I’m officially self-employed for about a year now and one of the duties that came along was creating invoices.
Not that I have to write lots of invoices, I usually create about one or two a month, so I’m not in the need of a sophisticated billing solution.
Still, being an internet geek, I started my search for the perfect invoicing tool that fits my needs.
Here are some of the sites I remember having tried back then:
I was really looking for a simple app, but then decided to stay with Free Agent, because they allowed me to import my bank statements and to be my own accountant.
I don’t remember why I didn’t choose Invoice Machine, as it looks really nice and simple to me now.
Anyway, as said, I went with Free Agent, and it is a very nice app, but there are two main problems I experienced which led to the app I’m going to talk about in a minute.
The first problem is, that while having all this data within Free Agent, I don’t have much of a clue about accounting and I have a real accountant anyway.
So the data on Free Agent wasn’t really correct and was redundant to the work done by my accountant.
The second reason why I quit Free Agent about two weeks ago, is that I’m now Co-Founder of another company where we need to write invoices as well and I didn’t want to pay another $20 a month just for invoicing.
While $40 dollars a month alone are not that much, it adds up with other subscriptions. There are the two Basecamp accounts, the flickr accounts, the ….. – do you get you I mean?
So at first I started creating invoices with Apple Pages, but it just doesn’t feel right to me. Maybe because you have to actually spend more time formatting than creating the content or because it’s a pain to share and store them – I don’t really know.
So about two weeks ago, we just started to build our own little invoice generator to fit exactly our needs and it took only a few days from start to finish.
Here is short feature list:
- Built for us, but usable by everyone
- See how your invoice looks like, while editing it
- Upload your own invoice templates (with support for different languages)
- Generate a PDF for sharing or printing
- Track the payment state of your invoice (due, overdue, paid)
- Manage your contacts (very, very simple) and see who owes you what
- One account can be administrated by multiple users
- A user can be associated with multiple accounts and we have an account switch bar like 37signals new launchbar
- German and english localization
- It’ s free
It’s called Invoice App and is a straight forward Rails application. We initially started it as a Rails 3.pre app for fun, but then switched back to the current stable to save some time and get it usable as fast as possible.
We plan to keep it as a free tool as long as hosting or support costs don’t become a significant factor.