30+ Essential Freelancer Tools for Expense Tracking, Billing and Invoicing

February 15, 2010 · 62 comments

by Lars

freelancer-tools

Recently I posted a list of Freelancer Tools for tracking time. Just as important as it is tracking the time spent on customer activities is being paid as agreed. Getting the money on time isn’t always easy even if you delivered on time what was agreed. Being able to produce professional and detailed invoices is key for building trust and but being able instantly to follow up when payment is overdue is always necessary. Without good tooling support this can take precious time you should spend on serving customers and now when the global economy isn’t as good as it used to be collecting money can be really time consuming.  In this post you will find a large list of software solutions for supporting your Expense Tracking, Billing and Invoicing processes. Hope you will find a good tool and get paid on time going forward!


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Invoicera

Sending invoices to your clients can be a very daunting task if is not properly organized. Alerts , time tracking , scheduling are the few features which every second software is giving to its users. But there is one important feature which is very important for a business catering globally to its customer and that is Multiple Currency Support.

The reason why Invoicera.com tops the chart is it provides all other features along with Multiple Currency Support.

freshbooks.com – Invoicing, Expenses, Time tracking, clients and staff etc. Automate invoicing and collections. Streamline your business through recurring invoices. Set up auto-billing to automatically charge your client’s credit card. Give your clients online access to their invoices and account history.

outright.comwhich will basically put a freelancer’s finances on autopilot, saving them the tremendous headache associated with bookkeeping, tracking receipts, invoicing etc.” is certainly worth investigating. Import income and expenses directly from credit cards, invoices, receipts, or even merchant accounts, or enter records quickly in simple ledgers. Tracks expenses via mobile devices: Via their integration with Xpenser, Outright users can enter their expense on any mobile device, e.g. e-mail, SMS, Twitter, IM, or voice, to have it automatically recorded and categorized on Outright.com. Sync with PayPal: Recording sales for millions of merchants, Outright’s import of PayPal transactions tracks income and credit card transactions across multiple ecommerce channels. Business owners no longer have to manually record each sale they’ve made on eBay, etsy, or their own store; online merchants managing their checkout with PayPal, have sales automatically recorded and reported with Outright.com.

mint.com – Very popular expense tracking system that is very easy to use.

paymo.biz – Easy to use and great looking time tracking and Invoicing. It is completely free for 1-3 users. See all features here.

Billing Orchard – BillingOrchard is developed for use by small businesses, freelancers, and contract workers. It offers electronic billing and invoicing through a simple web interface. More details on features here.

Billable – Service and invoice tracking

billster.net – Controlling expenses is key for freelancers and startups. Billster is a totally free online application developed to organise personal and shared expenses and it may be useful for you as well.

Quickbooks – Small business financial software with invoices and expense tracking. Free for a limited number of customers being managed.

Side Job Track – Free web-based job tracking, invoicing, reporting and project management for the part-time independent contractor


Fanurio – Fanurio provides multiple methods to help you track time with little effort. You can track time manually or using the timer. It also has a few reminders to help you start, resume or stop the timer automatically. Fanurio uses projects, services and expenses to help you track contracted work. Whether you bill your work using a flat rate or by the hour, Fanurio has lots of features to help you earn all the money


moneytrackin.com – free online webapp that allows you to track all your expenses and income easily and without effort, thus allowing you to have a clear view of your financial situation. It intends to be a simple yet powerful online budget management tool.

LessAccounting – Small Business Accounting Software. After logging into Less Accounting, the dashboard is your home page. Here you will find snapshots and charts of the major components of the accounting application. From the dashboard you can see an expense overview, chart cash flow, see which invoices haven’t been paid and see what expenses need to be paid. Allows you to track expenses and send Invoices & Proposals (html and pdf, download pdfs). Tracking expenses is easy with nightly bank data aggregation. Includes iPhone application and integration to a wide range of popular business applications.

InvoicesMadeEasy.comInvoices Made Easy is an online invoicing service designed for small service-oriented businesses such as freelancers, landscaping / lawn care, pest control, cleaning services – or just about any other business that regularly invoices customers for its services. Create invoices online and print them yourself! Email invoices to your customers! Track paid and unpaid invoices! Accept online payments from your customers! etc.

bill4time.com –time and expense tracking & billing, project management, document filing, and scheduling for firms who bill for their time. Limited version free for 1 user.

openair.com – Expense tracking and billing and basic project management features. This is not a solution for a single freelancer I would think but for a small start-up with growth strategy it may be interesting.

SimplifyThis.com – Send fully customized invoices and estimates with your own logo over email. Accept online payment. Project and time tracking etc.

FastDue.com – FastDue is a FREE, secure online suite of business productivity tools with instant invoicing and collections, a robust easy-to-use tracking and management system and the only live, interactive contract negotiation and execution on the web.

Winkbill.com – Winkbill is a simple online invoicing service, working as your complete web based invoicing and billing manager. You can easily create, send, and track all your invoices online with the help of Winkbill. With this well-tailored and professionally designed online invoicing software, you can easily manage your billing, contacts and payments online. Winkbill can be used for any products and services sold. Additionally, it allows you to send invoices as PDF.

Zoho Invoices – The popular Zoho online office suite has an invoicing feature that can be used for free for a few invoices a month, but you’ll have to pay if you have numerous payment requests to make.  Allows you to import and export data, set up templates, set up recurring billing and more.

getcashboard.com – Time tracking, invoicing, estimates, and online payments done your way. Cashboard does it all, and does it for free.


Billings 3 - Great invoicing, time tracking web application. Helps you follow up on missing payments and includes iPhone application as well.

BillMyClients.com – Invoicing and billing application. Has import & export capabilities, allows you to save invoices locally at any time, HTML customization for better branding, recurring invoicing, PayPal integration and other features.

Blinksale.com – Invoices and payment follow-up, Dashboard etc. Create invoices from their templates, or you can use your own CSS to custom design one of your own.  Also allows you to import clients from Basecamp, create tags for better organization, set up recurring invoices and more.

CannyBill.com – CannyBill is a web based invoicing and billing solution for businesses and web designers. Easily create, send and manage invoices and accept payments online via credit card. You can also sell your products and services using order forms which your customers can signup to and even link to live API’s such as Plesk, cPanel/WHM, Geotrust, Enom, Basecamp and many more.

CitrusBill.com – Create quotes and invoices online. Reduce the time to get paid by automating late payment reminder emails. Enable your staff to track time against different projects. Generate invoices from timesheets and projects.

CurdBee.com – Invoicing solution that also integrates with PayPal and Google Checkout.

InvoiceMachine.com – The Invoice Machine is ideal for freelancers and businesses who want an easy way to manage, create and send their invoices. Customize your invoices with logos and colors, use their built-in timer to track your billable hours, create PDFs of your invoices and more.

InvoicePlace.com – Create multi-currency invoices, quotes and credit notes. Record payments received and create products and manage inventory.

Endeve.com – endeve in an invoice management program for people and businesses. Endeve allows you to customize invoices, import clients from Outlook, track which clients owe you money and a whole lot more.

SimplyBill.com – Easily create attractive invoices. Send invoices to clients by email. Save your invoices as PDFs, create quotes for work that you can later convert to invoices, get alerted when an invoice is overdue and numerous other features.

“Simplybill brings simple invoice management to all. Instead of wrestling with overly complex accounting software or trying to mash-up a spreadsheet into some sort of design, begin sending attractive invoices in minutes.”

freelancer-tools

SimplyInvoices.com – SimplyInvoices integrates with the Basecamp API to give you full integration with your account and allow for easy invoicing based on your Basecamp activities.

InvoiceJournal.com – With Invoice Journal your invoices will appear clear and clean both on-screen and on paper. InvoiceJournal allows you to send invoices for free via email or print them out to be sent by snail mail.  Also allows you to use multiple currencies.

Invoicera.com – Invoicera offers features such as automatic repeating invoices for frequent clients, integration with multiple payment gateways, printing, management and more.

GoToBilling.com – Payment management tool, invoicing etc. Get paid from an emailed invoice, keep track of your clients, use marketing tools to gain new ones and more.

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

John October 9, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Hi! I agree that this list need some upgrades. For example it misses http://inv24.com/ another great invoicing and accounting software that is completely free.

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Cheryl August 3, 2013 at 7:29 pm

I too would love an update on this topic! I have read that there has been an increase in freelancers in the business world so the timing would seem right. I recently switched to freelancing and I am looking for free, low-cost, secure solutions to track my expenses, track time, and create invoices.

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Laree Mancour May 15, 2013 at 5:07 pm

This article is something I’ve been scouring the web for… However it’s too bad it was written in 2009!! I would love, love, love to see a follow up for 2013. I need time tracking, multiple clients, multiple projects for each client, and want it to be able to invoice for projects completed and time spent on projects not completed (hourly) each month.

Before I spend countless hours researching these 09 applications, I’m wondering if there’s a more recent list or recommendations??

Look forward to a response….

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annesofie May 16, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Hi Laree thank you for your comment on this article. – And a reminder that it is a long time since it was last updated ;)
We’ll put on our to do.
Unfortunately we haven’t written any new articles on this subject so I’m sad to say that you need to do some of the homework yourself this time.

Kind regards,
Sofie

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Seb February 5, 2013 at 2:27 am

Hi, i m using a free website to track my time and send invoices . Simple, easy and Feature rich.
Worth checking out . http://Www.nutcache.com

;)

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Jan January 30, 2013 at 12:27 am

Our small team of consultants just switched over to PlanetSoho for all our invoicing needs, and its been great for us! Worth a try guys. Good Luck!

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Nikki January 1, 2013 at 5:57 pm

It’s good to see a list post on more than just invoicing tools. Freelancing requires so much more than that. I appreciate an easy-to-use accounting solution that integrates billing, expense tracking, custom reporting, invoicing and even more accounting features. Billy’s Billing is a good example. It’s defining factor is that it’s made especially for entrepreneurs – people who commonly have no accounting expertise, just a savvy business mind and determination to excel in starting a business. Worth looking into. Hope this helps :)

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Andy Brown November 29, 2012 at 8:30 pm

I use Salestastic. It’s actually pretty good. If you don’t invoice too often there’s a free for life plan too. Worth checking out: http://www.salestastic.com

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Sophia November 28, 2012 at 11:27 am

Freshdesk is an online help desk software that features advanced time-tracking, reporting capabilities. The product integrates with popular invoicing software that makes customer billing a breeze for you. Also, if you are a one man help desk that’s looking for a time tracking help desk, Freshdesk is the best choice. Checkout – http://freshdesk.com/time-tracking for details!!

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rhea September 3, 2013 at 6:47 pm

I would suggest Replicon’s hassle free cloud based time tracking software is the best tool of all I had used until date amongst others such as Harvest & Freshbooks etc.

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hloom August 14, 2012 at 10:13 pm

And those who don’t want to be bothered with expensive complicated software can download free invoice templates from http://www.hloom.com/download/free-invoice-templates

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Time Clock June 4, 2012 at 7:12 pm

I believe you have missed one of the leading employee time clock and time billing software company – Replicon.com

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Dwight February 16, 2012 at 4:26 am

I use a web based app called Get Gwalla. Its absolutely free (at the moment any way). It’s perfect for freelancers that simply want to track projects, payments, and store client info. What I like most is they have a “Goals” meter that lets me set my monthly goal so I can track my incoming revenue against my set goal.

You can check it out at getgwalla.com. I think it may be in beta – but it works for me! Hopefully you guys might get some use out of it too.

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Rajeev M January 20, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Thanks for providing a comprehensive list of tools. Reader may also test drive CaseFox for free. CaseFox is a Web-based Time and Invoicing Software for tracking of your billable/non-billable hours and expenses, create client invoices, record payments, tracking case notes, managing case documents, monitoring unbilled hours, unbilled invoices and many other tasks.

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KristineS January 9, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Useful article, thank you. Another web-based expense tracking and budgeting tool worth mentioning is https://www.inexfinance.com/. It’s hassle-free and efficient, moreover it supports multi-currency transactions.

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Steve Rennocks October 23, 2011 at 5:16 pm

I’d like to recommend, Contractor Expenses app – for tracking expenses and mileage. It’s aimed at I.T contractors and freelancers, and it’s FREE!

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/contractor-expenses-lite/id467589220?mt=8

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Vincent July 8, 2011 at 6:05 pm

I would like to recommend OroTimesheet for time tracking and invoicing.
It is really easy to use and very affordable.
It helps me keep track of the time I spend on each project. I can easily create an invoice from my timesheets. I used many timesheet software over the years and this one is my favorite.

It is free to try so make sure to visit the company’s website at http://www.orologic.com/

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cheap custom jerseys May 19, 2011 at 10:43 am

Essential Freelancer Tools for Expense Tracking, Billing and Invoicing

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Tony Wu February 2, 2011 at 10:35 am

Can we make it 31? Vebio (http://www.vebio.com) has some of the most professional-looking PDF templates around, plus some other niceties including an integrated Punch Timer.

Tony

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Lars February 3, 2011 at 12:50 am

Thanks for the tip Tony

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Bill4Time January 25, 2011 at 9:41 pm

We have a few new users thanks to your article, TripWire. Thanks again for the love!

:)
Bill4Time

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Matt October 11, 2010 at 4:37 pm

I have been beta testing http://www.billfor.it
Really easy to use – integrated with the iphone too.
Cost wise it stacks up pretty well – they’re looking at £2.00 per month – unlimited quotes/clients/invoices.

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Patrick October 4, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Come see the newest version of Blinksale at http://www.blinksale.com. You’ll love the new skin, free PDFs on all paid plans, Estimates and more.

Thanks,

Patrick
patrick at blinksale dot com

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lucas July 17, 2010 at 12:52 pm

http://invoicera.com is the soundest, i have seen for invoicing.
their pricing(http://www.invoicera.com/pricing.html) is economical.
and features are vast.
so, the author is very correct to rank Invoicera on top.

Lucas

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Brier Drouin May 27, 2010 at 10:42 am

I use http://sendinvoice.co.uk You only get 3 invoices a month on their free plan, but then again the fee’s pretty low for the paid ones so it’s OK.

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Philippe Lewicki March 3, 2010 at 1:32 am

There is a new invoicing / contact / project management that was released a few days ago.
Its called Ofuz http://www.ofuz.com/

Its an online software like most of the other with a free or paid the main difference is that its open source version will be available for download pretty soon.

The open source version is coming with a plug-in API to expend it to your own needs like wordpress plug-ins.

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The Slug February 25, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Great comprehensive list! I’ve also heard good things about Billings and 1DayLater. 1DayLater is a good way of tracking your time, money and mileage – http://1daylater.com .Billings is just for tracking time and money but has a nice interface and design.

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tripwire team February 25, 2010 at 9:54 pm

@the slug, thanks for your tips! It is also very interesting to hear what readers use and have good experience with.

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Dave February 7, 2010 at 8:09 pm

Here is another good invoicing program. Runs on a Mac & PC:

http://bee-software.net/invoice-software/

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wladimir January 14, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Thank you very much for having listed http://www.cannybill.com. We are slightly different from the competition as we also handle order forms and web hosting automation so its nice to get a mention.

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Ronald December 25, 2009 at 7:11 am

HourDoc is tool for Time Tracking. http://www.HourDoc.com Time Tracking Software is right treatment for time and labor management processes has to be an easy-to-administer and affordable solution for Freelancers, supervisors, employees and HR and payroll managers. They offer free application to companies less than 50 employees.

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Nash December 12, 2009 at 7:53 am

I just wanted to suggest a great online project management tool for freelancers. It’s called Santex and it’s a time and task management program that has free basic accounts. So if you’re freelancing you can use the tool to track how much time you’re spending on what.

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Joshua December 12, 2009 at 3:02 am

@Andrew

Thanks for suggesting Curdbee, that looks awesome. I’ve been a blinksale user so far but I think its really attractive being a free app with all essential features loaded.

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Chris December 9, 2009 at 12:31 am

Time59 (www.time59.com) provides web-based time and billing and full accounts receivable. Includes trust accounting and LEDES invoicing for lawyers. Fully compatible with Mobile Safari on the iPhone and iPod Touch.

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Patrick December 7, 2009 at 10:53 pm

Check out the RoadMap to Blinksale 2010 at http://www.blinksale.com/blog. There is a lot to be excited about and we’re looking forward to make our service the most effective invoicing tool on the web!

Thanks!

Patrick
patrick@blinksale.com

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Ronald December 7, 2009 at 7:28 am

I use http://www.hourdoc.com‘s time tracking software for my company. It is easy to use and very affordable. They offer free application to companies with less than 50 users.

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Gibbous November 25, 2009 at 8:12 pm

I posted in another topic about the app I use for Time tracking.
But I’ve been in search for a QB Timer replacement for years now.
I work both freelance and under a few larger companies, and the larger companies all use QuickBooks. Currently I have separate accounts at http://www.getmytime.com but I really don’t like online solutions and am looking for a OS X desktop app.
Anyone have any solutions.?. Does anyone else have the same problem.?.

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Chris Parker November 20, 2009 at 1:36 pm

Hey All

I have been using the services of http://www.invoicera.com for quite sometime now and they are coming up with the new Invoicera with features like time-tracking, expense tracking, import function, and much more. Check out their blog at http://www.invoicera.com/blog for updates

Cheers!!!

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Dave November 3, 2009 at 9:18 am

My favorites and the ones I find most useful are the ones that send you regular invoices because its easy to forget about it when your caught up with the stress of modern living, so the emails are very useful indeed.

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Craig November 2, 2009 at 2:54 pm

Just want to mention Simplybill – it has plans start at $5/month and we’ve just updated it with a new look and more features. Why not try it out free for 30 days. Look out for the upcoming free iPhone app to do invoicing on the go.

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Bill4Time October 28, 2009 at 8:18 pm

Thank you very much for mentioning us at Bill4Time.com! A bulk of our customers are freelancers and it’s all about us helping them succeed in their business.

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Patrick October 28, 2009 at 6:42 pm

Great list, and we’re thrilled that Blinksale is included. We think it really is the easiest way to invoice online. Come let us show you at http://www.blinksale.com!

Patrick
patrick@blinksale.com

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SantexQ October 28, 2009 at 1:01 am

Hah i almost put 13 as the sum of 5+9. i am intelligent. anyway, just wanted to suggest a great online project management tool for freelancers. It’s called SantexQ and it’s a time and task management program that has free basic accounts. So if you’re freelancing you can use the tool to track how much time you’re spending on what. You can check it out at http://www.santexq.com Good luck with the search all you searchers!

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kate October 26, 2009 at 6:09 pm

I would love to incorporate this software program into my work but how does it compare cost wise?

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Ana Silvestre October 22, 2009 at 1:20 pm

Great article and good reviews!

All nice examples but u missed an awesome one. :) Invoic€xpress is an web based invoicing software suited to small and medium businesses or freelancers. U can invoice easily and simply with a totally professional look.

But how better than trying for yourself. Go to http://www.en.invoicexpress.com and then gives us your opinion. Feedback is essential so we can improve our product and service every day.

Best wishes,

Ana Silvestre
Invoic€xpress, Rupeal

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Nash October 22, 2009 at 8:05 am

Well it is one of of the best softwares which are present in the market because it has many special features which the other softwares does’nt these type of qualities.

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Lori Farrow October 21, 2009 at 10:43 pm

Billing Boss also offers free online invoicing. Easy, quick and professional invoices. Multi-language, multi-currency & iPhone friendly (no app to download.) Give us a try. I’d love to get your feedback. http://www.billingboss.com
Lori Farrow
Sage Small Business

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Andrew October 21, 2009 at 6:57 pm

Great list and I have used some of them in past. Check Curdbee (http://curdbee.com), kick ass application with excellent usability. It could be probably the only invoicing application which offers a complete free account without any restrictions on the number of invoices you can send, clients you can add.

Give it ago, you’ll start loving it :)

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Scelza October 21, 2009 at 6:13 pm

Yes, I too am curious how FreshBooks missed this list.

I think it’s highly marketed on the majority of design websites and blogs, way more than QuickBooks and the like.

In my adventures, I started with PayPal for invoices, but outgrew that quickly. I tried several here and there, but once I found FreshBooks, I was content. So far, it has scaled nicely, and it seems that it will for the forseeable future.

Great list though, I’ve taken a peek at a few that looked interesting, but I still feel that Freshbooks is where I’ll remain.

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Andrew October 21, 2009 at 3:56 pm

Freshbooks.com??? Hello?????

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Luis Mendoza October 21, 2009 at 5:47 am

I use InvoiceMachine.com and it’s really easy and user friendly. You only get 3 invoices a month though but you can opt-in to pay a fee and get more invoices. Convenient to keep track of all your invoices, you can also set it up to send an invoice out for you each month. Great service!

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