $15 a month. This is completely separate from the Pro account, so even if you upgrade to Pro, it does NOT include a Merchant Service account. While Billing Manager may be the most professional invoicing system listed here, it’s also the most potentially expensive one.

Did I miss any free online invoicing tools that offer unlimited clients and invoices? If so, let me know in the comments. We can all benefit from that kind of information.

Happy invoicing!

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22 thoughts on “4 Free and Unlimited Online Invoicing Tools

  1. Hi Brian, thanks for the kind words about Billing Boss. Another thing we’re proud of is the support Billing Boss has for multiple languages. Not only can you use it in your language (English, Spanish, French, Italian, Korean, Portuguese [and Brazilian Portuguese], Simplified Chinese [for mainland China] and Traditional Chinese for Hong Kong and Taiwan), but you can send invoices to the language of your customer’s choice. So if you have Spanish speaking customers in L.A. or Chinese speaking customers in Toronto, or Italian speaking customers in Rome, you can send them an invoice in their language — and their currency.

    We’re glad you like Billing Boss. We hear you loud and clear on the recurring invoices. Let us know what else you’d like to see from us.

    • Do you only have the one format? I checked out your program and I need a different format than what you have there. These are the columns I would need:

      Date Job Title # pages Rate Charge Balance Due

  2. Thanks for sharing these valuable tools for online billing. I tried all 4 and kind a sold on CurdBee at this point. Interface is really clean and easy to use and comes with all the essential features I need. Perhaps SSL for free accounts could have been a real addition, but nevertheless its available in their paid account for a small fee.

  3. Sage Software has recently launched a free online invoicng tool for freelancers and small businesses at http://www.billingboss.com. Billing Boss is focused of keeping invoicing simple – so simple that you can get set up and send your first invoice in just a couple minutes.

    Please note: With the goal of full disclosure, I work at Sage. Feel free to contact me if you have any feedback about Billing Boss.

    • Ria – I hate to point out the obvious, but Billing Boss was the first product I mentioned in this article. For goodness’ sake, Chuck Diaz left the first comment!

  4. LOL on Ria’s comment…

    I have been looking everywhere for a list like this within the last hour. Ironically I have all 4 bookmarked before I found this post. The only thing that I can probably add to your list is BambooInvoice.

    Thank you again for sharing!

  5. Correction: Billing Manager (from Intuit) doesn’t currently support multiple currencies unfortunately. I’m currently trialling online quote/invoicing solutions, looking for something that allows low volume for free, and have trialled all of the above bar invoice journal (about to head over there now).

    IMO, Billing Manager was the best overall, but was limited by the fact that it didn’t allow currencies other than USD ($). I’m a UK, Small Business IT Consultant, and need to invoice in GBP (£), which it doesn’t currently support. I’ve passed my feedback to Intuit, hopefully something they’ll add in the future as it seems to be a regularly requested feature of an otherwise excellent product.

    Completely agree with your points about CurdBee… free edition doesn’t give much, and it’s frustrating how limited it is, when you’re constantly faced with the prompt to upgrade.

    Thanks for your review, useful for me.

  6. MyClientBase is another option if you wish to have something installed locally on your own server and away from prying eyes. It is free and open source software written in PHP/MySQL on top of the excellent CodeIgniter framework. Please check it out (http://www.myclientbase.com) and let me know what you think.

  7. Mr. IM

    Please update this article. Billing Boss do offer recurring invoices now.

    Articles of this nature are invaluable, but we need the latest information to make the most informed decision.

  8. I’m a long time Quickbooks (Intuit) sucker and sure I’d never use anything they say is “free” today because tomorrow it won’t be…
    I’d go so far to say the majority of these great tools were built out of being treated like a sucker by Quickbooks for a long time.
    Thanks for the info all! Great Day!!!

  9. I’ve been using Billing Manager (Intuit) for almost a year and it’s satisfactory. A couple corrections: it does support automatic recurring billing and PDFs and did when I started using it (at that time it was the only one I could find that did). I wish it could add interest to late invoices – thus this search.

  10. Stumbled on this whilst googling billfor.it. I’d forgotten I had an account with them. What prompted me to start searching again was that I’ve just received an email saying that they’ve added paypal adaptive payments – it seems pretty cool. Basically I added my email paypal email address, and being curious I sent a test invoice to myself. It was linked up to pay me via paypal. I put the payment through and almost straight away the money was in my paypal account. I’d forgotten all about my account with billforit but I’m going to start using them again, this adaptive payment thing seems to cut out the middle man and it looks like my clients can pay by credit card.

  11. Hello,

    I just decided to start using invoice software and after downloading a couple free ones to my computer and hating their layout, I decided to check out online invoicing. I just found Invoice Bubble http://invoicebubble.com/ – which is super clean and neat – ONLY problem is that they do not support my currency – but has all the major ones. They offer logo upload, free PDF, Paypal payments, email and print. I just wanted to share that they exist and are wonderful. except for my little issue – many of you will enjoy! I am going to try Billing Boss and see if they have my currency – or an option to not identify one. Cheers!

  12. A great replacement if you ever used Intuit Billing Manager is FiscalGold.com. They are so simple and clean. They don’t multiple currencies but for me that doesn’t matter I’m in the US. But they have custom logo, PayPal payments, cool reports.. they also track who viewed your invoice like Freshbooks. I really like them.

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