As a small business owner in today’s market, you know how important it is to stay on top of your books. Mobile invoicing apps are one of the easiest and most frequently used solutions for such a task. Unfortunately, with so many options in the app store or online, how do you know which one to use?
Easy. It’s not about the apps; it’s about the features they offer.
It’s What’s Inside That Counts: The Perks
Every invoicing app has a unique set of tools its developers claim are must-haves for their userbases and boast they have the best invoicing app software. While that might be true for some, most of what makes a particular app stand above the rest lies within what we’ll call the perks section. Perks—or special features, if you will—are the frosting on the cake. They’re the extra 5 bucks you find hiding in your wallet, and they can make or break your invoicing app decisions. After digging through the most popular invoicing apps available, we’ve come up with a list of the top perks and features you’d want at your disposal.
1. Accept Mobile Payments
Imagine you’re on a jobsite. You’ve just completed repairs or some other service, and it’s time to wrap everything up. Typically, you might head back to the office, draft up an invoice, mail it out, wait for a couple of weeks to get a check, and then deposit the money into your bank account. When you have an app that accepts mobile payments, all you need to do is pass the customer your phone, let them review the invoice, and they can make a payment right there.
2. Customizable Invoices
If you’ve got customers coming in from all over, you’re likely sending them digital invoices for your products or services. Considering how competitive the market is, it’s smart business to make an impact with those invoices. The ability to design and customize your invoices, as well as having an internal system to calculate taxes and shipping automatically, is wildly powerful.
3. Real-Time Notifications
Wouldn’t it be nice to know the moment somebody views your invoice? How about the second the money hits your bank? Of course, it would. That’s why many of the top-performing mobile invoicing apps have real-time tracking and notifications. They shoot you an update every time a client, customer, or vendor opens your invoice and makes any progress toward paying you. Apps with this perk also tend to ping your phone whenever someone misses a payment deadline or something else goes wrong.
4. Expense Tracking
Tracking expenses can be a miserable experience. By the time you need to submit your quarterly taxes, small mountains of crumpled receipts fill your desk drawer, hanging folders, and the glove compartment of your car. Fortunately, mobile invoicing apps can include expense tracking. Some allow you to take and upload photos of your receipts for tracking purposes. Others enable you to automatically sort one-time and recurring expenses into specific categories for easy reviewing on your app dashboard later. Whatever the method, it’s a handy perk and one you should look for when choosing your invoicing app.
5. Customer and Vendor Reports
In the day-to-day grind of running your own business, it can get a little tricky to keep track of everyone and everything that passes through your doors. Some quality mobile invoicing apps let you offset that challenge by tracking customer and vendor actions with specialized reports. Within those reports, you can identify habitually late payers, any active invoices, what people are buying, and how much they’re spending overall. Data like that is incredibly useful for business owners to have at their fingertips and something you should consider.
6. A User-Friendly Experience
This perk is probably the easiest to overlook, but it’s still worth mentioning. When it comes to user experience, you want an app that feels intuitive. If it takes you days or weeks to learn the ins and outs of the system, it’s probably too complicated—or, at least, not put together very well. If you’re using your invoicing app for on-the-go transactions or in a fast-paced environment, every feature should only be 1 or 2 finger taps away. If you have to dig for it, it may not be worth the effort.
7. Bonus and Upgrade Options
More is better. Whether you decide to purchase or upgrade to include every single facet of your invoicing app, it’s nice to know you have that option as your business grows. While you may not need the bells and whistles at first, having the ability to adjust your plan as business booms is really handy. Consider looking for a mobile invoicing app that has several purchasing tiers. It might be better to spend a little more money when you need extra features than to start from scratch because the app you chose can’t keep up with your business growth.
Every App Is Different
It’s unlikely you’ll find a single invoicing app that has everything you could possibly need and want. That said, it’s a good idea to take a close look at all of your options. Weigh the pros and cons of each one, and see how well they fit with your business needs and personal preferences. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, make the jump and see if you like it. Worst-case scenario, you just download a few of them, give each a shot for a short period, and then pick the one that feels right.