Running your own business means responding quickly to the changing landscape of business. Construction companies need access to the best tools to assist them with project management and creating professional invoices.
But with so many options out there, how do you choose which invoicing and accounting software to use? We’ll help you narrow it down by reviewing the best billing and invoicing software for contractors.
How do I invoice as a general contractor?
If you’re a general contractor, you understand the need to create and send professional-looking invoices so you can streamline the billing process and get more done while still getting paid. Onboarding a contractor invoicing software can make invoicing easy.
An invoice represents a payment request and is typically sent after a project is complete.
Here are a few of the things that general contractors should understand about the invoicing process:
What to include in your professional invoices
Your invoices should reflect the same quality and professionalism in your contracting business. Every invoice you send should contain the following standard features:
- Your company logo and contact information
- Your client’s contact details
- A unique invoice number
- Invoice date
- Description of services
- Cost of each service
- Sales tax
- Payment options (check, cash, credit card, etc.)
- Payment terms (late fees, etc.)
While the terms and conditions of your construction business may vary, these standard features can help you get paid faster and present a professional image to your clients. Here are free contractor invoice templates to help you get started
Use billing software
This is where the benefits of using invoicing and accounting software come into play. The best invoicing software will allow you to create customizable invoice templates with just a few clicks, even sending invoices directly from your smartphone. This lets you collect payments more quickly than ever before.
Automated payment reminders reduce the number of overdue invoices you’re forced to deal with.
The right software can be a valuable addition to your company, letting you automate many business processes while optimizing your workflow and streamlining revenue.
In other words, invoicing software lets you get more done in less time — and that can help you grow your business.
Best billing and invoicing software for small business
Small business owners and general contractors know how much having the right tools can keep their companies operating at peak efficiency.
Below, we’ve highlighted the best invoicing and accounting software options that small businesses and construction firms can use.
Our invoicing software allows you to create customizable invoices in mere seconds, sending these professional invoices to clients straight from your smartphone.
Automated reminders will help you to get paid faster and reduce the number of outstanding invoices you have to track down.
Exactly what can you expect from our advanced features? Our web-based software and mobile app include time-tracking features that can be particularly useful for general contractors and other professionals. You can even benefit from our ability to provide preliminary work estimates for your clients!
Our banking features are linked directly to your invoicing process, functionally completing many basic bookkeeping processes automatically by matching payments to invoices and estimates.
Recently, we’ve introduced additional integrations with other companies like Xero, which adds accounting software functionality to our already-impressive set of invoicing tools. As a result, you can enjoy even more payment gateway options once you integrate these two accounts.
General contractors have found a reliable invoicing solution in FreshBooks, which offers many quality features at an affordable price. Users can create invoices quickly and easily and bill clients directly through the mobile app.
FreshBooks’ billing system allows users to accept credit cards, streamlining the billing process and ensuring that they get paid on time. FreshBooks starts at only $15, though you’ll need to spend more to use these features to send invoices to multiple clients.
QuickBooks has been something of a household name for accounting software. This software will allow you to process online payments through its cloud-based service, helping you to accept credit card payments and even Apple Pay through the payment portal.
This billing software also has time tracking options, which can be great for including billable hours on your invoices. Pricing starts very inexpensively, though the invoicing features we’ve described are only available in select plans. Their Simple Start plan, for instance, offers unlimited invoices, estimates, and sales receipts for a low cost.
If you’re a small business owner, you may already be familiar with Zoho’s accounting software, known as Zoho Books. Zoho Invoice is a dedicated invoicing platform that increases your payment gateway options and allows you to receive payments with optimal efficiency.
Zoho Invoice also includes unique project management tools that help you automate workflows and spend more time focusing on your work. Service-based contractors can even send estimates to their clients, facilitating the negotiation process.
AvidXchange provides an invoice management solution ideal for small to midsize businesses. The program’s automated features help you save time and reduce paperwork, while the online invoicing tools are perfect for construction companies whose employees are often spread out across multiple locations.
One of the features offered by AvidXchange is its OCR technology. Users can utilize this feature to scan documents and convert the text to machine-readable form, which can be a great feature to have when faced with the common invoicing challenges created by paper records.
The web-based software boasts 180 different integrations, aligning with your existing project management and accounting software.
Bill.com is powered by the latest in artificial intelligence. It includes many great automated features that can be ideal for general contractors who need to send recurring invoices. Not only can you create customizable invoices, but the program also offers online payment solutions that allow you to process multiple currencies.
The invoice tracking features built into the program can also help you keep track of your cash flow, ensuring that payments are made and processed quickly through multiple payment gateways.
HoneyBook has been a popular option among freelancers and general contractors for years, particularly for its time-tracking features that allow users to keep track of their billable hours.
Though mileage tracking is not a direct feature of HoneyBook’s core service, it integrates with other mobile apps to record this data and includes it in your business expenses.
HoneyBook offers a variety of other expense-tracking features, including those that you might not ordinarily record on a customer’s finished invoice. For instance, time spent in the brainstorming or design phase of a project might be reflected in the expense reports, helping independent contractors understand the total time that goes into a particular project.
HoneyBook’s online payment gateways make it easy to accept payments from a client’s mobile device. Money reaches the user’s bank account after a brief processing period.
FreeAgent is an online billing and invoicing tool that features multiple templates to choose from, allowing you to invoice clients by printing these templates or sending a PDF through email.
It charges a low monthly fee for its Universal Plan, which gives users access to these templates. FreeAgent also offers several different payment gateways, thanks to integration with PayPal and Stripe, though users can also accept credit cards through FreeAgent’s payment portal.
But what’s most impressive about FreeAgent’s tools is their project tracking features. These valuable features can provide an Invoice Timeline tool that helps you keep track of your outstanding invoices, giving you a complete overview of your current cash flow.
Users can also collaborate with their clients by sharing data in real-time, helping the project calendar to run smoothly.
Xero has already established itself as a valuable accounting software tool, but you can also use it for creating and sending customizable invoices to your clients.
If your construction business struggles with overdue invoices and delinquent payments, Xero offers tracking services to let you know when a client has opened or seen your invoices but has yet to render payment. This data can be used to track down outstanding invoices and ensure that your clients pay on time.
Xero also offers time-saving features that many general contractors may find valuable. For instance, if you add an item to your invoice, Xero automatically grabs the matching price from your pricing schedule and populates the corresponding field on your invoice.
Xero offers flexible pricing that starts at a low cost per month. They also have advanced plans based on the number of clients you serve and the features your business might require.
In addition to offering a comprehensive invoicing solution, BigTime boasts many additional features that make it a great accounting software platform for small businesses and freelancers. Users can easily create and send invoices, but BigTime also offers other project management features that let them more closely manage individual tasks and budgets.
The management tools also help you review your processes and adjust your business strategy. Users can even benefit from the expense management solutions, which help them stay on budget.
Jobber is a solid option for working professionals on the go. It offers a client hub that allows clients to approve quotes, check work details, and pay their invoices directly through the online payment portal.
Perhaps best of all, Jobber will remind users to send invoices once the project is complete, which means that you’ll never experience a delay in your payment process.
These features help ensure that projects can run smoothly while offering a layer of transparency in your overall process. Jobber’s pricing starts at $19 per month for its Lite plan, though advanced features are available in its other plans.
Build something new
If the features offered by Invoice2go a Bill.com company, interest you, why not take them for a test drive with our free trial offer?
Sign up for 30 days of free access to see firsthand how our invoicing platform can dramatically improve your contracting business’s efficiency, quality, and professionalism.
Frequently asked questions
Want to know more about these software options? Here are some of the most common questions we hear about invoicing software.
Most invoicing programs will integrate with your existing system. For example, if you already use Zoho Books, Zoho Invoice will dovetail naturally. Invoice2go integrates with Xero, providing our users with additional options so that they can manage every aspect of their contracting business.
The automated features of modern invoicing software make it easier than ever to run a small business. In some cases, it can help to have a background in finance or accounting, but the software itself can handle many of the financial processes associated with your business.
If you choose a plan such as Invoice2go’s Premium plan, you’ll have access to phone support that can walk you through any questions or challenges that might arise. These programs can minimize the need for a full accounting team, all without compromising the financial health of your business.
You can offset the cost of these services by deducting the expense from your annual business taxes. The IRS generally allows businesses to deduct the cost of any necessary software from their annual tax returns, increasing the cost-effectiveness of these programs.