When it comes to sending invoices to your freelance clients, you need an invoicing solution that is fast, easy, and secure. That’s why using a free invoicing SaaS (software as a service) provider makes so much sense in this day and age.
Online invoicing allows you to quickly create and send invoices with payment options inbuilt within the invoice document itself. This means a client simply has to click a button and they can make a fast and secure payment in a matter of seconds.
When using an invoicing SaaS provider, you also enjoy the benefits of various integrations, automations, and a complete project management system. And the best thing is, all these features are usually free, just like they are with our invoicing software here at Invoice Ninja.
They’re free because these are essential features that make invoicing online possible and without them, your invoicing and billing experience would be hampered.
So what are the core things you should be able to do for free with your chosen invoicing SaaS provider?
Create and send invoices securely
The primary function of any invoicing software is to create and send invoices to your clients. Free invoice software should allow you to securely send attractive invoices with a variety of different customization options.
All the standard invoice document features need to be present. These include a table for the inclusion of service details and prices, which are then automatically tallied as you enter the data. Also, there need to be clearly defined areas for the additions of dates, addresses, invoice numbers, payment details, and terms and conditions.
Clients should be able to easily pay the invoice directly from the document itself.
Good invoicing software also allows you to seamlessly convert a quote or estimate into a final invoice.
Choose from multiple different payment gateways
When it comes to payments, your invoicing SaaS should allow you to provide your clients with a variety of payment methods in the form of gateways. Payment gateways are responsible for processing e-commerce transactions when you send an invoice. The more options you offer, the faster and easier it is for your clients worldwide to make a quick and secure payment.
At Invoice Ninja, for example, we offer more than 45+ payment gateway solutions for our users including Stripe, PayPal, WePay, Bitcoin, Checkout, and many others. All of these payment options are included in our free plan.
Create deposits and partial payments
Invoicing isn’t always simply about sending an invoice after work has been completed. A good freelancing practice is to ask for a deposit before work begins. This ensures you receive payment upfront (beneficial for your cash flow) and conditions your new client that you place great importance on actually being paid.
Advanced SaaS invoicing should allow you to create deposit invoices and request partial payments as part of a free plan. This is what we provide at Invoice Ninja. You can also set reoccurring billing, which can either be a request for partial or full payment, at different predetermined times.
Integrate multiple different apps
Invoicing is rarely an isolated task, especially online. When creating an invoice, you have data to add such as service details, fees, working hours, and tax information, among other things. After sending the invoice, and once payment has been made, you have that data to add to your finance accounts and other records.
App integration solutions allow you to quickly and automatically sync data across multiple different platforms, including your invoices. Good invoicing SaaS should allow you to do this for free, like we do here at Invoice Ninja. We have incorporated Zapier integration to connect to multiple different apps including Gmail, Google Sheets, QuickBooks Online, Slack, Pipeline, MailChimp, and hundreds more.
Set up a client-side portal
Good freelancing is about making your clients’ lives easier. Part of providing a great service is being transparent when it comes to finances as well as keeping your client fully up-to-date regarding invoices and upcoming payments. Advanced SaaS invoicing allows your client to open a client-side portal, all without any cost for you or for them.
In a client-side portal, the client gets to see all the relevant data applicable to their ongoing working relationship with you. They see all the transactions they’ve made, the amount they’ve spent, and also any upcoming payments they need to be aware of. All this information can be easily downloaded directly from their portal.
Receive alerts when clients view/pay an invoice
A common frustration among freelancers and solopreneurs is knowing whether a client has received or paid their invoice. Email inboxes are busy places and often clients save an invoice to pay later but then forget. But you don’t know this until the payment due date has been and gone.
Good invoicing SaaS allows you to receive alerts when your client both opens your invoice and also when they make a payment via the invoice. This puts your mind at ease and allows you to see the current status of all your sent invoices. This should always be a free feature with a good quality invoicing SaaS provider.
Import payments and expenses data
When dealing with money, it’s always easier when you can see all your financial data in one place. At Invoice Ninja we provide you with the option to see payments and expenses directly from your Invoice Ninja dashboard by importing all relevant payment and expenses data from your bank account.
We leverage OFX Home’s financial institution database to do this safely, securely, and in real-time. The result is an accurate overview of your current cash flow. This is a free feature and should be the same with any invoicing SaaS provider you come across.
Free invoice software features
Safe and smooth online invoicing is such an integral part of any successful service business. When you need to speed up the process of billing clients and receiving payments, then it makes sense to utilize the best software and tools.
Using an invoicing SaaS (service as a software) provider makes your life easier and ensures every digit in your data is accurately recorded, easily accessible, and up-to-date.
Make sure, when choosing invoicing software, to check the core features are available in a free plan, so you don’t end up spending more money than you really should.