: Offline billing software for freelancers 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
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
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
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.
I do not want something online or cloud-based. I want something I can buy, once, and download, once, and which works offline. I do not want to pay a subscription fee. I do not want something which is a web app, because if the company disappears, so do all my records.
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.
More posts by @Speyer780
So I may have finally found my answer! The iBiz forums recommended Studiometry by Oranged.net.
It has a cloud version, but you're not required to use it. You can download the software once and use it offline. It is Mac-compatible (with a lovely Mac interface) and has extensive video tutorials. You can try it full-featured for 30 days, I think.
So far I have been able to replicate almost every function of iBiz, if in slightly different places and formats. Studiometry has an "import iBiz" function which allows you to import everything directly from your iBiz database, which is SUPER useful, and their tech support is very responsive. The invoice templates are pretty editable, and the new version which comes out in a few weeks promises to have an improved template editor.
Entering information in a task is all in one window, including detailed notes. And it's possible to get an invoice which puts the details right on it with minimal fuss.
It's also compatible with the latest Mac OS, which is resolves my other (new) problem, which is that iBiz is only good up to OSX 10.11.
I use Grandtotal for Estimates & Invoices and it works with Timings for time tracking from the same Company. Its a desktop software, its pretty simple and i use it to generate Estimates which can be converted into invoices. You can import clients from your Mac address book and add more contacts to a client.It increases the invoice no. by itself and sets a due date and reminder for open invoices. Its basic but thats what i like about it.
Also possible: different rates, notes & custom fields on your estimate/invoice, add payments, custom logo, reports.
In my opinion its weakes point is the time tracking part which just feels weird to me. It works but others did it better (like Toggl). It can use 3rd party apps like "Things" or mite online time tracking to pull in your hours for invoices though.
I haven't actually tried these, but while researching time tracking apps, I've run across Totals, Invoice & Lumina which do invoicing and time tracking
I actually gave Fanurio a considerable trial, and it came pretty close. It does do most of what I'm looking for, although there's an annual "maintenance fee" for upgrades and tech support (which is not unreasonable).
Ultimately I got too frustrated with the number of clicks it took to enter the details I needed on my task list — in iBiz it's one; in Fanurio it's three or four — and in order to see those notes I had to download a non-public beta to access the function. Getting the notes to show up on the invoices was also very complex, so I shelved the trial for now.
I'm in the same boat.
Here are a couple apps I'm looking at. I'm still evaluating them so I can't directly recommend anything, but you may want to evaluate these as well.
Profit Train Appears to be a decent client and job tracker. At first glance not as easy on the "start and stop" job timer front. But possible.
On The Job Seems to have easier time tracking abilities, but also somewhat over-complex job/client input.
I do not use any invoicing app (none of them output to plain text email), so I'm not evaluating any of the invoicing features in apps. Just so you're aware. I can't comment on those features.
These are apps though, not cloud-based subscriptions.
Not much help ...
Fanurio is okay, but it's clunky in spots and forces me to work as it deems correct rather than adapting to my desires. So, as of late Feb 2016, I've written my own PHP/SQL application to run on my local web server. This allows me to create, edit, and structure things exactly as I want.
Live, automatic, updates of project status should date approach deadline
notification of late invoices
calculations of earning by project type, client, etc.
Automatic database backup
essentially any customization needed.
I realize this is absolutely no good to anyone else. But the lack of available, non-subscription based, client and billing tracking software made this a necessity.
If I knew anything about getting a php/sql web ap into a product form, I'd package for others. Unfortunately I'm not in that space and app creation is well beyond my wheelhouse.
You may want to check Fast Invoice
As well as all the basic invoicing functionality it has automation tools, which will invoice your clients automatically, and even send payment reminders.
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.
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.
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.
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 /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.
Give Harvest a try.
My freelancing needs aren't that great, but I've been happily giving them /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.
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.
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 :)
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.