Free web based invoicing software

sample invoicesThe other day a buddy of mine came over and asked if there is a free web based invoicing software he could use for his electronics store. Since it’s a new start up, funds are tight and he can’t afford to go for an invoicing software for now. Yet, he understands the importance of being able to manage his invoices and finances well. Image by cybrgrl

The reason why he needs it to be web based is because he’s always on the run servicing clients. Being able to generate and manage his invoices online is a good way to keep all his invoices at a central location. No longer does he need to worry about backing up his pc in case of a hard disk crash, theft, etc.

I did some internet research and found out that there is indeed a web based invoicing software he could use and it’s called BambooINVOICE – a free open source invoicing software intended for small businesses and independent contractors.

bambooinvoice

BambooINVOICE is a web application that is released as an open source software (GPL). In order to use it, the application has to be set up in a web environment (Apache, PHP, MySQL).

Before setting up the application, I gave BambooINVOICE a try myself and found it quite good and comprehensive enough to get the job done.

I started off by logging into the demo system.

The first page shows the following:

root

From here I could manage invoices, clients, reports, tweak settings, accounts and utilities.

I headed on straight to create an invoice just to see how it looks.

Create Client

I had the option to either select an existing client or create a new client. In my case, I created a client called Wareprise.com.

Clicking on the Create Invoice button shows the screen below.

Invoice

After entering all the required details such as the item description, quantity and price, a final amount is automatically calculated for me. Also not that I could add new line items simply by clicking on the new item button.

Once done, clicked on the create invoice button to save and actually create the invoice.

It’s really simple to create an invoice with BambooINVOICE. From time to time, you could login to the system again to view a list of all your invoices. (Click to enlarge)

List of Invoices

Let’s say someone makes a payment, all you need to do is to click on the Invoice number to update the payment amount for the invoice.

Enter payment

Note that the payment is made for just one item so the status is still kept as open. At the bottom of the screen is a payment history for you to keep track of all payments made.

payment history

Once all payment has been received and recorded, the status of the invoice will be automatically converted to closed.

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So that’s a simple walk through on how BambooINVOICE works. Hope you like it! I’m sure my buddy does. 🙂

About the author

Bob Lee

Hi! My name is Bob Lee and I’m a web developer / technical writer who specializes in developing and reviewing web applications. As an entrepreneur, blogger, developer, and tech enthusiast, I have been in this field for more than 10 years, and have been loving every minute of it.

8 Comments

  • It’s true that a lot of enterprise software – including invoicing software – can be expensive to license for a small or mid-sized business. But, I would argue, that doesn’t mean you need to turn to freeware. While freeware can be extremely useful, (depending on the individual application), it usually runs into a lot of integration issues. Have your customer’s info stored in some sort of CRM software? Don’t count on it to integrate with Bamboo Invoice, no matter how pretty their logo is. If cost is an issue, On-Demand software is the solution. SaaS applications minimize upfront costs, and are for the most part vastly superior to what you can download these days for free. If you need cheap, reliable, integratable (is that a word?) invoicing software, check out Nirvaha. Enjoi

  • Sage Software has recently launched a free online invoicng tool for freelancers and small businesses at http://www.billingboss.com. Billing Boss is focused of keeping invoicing simple – so simple that you can get set up and send your first invoice in just a couple minutes.

    Please note: With the goal of full disclosure, I work at Sage. Feel free to contact me if you have any feedback about Billing Boss.

  • I am trying to decide between bamboo and another open source option, siwapp… One of the big deciders for me will be how easy it is to write bridge to make a single login for wordpress and the chosen invoicing system…

  • Thanks for a great article, one web application I’d like to bring to peoples attention is http://www.paperfreebilling.co.uk

    It’s recently been re-launched (completely re-written front to back) so its easier to use, quick, simple, reliable and secure.

    Feature wise its got recurring invoices, HTML formatted invoices, PDF invoices, multiple currency support, Paypal integration, late payment reminders and thank you messages, plus more!

    Featured as an “Editor’s Pick” on Apple.com’s iPhone homepage its very well regarded as an online invoicing tool, as well as iPhone compatible making it very useful for people who want to access their invoices whilst out of the office.

    If you like the sound of this, check it out and sign up for a FREE account.

  • @ria Simpson: Är Billingboss reklamfinasierad? eller finns det tillägg som kostar? Eller tar ni någon transaktionsavgift för inbetalningar?

  • Ohh sorry, i’m confused, Why did i write in swedish…
    Here is english version:
    @ria Simpson: Is Billingboss Ad financed? or are there addons that cost money? or do you take a transaction fee for online payments?

    You must make money somehow.

  • Strange, this page is available in both English and Swedish… This might confuse the user that you can reply in a different language….

    Is it translated thru a google translate addon or something?

  • @LetIT,

    I did write a simple review on BillingBoss. You can read more at http://www.softwareforenterprise.us/2009/09/22/free-saas-based-invoicing-and-billing-software-by-sage/

    I have been using BillingBoss for more than 6 months to send invoices to my clients. So far I didn’t have to pay for any of the services. When my clients pay me via Paypal, BilingBoss doesn’t take a cut.

    I guess giving free services is a way for Sage to promote their brand.

    And yes, this site is translated by Google Translation engine.

    Thanks for dropping by and leaving comments.

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