fbpx August 2021 | Billdu

One of the most important parts of running a successful business is knowing how much you make and how much you spend. In simple terms, you must know what your income and expenses are. When you do, it’s easier for you to stay organized and understand the financial health of your business at all times.

With that in mind, you’re probably wondering how you should go about tracking your income and expenses. Fortunately, you have a lot of options. You could, for example, use a simple spreadsheet or even do it with pen and paper. But wait, times have moved on and we’re way past using spreadsheets or paper. Besides, these can get complicated as you enter more and more information over time.

Another option is by using specifically designed accounting software. These software packages have everything you could ever wish for and offer far more than just the ability to track your income and expenses. But is all this functionality really necessary, considering the needs of a typical small business owner?

In other words, is accounting software a good idea for your small business? In this post, we’ll look at this question in more detail.

Why It’s Important To Track Income and Expenses as a Small Business Owner?

Before looking at this question, though, let’s see why it’s important to track your income and expenses as a small business owner.

For one, it allows you to see how your business is doing financially at a glance. This means you don’t need to trawl through heaps of documents and complicated spreadsheets just to see how your business is performing.

It’s simple, when you’re able to see how your business is performing, you’ll also have access to a wealth of other information. For example, you’ll be able to see what products or services perform the best and those that are lagging behind. This will, in turn, enable you to make improvements where necessary.

You’ll also be able to see how your business is growing over time. So, when your business is not growing as you expect it to, you could introduce further products or services that ensure further growth. You could also, for example, rethink your marketing strategies to make them more effective.

Likewise, tracking your expenses can show where you spend your money and what expenses are necessary to keep your business running smoothly. With this information, you’ll be able to cut unnecessary expenses which, in turn, increases your profitability.

Here, you could, for example, see exactly what you’re spending on a specific marketing channel and what income it creates. So, when it’s not effective at all, you can then stop spending on it or consider another strategy or channel where your return on investment will be greater.

Finally, when you track your income and expenses, it helps you make better decisions. This is, partly, because you know exactly what you earn and what you spend but also because you’ll be basing your business decisions on concrete figures and not on hunches or emotions.

To sum up, tracking your income and expenses gives you all the information you need to run your business smoothly and efficiently and gives you an effective approach to managing your business’s finances.

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Why Accounting Software?

With that in mind, let’s look at some of the reasons many small business owners turn to accounting software to track their income and expenses. Here, some of the typical reasons are:

  • Easy access. Traditionally, when you bought an accounting software package, you would install it on your office PC and use it there. Nowadays, with the advent of cloud computing, you have access to all your business’s financial information instantly, no matter where you are. Also, most, if not all accounting software platforms offer mobile apps that you can use to conveniently send invoices, receive payments, or track your expenses on the go.
  • Secure. With all your business’s accounting data stored in the cloud, you don’t run the risk of losing data because of hardware failures, fire, or theft. Besides, most accounting platforms implement highly secure technologies so you can be sure your data is safe.
  • Saves time. By replacing manual accounting practices with accounting software, you’ll save a lot of time that you can then rather spend on running and growing your business. So, for example, with manual accounting, you would need to make several entries for every transaction. In contrast, accounting software allows you to enter the transaction once and the rest is done automatically.
  • Automation. Another feature of accounting software that saves you a lot of time is its ability to automate many mundane and repetitive tasks. For example, with accounting software, you’re typically able to automate your salary calculations, tax calculations, preparing paychecks, and others. Likewise, accounting software can also create financial reports and statements like income statements, balance sheets, and profit and loss reports automatically.
  • Fewer errors. When you track your income and expenses manually, you will inevitably make mistakes at one stage or another. Accounting software eliminates mistakes by reducing the number of entries you have to make and by automating most of the calculations you need to do. Many accounting software platforms will also identify mistakes when you enter the wrong data which, in turn, makes them easier to fix.
  • Integration. Most of the accounting software packages available today integrate seamlessly with a variety of other platforms and systems. They, for example, integrate with your online banking and can automatically allocate transactions to your books. This, ultimately, makes it easier to record transactions and saves you time.
  • Tax. Let’s face it, when the time comes to file your tax returns, it can be stressful. Accounting software eliminates this stress and helps you get your tax affairs in order without any hassles. As a result, you don’t have to worry about it, and you can focus on running your business instead.

Accounting software can be complicated for small businesses

The Problem With Accounting Software for Small Businesses

When you consider all the benefits mentioned above, accounting software sounds great. Why would you need to look any further, right? Well, not so fast. You see, like many other tools you use in your business, accounting software doesn’t only have benefits, but there are some serious drawbacks too.

Let’s look at some of these drawbacks in more detail.

Too Many Features

Remember, you basically want the ability to track your income and expenses. Accounting software, in contrast, offers far more than this functionality and typically offers many advanced features. This results in, mainly, two major drawbacks.

Firstly, because of the wealth of features they offer, accounting software packages can be challenging to use, especially if you don’t have the necessary accounting skills or knowledge. Also, many of the features you need to use are often overly complicated and require a steep learning curve to master.

Another drawback as a result of all these features is that these software packages will often cost you a lot of money. And remember, you’ll have to pay for the package whether you use all the features or not.

Most Small Businesses Have an Accountant

Most small businesses already have an accountant that prepares their financial reports and helps them to file their taxes. Those that don’t definitely need one. In fact, 89% of small businesses say that they are more successful when using an accountant compared to not using one.

These accountants typically have their own accounting software packages they use, and they understand all the ins and outs of the software. In simple terms, they’re the experts at using their specific platform. So, it makes little sense to invest heavily in a software package if your accountant has already done so, especially considering that you’re only looking for a solution to track your income and expenses.

Takes Time to Implement

We’ve already mentioned above that it could take some time for you to master the features accounting software offers, especially if you don’t have any accounting skills or knowledge of important accounting terms and concepts.

But it goes further than this. Accounting software is typically also more complicated to set up and get to the point where it fits perfectly with your needs and requirements. This, in turn, could take a lot of time and effort and, more often than not, requires the assistance of an accountant of the platform’s support team.

Price

Finally, another drawback of accounting software packages is they’re often expensive. Sure, some are reasonably priced, but, generally, the more features they have the more expensive they are.

In addition, while many include it in the price, many other accounting software packages also require that you purchase support for your package or pay for support on an ad-hoc basis. Ultimately, this all adds up to a hefty sum and is definitely something you should consider, especially when you want to limit your expenses.

So, do you need accounting software? Well, it all depends. You’ll have to consider whether the investment of time and effort you’ll need to make outweighs the benefits you’ll gain by tracking your income and expenses with an accounting software package. If it doesn’t, we have an alternative, and what we believe to be a better solution.

Instead of accounting software
try Billdu today

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A Better Alternative to Accounting Software for Small Businesses

So, you want the ease and convenience of tracking your income and expenses that accounting software offers, but you’re not too excited about the time and effort you’ll have to invest to get the most from the platform?

Well, Billdu is a great alternative to overly complicated accounting software packages for small businesses that simply need an easy and convenient way to issue invoices and track their expenses. In simple terms, it has all the features any small business owner could ever wish for.

With that in mind, let’s look at Billdu’s features in more detail.

Invoicing

Simply put, creating invoices has never been easier. With Billdu’s invoice maker you’ll be able to invoice your customers quickly and easily. To do this, you’ll start off by creating your own customized invoices or using one of the provided invoice templates, upload a logo and a signature. Once done, you’ll be able to send new invoices to your customers.

An added bonus is that you don’t even have to be in the office to send invoices. While Billdu’s cloud-based platform makes it easy to create and send invoices on your PC, the platform also offers iOS and Android apps that allow you to send invoices while on the go or outside your regular business hours.

It doesn’t stop there, though. Billdu also makes it easy for you to track your invoices. So, once you’ve invoiced a customer, you can see when the customer receives the invoice, when they open it, and who opens it. You’ll also get a notification when a customer pays an invoice. That’s mobile invoicing all in one app.

In this way, you’ll exactly know what you’ve earned, how much you’re still owed, and who still owes you. This, in turn, makes it easier for you to manage your cashflow and identify and follow up on late payments which ensures that your accounts are always in better order.

And speaking of payments, Billdu offers various features that make it easier for your customers to pay you. For example, the platform gives a wide range of currency options, so you can invoice your customers in the currency of their choice and you’re even able to invoice customers in their own language.

Lastly, you’re able to accept payments from customers directly from the invoice when they’re paying by debit card, credit card, or PayPal. Ultimately, by giving customers a convenient way to pay you, you ensure that you get paid faster. In fact, you’ll get paid up to two times faster compared to traditional payment methods.

Expense Tracking

Apart from its extensive invoicing functionality, Billdu also gives you everything you need to track your receipts and business expenses effortlessly. In this way, you know exactly how much you’re spending and what you’re spending your money on.

In addition, it also allows you to attach photos of your receipts to your expense records and you’re able to sort your expenses into categories. As a result, you’ll know that you’re always on top and in control of your expenses which makes them easier to manage.

Other Noteworthy Features

In addition to the extensive invoicing and expense tracking features mentioned above, Billdu also offers various other features that make running your small business easier. These features include:

  • Estimates. Billdu makes it easy to create professional quotes and estimates. And when a customer accepts your quote, you’ll be able to turn it into an invoice in one click. Being able to do this means you’ll win more work and generate more revenue.
  • Charts and reports. With its extensive range of charts and reports, it’s easy for you to see how your business is performing. By having this information available instantly, you’ll always know if you’re ahead of the curve or if you should rethink your strategy to generate more profit.
  • Collaboration. With Billdu, you’re able to add more users with different access rights and roles to your profile. As a result, you’ll be able to create a professional team that can take your business to the next level. Also, you’re able to invite your accountant and share your invoices and expenses in real-time which saves both you and your accountant a lot of time and money while, at the same time, cutting down on paperwork and errors.
  • Sales. Billdu comes with an impressive array of sales tools that allow you to sell your products to your customers quickly and easily no matter what the platform. You can, for example, choose Instant page to set up your online store in a matter of minutes and you can also sell through a website widget, custom link on your site, or, in the near future, social media.
  • Communication. With Billdu’s rich communication tools, your business emails and chats are always all in one place. This means you’ll always be sure that you’re up to date with your emails, documents, and products. Not only is Billdu’s Business Inbox easy to manage, but it’s also easy to scale, meaning that it grows as your business grows.

The Bottom Line

As a small business owner, it’s vital that you properly keep track of your income and expenses to be successful. Not only does it allow you to see how your business grows, but it also helps you manage your finances and make improvements to your business processes to make more profit.

So, now the question is whether you need accounting software for your small business. And here to need to consider whether you’re willing to take the time and effort to learn and implement software that could be complicated, impersonal, and more suited to large companies.

Another option is to consider Billdu. This platform has been specifically designed for small businesses and offers the tools you, as a small business owner, could ever wish for and more. To find out more about our platform and how it can help you, why not register for a free trial or visit our website for more details.

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The past year saw businesses of all sizes struggle due to the pandemic, but they started adapting and overcoming the unique challenges they found themselves navigating. In turn, small businesses are bouncing back in a big way, and a big part of this is due to incorporating the correct small business software. Are you 100% sure that you’re completely satisfied with your own software? Could it improve or streamline your daily functions more?

Maybe you’re in the mindset of “it’s time for something new”, so you’re looking for the best software for small businesses. After all, automation and software technology allowed so many small businesses to survive and adapt their business management practices to meet the new circumstances. Mobile payments, online ordering, and contactless transactions are all the new normal, and they have projections to increase.

In fact, by 2021, mobile payment transaction amounts are slated to reach $161.41 billion. In order to keep up, it’s essential that you look into small business software solutions to give yourself a leg up on your competition. But, where do you start? For any smaller business that is trying to grow and thrive, it’s time to look at different small business software and see which one suits your needs the best without breaking the bank.

Since there are dozens of small business software solutions available, we’ve rounded up the best options available in the current market. We picked each one because they have a proven track record of meeting the biggest needs small businesses have. These needs include affordability, intuitiveness, and flexibility, and they have excellent support options when you need them. This is essential because many small businesses don’t have an IT team to call when things go wrong. So, without further ado, let’s dive in.

1. Best Invoicing Software: Billdu

Billdu - best invoicing software for small businesses

Source: billdu.com

 

First up is Billdu, a comprehensive software suite that works wonderfully for small and large businesses alike. This is an invoicing and expense tracking software platform that allows you to streamline your accounting and any payment transactions.

You can create invoices and estimates with a push of a button and personalize them with your business information and logo, track your expenses, and offer online payment options to speed up how quickly your customers pay. You can also scan all of your bills and receipts in real-time using the scanner that is inbuilt into the mobile apps.

As a bonus, you don’t have to worry about expensive and complicated accounting software with Billdu. Instead, this small business software allows you to invite your accountant right onto the platform to access all of the relevant information. They can get all of the financial reports they need to balance your books, do your taxes, and make sure you stay on track with one click.

Billdu is also currently available as an app for iPhone and Android and as an online app with a 30-day free trial. So, you can take it anywhere and access your important financial information regarding your business right from your phone while you’re on the go.

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2. Best Time Tracking Software: Toggl

Toggl best time tracking software for small businesses

Source: toggl.com

 

Next up is Toggl. This small business software solution is a great choice if you want to focus on time tracking. It works well for freelancers, very small businesses, and entrepreneurs who need to use a simple time tracker. This software is all about ease of use because your employees can track time instantly across hundreds of devices, third-party apps, and computers.

All you have to do is click Start and the timer will go. It’s free with a few paid tiers that start at $8.00 a month. As you go up in tiers, you’ll get more features. For example, Toggl Track offers an auto tracker and calendar integration. Toggl Hire allows you to set up a Smart Skills test to screen potential applicants for open positions to make the hiring process smoother.

There are also add-ons you want to consider like invoicing software to help your small business streamline your accounting to ensure you get all of your payments on time. There is currently a 30-day free trial that allows you to test out all of the software’s features, and you get a free self-service help center on the website if you run into problems.

3. Best Email Automation Software: Mailchimp

Mailchimp - best email marketing software for small businesses

Source: mailchimp.com

 

It’s hard for a business to go wrong with this small business software solution because it’s affordable and flexible, and it allows you to add new capabilities and features as you notice your business needs changing. If you have fewer than 2,000 subscribers, you can use Mailchimp for free to help grow your business’s reach and following. You can send up to an impressive 12,000 emails every month, get chat and email support for the first 30 days, and set up multi-user accounts.

This feature is huge for smaller companies and businesses that may have trouble budgeting for software like this and want to keep their costs as low as possible while growing their business. However, you should note that even the higher plans for Mailchimp only run at $9.99 and $14.99 per month. The rate will vary depending on your subscriber count.

However, you get an excellent range of features to help grow your business, including A/B testing, behavioral targeting, advanced segmentation, custom templates, and more that allow you to effortlessly build relationships and target specific markets in set locations.

If you have questions, all subscription levels offer email support and self-service support, but you can get phone and chat support if you opt into higher subscription levels.

4. Best Accounting Software: Xero

Xero - best accounting software for small businesses

Source: xero.com

 

Any business owner will tell you that accounting isn’t their favorite thing to do, but it’s essential that you keep good records. Having the best software for small businesses on hand can help keep you on track. For accounting, Xero does a fantastic job. This is a cloud-based accounting solution that targets smaller businesses.

You’ll get the tools to help you monitor your financial performance and cash flow using real-time monitoring, and it has a host of features for accountants to help ensure your business has healthy balance sheets. You can tailor your financial reports to track specific KPIs, accept online payments from credit cards, PayPal, and Stripe, and send invoices.

It’s possible to connect Xero right to your bank to make deposits, claim expenses, track projects, and set up payroll to ensure all of your employees get paid on time.

Additionally, you can send automatic payment reminders to your clients, and you get free, unlimited tech support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can try it for free for 30 days with no limit on how many users you allow in.

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5. Best eCommerce Software: Shopify

Shopify - best ecommerce software platform for SMEs

Source: shopify.com

 

Although there are dozens of eCommerce platforms on the market, Shopify is right at the top of the list because it’s an all-in-one hosted solution that allows your company to streamline getting an online store up, ready, and running. It allows you to easily create pages using a built-in online editor that makes the whole store look clean and professional. As a bonus, it also makes it easy for customers to browse your products, compare them, and buy them.

It’s possible for your business to sell your products around the world using local language support, and you get a host of marketing tools to help expand your reach. You can create unique URLs, meta titles, and descriptions for each product, and boost promotional sales across social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. There are several plugins available that you can use to simplify your day-to-day tasks, too, like inventory management.

Shopify gives you a 30-day trial that allows you to set up your shop and see if it’s user-friendly and flexible enough for your needs. And you get 24/7 tech support through live chats or over the phone whenever you need it. As a bonus, the free trial allows you to try all of the features Shopify has available.

6. Best Project Management Software: Trello

Trello - best project management software solution for SMB

Source: trello.com

 

Managing projects when you’re a small business can be challenging, especially when you have more than one project running at a time. This is where Trello excels. It’s a task management and collaboration tool that can support all kinds of projects. You can use it for content development, marketing campaigns, sales tracking, customer support, HR tracking, and data entry. You should note that while it does work for most projects, it won’t work for invoicing and budgeting. However, you can attach these kinds of documents.

For anyone who has a smaller business, Trello also works hard for you. It’s an easy-to-use and very convenient tool that’ll help you track your projects through features like due dates, users, card cover photos, labels, task commenting, and priorities. You can attach images, files, or documents to every project management work queue. In turn, this will help your projects stay organized and on track from start to finish to ensure you hit your deadlines.

Customer support is available to all users from 9:00 to 5:00 Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. Holidays are the exception. The Trello Business Class is also available as a 30-day free trial that includes advanced features with unlimited functionality.

7. Best Team Collaboration Software: Slack

Slack - best team collaboration software for small businesses

Source: slack.com

 

Slack is great for collaborating with your employees or teammates because you can use it to communicate with them on any desktop or mobile device. It works well for small businesses that might not have a single office or that have employees working remotely. You’ll get a huge suite of features like video and audio calling capabilities. You can also easily integrate Slack with other business tools like Google Drive and Mailchimp to give you greater efficiency when you use these platforms to push your business forward.

It’s possible to use Slack to share or upload files like JPEGs, Word docs, PDF files, MOVs, and files directly from Google Drive. It’s easy to keep track of files and discussions, and you can create unique rooms for different projects or teams. There’s also a private direct messaging feature available where you can talk to your teammates one-on-one.

You’ll get tiered pricing plans that allow you to access back beyond the first 10,000 messages you send. There is a help center on Slack that includes help request forms and self-service resources. You can start with a free plan to try out Slack’s features and move to a paid Standard or Plus plan as your needs change and grow along with your business.

8. Best Online Payment Software Solution: PayPal

Paypal - best online payment platform for smes

Souce: paypal.com

 

Along with Stripe, PayPal is the biggest online payment solution available for individuals and businesses of all sizes. Both platforms have a huge range of items in common, including a payment processing fee of $0.30 and 2.9% of the transaction amount. Stripe does have more customization offers for bigger companies, but PayPal is easier to use and set up. It allows customers and businesses around the world to use credit cards or bank accounts to accept and send payments.

This flexibility has made PayPal one of the most widely used platforms for eCommerce. You can easily add the PayPal button to your payment page, and this lets your customers use PayPal credits, PayPal, or Venmo to make their purchases in two easy clicks. They can also hook their bank account or debit cards directly to PayPal to pay that way.

Currently, there is no free trial period with PayPal. However, you also won’t pay termination or startup fees on most plans either. There are several tech support resources available for you, including a resolution center, community forum, email support, and text support.

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9. Best Payroll Software: Gusto

Gusto - best payroll software platform for SMEs

Source: gusto.com

 

It’s common for a lot of smaller companies to use seasonal or contract and full-time employees. Because of this, it’s common to need a payroll solution that can manage 1099 and W-2 workers. Gusto works well in these situations because this small business software can handle payroll tax and payroll processing responsibilities for any type of worker. It makes it easy to onboard new employees and put them into the correct category depending on which type of worker they signed on to be.

More importantly, Gusto considers both types of workers as employees, so your payroll running costs will be the same for someone you consider a contractor or freelancer versus a traditional full or part-time employee. It charges monthly fees, unlike the per-payroll cost structure that many other payroll companies use. So, you can run your payroll as much as you’d like without paying more for it. They also offer extra HR services if you need more support in your business.

When you choose Gusto, you’ll get an online help center that works for both companies and employees. There is also a 30-day trial that you can opt into with no additional commitment. This will give you enough time to decide if this small business software solution will work for you or not.

10. Best Document Management Solution: Google Workspace (formally G Suite)

Google Workspace - best small business DNS and collaboration software

Source: workspace.google.com

 

Google offers a free solution for businesses to collaborate, be productive, and put cloud computing at their fingertips with G Suite. It’s great for freelancers or small businesses because it offers everything you need to manage your documents in a single centralized platform. There is a suite of individual apps that allows you to share and create spreadsheets using Google Sheets, documents using Google Docs, and presentations using Google Slides.

Your team members can hold video meetings, secure data, access their email, and customize their email addresses to make them reflect your business and look more professional. It’s some of the best software for small businesses due to these features, and it gets even better as it offers 15GB of free cloud storage space. This cloud storage space allows all of your team to upload large files and documents to share with anyone inside or outside of the company. It also allows document owners to assign permissions, access each file, and either fully access, edit or “view only” the documents.

You’ll get a 24/7 technical support team with this small business software that you can reach through email, phone, or chat. There are also multiple editions with Basic, Business, or Enterprise tier levels. You can get editions for nonprofits and schools, and you get a 30-day free trial for all of them.

11. Best Website Creation Software: Wix

Wix - best website creator for small businesses

Source: wix.com

 

Wix allows you to grow your business by designing and launching a high-quality website. No matter if you’re trying to promote your business, start a blog, open a store, or showcase your products and services, this is the small business software you should take a look at. If you only need a small website, Wix allows you to use the drag-and-drop site builder to create it. You can easily choose from hundreds of free templates as your background too.

Wix will give you its own web hosting and domain names, and you can choose from free and paid options. There is an App Market that you can use to add extra features and functionality to the website, like eCommerce and photo galleries to showcase your products or services. As a bonus, your website is mobile-ready once you launch it, and the editor is very intuitive and user-friendly. The image editor allows you to customize and tailor your images, and you can choose from over 40 galleries and stock images.

Wix has four pricing tiers starting at Combo, and going through Unlimited, Pro, and VIP, with prices that range from $14.00 a month to $39.00 a month. Each plan has customer support and care, but the VIP packages give you priority care.

12. Best Social Media Content Management Software: Buffer

Buffer - best social media management platform

Source: buffer.com

 

This is an internet-based app that allows you to seamlessly manage your business’s social media content. The primary function of this business software solution is to share content across today’s most popular social media platforms. You can spread your content to reach a broader audience using a simple approach. Additionally, you can seamlessly connect to all of your business’s social media accounts while making it very easy to create posts and schedule their launch times.

Instead of logging into LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google+, this software will do it all at once for you with a single click. It also makes it quick and easy for you to upload posts all at once, and there is a browser extension available that allows the app to connect to Chrome, WordPress, and RSS readers. You can manage your profile, get insights and analytics, and compare stats, and it offers team collaboration. There is customized scheduling, Buffer support, and multimedia format sharing all at your fingertips too.

There are four pricing tiers for publishing that range from free to $99.00 a month, and there are two pricing tiers for analytics ranging from $35.00 to $50.00 a month. You can save 20% by billing annually, and each plan comes with a 30-day free trial.

13. Best Helpdesk Software: Freshdesk

Freshdesk - best customer support software for SMBs

Site: freshdesk.com

 

This is a cloud-hosted helpdesk that can work well for your small business. Since it’s unlikely that you can afford to have staff on hand 24-hours a day, Freshdesk can come in handy to help you deliver excellent customer support. It can broaden your company’s reach by offering multi-channel support, use gamification to increase productivity levels, and streamline your operations using automation tools. It also helps reinforce your customer service support by offering self-service portals.

There is a phone system built into Freshdesk that allows your business to take calls from clients, and it currently covers over 30 different countries. So, you can have call center operations for your business without needing to have a full-fledged business phone system to save you money. It has a feedback mechanism, real-time analytics, customized reports, customer and help desk satisfaction reports, identity and access management, custom ticketing, apps, and URLs, and much more.

For the helpdesk, you’ll get five pricing tiers that start with free and go up to $99.00 per month. There is also an Omnichannel option with two pricing tiers, and you have customer support on hand when you need it.

Something extra – Best Chatbot Builder: Botsurfer

Botsurfer Facebook Messenger Chatbot Builder Small Business Software

Many small businesses have realized the power of conversational marketing. Especially on platforms such as Facebook Messenger, you need to respond fast. Chatbots have proven themselves to be great helpers in engaging with conversations about your company and products. There are some solid no-code chatbot builders available on the market but Botsurfer is dotting the i’s and crosses the t’s. It’s super easy to use and produces powerful results. That’s why we’ve decided to feature it as a bonus in this list of the best software for small businesses.

Start Your Free Billdu Trial Today

If you’re ready to take your small business to the next level with the best software for small businesses, try Billdu. You can quickly sign up for a free 30-day trial to access all of the platform’s exclusive features and see how it fits your needs. Use it to keep your business on track.

Streamline your invoicing
with Billdu invoice maker

Invoicing, expense tracking, quotes, automation. Learn why Billdu is one of the most popular small business software tools.

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Are you looking for a powerful, easy to use Zoho alternative for invoicing? We have you covered. Read on to learn everything about 16 of the best Zoho alternatives available to date.

Before we continue, let’s address this question so many small business owners ask: ‘Do I really need to spend money on an invoicing management system?’ After all, there’s a tool out there for just about everything these days. And as a small business owner, you can’t afford to waste money on extra tools when you could just do the job yourself for free.

But an invoice management system is more than just another nice-to-have tool. Why?

It helps you get paid.

If you’re not getting paid or not getting paid on time, it will have severe consequences for your bottom line. Instead of spending precious hours chasing down customers to pay the bill, you should have a system that manages the process for you. This will only get more important as your business grows.

What is an invoice management system for?

 Simply put, to make things easier. For example, invoice management automates the process of invoicing so that you don’t have to manually create, send, track, or organize hundreds or thousands of invoices.

Invoice management systems can help you:

  • Save time
  • Save money
  • Improve cash flow
  • Get rid of human errors
  • Help you grow your business

What should you look for in an invoicing management system?

 There are lots of options out there, and each system has its own advantages and disadvantages. However, the best options should have the following characteristics:

  • Appropriate cost for your business size
  • User-friendliness
  • Cloud support
  • Customizable templates
  • Files and attachments
  • Security
  • Offline access
  • Customer support
  • Multiple currency support
  • Multiple payment methods
  • Customer communication
  • Taxes and discounts
  • Team cooperation

If you’d like to dive deeper into the features of a good invoicing system, then check out this guide.

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What is Zoho?

Zoho is one of the most popular platforms out there. It offers an extensive suite of productivity products for freelancers or small to medium-sized businesses. One of these products is Zoho Invoice. It’s a well-designed platform with a range of features that make invoicing quick and easy.

Zoho invoice

Source: zoho.com

Best features

  • Highly customizable templates
  • Wide range of features
  • Integrates with the full suite of other Zoho products
  • Multilingual and multicurrency supported
  • Time tracking and simple project management
  • Client portal allows customers access to their records
  • Manage online payments, recurring payments, and run payment reports
  • Lots of automation options

Pricing

  • Offers a limited free plan
  • Subscriptions start at $9/month
  • Premium plan is $29/month

Do you already use Zoho’s platform for things like e-mail, accounting, or CRM? In that case, Zoho Invoice is a sensible choice for handling your invoicing needs. It offers extensive depth, flexibility, and the automation options allow you to customize the platform to suit your needs. In addition, it has a great user experience and reliable customer support. However, it offers so many different features that some users, especially freelancers or small businesses, may be overwhelmed by its functionality.

If you’re interested in exploring other invoice management systems that might be a better fit for your small business, then keep reading!

Best Zoho Alternatives

There are a lot of invoice management systems to choose from. However, since it can be time-consuming to compare each platform on your own, we’ve compiled this shortlist of some of the best Zoho alternatives on the market.

  1. Billdu
  2. Freshbooks
  3. QuickBooks
  4. Xero
  5. Invoice Simple
  6. Wave
  7. CO
  8. HoneyBook
  9. Invoicely
  10. BigTime
  11. SAP Concur
  12. Invoiced
  13. Sunrise
  14. Housecall Pro
  15. Invoice Ninja
  16. Square Invoices

1. Billdu

Billdu makes professional invoicing seem easy, and it was built specifically with freelancers and small businesses in mind. Instead of being a hassle, invoicing is turned into a fast, simple, and even enjoyable process that will impress customers.

Users praise its intuitive interface, and it has a wide range of features that go far beyond standard invoicing. Sales and communication tools are built into the platform for a seamless experience. For example, take bookings, send estimates, or even sell products online via a simple store. However, you don’t need to add extra features unless you need them, allowing you to keep your workflow as simple as you need it to be.

Billdu as popular Zoho invoice alternative

Source: billdu.com

Noteworthy features

Pricing

  • Free plan available
  • Subscriptions start at $3.99/month
  • Premium plan is $16.99/month

Why is Billdu a good Zoho alternative?

Besides building an invoicing system that is simple yet powerful, Billdu offers sales and communication tools all on the same platform. So whether you’re a creative or a craftsman, you’ll find a streamlined process that you can customize to suit your needs. As a result, you’ll save time, get paid faster, and enjoy doing it.

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2. Freshbooks

Freshbooks is an established player in the invoicing space. Their platform is geared towards freelancers or small-scale businesses and offers users a well-rounded experience. Even with all its extra features, Freshbooks’ interface is well designed and doesn’t require an accounting or tech background to use.

Zoho alternatives - FreshBooks

Source: freshbooks.com

Best features

  • Usability on any device – desktop, mobile, or tablet
  • Detailed records show when clients interact with invoices
  • Automatic payment reminders
  • Time tracking and team collaboration
  • Track your inventory
  • Many app integrations
  • Capable reports and analysis

Pricing

  • Subscriptions start at $6/month
  • Premium plan is $20/month

Why is Freshbooks a good Zoho alternative?

Freshbooks is a powerful tool that many users choose because of its extensive functionality. Besides invoicing, it offers a wide range of accounting, time tracking, project management tools, and more. For users that need all the extra features, Freshbooks is a great option.

3. Quickbooks

Quickbooks’ cloud accounting software is a popular choice for businesses of all sizes. The platform offers a complete range of accounting tools, including but not limited to invoicing. Chances are, you’ll find the feature you need on this platform, regardless of your industry.

QuickBooks - popular Zoho alternative

Source: quickbooks.intuit.com

Best features

  • Reports are detailed and comprehensive
  • Data is backed up to the cloud
  • Project profitability tracking
  • Flexible online payment options
  • Add-on payroll option
  • Track inventory
  • Access to accounting tools

Pricing

  • Basic plan starts at $12.50/month
  • Advanced subscription costs $90/month

Why is Quickbooks a good Zoho alternative?

Quickbooks has earned its reputation for a reason. It’s a robust platform with all the tools you’ll need to run accounts for a small business. However, freelancers or businesses with tighter budgets may not be able to afford all of the features available on the premium plans, and some users find its interface a challenge to navigate.

4. Xero

Xero is a powerful business solution that goes far beyond invoices. It offers small to medium-sized businesses all the tools they need to pay bills, track projects, accept payments, and more with a wealth of app integrations.

Alternatives to Zoho - Xero

Source: xero.com

Best features

  • A vast amount of app integrations
  • Bank reconciliation services
  • Accept payments instantly
  • Turn accepted quotes into invoices
  • Receive a notification when a customer opens your invoice
  • Bulk invoices

Pricing

  • Plans start at $20/month
  • Premium subscription is $40/month

Why is Xero a good Zoho alternative?

 Suppose you’re looking to customize your invoice management flow with any number of your favorite apps. In that case, you’ll be interested in the wide variety of integrations that Xero offers. It’s a very comprehensive platform, but one that may overwhelm a user looking for a simple solution.

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5. Invoice Simple

Its defining feature is in the name. This invoice management system was designed to be, above all else, simple. As a result, it’s easy to create and send professional invoices right from your mobile device. Simple invoicing is at the heart of Invoice Simple.

Invoice Simple - Zoho alternative for small businesses

Source: invoicesimple.com

Best features

  • Quick to get started
  • User-friendly, mobile-first experience
  • Turn estimates into invoices
  • Simple, customizable templates
  • Notifications when invoices are read or due

Pricing

  • Free for the first 3 invoices
  • $5.99 for unlimited invoices

Why is Invoice Simple a good Zoho alternative?

If you do most of your invoicing on the go, then Invoice Simple is a solid option. While it can be used on any device, it is built with the mobile user in mind.  It may not offer the extensive functionality of some of the other platforms on this list, but it is a professional invoicing solution nonetheless.

6. Wave

Wave is an excellent option for freelancers or small businesses operating on a shoestring budget. Why? Because it’s absolutely free to create, customize, and send unlimited invoices. It includes simple accounting software as well to help users keep track of expenses and revenue.

Wave accounting software cash flow

Source: waveapps.com

Best features

  • Quick to get started, easy to use
  • Track payments and customer communication
  • Automatic cloud backups
  • Invoicing data syncs with the included accounting software to help you track your finances
  • Recurring payments can be set up to occur automatically

Pricing

  •  Free

Why is Wave a good Zoho alternative?

 Wave may not have as many features or integrations as some of the other options on this list. However, if you’re looking for a simple, free invoicing solution, then Wave is a good option to check out.

7. AND.CO

AND.CO was explicitly built for freelancers, so it does things a little bit differently than competing platforms. With only one customizable invoice template, it uses a step-by-step wizard to help you complete each invoice. This works well for freelancers billing different items at different prices for different clients.

And co Small business platform

Source: and.co

Best features

  • Interface built for freelancers
  • Good project management tool
  • Create contracts and proposals in the app
  • Time tracking
  • Good customer support

Pricing

  • Free plan available
  • Pro subscription is $18/month

Why is AND.CO a good Zoho alternative?

If you call yourself a freelancer, hustler, entrepreneur, or digital nomad, then AND.CO was built with you in mind. As long as you don’t need to bill the same items on every invoice, the platform’s novel, flexible approach to invoicing might suit your needs. Besides invoicing, it offers a bunch of great features and helpful customer support.

8. Honeybook

Honeybook is another platform that might attract freelancers or entrepreneurs. It features a friendly, personalized interface that is geared towards those in the creative industry.

HoneyBook client management software and invoicing

Source: honeybook.com

Best features

  • Friendly, not just user-friendly, interface
  • Appointment booking and scheduling
  • Attractive invoice templates
  • Easy payment system
  • Create contracts and proposals
  • Unique pipeline style project management

Pricing

  • Basic subscription starts at $9/month
  • Unlimited subscription is $39/month

Why is Honeybook a good Zoho alternative?

Creatives will like Honeybook’s personalized approach to CRM. While it does invoicing well, it is built around the entire customer management experience. Users rate its onboarding experience, though its extensive features come at a higher cost than other options.

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9. Invoicely

Invoicely is another good option for small businesses that want an easy-to-use invoicing system. Their dashboard contains a range of features, from reports to client management.

Invoicely invoice management dashboard

Source: invoicely.com

Best features

  • Extensive business and finance reports
  • Track time, expenses, and mileage
  • Create both estimates and invoices
  • Manage multiple businesses
  • Supports multiple countries and currencies

Pricing

  • Free plan available
  • Subscriptions start at $9.99/month
  • Premium subscription is $29.99/month

Why is Invoicely a good Zoho alternative?

Invoicely can do more than create invoices. It’s a good tool for gaining business insights through its reporting feature, and it helps you track different aspects of ongoing projects. It’s simple yet effective, especially for managing multiple businesses.

10. BigTime

BigTime is made for professional service providers. It’s a time-centric platform that helps automate different aspects of business management, including but not limited to invoicing. BigTime offers some of the best time and expense tracking tools for teams that need to get their billable hours right.

BigTime invoicing and expense tracking software

Source: bigtime.net

Best features

  • Highly capable time tracking and project management tools
  • Resource allocation and job assignments
  • Real-time reporting and analytics
  • Cloud-based, with powerful integrations
  • Flexible billing rates
  • Time and materials invoices

Pricing

  • Subscriptions start at $10/month per user, with a min. of 5 users
  • Premier subscription is $40/month per user, with a min. of 10 users

Why is BigTime a good Zoho alternative?

BigTime’s capabilities are probably too robust for the needs of freelancers, and their pricing model reflects that. However, if you’re a firm offering professional consulting, architectural, accounting, engineering, or IT-support services, then BigTime has all the features you need to budget, track, and bill your time.

 11. SAP Concur

SAP Concur is a different kind of platform than most of the others on this list. It is focused less on generalized invoice generation and management and more geared towards travel and expense reports. If your invoice needs are limited to travel and expense management, then SAP Concur may be the management system you’re looking for.

SAP Concur App Center

Source: concur.com.au

Best features

  • Two or three-way matching resolves invoice discrepancies
  • Invoice Capture technology sorts through submitted invoices and extracts data
  • Extensive app integration
  • Gamifies expenses to keep costs down
  • Travel planning feature

Pricing

  • $9/report
  • Individualized pricing plans

Why is SAP Concur a good Zoho alternative?

Suppose you’re a freelance consultant that regularly bills companies for expenses or a business that needs to automate the expense reporting of your employees. In that case, SAP Concur might be the perfect invoicing platform for you.

12. Invoiced

Like most invoicing management systems, Invoiced is built to save you time and get you paid faster. However, where it stands out is its processes for automating the entire accounts receivable process.

Invoiced invoice management system dashboard

Source: invoiced.com

Best features

  • Powerful automation for accounts receivable processes
  • Subscription billing
  • In-depth customer portal
  • Offer customers payment installment plans
  • Complex invoice generation
  • Automated collections and streamlined payments

Pricing

  • Subscriptions start at $500/month
  • Customized plans available

Why is Invoiced a good Zoho alternative?

 Sure, Invoiced might be out of reach for some small businesses because of its high cost. But as your business grows, you may end up looking for a platform that is capable of automating your billing and collections processes. If you can afford it, then Invoiced is a strong contender.

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13. Sunrise

Sunrise offers something a little different in that a premium subscription assigns you a professional bookkeeper to help you manage your accounting. Even if you stick to the free plan, the platform is attractively designed and intuitive to use.

Sunrise accounting software

Source: sunriseapp.com

Best features

  • Simplified process to create an invoice in a few clicks
  • Recurring invoices
  • Professional bookkeeper option to manage your accounting
  • Double-entry accounting
  • Cloud-based
  • Financial reporting

Pricing

  • Free for managing invoicing on your own
  • Premium subscription with professional bookkeeping services starts at $149/month

Why is Sunrise a good Zoho alternative?

If you want to combine the flexibility of a self-service platform with the option to connect to a professional bookkeeper, then Sunrise gives you that capability. While you may not get everything you want out of the free version, it’s easy-to-use and should suffice for basic invoicing needs.

14. Housecall Pro

If you’re a plumber, electrician, housekeeper, HVAC technician, or another service professional, then you’re in constant need of invoicing. Housecall Pro is an invoice management system built specifically for you.

Housecall Pro app for service professionals

Source: housecallpro.com

Best features

  • Scheduling and online booking
  • Easily create estimates and invoices
  • Communicate with customers via friendly “on-my-way” texts
  • Live map GPS for assigning employees to jobs
  • Automated invoice reminders and follow-up marketing
  • Property profiles and notes

Pricing

  •  Subscriptions start at $49/month
  • Premium subscription is $109/month
  • Customized pricing for larger enterprises

Why is Housecall Pro a good Zoho alternative?

Housecall Pro is a good Zoho alternative if you fit the user profile. It offers a range of complementary features for service professionals to go beyond invoice management. It’s definitely not a solution for the whole market, but it is a clear frontrunner for its niche.

15. Invoice Ninja

If you’re looking for a free option that can grow with your business, then take a look at Invoice Ninja. It offers one of the best free plans out there, allowing you to send unlimited invoices. But don’t be fooled by its low cost. It provides many great complementary features, and you can upgrade to a paid plan for even more capability.

Invoice Ninja invoicing software

Source: invoicenina.com

Best features

  • Customizable templates
  • Easily set up recurring or auto-billing
  • Over 40 different payment gateways supported
  • Create quotations and proposals
  • Project management workflows with Kanban boards
  • Time tracking and expense reporting

Pricing

  • Unlimited free plan available
  • Subscriptions start at $10/month
  • Enterprise subscription starts at $14/month

Why is Invoice Ninja a good Zoho alternative?

 Consider Invoice Ninja if you don’t have a big budget right now, but need a platform that can scale with your growth.

16. Square Invoices

Square Invoices is part of the larger Square ecosystem, built to handle digital payments and financial services. As such, it is a well-built platform for creating and managing professional invoices. Most importantly, it offers streamlined processes for getting paid.

Alternative to Zoho - Square Up

Source: squareup.com

Best features

  • Real-time invoice tracking
  • One-click payment
  • Save customer bank account information for auto-billing and custom contracts
  • Good reporting tools
  • Progress invoices

Pricing

  • Zero monthly fees
  • Square takes 2.9% + $0.30 each time an invoice is paid online by card
  • Square takes 1% per ACH transaction

Why is Square Invoices a good Zoho alternative?

 If you already use Square’s point-of-sale and payment processing solutions, then you may want to consider integrating Square Invoices into your workflow. It is a competent platform, but make sure to calculate how much the fees will cost you.

Finding the right fit is crucial

As a small business, sometimes you don’t need every advanced feature on the list. The platform you choose should be capable enough to improve your efficiency without slowing you down with unnecessary options.

Your budget is another big factor, but don’t only look for the best free option. Consider the amount of time you’ll be investing in these tools every day, and evaluate how much money a competent platform will save you in time and unpaid invoices.

With so many great options out there, it’s more important than ever to do a little extra research to make sure you choose the right invoicing software for your team.

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All small businesses could benefit from extra time and resources. The tedious parts of running a business – keeping track of your business expenses, issuing estimates, invoicing customers, and tracking down payments – all take up valuable hours of the day.

That’s why almost every modern business has turned to accounting software. Not only will it cut down on costly human errors and free up your staff, but it can also provide you with valuable insights about your business. In addition, it allows you to automate tasks like billing customers and chasing down unpaid invoices.

In short, accounting software exists to save you time and help you get paid.

There are so many different platforms out there that it can be challenging to choose the right one for your business. To help, we’ve created a breakdown of the eight critical questions you should ask yourself before settling on a suitable software.

Before you get started, remember that accounting software will not magically do your accounting for you. It’s just a tool to make the process easier. You still need to have a good grasp of your financial situation and the scope of small business accounting before you can use the software to its full potential. So choose software that makes your life easier, not the one packed to the brim with the most features.

8 essential questions to ask yourself when choosing the best small business accounting software

1. What’s my budget?

It’s a good idea to determine your budget before setting out on your decision-making journey. This extra bit of planning will help you narrow down a vast field to a few appropriate candidates.

Most companies provide a variety of pricing tiers to suit businesses of various sizes. For example, some pricing models are based on flat monthly fees, while others are based on the number of users. Smaller enterprises might benefit more from the monthly subscription model. This way, you don’t have to pay extra fees whenever you invite someone onto the platform to help you handle the bookkeeping.

Many basic plans are offered at irresistible price points, but take a close look at the features they include. Will you need to upgrade to the more costly plan with the full range of features at some point, and will you be able to afford it?

Don’t forget to factor in any extra support costs, and make sure that you aren’t paying for a bunch of features that you don’t need. For example, programmable automation capabilities might seem like a great thing to have but are built primarily for larger organizations handling large amounts of data. Does your small business need the most advanced features available, or will it benefit more from simplicity and ease of use?

Many platforms offer a free trial, so it might be wise to take advantage of that opportunity. It will waste a lot of time and effort if you end up having to switch to another platform in the future. Make sure you’re well-informed before you make your final decision.

2. Does this accounting software suit my small business or industry?

Not all accounting software is alike, and while certain platforms have a more general scope, others may be built to suit the needs of a specific industry. So don’t just go for the software with the highest reviews or most extensive user base. Instead, there might be a smaller platform tailor-made for businesses in your field.

For example, think about your industry-specific requirements. Do you offer consulting services that require proposals and contracts to be reviewed by both parties before proceeding? Do you need software that allows you to handle bookings or schedule appointments? Or perhaps you are primarily interested in tracking the time and travel expenses of your employees.

Here are some industry-specific features. If any of these apply to your business, note it down as it might not be included in every platform.

Look for the software that can handle your main requirements – it will save you the hassle of adopting a generalized platform to suit your particular needs.

Best small business accounting software - Financial management

3. Do I need a cloud-based or desktop-based accounting software?

Desktop accounting software was the industry standard for many years. It does not rely on internet access, is often purchased in a single payment for use on one computer, and can securely store a business’s financial data offline.

However, cloud-based platforms are becoming the norm for modern accounting systems. There are several benefits to a cloud-based platform. For one, it allows many users to access the same data so that you can bring in an accountant or other employees into the same workflow. Another benefit is the ability to directly sync with bank accounts or any number of helpful app integrations.

Data is regularly backed up via the cloud so that you don’t have to worry about a single computer getting broken or becoming corrupted. The only drawback to cloud-based platforms is that they only work via internet connection. So, if your business operates in an area where that is an issue, you might want to consider a desktop-based solution.

Most cloud-based platforms have well-developed mobile apps as well. Suppose you travel frequently or are a service provider like a handyman who needs to generate quick invoices on the go. In that case, you might want to focus your attention on the mobile app versions to find your best fit.

4. Will it be easy for me to use?

Once you’ve made your choice, you’ll be spending a lot of time interacting with this software. Is it something that you find convenient or even a pleasure to use? Or does it seem complicated and frustrates you every time you open it.

Sometimes this aspect can be overlooked, but it’s not something to be taken lightly. Even if you don’t have an accounting background, a small business operator must have a good grasp of their finances. Many programs offer comprehensive financial reports, but they should be intuitive to generate and understand. The program also needs to be easy enough for your employees to use.

Many platform interfaces are loaded with features that you might not need. Opt for the platform that will save you time by streamlining tasks and showing you only the features most relevant to your core business activities. After all, this is supposed to be a way to increase efficiency, not slow you down.

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Billdu invoice maker and invoicing app

5. How many users and clients can this software accommodate? Can user access be restricted?

Different software is built with different-sized businesses in mind. While some cater to a broad user base, many of the best platforms target one end of the spectrum.

If you are the sole user interacting with the software, look for the platforms that give you the most streamlined experience. If you need software that will accommodate several team members and an accountant at once, then look for a more comprehensive solution.

If restricted user access is something you require so that not everyone in your company has access to your finances, prioritize this feature. Some platforms offer role-based access for different team members. For example, you can allow employees to access the time tracking or expense reporting features without granting permission to create invoices.

Also, keep in mind that you may or may not need a client portal. Do you need to provide clients access to their payment records within the app? Only some platforms offer dedicated support for this feature, so plan accordingly.

6. What type of support does this software provide?

There’s a very good chance that you will need to contact customer support at some point. You should be sure that they’ll be able to help you answer your questions – before you run into problems.

Smaller software providers often put a lot of effort into self-service troubleshooting guides and community forums. Browse these resources and see if people are running into the same issues time and time again. Larger companies should have a team of dedicated support agents. Reach out to them for any questions you have about their platform, and gauge the quality of their responses.

Finally, make sure to read through positive and negative reviews of the software online. The last thing you want is to be surprised by a glaring weakness in the accounting software after you’ve already invested hours into getting it set up.

Best small business accounting software - Quality support

7. Will this accounting software scale with the growth of my small business?

Perhaps you’re a freelancer who needs to invoice customers for your side hustle. In that case, focus on an option that gives you all the features you need for the lowest price possible.

However, if you’re planning to scale your business and want your software to grow with you, then make sure the platform can accommodate your future needs as well. Do the premium price tiers include the advanced capabilities you’ll need? Many software providers also offer customized solutions for when you outgrow their basic subscription models. Do some digging into what these custom solutions are and if they will help you scale or hold you back.

Here’s another thing to keep in mind. Does your small business use cash-based or accrual-based accounting? Small businesses will often start by recording transactions based on cash flow. However, as you scale, you will likely be switching to an accrual-based system. You’ll need to handle more sophisticated data related to buying and selling on credit and recording payable and receivable accounts. Be aware that some of the more basic platforms are only geared towards cash-based accounting.

8. Do I have the knowledge required to use it?

Most software these days is built to provide a very intuitive user experience. However, some platforms cater more towards the professional accounting industry. Others direct their efforts to users with no accounting or tech backgrounds at all. You know which category you fall into, so make sure you consider this during your selection process.

Furthermore, don’t be distracted by deep functionality if you won’t be able to use it to your advantage. For example, if your software has the capability for a wide variety of automation processes, but you can’t program them, then it’s not going to do you much good.

Some other key features to look out for in a small business accounting software

  •  Customization

Does it offer customizable templates and other customization tools so that you can adjust documents like invoices or e-mails to fit your branding?

  • Multicurrency and multilanguage support

If your business operates across different countries or serves a multi-lingual community, then you need a platform with these features built in. That way, you can customize your invoices and payment preferences appropriately.

  • Security

Check to ensure that proper security measures are followed to protect both you and your clients’ data. Two-factor authentication and data encryption should be pre-requisites.

  • Taxes

Does the platform enable the correct type of tax customization on the invoices? Can it generate the relevant tax reports?

  • Reporting requirements

If your business is subject to any specific reporting requirements, then make sure you can easily create the appropriate documents. Otherwise, you’ll spend a lot of time generating them manually.

  • Bank and payment gateway support

Can you conveniently link your software to your bank and preferred payment processors? Are you able to reconcile accounts by fetching bank statements? If your bank doesn’t support the software, then you should look for something else.

  • Third-party integrations

Some accounting software platforms are integrated into a linked ecosystem of CRM software, e-mail management, inventory management apps, etc. Others offer the ability to connect to dozens or hundreds of third-party apps. If you already rely on a particular app to run your business, check if it integrates with your accounting software.

  • Project management and time tracking

You may already be using a dedicated app for these tasks. If so, check if they can be integrated into your accounting software of choice. If not, consider looking for a platform that does both. After all, billing for project expenses and time is directly linked to your accounting workflow. Therefore, it makes sense to bring them into the same system.

Complex features of accounting software for small businesses

Get a second opinion

Talk to your accountant and staff

If your accountant or other staff members are going to be the primary users interacting with this software, then make sure you involve them in the selection process. Your accountant will likely have specific requirements in mind or is already accustomed to working with a particular program. Your IT support staff can help you evaluate the different tech capabilities and advise your data management strategy.

Reach out to your network

Ask around for other opinions from people in your network, especially from people in similar industries. Chances are, they’re using accounting software and can give you first-hand experience on its suitability for your needs.

Make a shortlist, and try out your options

 Now that you know what you want, you can narrow down the numerous options into three or four of the standout contenders. Then, compare them against each other, read positive and negative reviews online, and reach out to their support teams about any questions you might have.

As a final step, take advantage of their free trials or limited free plans. Create some invoices, play around with the reporting features, and input some expenses. If something doesn’t feel right, or it seems to be missing a key component, then move on.

After navigating the different user interfaces on your shortlist, you’ll understand what excites you or disappoints you about a platform, and you can make your decision accordingly.

A final question: do you need accounting software after all?

There’s a chance that you’ve gotten to the end of this guide and are thinking: maybe I don’t need accounting software after all.

 Perhaps you’ve realized that the extensive functionality of accounting software platforms is just going to overcomplicate things. What if you won’t be able to take advantage of all the features you’re paying for? Maybe you simply don’t have the budget at the moment because you’re just starting out and only have a couple of clients.

If that describes you, then consider an alternative that isn’t full-scale accounting software but still handles all your small business needs.

Billdu – your small business accounting software alternative

We built Billdu with people just like you in mind. It’s perfectly fine to hold off on advanced accounting software until further down the line. Most of our customers do. Partly, that’s because once they’ve tried our platform, they realize they didn’t need accounting software to begin with.

By now, it might have struck you that all you’re looking for is a simple, user-centric platform that ‘only’ makes the invoicing process easy and helps you get paid faster. As a bonus, it tracks expenses, manages customer communications, and facilitates online booking without cluttering the user interface.

This platform is Billdu, and while it isn’t accounting software per se, we know that most of our happy customers would rather keep it that way. After all, we built it specifically for freelancers and small businesses like you.

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Cutting expenses is a daily need, especially if you happen to be a small business owner because you are running on a budget. The moment you are spending past your decided budget, it creates chaos and becomes extremely difficult for you as a business owner to successfully run your business.

Even the slightest change in expenses could result in you going bankrupt, and your small business getting shut down. Since every business requires constant cash flow, the trick is to have a business idea that generates good revenue without having to invest a very little amount of money as capital.

So, most business owners want to know how to cut costs in business or how to reduce costs that could help them to maintain their budget. For them, this guide provides them with several ways on how to reduce costs while running a small business.

What Does Reducing Costs Mean? Why is Business Cost Reduction Important?

To make sure your business’s net worth is increasing, you can either increase your revenue or cut down your business expenses. Most people focus on increasing revenue by increasing the prices of the products and services offered by their small business or even introduce new products into their business website. But some people are unable to introduce new products to your business for them, and for everybody involved in a small business, they must focus on how to reduce the cost to make sure they are spending only that much that is necessary.

Business cost reduction is important because it ensures small business owners don’t run into cash flow problems. Reducing expenses also gives them the option to invest money in business expansion by generating new products or improving the existing products and services. When small business owners decide to cut down expenses, they are also saving money to hire staff if they feel under-staffed or even have cash for certain outsourced tasks. Business cost reduction also increases cost margins by decreasing operating costs and making sure your budget is well maintained, and still, cash flow is constant.

How to Cut Costs in Business?

Most small business owners face the challenge of finding ways on how to reduce cost while ensuring the quality of the products is top-notch and without having to over-burden yourself or your staff with work. Finding ways to reduce costs in business is the ultimate challenge in which most small businesses are unable to succeed. Here are several ways to cut costs in business without having to compromise on the quality of labor of your small business.

Use Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is one of the most effective ways of connecting small business owners to potential investors and customers who will fund your business or even buy products and services from your small business. Several websites allow small business owners to put their business for potential investors to see. It provides small business owners with easier access to capital without having to have much pressure on the stakeholders or the management.

Join a Coworking Space

Most small business owners conduct their businesses from home and don’t have to pay for the space they are using for their business. But those who do have to pay rent for their workspace can cut down expenses by moving into a smaller compact space. Moving into a smaller space will cut down expenses.

Small business owners can hire remotely for such businesses which don’t require the physical presence of staff. This saves a lot of money because there is no need to rent a workspace as everybody will be working from home and can stay connected through email or social media. Hiring remotely has become even more popular since the pandemic has compelled everybody to stay indoors and function virtually. This compulsion has given rise to remote working as a worker are now working from their homes and maintaining the entire communication with the help of different social media platforms and Emails.
Coworking for business cost reduction

Look for New Vendors

Those small business owners who are taking raw materials from one vendor for ages might miss out on the present bargains, which might be even better than what they are receiving currently. Long-time small business owners are advised to negotiate with their long-term vendors to save on expenses and get better deals for themselves. Long-term vendors won’t appreciate losing customers, so they will bring in enticing discounts and deals to keep small business owners around.

Importance of Eliminating Unnecessary Expenses

Unlike big companies, small businesses can’t afford to have miscellaneous expenses such as vacation on a business budget or special perks for staff. It is advised that small business owners should think about business cost reduction by preventing indulging in unnecessary things which would not benefit the business but rather increase the bills without providing any benefits. This is another reason why small business owners are advised to work with a small team with only a handful of manpower to ensure they are paid well for their services, yet owners don’t have to invest in perks for staff that could increase the budget.

Streamline Your Small Business Marketing

Currently, the internet is the smartest and easiest for marketing your small business. But like everything else, every small business owner needs to strategize their marketing plan to ensure they are securing a budget that needs to be spent on the marketing of their small business. The majority of small business owners look up to the internet to find answers on how to reduce costs but don’t pay heed when the search result suggests them to secure a budget for business marketing. There are several types of online marketing one can use for marketing his or her small business. It includes advertisements, Public Relations, Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Sponsored Content, Trade show appearances, and lastly, Email marketing.

All these marketing strategies are crucial to ensure your small business is out there in the virtual market for the target audience to view and purchase products and services offered by your brand. Divide the marketing budget into categories and divide them according to their importance in the present market. For example, most small business owners are securing a budget for social media marketing because Instagram alone has a user base of 500+ million active users every single day. So by investing in social media marketing, they are entitled to a viewer and potential customer of around 500+ million.

The key to streamlining marketing is to find and separate the trends which are helping small business owners to create more engagement in their website and draw more customers into the sales funnel. Small business owners are involved in business cost reduction because they are aware of the changing trends and strategies of online marketing and are investing according to the changing marketing trends.
How to reduce costs with online marketing

Embrace DIY for Setting up Your Shop

Most small business owners have reduced expenses by opening shops on the internet themselves without hiring a programmer. They have focused on setting their shop online either on social media platforms or on Shopify. Both are some of the easiest platforms to host your small business without having to have prior knowledge about programming and coding.

There is one such popular social media platform for hosting your small business. It is extremely user-friendly and has a simple interface that doesn’t require extensive knowledge about social media. The features of the Instagram marketplace are easy to identify and work with. No prior knowledge or experience is required, and this is one of the crucial reasons why small business owners prefer the platform Instagram as the platform to showcase their brand, products, and services that are offered by their small business.

Shopify, on the other hand, is a platform that hosts e-commerce stores. It is also a user-friendly website on the internet that provides small business owners with plenty of themes and designs to choose from. Not only that, but they offer multiple payment options, and similar to social media platforms, there is no requirement of any prior knowledge on coding and programming to set a shop through Shopify.

If you’d like to use something even more easier, you can use Billdu for setting up your e-commerce platform. The Online Store feature available in Billdu will enable you to add your products in a snap and launch online store in minutes.

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Invest in Invoicing Software

One of the best ways to get involved in business cost reduction is to invest in effective invoicing software. Invoicing software has several benefits, including providing clients and customers with the most affordable invoices through email. No longer are small business owners required to invest in papers, stamps, envelopes, among others, if they decide to invest in online invoicing software. They save a significant amount of time by eliminating tonnes of paperwork and mistakes that require them to redo their paperwork.

Invoicing software also helps to keep track of customers and clients who are availing products and services from your business more than once as they will receive recurring invoices. Online invoicing software also allows small business owners to pre-make invoices and send them according to their schedule without delay. Other than that, online invoicing software also enables small business owners to access invoices from any electronic gadget at any given time of day. Invoicing software means a good organization of the invoices and almost no chances of getting misplaces because they are all digitized and stored in the cloud.

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Embrace DIY for Keyword Research, Search Engine Optimization, and Designing Social Media Posts

Majority of small business owners small costs by researching keywords themselves instead of hiring an SEO expert. They follow the trending topics and come up with keywords by surfing the internet without having to invest in any services offered by SEO experts and professionals. There are plenty of websites that help them to generate trending keywords and stay on top of the trends to get maximum visibility.

For small business owners with a tight budget, investing in a designer for designing social media posts and website content seems way too far-fetched. For them, there is plenty of software, including Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom, which helps them to easily design the content for their small business’s social media page or even website. Doing it yourself not only helps you to develop new skills but also effectively helps you to get involved in business cost reduction without compromising on your small business.

Outsource Small Tasks

Those, who don’t have the time to do designing work for their small business or don’t possess the basic talent to do the same, can hire freelancers to design a month’s social media posts or your small business’s logo. This not only helps you to cut costs but also doesn’t require you to compromise on the quality of marketing.

Small business owners can also outsource copywriting or virtual assisting by hiring freelancers and having contracts based on months or a certain number of projects. This ensures that business owners are not required to hire them as full-time staff yet get the necessary work done.

Surf Through the Internet to Find Affordable Software for Different Tasks

Most small business owners wonder how to cut costs in business but don’t surf through the internet to find websites that allow you services for free. There are a handful of websites that allow you to draft legal agreements for free, design high-definition posts and covers for free manage your small business without having to invest in a small business management software, or even invest in learning a variety of skills to ensure your small business is running smoothly.

All small business owners have to do is surf through the internet thoroughly to find the hidden gems which could effectively ensure business cost reduction whenever possible. Business expenses can be cut by minimizing the billable hours of consultants, designers, and other professionals by hiring services off the internet for free.

There isn’t a specific time for you to decide on business cost reduction, but right from the very first day of running your small business, you should focus on how to reduce cost and ways that could help you in achieving business cost reduction while ensuring there is no problem in cash flow.

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You came here wanting to know why your business is not as efficient as you’d like to be and how to improve efficiency in business.

It’s quite understandable why anyone would worry about business efficiency. The longer you remain inefficient, the more you lose. Businesses need to ensure everyone works at their optimum level and no amount of money or time is wasted.

Most businesses don’t realize the need to change things until quarterly or yearly audits. If you are struggling to make your business more efficient then you have landed on the right page.

Below are some tips on how to improve efficiency in business.

#1 Give the Right Job to the Right Person

There are two things to take care of – hiring the right people and ensuring they do the right job. This, however, is easier said than done. It all boils down to productivity, which is a major concern for people these days.

Employee productivity has been falling and nobody knows the reason. Since most businesses involve teams and groups, it is the duty of the HR manager or the supervisor to ensure there are like minded people in every team as team conflict can impact efficiency.

About 81 percent of employees work in teams but less than 50 percent are happy with the experience due to differences in working style. Training sessions and internships can help prepare people to work in teams.

You can also improve the hiring process by using a hiring agency as they are more experienced in the job. It can take around 90 days to fill a position. The longer a position remains empty, the more losses it causes to a business.

The key lies in preparing employees to take over. This can be done by providing on-job training, encouraging continued education, and providing employees a chance to prove their mettle and grow.

Companies that offer such perks are better at retaining employees and hence are more efficient.

#2 Automate Whenever You Can

The importance of automation cannot be overestimated. Look at any industry, you will see automation and its perks in every corner.

While marketing automation is among the most popular fields, you will see automation in other fields as well including manufacturing.

Automation, if done right, can boost sales productivity by up to 14.5 percent and reduce marketing overheads by around 12.2 percent.

It helps in a lot of ways. Around 40 percent of productivity is lost to task-switching and multitasking and task-switching. Automation helps streamline data, optimize time by increasing centralizing work, and improve visibility.

Automation can help improve several other departments including communication and collaboration. About 97 percent of workers believe that poor team alignment impacts business efficiency and project outcome.

Another department that should be automated is sales where automation can help save time, improve the ROI, and win more clients. It can even be good for customer support.

We know that customers do not want to wait to get connected to an agent. They also want their problems to get solved quickly. A chatbot can be of great help in this situation. Moreover, CRMs can help agents find data and save time.

Reports suggest that professionals spend around 4 hours per day manually looking for files. CRMs and other such tools can make things easier while also boosting business efficiency.

Another automation that is super easy to implement is invoice automation. By using an invoice maker such as Billdu, you can set up automatic invoice creation. In Billdu, these are called recurring invoices. You can create a new recurring invoice that will be created and sent out to your customers every week, month or year. This way, you will never forget to send an invoice again. In Billdu, you can also track expenses, create estimates, delivery notes and much more.

Try our free estimate generator, invoice generator, credit note maker or delivery note creator now to see how they work. And yes, there you can also automate expense creation. With recurring expenses, you can easily automate tracking of periodical expenses such as phone or internet bills. Signing up for Billdu and setting these simple rules will boost your business efficiency in no time.

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#3 Get Rid of Distractions and Interruptions

Let’s revisit some productivity stats as the two are interconnected. According to reports, the average employee is productive for less than 3 hours per day. This happens due to a variety of reasons including distractions.

Reports suggest that employees get interrupted around 7 times, resulting in a wastage of 35 minutes in total with each interruption lasting about 5 minutes. If this is shocking, you will be surprised to know that on average, there is an interruption at the workplace every 8 minutes, which causes the overall productivity or efficiency to suffer.

This can cause each employee to lose around 4 hours of working time per day. You must take steps to reduce this by identifying and reducing distractions.

Interruptions can be of many times including personal. Employees might be interrupted due to their thoughts; however, the most common culprit is a mobile phone that keeps people occupied both mentally and physically.

If you want to know how to improve efficiency in business then you must know how to stop distractions.

#4 Improve Communication

Communication is key, yet 80 percent of employees in the US feel stressed or anxious due to a lack of good company communication.

If you wish to know how to increase your business efficiency then you must be able to differentiate between different methods of communication, identify the best communication tool, and work on both internal and external communication.

Tools like Slack and Trello can be helpful in keeping people on the same page. For communication with customers, you must come up with plans and train your customer service department.

If you offer phone, email, or ticket support then your team must be experienced to handle requests including grievances. In addition to this, marketing communication should be paid attention to as well.

Email is one of the most commonly used communication tools for this purpose. Consider automating this process to increase efficiency. Those who get in touch with you can get an automated response, which may help solve some of the problems and allow your workers to concentrate on other tasks.

The benefits of automation are obvious but it can often be hard to implement. People are not always excited about using new technology and some are against the use of automation tools.

You will have to tell them the importance of automation and how it benefits them to ensure there are no issues.

Improve business efficiency through communication

#5 Reduce Meetings and Go Online When You Can

There are two rules to follow:

  1. Reduce the number of meetings
  2. Make sure your meetings go well

As highlighted in this Harvard Business Review article, meetings can lead to business inefficiency. The average meeting lasts between 31 to 60 minutes. This is a lot of time considering we only spend around 7 hours working on an average day.

Back in the day, companies used to hold meetings to discuss everything. It was the norm to call people from every department to be a part of meetings but things are changing now.

Physical meetings are not necessary and decisions can be taken by going online thanks to tools like Zoom and Skype. This saves time because you do not have to prepare the meeting room and wait for everyone to arrive. However, in cases where physical meetings are important, make sure to take care of these points to ensure your business and meeting remain efficient:

  • Make sure to schedule at the right time so you do not have to reschedule. You can use different tools to ensure everyone’s available.
  • Have a clear goal or agenda and ensure it is clearly communicated to everyone involved.
  • A lack of accountability is another reason for meetings to be inefficient. Make sure to communicate with everyone after the meeting to ensure they understood things well.
  • Having too many people or not having everyone needed can cause meetings to fail.
  • Meetings that go too long end up being less productive and inefficient. It is best to divide a meeting into segments and ensure it runs according to the plan.

Holding meetings in an efficient manner can be tricky but once you follow these rules, you will find it easier to manage them.

#6 Establish and Follow Processes 

Businesses need to have clearly defined processes to ensure there are no delays and everything can be done in an efficient manner. A great way to make things easy is to create a manual and distribute it to all the concerned parties.

Training sessions can also be of help. It is common for some big and small companies to hold seminars to explain processes and train individuals before they get on the job so that they’re able to follow the guidelines and ensure work is completed in an efficient and timely manner.

In addition to this, one should also care about clarity in terms of responsibilities and roles. Duties must be assigned clearly and there should be no question about who’s supposed to do what.

An easy way to do this is to assign supervisors or managers to teams or floors. Make it their duty to ensure all procedures are followed. A major reason why businesses get inefficient is that decisions take too long to come.

There’s a hierarchy that one has to follow, which only slows the process down. By giving power in the hands of employees, you will be able to make things right. But, this isn’t as easy as it sounds.

You cannot let employees decide everything or you cannot let the wrong person make an important decision. This has to be done with a lot of care so that your business continues to run well without any issues.

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#7 Outsource When You Can

Outsourcing is now more popular than ever. About 300,000 jobs in the country are outsourced annually and most are performed in countries with cheaper labor. In fact, about 70 percent of businesses choose to outsource due to cost advantages; however, it isn’t the only benefit.

While it is more common among large businesses, small companies are now also outsourcing. The IT department is one of the most commonly outsourced departments; however, there are several other options including marketing and HRM.

Consider outsourcing departments that are too difficult to manage. But, make sure to choose a company that is reliable as working with an unreliable or unprofessional outsourcing firm will only lead to more difficulties.

#8 Reduce Red Tape As Much as You Can

While red tape is a problem commonly associated with government organizations, many public companies also suffer from this problem. It is surprisingly common for organizations to introduce complex processes or a large number of forms for simple tasks that can be completed in a few minutes.

To make your business efficient, get rid of excessive paperwork and make things quick. This will not only improve your internal working but also leave a positive impact on your clients since most buyers do not like to wait for things. They will happily move to another provider if it means better service.

Technology has made things easier. You can use mobile apps or online tools to get more done in less time. Applications or forms, for example, can be filled, submitted, and verified online. This helps save time and other resources.

Many big and small companies even have mobile apps that can be used by both internal members and consumers to make processes more efficient. While it’s usually a big investment, it can help improve business efficiency.

#9 Give Breaks to Your Employees

Your business is only as efficient as your employees are. According to the web, most employees are overworked and unhappy, hence it doesn’t come as a surprise that efficiency rates are constantly decreasing.

Science has proven that taking breaks is healthy not only for humans but for machines as well. Taking a break for a few seconds to stretch, move around, and relax your eyes can rejuvenate both your brain and body.

Most people take smoking, lunch, and loo breaks. You should allow your employees to take a stroll but ensure that they complete all their work on time and these breaks do not impact work in a negative manner.

Employees shouldn’t go to each other to chatter as that may cause disturbance to others.

#10 Get an Invoicing Tool

A great way to increase efficiency is to get an invoicing software. Almost all kinds of businesses issue invoices and most now use computers to generate them; however, tools like Excel may not be the best option as they’re not only complicated to use but they also lack specific features.

Invoicing can be a lengthy process as it involves adding names, prices, calculating taxes, taking care of discounts, etc. Manually doing all this work can take a lot of time. Plus, there’s always a risk of mistakes.

By using an invoicing tool like Billdu, you can automate the process and take the burden off you. Billdu can import data, help you work offline, calculate amounts for you, and even send reminders to ensure you get paid on time and your cash flow does not suffer.

How to Improve Efficiency in Business

We hope these tips on how to improve efficiency in business will help you achieve your desired result. Remember that there’s a time lag and you may have to wait a while for results to show.

Do not give up and continue to follow these business efficiency tips so that you can make your company more efficient.

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