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The billing/invoicing/time-tracking software I use, iBiz, is no longer being supported by its manufacturer. I am a freelancer, so I need software which allows me to:

  • Track time on jobs
  • Track tasks on jobs
  • Automatically fill in a rate for a task (not all tasks are the same hourly rate)
  • Add notes about a job
  • Put in flat-rate items
  • Organize clients, preferably by allowing me to have more than one point of contact in a company
  • Generate invoices
  • Record payments and log them against invoices
  • Customize the invoices with a logo
  • Generate earnings reports for tax season

Cost is not an enormous issue, although I'd rather not spend several thousand dollars.

What are your suggestions? What experience have you had with the software, and why would you recommend for/against it?

I am in the U.S. working on a Mac, so the software must be Mac-compatible.

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All vendors want to go the cloud route especially in the small business sector. Mainly because of how small busineses behave on upgrade time. the sell once ans support for free works badlyvin this sector. Look for open source, which is usually less turnkey. –  joojaa Feb 20 '14 at 6:30
I am having the same problem with finding the best non-cloud software, I used Billings before it became a cloud based system and found it great. But now I've had to upgrade to the new cloud based system and pay a monthly charge I have had nothing but trouble, not backing up/syncing I also used to have all my invoices saved to my machine but now all my invoicing/financial records are nothing but data on the other side of the world. The cloud systems are just a rip! and when something does go wrong at their end you're stuffed (up the creek without a paddle) as I have found out first hand... –  Sketcherman May 4 '14 at 22:40

9 Answers 9

Give Harvest a try.

My freelancing needs aren't that great, but I've been happily giving them $12/month for a few months now. They have a ton of features, a bunch of apps, they integrate with a bunch of 3rd party stuff, and more.

Free trial and a limited free tier; worth checking out.

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It's online, though, isn't it? I really don't want cloud-based. –  Lauren Ipsum Apr 2 '14 at 10:10
Their iOS app claims to have some offline capabilities for time tracking. The Mac app doesn't let you start or stop timers while offline, but it'll run if you lose your connection. But yeah if you want to handle reports and stuff offline this isn't your choice. –  Brendan Apr 2 '14 at 13:32

I would suggest Replicon for the sort of billing, invoicing and time tracking. The task and project management is also a sole part of the company. Its A versatile solution for the overall business management.

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It's only in the cloud? there's no actual program to download? What happens to all my information when the company disappears? For that matter, what happens when they get hacked like Target/Neiman Marcus etc.? –  Lauren Ipsum Feb 19 '14 at 19:29
Yes, Replicon is cloud based and I don't think so it will disappear. I had been using them for about 3 years now and Yes, all my time, expense and product data is on cloud, but the best thing is that those data is available for me all time and I never experienced any issues with their server. Even when I dont have access to internet, I can fill in my time, expense and project data and it will be stored on cloud once I am connected to internet. I am not sure about others, but most of my tools are cloud based and I prefer it because of zero maintenance and installation and related hassles. –  user65831 Feb 20 '14 at 13:13

Pancake is not subscription based, once you buy it, it's yours. You do need to install it in your (or a) server, like a regular website, but you don't really require programming (as mentioned in another answer), just some online space. You can also create a local server - which would need some reading and implementation, but it's not terribly complicated if you follow the instructions.

Good thing is, you can regularly back-up and download your information, and only you have access to your data, not some third party. But I haven't used it, so I don't bet my life on it :)

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I've gone back and forth on this one. On one hand, I love the ubiquity of cloud apps. On the other, I hate the longterm expense of a subscription model.

For a local, desktop app that supports lots of time tracking and billing functionality as well as some reporting, I keep coming back to OfficeTime. It's not perfect, but it gets the job done.

It is not, however, a proper project management app. For simple task tracking with a decent level of tagging and filtering, I prefer RememberTheMilk, Tick Tick, or Todoist.

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All items on your list are done well with Freshbooks, plus an extensive api, third party add ons and mobile apps. Example: tracking time - phone app records time, you select which client and what tasks and when you're done it gives you an option to immediately create an invoice based on flat or hourly rate you stored previously or add a custom rate. Then an option to send immediately by email and by physical mail or save as a draft. There are too many features to mention but its really well designed and developed and worth checking out.

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still cloud. :( –  Lauren Ipsum Aug 14 '14 at 9:32
Oh whoops, didnt know that was an opposition. I personally prefer the accessibility. –  Brian Dillingham Aug 14 '14 at 13:27
My issues with cloud are (1) I'm not buying software but renting it, which I resent on principle (2) cloud software can go away without any notice and then I'm stuck (3) clouds can be hacked much more easily than my computer, which I can unplug from the Internet if I choose. –  Lauren Ipsum Aug 14 '14 at 14:00
All fair points =) –  Brian Dillingham Aug 14 '14 at 14:14

I have tried a number of applications from this site. Most offer most of the functionality you are looking for, some lack a few things. Maybe one or two has all. Most require you to have web hosting of some sort or local php and mysql.

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Zoho Invoice may be a viable solution. However, it is a web application. It offers many of bulleted points you mentioned. The 'Standard' pricing option is $15/month. You also get access to a handful of other Zoho business apps, collaboration apps and productivity apps. There is also a 'Forever-Free' option, which still offers the core features. I would give that a try before spending any money.

While my experience with Zoho Invoice is limited, it has worked very well for my time-tracking & invoice needs. Additionally, Zoho offers iOS and Android apps for their products. So far, I am quite pleased with the (Android) mobile experience from Zoho Invoice as well.


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I have been using OfficeTimer employee time tracking software for my timesheet and invoicing, I am quite happy with it. Moreover, it is priced reasonably. It has all the features that freelancers would look for.

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Again... it's web-based software, and it has a monthly subscription fee. I want something I can purchase, once, and download, once, and use even if offline. –  Lauren Ipsum Aug 25 '14 at 9:51

Zylot is the software that I will recommend for billing and invoicing. Not sure which tool is best for tracking time, but I personally use a custom software for the same.

I normally prefer free tools(but not open source - just because of the pain it yields) as I work for an SMB and we dont initially invest(hugely) on any software. Zylot is completely free and I like the way the software works.

Moreover, I was not able to find any other free and effective billing software both for official and personal use.

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I don't trust any software which requires the user to "sign up" for anything - demo, free account, and even to simply see what pricing is. –  Scott Nov 12 '14 at 19:05
kinda sounds like spam here –  Darth_Vader Nov 12 '14 at 20:21
@Scott, not sure what you are talking about as this is a free software. If you are worried about signing up, you wouldn't have been here too. Every website or software requires signup, which has become something like "clean yourself before you eat". –  Latha Sreenivasan Nov 13 '14 at 7:11
@Matt, not sure how you came to the conclusion that my comment is spam, though I see so many "REAL" spams in this thread. Anyways, you are a moderator and you can remove my comment, as I dont have any issues with it. –  Latha Sreenivasan Nov 13 '14 at 7:17
Uhm... but to sign up to see absolutely ANYTHING about the product is not standard. 99.9% of software I can view a demo and check pricing without any need to "sign up". Asking for my information BEFORE I'm a customer is a bit of brute force sales if you ask me. I REALLY don't want to add my email to spam lists just to see what a product costs or how it works. –  Scott Nov 13 '14 at 9:27

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