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Invoice Ninja Review

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Date Established
2014
Location
Fort Myers, Florida

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Advanced invoicing features
  • Numerous payment gateway integrations
  • Good customer support
  • Attractive invoice templates
  • Free pricing plan

Cons

  • Limited features
  • Limited users
  • Limited integrations

Overview

Invoice Ninja launched in 2014. Since then, this boot-strapped company has gained over 40,000 users and developed a software that can definitely put up a fight against other popular invoicing solutions.

Invoice Ninja pulls out all of the moves when it comes to invoicing, boasting 10 customizable invoice templates, a client portal, and 35+ payment gateways. The software also offers unique touches like “buy now” eCommerce buttons and listening commands.

And in a surprise attack against the competition, Invoice Ninja is one of, if not the only invoicing programs that offers a free open-source version of the software. This version is locally-installed and can be customized to fit your unique business needs. If you don’t want to self-host your invoicing software, there is a cloud-based version of Invoice Ninja (which the majority of this review focuses on).

Despite these perks, there are a few places where Invoice Ninja needs to step up its game. The company offers limited project management and time tracking–the staples of good invoicing programs. Limited users and meager integrations (other than payment gateways) are also potential issues. To find out if the pros outweigh the cons and to learn about the software’s free plan, continue reading.

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Pricing

Invoice Ninja offers free open-source software for those looking to download and self-host the program.

For those who want web-hosted software instead, Invoice Ninja offers three pricing plans: one free option and two affordable paid plans. There is a 14-day trial available for the paid plans. No credit card information is required and you can cancel your plan at any time.

You can receive two months of free service if you choose to pay annually rather than monthly. You can also save with Invoice Ninja’s generous referral program.

Forever Free

  • $0/month
  • Unlimited invoices
  • 100 clients
  • Item management
  • 35+ payment gateways
  • 1 user

Ninja Pro

  • $8/month
  • Unlimited invoices
  • Unlimited estimates
  • Unlimited clients
  • Item management
  • Project management
  • Time tracking
  • 35+ payment gateways
  • Remove Invoice Ninja branding on invoices
  • 1 user

Enterprise

  • $12/month
  • Unlimited invoices
  • Unlimited estimates
  • Unlimited clients
  • Item management
  • Project management
  • Time tracking
  • 35+ payment gateways
  • Remove Invoice Ninja branding on invoices
  • Multiple users

Cloud-Based Or Locally-Installed

Both. Invoice Ninja offers an SaaS, cloud-based invoicing software as well as an open-source invoicing program that you can download and self-host on your own computer.

Hardware & Software Requirements:

Invoice Ninja’s cloud-based plans are compatible with nearly any device so long as you have an internet connection. The open-source, locally-installed version of the software is a bit more particular in terms of system requirements. This version of Invoice Ninja requires PHP >= 5.5.9 and MySQL. To learn more, read Invoice Ninja’s complete Self-Host Guide and server requirements.

Invoice Ninja also has mobile apps for iPhones (iOS 9+) and Android (5.0+).

Specific Size Of Business

Invoice Ninja is ideal for freelancers and small business owners in need of strong invoicing and very light bookkeeping. The software is not optimized for larger businesses with lots of employees or companies in need of full accounting software. Invoice Ninja does support multiple companies if needed.

Ease Of Use

Invoice Ninja is easy to use, though the company could offer a bit more support and setup advice.

  • Setup: To begin, sign up for an account and confirm your email address. After this, Invoice Ninja will plop you right into the software; don’t expect any Getting Started suggestions or a Setup Wizard. Luckily, the program is well-organized. I suggest beginning in Settings where you can add your company details, enable online payments, set invoice template preferences, and connect to your bank. After perusing settings for a while, add or import your clients and items. Then you should be ready to start invoicing.
  • Organization: On the left-hand side of the screen is the main Invoice Ninja menu which reads Dashboard, Clients, Products, Invoices, Payments, Credits, and Settings (if you are using Pro or Enterprise, you’ll also have tabs for Recurring, Quotes, Tasks, Expenses, Vendors, and Reports). Underneath this menu, you’ll see icons for FaceBook, Twitter, and GitHub. On the top right-hand corner, you’ll see a search bar, the option to upgrade, your profile, and a toggle history (this button controls whether or not you want to see a column of recent history). You can also change the whole color scheme and appearance of the software in Settings by enabling or disabling “dark mode.”
  • Instructions & Guidance: As mentioned before, there are limited setup instructions. There is a basic user guide as well as a brief overview video, but that’s about it. Luckily, the Invoice Ninja support team responds quickly to emails.
  • Problems: While Invoice Ninja is surprisingly well-developed, there are a few areas that could still stand improvement.
    • Weak Project Management: The project management feature is sadly underdeveloped. Additionally, there is no Projects tab on the Invoice Ninja menu. Instead, there is a Tasks tab, which seems incredibly backward. Invoice Ninja’s time tracking is also lumped in with project tasks. In these two areas, Invoice Ninja simply does not stack up to the competition.
    • Minor Glitches & Slow Loading Time: I experienced a few minor glitches and the software occasionally loaded slowly. Most often, the loading time was good and none of the glitches took a major toll on my ability to use the software. They were mainly minor annoyances I had to occasionally work around.
    • Sometimes Unintuitive: Sometimes the software is difficult to navigate. There is no back button, which means you have to exit out of screens again and again, and you’re left completely on your own to figure out how to set up the software in the first place. Some of the names of certain settings preferences are confusing as well.
    • Poor Invoice Languages Feature: At first, I was incredibly excited to see that Invoice Ninja supported 25 different languages. However, if you try to send invoices in these languages you risk looking like a fool, as Invoice Ninja only translates half of the invoice, making this feature basically worthless.

Invoice Ninja Review

Features

Invoice Ninja covers most features expected from invoicing software, and even goes above and beyond the call of duty with a few unique touches.

  • Dashboard: The Invoice Ninja dashboard is well-organized and provides charts and graphs of your Total Revenue, Average Income, Outstanding (balance), Invoices and Payment, Recent Payments, Upcoming Invoices, and Invoices Past Due.

Invoice Ninja Review

  • Invoicing: Invoice Ninja offers 10 professional, appealing invoice templates that are incredibly customizable. You can change the fonts, colors, fields, and logos. Invoice Ninja uses a Live PDF, so you can view any changes you make to an invoice template in real-time as you customize them. You can set invoice reminders for late-paying customers. Invoice Ninja also allows customer credits, invoice discounts, and partial payments. You can see when invoices are viewed and batch-send invoices as well. If you are a Pro or Enterprise customer, you can set recurring invoices.

Invoice Ninja Review

  • Estimates (Pro & Enterprise Only): There are also 10 estimates available. It’s possible to convert invoices to estimates, but most often you won’t have to; the software automatically converts estimates to invoices when a client approves the estimate, which saves a lot of time. You can also set an “invoice valid until date.” This is a unique touch more programs should include.
  • Client Portal: I was incredibly happy to see an easy-to-use, beautifully designed client portal. Customers have their own dashboard where they can view Total Invoiced, Paid to Date, and Outstanding Balances charts. Customers can view, download, print, and approve estimates and view, download, and pay invoices. You can create custom contact fields as well.

Invoice Ninja Review

  • Contact Management: Users of all plans can manage contacts in Invoice Ninja, and Pro and Enterprise users can manage vendors. You can record basic contact information as well as ID numbers, VAT numbers, default payment terms, default languages, and private and public notes.

Invoice Ninja Review

  • Expense Tracking: Invoice Ninja offers very basic expense tracking. You can enter expenses manually, import bank statements via .ofx, or connect to your bank account. Invoice Ninja uses OFX Home for their live bank feeds. You can also set expense categories to manage and organize your expenses. Pro and Enterprise users can set recurring expenses.
  • Item List: You can add products, descriptions, and costs. There is no inventory tracking tool available and you can’t add COGS either. However, you can create custom products fields, which is nice.
  • Project Management (Pro & Enterprise Only): This is the least intuitive and developed of all of Invoice Ninja’s features. You can create a project and add a project name and description, but that’s it. There is no job-costing and you can’t even set a date range for the project. Accessing this feature is also difficult. You can add tasks to projects, but you can only add a task description and attach time to tasks.

Invoice Ninja Review

  • Reports: Invoice Ninja offers 13 reports total. There are typical Profit and Loss and Aging reports. The rest of the reports are more like summaries of specific features. Invoice Ninja could improve by adding more sale-specific reports and a few more bookkeeping insight reports. There is a data visualization feature in settings where you can view clients, invoices, and products in a more creative way; however, I personally find this data a little too creative and hard to take in. But I’ll let you judge for yourself in the picture below.

Invoice Ninja Review

  • Default Email Message: You can set custom, default email messages for invoices, quotes, payments, and reminders. While customizing these emails could be more intuitive, the feature does save time.
  • Listening Commands: One of the coolest things about Invoice Ninja is the built-in voice commands. To enable voice commands, click on the microphone inside the search bar in the top right-hand corner. Then you can tell the software to follow commands like “return to dashboard,” “add new client, and “send invoice to Pippin Took,” and Invoice Ninja will do it. This feature is incredibly unique and gives Invoice Ninja an edge over other programs.

Invoice Ninja Review

  • Buy Now Buttons (Pro & Enterprise Only): In settings, you can enable “buy now” buttons which basically connect your Invoice Ninja account directly to your eCommerce platform. On your website, users can click the “buy now” button and Invoice Ninja will automatically generate an invoice for them based on their product selections. I have never seen another program with this unique and helpful capability.
  • Sales Tax: You can add unlimited sales tax rates.
  • Multi-Currency Support: Invoice Ninja support 65+ currencies and 25 different languages. While you can send invoices in different languages, this feature needs a lot of work. Currently, only half the invoice gets translated.
  • Importing/Exporting: Invoice Ninja has the easiest importing feature I have ever used. You simply match your imported documents fields with Invoice Ninja’s fields and the software takes care of the rest. You can import clients, invoices, products, and expenses via .csv, JSON, Hiveage, Invoiceable, InvoicePlane, Nutcache, Ronin, Wave, or Zoho. You can export clients, contacts, credits, tasks, invoices, quotes, recurring invoices, payments, products, expenses, vendors (or any combination of the above) via .csv, .xls, or JSON.
  • API: Invoice Ninja offers RESTful API for developers.

Customer Service & Support

Invoice Ninja boasts incredibly impressive customer service response time. All of my emails and support forms were addressed in minutes. The longest I ever waited for a response was two hours. The answers themselves could have been a bit more thorough, but the support team responds quickly, and emails are answered by the actual co-founders of the company so you know they are trustworthy and knowledgeable. Invoice Ninja could improve its support options by offering phone support and a more traditional help center, but the company provides far more resources than most invoicing companies of the same size and caliber.

  • Email: You can reach support at contact@invoiceninja.com.
  • Support Form: There is a support form available as well.
  • Knowledge Base: Invoice Ninja has a knowledge base that mostly features the company’s many guides.
  • User Guide: There is a detailed user guide that explains the basics of the software. This resource is a good learning tool but is not optimized for specific questions or troubleshooting.
  • Community Forum: There is a community forum for more specific questions. Questions are answered fairly quickly.
  • FAQs: There is a large FAQ section that covers sales, integrations, features, and more.
  • YouTube: Invoice Ninja does have a YouTube channel with how-to videos; however, there are only six short videos total.
  • Blog: Invoice Ninja has a business blog that is actively maintained. The company features business tips, freelancing advice, invoicing tricks, and more.
  • Freelance 101 Guide: Invoice Ninja has a short freelancing 101 “epic guide” that covers topics like how to market yourself as a freelancer, how to decide on rates, and more.
  • Feedback Form: You can submit feedback and feature requests using this feedback form.
  • Feature Roadmap: I was happy to see that Invoice Ninja has a public feature roadmap where users can take a look at upcoming features and updates.
  • Social Media: Invoice Ninja maintains fairly active Twitter and Facebook accounts. These social media sites are used predominantly for sharing invoicing and freelancing resources, rather than customer inquiries and answers. You can find the company on LinkedIn as well.

Negative Reviews & Complaints

Because it is a relatively new program, I wasn’t surprised to find very few Invoice Ninja reviews. But although reviews are hard to locate, there are several out there. Most are positive, but there is the occasional complaint:

  • Software Runs Slow: One user complained that the software runs slowly, while another had issues with the program freezing on them.
  • Limited Time Tracking: One customer wants to see a stronger time tracking feature.
  • No Phone Support: Another user said that even though the customer support is good, he wishes there was phone support in addition to email support.
  • Poor Reporting: If you are used to true accounting reports, you won’t find them.

Positive Reviews & Testimonials:

The majority of the reviews I did find were positive. Invoice Ninja receives 5/5 stars on Capterra and 4.3/5 stars on the Google Play Store. These are some of the recurring things customers appreciate about the software:

  • Great Customer Service: The most common point of praise is the strong customer support Invoice Ninja offers. Users like that emails are responded to in minutes and that the company listens to customer input in their frequent updates of the software.
  • Strong Mobile Apps: Many users were happy to see strong mobile apps.
  • Easy To Use: Another common praise is that the software is easy to setup, learn, and use.
  • Affordable Pricing: Users appreciate both the free plan and the affordability of Invoice Ninja’s paid plans, especially considering all of the features that come with the paid versions.

Here’s what a couple of users are saying:

“The product strikes me as having been built exactly to my needs. The functionality is complete, logically designed, and in keeping with the theme entrepreneurs crave. I want to get things done quickly and looking professional… Customer service is incredible.” – Vince Fulco, Weisisheng Corporate

“Cuts down a number of tedious steps in invoice creation and following up with contacts. Makes invoice creation finally a painless experience.” – Alessandro Rinaldi, Labiotech

Integrations & Add-Ons

Invoice Ninja integrates with over 35 different payment gateways—more than any other invoicing or full-featured accounting software I’ve ever seen. You won’t find third-party integrations in categories like email marketing or eCommerce, but there are Zapier and Integromat integrations which connect Invoice Ninja with hundreds of third-party applications.

Interested in accepting online payments from your customers? Read our comprehensive merchant account reviews to learn the pros and cons of popular providers and see which payment processing option is best for your business.

Security

Invoice Ninja does not have security information on their site, which I usually see as a red flag, though the company will tell you about their security measures if you email them. Invoice Ninja uses 256-bit SSL encryption and HA servers. Data is backed up every six hours. To learn more about Invoice Ninja’s security, contact the company for details.

Final Verdict

When I first began reviewing this software, I wondered whether Invoice Ninja would turn out to be the invoicing equivalent of Chuck Norris or if it would end up as a 90-lb weakling. My final verdict? The software falls somewhere in between, but with a definite bias toward the Chuck Norris side.

The software is well on its way to becoming one of the greats in the invoicing world. The software offers customizable invoicing, strong automations, a beautiful design and a few incredibly unique features (like “buy now” buttons and listening commands). Still, the software has a ways to go before it can take the competition head-on. The occasional glitch, limited project management and time management features, and a broken language feature all hold the software back. The lack of transparent security is also a big concern for me. Luckily, the software is updated almost weekly. Hopefully, the company will add these concerns to their feature roadmap.

In the end, Invoice Ninja’s great invoicing, client portal, and ample payment gateways are highly commendable and could be game-changer for a lot of small businesses. To learn if this software is right for you, open a free account or sign up for a free trial of the paid plans.

Chelsea Krause

Chelsea Krause

Head Accounting and Invoicing Writer
Chelsea Krause is a writer who has specialized in accounting for two years. She has a BA in English & Creative Writing from George Fox University and studied at the University of Oxford as well. She has been quoted in Forbes and her work appears in Startup Nation, Small Business Bonfire, and Women on Business.
Chelsea Krause
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