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Summary:

With 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 […]

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?

  1. mattmickiewicz Thursday, May 14, 2009

    I’m actually quite a fan of Invoice by ZOHO. It’s only gotten better with time.

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  2. I have been a user of Freshbooks for some time now. I am a HUGE fan. The UI is super simple and they continue to improve it all the time. Highly recommend it!

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  3. James Jensen Thursday, May 14, 2009

    The answer is “D”, none of the above.

    CASHBOARD is the best option out there and shines where all of these fail.

    http://www.getcashboard.com

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  4. Love Freshbooks. I tried them all and ended up with Freshbooks…not looking back.

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  5. I have not tested Harvest or Blinksale, but I do use FreshBooks – and love it!! I do my monthly invoicing in about 30 minutes – down from several hours with QuickBooks.

    One caveat – if you need really complex customization, FreshBooks isn’t for you – its strength is in its simplicity. My one criticism is that the reporting could be more flexible.

    Other than that, I recommend Freshbooks wholeheartedly.

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  6. and, if you don’t want to pay or only send a few invoices a month try invoicejournal.com ;-)

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  7. +1 for Harvest. Simple and efficient. iPhone app for easy timetracking. It now supports Paypal payment options. They’ve been releasing updates on a very regular basis.

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  8. I have been using CurdBee (http://curdbee.com) for invoicing for last several months and these guys just rocks! Smart yet simple flow to work plus some nifty features such as accepting payments via PayPal and Google Checkout..

    Recently they introduced a PRO version of their product, which is only just $5 per month. It includes SSL, fully unbranded emails + custom email messages.

    It’s a real bargain with all those awesome features.

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  9. OpenAir is the only way to go if you need it all. http://www.openair.com/

    I used this years ago when they were new and small and seeking affiliates & accounts were free. Even then it was the absolute best, as far as features went. Everything you can think of, it has. Everything you need invoicing software to do, it can – and it can do a zillion other related things, all integrated really, really well. These days it is not free but they do have various levels of product -for enterprise through individuals. I would still use it if I didn’t have to pay.

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  10. Time59 is designed specifically for freelancers. It tracks time and expenses, e-mails invoices and has true accounts receivable. It also offers Trust Accounting for lawyers. $49.95 per year for unlimited use.

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