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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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1  
Hey Lauren, I'm still using iBiz 2 (hated 3 and 4) I feel your pain an have been looking for something comparable for a while. Checkout an app called "Billings". –  Scott Feb 19 at 18:40
    
@Scott An app as in from the App Store? By whom? –  Lauren Ipsum Feb 19 at 19:27
    
Yes it's an app, like iBiz.... but forget it. They appear to have changed their pricing to a monthly subscription now. It wasn't when I looked (and purchased it) about 6 months ago. I'd probably look closer at iRachet (prettygoodsoftware.net/?page_id=17) due to this. I plan on using iBiz until the wheels fall off :) –  Scott Feb 19 at 19:40
    
@Scott It looks like it was abandoned in 2011. –  Lauren Ipsum Feb 19 at 20:06
    
oops.. yeah it does.. .see I've hit the same roadblock you're finding - not wanting a web-based "cloud" or subscription-based solution. –  Scott Feb 19 at 20:07

8 Answers 8

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 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 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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2  
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 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 at 13:13

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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thank you, but I know very little of the hard programming. I was hoping for something a bit more turnkey. –  Lauren Ipsum Feb 19 at 19:28

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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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.

Goodluck!

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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 at 9:32
    
Oh whoops, didnt know that was an opposition. I personally prefer the accessibility. –  Brian Aug 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 at 14:00
    
All fair points =) –  Brian Aug 14 at 14:14

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 at 9:51

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