Square adds online invoicing to its growing list of small business services

Square has brought invoicing to its small business commerce toolkit, letting merchants send email bills to their customers. Square isn’t charging for the service, and it makes no money if a payer sends in a check or brings in cash. But if he selects an option to pay online with credit card, Square will process the transaction and charge its usual 2.75 percent fee. In the last few months, Square has added a lot of new features to its dashboard and core Register app, from customer feedback to pre-ordering.

Freckle Time Tracking Adds Invoicing

I actually love working in Freckle. What that said, it’s always been kind of a hassle to take time tracking info from Freckle and build my invoices, so I was thrilled to hear that the Freckle team had added invoicing to the service.

MiniBooks: Putting FreshBooks On the iPhone and iPod Touch

Freshbooks logoFreshBooks users with iPhones or iPod Touches (s aapl) can now manage their FreshBooks account while on the go with MiniBooks, an app from Groovy Squared. The app synchronizes with your FreshBook account, so you can access your data even if you lose your network connection.

MiniBooks comes with the following features:

  • Clients: Search for clients and contact them with the iPhone’s phone and email applications.
  • Invoices: Create, edit, search, view and email invoices from within the app. You can also view the status of the invoice and record payments.
  • Timers: Start and stop timers that can track multiple activities on one screen. Active timers will keep running even if you close MiniBooks.
  • Estimates: Create, edit and email estimates that you can turn into invoices. Read More about MiniBooks: Putting FreshBooks On the iPhone and iPod Touch

Tips from the Trenches: Get Your Clients to Pay Up

Write checkDo you worry about chasing down payments because you don’t want to get into a touchy situation with your clients? Just because the client hasn’t paid in a timely manner doesn’t mean you should dump them from your client list as soon as they get around to paying you; it’s possible to collect with a smile.
You can find scores of articles talking about the dire state of the economy leading big businesses to pay late and collect fast and people struggling to keep their businesses afloat. We’ve provided some tips on dealing with non-paying clients previously, but here are some techniques used by businesses that have have collected payment without breaking knees or relationships. Read More about Tips from the Trenches: Get Your Clients to Pay Up

Ronin: The Wandering Warrior of Invoicing Web Apps?

roninMaybe it’s just because I was an English major, but the names people give to their web apps never cease to rouse my sense of curiosity. Hence my attraction to Ronin, which had me more eager to try out a new invoicing app than I ever have been in recent memory. It doesn’t hurt that it also happens to be monthly invoicing time, which I have come to dread like no other. Hopefully Ronin can help alleviate my terror.
At first glance, using the press demo supplied, it appears to be a very nicely put together web app. The UI is clean and pleasant, with a typical shades-of-gray-with-soft-edges Web 2.0 color scheme, and a blog-style navigation tree under the header. If I have to be making up invoices, at least I don’t have to be doing it via an ugly interface. Read More about Ronin: The Wandering Warrior of Invoicing Web Apps?

Google Calendar Invoice Creator: A Simple Invoicing App

Google Calendar Invoice Creator-1Like Simon, I use Google (s goog) tools to manage just about everything I do. I keep most of my files saved as Google Docs. I use Google Calendar to schedule my time. I rely on Gmail to manage the several emails addresses I have. Having a fairly integrated set of tools makes managing my work a lot easier. I’m always looking for ways to use Google tools to manage a little bit more of my digital life, like using Google Calendar to manage invoices. A new, free Adobe Air (s adbe) application, Google Calendar Invoice Creator, provides the capability to do just that. Read More about Google Calendar Invoice Creator: A Simple Invoicing App

Cashboard Unveils Dynamic Pricing Structure

logoOne of the annoying things about a lot of the web apps we cover is that as the size of your team or number of clients changes, you have to keep upgrading or downgrading your plan. So it’s refreshing to see that Cashboard, an invoicing and time-tracking app we’ve covered previously, has just unveiled a dynamic pricing structure that can adjust as your requirements change. The plan costs a base level of $10 per month, with one employee and one active invoiced client included. Thereafter, each additional active employee costs $5 per month, while each additional active client invoiced costs 25 cents.

Not only does this mean that you no longer have to upgrade or downgrade plans as your client base or team changes size, but it’s also cheaper than comparable offerings from competing products like Harvest and Freshbooks. Hopefully, other web apps will take note and follow suit.

What do you think of Cashboard’s move to dynamic pricing?

A Comparison of Freshbooks vs. Harvest vs. Blinksale

logosWith so many invoicing web apps available (many of them covered here on WebWorkerDaily), choosing one can be a daunting task. Even limiting your options to the most popular services doesn’t help that much, as the costs of the various plans vary so little. So we were excited to see that Stuart Bowness, of Victoria, B.C.-based design studio Simple Station, has posted a useful comparative review of three of the most popular invoicing apps: Freshbooks, Havest and Blinksale.

Bowness used the apps in his business for about a year each, and his in-depth, insightful observations of the merits and issues with each of the services are based on long-term, real-world usage and worth noting.

Especially interesting are his notes of problems or quirks with each of the apps, which could be very handy when it comes to picking the right service for your business. According to Bowness, Freshbooks’ time tracking is “difficult when you have multiple employees,” its project management is “dismal” and its reports “suck.” Blinksale, meanwhile, offers neither integrated time tracking nor the ability to integrate with a payment gateway, he says, and cannot create estimates. Harvest is similarly unable to create estimates or integrate with a payment gateway, according to Bowness, and recurring invoices are not handled that well. And he finds it “ridiculous” that SSL support is only available with the $90-per-month plan.

Freshbooks is the most feature-rich, Bowness notes, but while it does everything, he says that it “doesn’t do anything particularly well” and its interface is not intuitive. And Blinksale is perfect if you are a freelancer, but not if you have staff. Bowness’ personal favorite is Harvest, which delivers simplicity while boasting a substantial feature set (although not as complete as Freshbooks’).

Which do you prefer: Harvest, Freshbooks or Blinksale?

Severa: Easy One-click CRM, Project Management and Invoicing

Severa LogoThough CRM, project management and invoicing are often separate applications, more companies are producing software that does more than one of these tasks by combining them into one package. Severa is web-based software that provides you with an all-in-one software solution for managing your business.

The price is unbeatable for lone freelancers and business owners, with a $0 price tag. If you work with a team that will need access to the software, it’ll cost 30 euros ($40) per user per month, with the first user free. Should the out-of-the-box package not have everything you need, Severa has add-ons available for a fee. Read More about Severa: Easy One-click CRM, Project Management and Invoicing