In Highlights, Insights, Product

When it comes to invoicing, our firm belief is you should never go for a multi-functional tool – it’s best if you opt for a specialized solution that can deliver what your organization requires. Evalato is such a specialized solution that automates and streamlines your work, whether it’s managing awards, contests, scholarships, or other kind of programs. The platform focuses on the processes these programs require, while giving you the ability to connect to 3rd party apps for other important ones, like invoicing and customer relationship management, for example. That way you, the Evalato user, ends up utilizing the best possible tools for every task.

What invoicing apps bring to the table

Invoicing is without doubt one of the most important parts of running a paid program. An invoicing app helps a ton in that aspect by automating and managing your invoices. In addition to that, they bring more great benefits like:

  • readymade invoicing templates;
  • easily trackable finances;
  • automatically generated reports;
  • help maintain a professional image;
  • greatly improved security;
  • eliminate the accounting stress;
  • and minimize human error.

ProTip: On the subject of security, it’s very important to point out that specialized invoicing software offers bank-level security to protect sensitive data. That’s a lot more secure than preparing your invoices manually and emailing them as attachments, where the chances of human error are also fairly high.

Choosing the right invoicing app

As already mentioned, there isn’t a one-app-fits-all invoicing needs – it all depends on what you need in terms of features and how much you’re willing to pay for said features. Fortunately, Evalato connects to over 1000 apps and services on the web, including all popular invoicing solutions. Here are some tips to help pick the right one for you:

1. What you need

First you should consider what you need and what processes are required in your issuing of invoices. When deciding on which app to choose, try to understand how each helps you be more efficient in these processes. That’s the key reason why you shouldn’t use a multi-functional tool or an in-built solution from a platform that’s not specialized in payment processing or invoicing.

2. Professional image

You’ll want invoices issued by your organization to look professional. They also influence how people perceive your program, and even your business as a whole. While the information on the invoice is still the most important bit, a polished, easy to understand, and expertly designed invoice goes a long way towards retaining customers in the future.

3. Security

It goes without saying that invoicing apps access some sensitive data and therefore must be safe to use. You will want to choose from vendors that are well known and have a good reputation. It’s always a good idea to check user reviews about each invoicing app in consideration. Nowadays security and customer data protection are an absolute must for any successful business.

4. The cost

Obviously you want to pick a solution that’s also within budget. Good thing there are some excellent invoicing apps out there for every budget. Within this guide we’ve compiled a list with some of the best ones, including a few rock-solid free solutions. Just keep in mind that, when it comes to invoicing apps, the cost factor should come second after both the security factor and what you need in terms of features.

5. Customer support

Finally, you want to pick something that’s not susceptible to bugs and issues. Too bad that there’s no such thing as bug-free software. That’s why you’ll also want an invoicing app that’s reliable, but also has solid customer service. For example, in reviews Evalato users often praise our customer service, because on top of a robust set of help articles, video tutorials, and in-app tooltips, we also offer fast and friendly support!

Some invoicing apps to consider

Paid

Zoho Invoice – an app with simple design and numerous features, it allows you to create and send professional invoices. It is easy-to-use and especially recommended if you’re using other Zoho applications. Also great for sending paper invoices by snail mail.

Pricing: starts from $9/month, limited free plan available

Xero – one of the leading apps in the accounting category. We recommend it for detailed invoicing and accounting, because it can create and send invoices automatically, as well as categorize invoices as either awaiting approval, awaiting payment, drafted, or delayed.

Pricing: starts from $9/month

FreshBooks – an award-winning finance and accounting cloud solution designed specifically for self-employed professionals and small business owners. It offers simple simple accounting and invoicing. This app is also recommended for its high customer satisfaction rates.

Pricing: starts from $15/month

QuickBooks Online – the web version of QuickBooks, one of the biggest names in accounting and personal finance apps. The Online version offers some features you don’t get with the locally-installed version, like scheduled invoices, automatic sales receipts, split transactions, and location and class categories.

Pricing: starts from $20/month

FreeAgent – another cloud invoicing and accounting solution designed for freelancers and small businesses. It has most functionalities required to efficiently manage your finances and can also integrate some bank accounts with FreeAgent to keep your finances updated in real time.

Pricing: starts from $24/month, $12 for the first six months

Hiveage – a simple, but powerful online billing app for freelancers and small businesses that’s great for building simple PDF invoices without needing an account. Good tracking features and allows you to manage multiple teams and businesses.

Pricing: starts from $15/month

Free

Wave – this full-featured invoicing and accounting software is completely free. Unlike other free solutions, this one has no usage limits on invoicing, contacts, items, or other features. It offers tons of features geared toward small business owners, but you can’t add multiple users, making the app unscalable for larger businesses.

Invoice Ninja – a free, open-source solution for invoicing and billing customers, that’s good for unlimited invoices and up 100 clients. The free plan only allows for one user and has Invoice Ninja branding on the invoices, additional paid plans are offered, that scale better and remove the app’s branding.

Harvest – this app offers a somewhat limited free invoicing service, as long as you don’t need its time-tracking and project management tools. You can use Harvest to send as many one-time and recurring invoices as you need, but the free plan is limited to a single user and a maximum of two projects.

PayPal – you can also add PayPal for invoicing clients with PayPal accounts. Invoicing through PayPal gives your customers confidence that their online payments will be handled securely. But beyond the benefits of PayPal’s name recognition, its invoicing tool is one of the simplest to use. Just log in to your PayPal account, click Create invoice, and type in your invoice details.

ProTip: Please note that cloud services tend to change their pricing and terms of use all the time. So this guide might have some outdated info in it. Don’t pick an invoicing app blindly, based solely on our recommendations. Choose a few solutions and do a quick research on each to make sure they fit your requirements and budget.

Connecting Evalato to an invoicing app

Evalato connects to over 1000 web apps and services via Zapier. So you will need to create an account at https://zapier.com – it’s sooo worth it.

  • Once you are ready with your Zapier account switch back to Evalato and click Apps on the main menu (right next to My profile and Notifications). There you will find your API key, which you need to copy-paste when adding Evalato to your Zapier account.
  • Log into Zapier and add your Evalato account to the list of Connected Accounts. Provide the email you registered with Evalato and the API key that you copied. You will also need an account with the invoicing app of your choice and connect it to Zapier as well.
  • Create a new Zap (connection between the two web applications) so Evalato can communicate with the invoicing app. This means Evalato is the Trigger app, because it’s the one sending information to the invoicing software – the Action app.

When it comes to invoicing you will mostly use Evalato’s New payment trigger – triggered when a new payment is made. Of course, you can also use the New registration trigger – triggered when someone registers for your program!

Example

Trigger: You receive a new payment from an applicant registering for your paid program
Action: An invoice is automatically created in your prefered invoicing app

To complete the Zap setup just follow the simple steps that Zapier takes you through.

ProTip: Just like in Evalato, where your programs are in draft mode and every process can be tested as much as you want, your Zapier integrations remain in draft mode until activated. Make sure you test your newly created Zap before enabling it!

Fields the Evalato API sends to other apps:

  • Registrant First Name
  • Registrant Last Name
  • Registrant Email
  • Event Name
  • Registrant Job Title
  • Registrant Full Name
  • Registrant Company
  • Registrant Phone Number
  • Registration Price
  • Organization Name
  • Registration Status
  • Registration Created At
  • Registration Link
  • Registration Currency
  • Registration Ticket Count
  • Registration ID
  • Event ID
  • Organization Timezone
  • Registration Base Price
    Registration Tax
  • Organization ID
    Registration Entry Count
  • Billing Company Name
  • Billing Address Country
  • Billing Address Postal Code
  • Billing Address Street
  • Billing Address City
  • Billing Address State
  • Billing Company ID
  • Billing Company VAT ID

Enjoy unrivaled flexibility and automation with Evalato

With Evalato you get a platform that streamlines and automates your awards, contests, scholarships, or any other program for that matter. Connect it to an invoicing app and you significantly reduce another time-consuming aspect of the job – the billing and invoicing of program registrants. Evalato connects to more than 1000 apps on the web, so you can integrate it with many of the solutions you already use and automate tasks like:

  • add and update contacts in your email marketing
  • populate your CRM database;
  • automatically create invoices;
  • create tasks in your project management software;
  • update info in Slack, Google Sheets, Podio, etc.

This means you can spend more time on the stuff you find important – it can be growing your business, providing a better customer experience, see the members of your family, or have some pizza.

Register here for Evalato, if for some unfathomable reason you haven’t done so yet! The platform is a bona-fide game-changer not just for you, as the organizer, but also for program judges and applicants alike.

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Launch your program in minutes

No credit card required. Unlimited free testing.