client billing software

Client Billing Software: Definition and Key Features

Key points

  1. Client billing software automates invoice and payment tracking, sends notifications for overdue invoices, and provides instructions for failed recurring payments, allowing small business owners to focus on more important tasks.
  2. Must-have features of client billing software include native payment integrations with processors like Stripe and PayPal, automated late payment reminders, and integration with accounting software.
  3. Service Provider Pro is recommended as the best billing and invoicing software for agencies, offering features such as recurring billing, order forms, downloadable invoices, and many integration options.

Client billing and invoicing software is a must-have these days—unless you enjoy manually editing an Excel template every time. Even if you’re a spreadsheet expert, how are you going to track unpaid invoices?

As a small business owner, you shouldn’t spend time on tedious tasks that can be automated, which is why you should use a solution that handles them for you. But which client billing software is the best one, what kind of payment gateways do they support, and which features set are a must-have?

Read on if you’d like to know more about the best way to bill clients with a dedicated software.

What is a client billing system?

A billing system is usually a way or software used to send invoices to clients, track their payments, and ensure that a company is paid for their services. These days, invoicing and billing is automated, meaning that once an invoice has been issued, the software sends payment reminders if the invoice is not settled. For this to work, modern invoicing tools connect to payment processors that send events upon successful payments.

A big advantage of using billing software for your small business is that it takes admin time away. Instead of manually keeping an eye on invoices and chasing invoice payments, you can focus on more important tasks.

Here are the top advantages of using a billing software:

  • automated invoice and payment tracking

  • notifications when invoices are overdue

  • instructions sent to clients for failed recurring payments

  • better and more detailed reporting for your team

  • ability to calculate MRR and ARR to scale company

Worth a read

Must-have client billing software features

Before you jump on the first invoicing solution you come across, first think about the features your customers require, and what you need for easy invoice management. This question can be answered by looking at your current invoicing procedure. What is lacking, what takes too much time, and what is downright annoying?

Regardless if you already have an invoice app that you use and are looking to switch, or you’re just starting your agency, here are must-have features to look out for:

  1. Native payment integrations: Direct integrations with payment processors such as Stripe and PayPal are a must. They assure that payments are always handled with care.

  2. Late payment reminders: Nobody should be chasing invoice payments these days. Instead, the software should handle automated reminders that ask clients to pay an invoice.

  3. Integration with accounting software: Freelancers and small business owners appreciate it if the billing software comes with accounting features, or can at least connect to popular account software.

Grow your industry knowledge

Join thousands of agency owners and get our best agency growth content in your inbox, one email per month 👇️

Other invoicing features that are nice-to-have include sending proposals, being able to collect contract signatures, and the ability to track time and invoice based on that information.

Best invoicing software for your business

Service Provider Pro

SPP invoice view admin side

From manual invoicing to fully automated invoice issuing: SPP is the best billing and invoicing software for agencies. Set up recurring billing by defining services your clients can purchase, make it easy to check out via an order form, and let your clients download invoices from their dashboard.

Learn about our client payment tracker and how it can help you stay on top of your outstanding payments.

These days, the billing and invoicing process should be easy, and with SPP it is. Those looking to integrate with external tools, such as accounting software, can even use our API to generate invoices. Plus, there are webhooks and a Zapier integration for all your automation needs.

SPP logo
Scale your agency operations with the SPP.co client portal.
Find out more

Zoho Invoice

Zoho invoice software

Zoho has multiple products, one of which is this free invoicing software for small businesses. Compared to Service Provider Pro, Zoho Invoice targets freelancers and small businesses that have to invoice manually for their services. There are multiple handy features they can make use of, such as time and expense tracking, quote creation, and the possibility to connect a payment gateway.

Also read

Square Invoice

Square Invoices software

Compared to Zoho, Square Invoice targets businesses that have higher requirements when it comes to invoicing. The software helps you manage payments faster by allowing you to create batch invoices. You’re even able to automatically convert an accepted estimate into an invoice.

With that said, most of these features require the paid subscription, and are not available on the free plan. Some of the free features include contracts with e-signature and estimates.

PayPal Invoicing

PayPal invoicing

Not only is it an online payment processor, PayPal also have a solution for invoicing. It doesn’t require a PayPal account, as the invoices you send can also be paid via a credit or debit card. Similar to Square, you start by sending estimates that, upon approval, are converted into invoices.

PayPal logo
PayPal
Get paid via PayPal Payments Standard.
View all our integrations

Compared to the other solutions, PayPal is the only one that supports Venmo, a popular payment method in the United States.

Stripe Invoicing

Stripe Invoicing

Similar to PayPal, Stripe is one of the most popular payment processors around. You’re able to create and send invoices within minutes once your Stripe account has been set up and verified. The biggest benefit of using Stripe Invoicing is that you can accept many different payment methods, depending on the origin of your Stripe account.

Stripe logo
Stripe
Collect payments for your services.
View all our integrations

Stripe is a great solution for everyone who operates internationally and wants to make it easy for their customers to pay an invoice.

Best invoicing software FAQ

Which is the best software for billing?

Service Provider Pro is the best overall software for agencies looking to get all their billing needs solved. Those looking for a free solution can consider Zoho Invoice or Square Invoice.

How to do billing for a small business?

Depending on your needs, billing should be mostly automated. If you ask clients to pay upfront, invoices should be issued automatically, which is how SPP.co handles the process. You can still issue invoices manually, and they are marked as paid upon successful payment.

How do I choose the best invoicing software?

Consider your needs and choose the best billing software depending on your criteria. If you need to send proposals, make sure that the chosen tool supports it. If you want to save money, a free billing software might be the best solution.

Conclusion

It’s hard to choose the best invoicing and billing software, but one thing is clear. Service Provider Pro is serving hundreds of agencies that rely on our billing features every day. Those who do a lot of manual invoicing and rely on proposals should take a look at other solutions that fulfil that need. For everyone else, SPP.co can automate your billing and invoicing so you can focus on more important tasks.

Running an agency?

See how a Client Portal can help you sell more services…
Learn more