Invoice Ninja Review
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- Date Established
- Fort Myers, Florida
- Easy to use
- Numerous payment gateway integrations
- Good customer support
- Attractive invoice templates
- Free open source software
- Free SaaS pricing plan
- Limited reports
- No inventory
- Developer skills required for self-hosting
Invoice Ninja launched in 2014. Since then, this boot-strapped company has gained over 80,000 users and developed software that can definitely put up a fight against other popular invoicing solutions.
Invoice Ninja is also one of, if not the only invoicing program 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, SaaS version of Invoice Ninja (which the majority of this review focuses on).
Overall, Invoice Ninja is a clear winner for an experienced developer looking for a free self-hosted invoicing option. The web-hosted option also has a lot going for it with 40+ payment gateways, good customer support, strong invoicing, and a free pricing option. The software also offers unique touches like “buy now” eCommerce buttons and listening commands. If we’re being nitpicky, the software’s UI could use a little updating and the reporting and time tracking capabilities could be improved. But in this case, the pros definitely outweigh the few cons.
Read on to learn if Invoice Ninja is right for your business.
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Table of Contents
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 SaaS 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 earn money with Invoice Ninja’s generous referral program. Contact the company directly for details.
Invoice Ninja’s Forever Free plans costs — you guessed it — $0/month and includes:
- Unlimited invoices
- Unlimited estimates
- 100 clients
- Expense tracking
- Items list
- Project management
- Time tracking
- 40+ payment gateways
- 1 user
Ninja Pro Plan
Invoice Ninja’s Pro Plan costs $10/month and includes everything in the free plan, plus:
- Unlimited clients
- Buy now eCommerce buttons
- Remove Invoice Ninja branding on invoices
- 1 user
Invoice Ninja’s Enterprise Plan starts at $14 /month and includes everything in the Pro plan, plus:
- Advanced invoice customizations
- Multiple users
- User permissions
The Enterprise plan costs anywhere from $14 – $44/month depending on how many users you select. You can have up to 20 users in total.
Some users complain that the self-hosted software includes Invoice Ninja branding. You can pay $20/year for a white-label license to remove this branding or upgrade to the Pro or Enterprise plan.
Cloud-Based Or Locally-Installed
Both. Invoice Ninja offers a 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 self-hosted, locally-installed version of the software is a bit more particular in terms of system requirements. This version of Invoice Ninja requires PHP 7.0, 7.1, or 7.2 and MySQL. To learn more about self-hosting, check out Invoice Ninja’s system requirements or the user guide on their website.
Invoice Ninja has mobile apps for iPhones (iOS 9.0+) and Android (4.3+).
Specific Size Of Business
Invoice Ninja is ideal for freelancers and small business owners in need of strong invoicing and very light bookkeeping. Invoice Ninja is also the best invoicing option out there for free self-hosting, and the free cloud-hosted plan could also be a good fit for companies needing basic invoicing and with no more than 100 customers.
The software is not optimized for larger businesses in need of strong reporting and full accounting software. The software also does not offer very strong time tracking or inventory and may not be a good fit for businesses in need of these capabilities.
Invoice Ninja supports up to 20 users. You can control which features each user have access to. The software is available in 30 different languages, and Invoice Ninja does support multiple companies if needed (Enterprise plan only).
Ease Of Use
Invoice Ninja is well-organized and easy to navigate. The software’ s UI is a bit outdated and a couple of customers accuse it of being almost too simple and not developed enough. However, I had no trouble navigating the software, and the company has worked to develop some features since our last review, like the project management feature. Plus, if you do encounter issues, the customer service team is quick to respond.
For the self-hosted version of Invoice Ninja, users report more difficulty. Several users said the software is difficult to implement and set up unless you are an experienced developer.
Invoice Ninja covers most features expected from invoicing software, and even goes above and beyond the call of duty with a few unique touches. Here are the main features the software has to offer:
- 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.
- Invoicing: The free plan features four invoice templates and limited invoice customizations, and all invoices come with the Invoice Ninja brands. The paid plans offer 10 professional, appealing invoice templates that are incredibly customizable. You can change the fonts, colors, data 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. Every plan allows for recurring invoices and invoice reminders. The Pro and Enterprise plan add bulk invoicing and late fees. You can easily see when invoices are viewed, and there’s a nice invoice dashboard. You can only add attachments to invoices with the Enterprise plan.
- Estimates: There are also four or ten estimate templates available depending on your plan. Invoice Ninja automatically converts estimates to invoices once accepted, which is a nice touch many programs miss. Another unique touch is the ability to set an “invoice valid until date.” Emailing bulk estimates is available on the Pro or Enterprise plan.
- Client Portal: Invoice Ninja has an incredibly developed, beautifully designed client portal. Customers have their own dashboard where they can view their total invoices, payments, and outstanding balances. Customers can view, download, print, and approve estimates and view, download, and pay invoices. Invoice Ninja also allows you to add a gateway fee to cover online payment processing expenses, and you can require customer to fill in a checkbox (often used as proof that they read the terms and conditions) or e-sign their invoices.
- Proposals (Enterprise Plan Only): You can create elaborate proposals with Invoice Ninja and email them to potential clients. Proposals are highly customizable. You can import an existing proposal template as well.
- Contact Management: Users of all plans can manage customers and vendors in Invoice Ninja. You can record basic contact information as well as ID numbers, VAT numbers, default payment terms, default languages, and notes. There’s a nice contact dashboard where you can view a customer’s total invoices, payments, and any open balances.
- Expense Tracking: Invoice Ninja offers basic expense tracking. You can enter expenses manually, import bank statements via .ofx, or connect to your bank account. You can also set expense categories to manage and organize your expenses. Users can set recurring expenses and mark expenses as billable. You can choose the expense currency and check the “convert currency” option.
- 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 and automatically convert product prices to a customer’s currency.
- Project Management: You can create a project and add a project name, due date (a much need-new addition), budgeted hours (also new), and description.
- Tasks: You can create tasks either from the newly created Task screen or using a Kanban board depending on how you like to visualize your to-do lists. The nice part about the Kanban board is that you can organize tasks by ready to do, in progress, done, and backlog, or any number of your own custom categories.
- Time Tracking: You can track time using a built-in timer or by manually entering time. Time must be associated with a project or task. While I appreciate the improvements made to the project management and task features, manually entering time is difficult.
- 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 (invoices, contact, etc.). For Enterprise users, there is a data visualization 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.
- Default Email Message (Pro & Enterprise Plan Only): You can set default email messages for invoices, quotes, proposals, payments, and reminders. You can also create a default email signature and control your email notifications and styles.
- Credits: You can create customer credits as needed.
- Listening Commands: One of the coolest aspects of Invoice Ninja is the unique built-in voice commands. You can tell the software to follow commands like “return to dashboard,” “add new client,” “send invoice” and Invoice Ninja will do it.
- Buy Now Buttons (Pro & Enterprise Only): 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.
- Sales Tax: You can add unlimited sales tax rates.
- Multiple Currencies: Invoice Ninja support 95+ currencies and 30 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 a strong, easy to use importing feature. You can import clients, vendors, invoices, products, and expenses. You can export all data or any combination of the following: clients, contacts, credits, tasks, invoices, quotes, recurring, payments, products, expenses, vendors, and vendor contacts.
Customer Service & Support
Invoice Ninja boasts incredibly impressive customer service response time. Most of my emails and support forms were addressed in minutes. The longest I ever waited for a response was two hours. Believe it or not, emails are answered by the actual co-founders of the company so you know the responses are trustworthy and knowledgeable. Invoice Ninja could improve its support options by offering phone support, but the company does provide far more resources than most invoicing companies of the same size and caliber.
Here are all of the ways you can reach Invoice Ninja:
- Email: You can reach support via email.
- Support Form: There is a support form available as well.
- Knowledge Base: Invoice Ninja has a knowledge base that has how-to articles for common questions. The knowledge base could be a bit more comprehensive, but it’s far improved from our last review.
- In-Software Support: One of the best parts of Invoice Ninja is how easy it is to get support without having to leave the software. From within the software, you can access the support form, community forum, knowledge base, users guide, and YouTube videos.
- User Guide: There is a detailed user guide that explains the basics of the software and more details on self-hosting.
- 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 has a YouTube channel with a small collection of how-to videos.
- 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.
- Business Book Reviews: When I said Invoice Ninja has a ton of resources I wasn’t kidding. The company is unique in that there is a whole section of their blog devoted to business book reviews.
- Social Media: Invoice Ninja maintains active Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts.
Negative Reviews & Complaints
Invoice Ninja’s reviews are predominantly positive. Users seem to have very few complaints, and the issues they do have are often minor. Here are the occasional recurring complaints about Invoice Ninja:
- Difficult Implementation: A couple of users found the self-hosting implementation to be really difficult. One developer said the software is not suitable for “newbies.”
- 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.
- Limited Invoice Customizations: A couple of users complain about the lack of invoice customizations on the free plan (there are strong invoice customizations available with the paid plans).
Positive Reviews & Testimonials
The majority of Invoice Ninja reviews are quite positive. Invoice Ninja receives 5/5 stars on Capterra (based on 79 ratings) and 5/5 stars on the G2 Crowd (based on 15 ratings). The mobile apps rank a bit lower but still receive a lot of positive feedback. 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 set up, 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:
Tried several invoices system but this has just what I need. Thanks Invoice Ninja for this excellent product.
This software is so easy to use, but is packed with features! Everything gets calculated automatically, and all of my clients’ information is stored in one place. Probably the most valuable feature for me is the automatic email reminders, since some clients forget to pay me on time. I never have to go back and figure out who’s paid me and who hasn’t, since Invoice Ninja tracks this for me. I can even see who has Viewed my invoices, which is very helpful.
This fits my needs running a small business. I can create quotes and invoices easily. I can give my clients visibility over their invoice and payment history. I can use it to track my expenses and payments. It integrates with Paypal Business. The dashboard gives me a great overview of revenue, expenses and outstanding collections, as well as alerts of recent payments, upcoming invoices and past due items. Plus, it’s open-source and they continue to improve on it.
Cuts down a number of tedious steps in invoice creation and following up with contacts. Makes invoice creation finally a painless experience.
Integrations & Add-Ons
Invoice Ninja offers an incredible number of payment gateway integrations with the total coming in at just above 40 options. However, there are far fewer third-party integrations across other categories. There are only six other integrations — granted, one of these integrations is Zapier, which connects Invoice Ninja with over 1,000 apps.
Invoice Ninja also offers a few unique integrations. For example, you can connect Invoice Ninja to Slack to receive payment notifications on Slack. You can also link to Google Analytics eCommerce. And, something I haven’t seen anywhere else, Invoice Ninja passes on partner perks to their customers. For us, these unique touches and the addition of the Zapier integration just about makes up for the small number of third-party integrations (that aren’t payment gateways).
Invoice Ninja offers RESTful API for developers.
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Invoice Ninja does not have a lot of security information on their site, which I usually see as a red flag; however, the company will tell you about their specific security measures if you email them and is transparent about being PCI compliant. 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.
Invoice Ninja is well on its way to becoming one of the greats in the invoicing world. The software offers customizable invoicing, strong automations, ample payment gateways and a few incredibly unique features (like “buy now” buttons, proposals, a Slack integration, and listening commands). And great customer support to the mix and it’s easy to see why the software receives so many positive reviews.
One of the other perks about Invoice Ninja (besides its free plan) is that the company truly listens to customers and has seriously improved a lot of the issues we called out in our last review. Now, there is better project management and the free plan is far less limited.
The software is ideal for developers looking for a free, open source invoicing solution, and is ideal for small business owners looking for easy, affordable invoicing. While there could be better time tracking, an inventory feature, more reports, and some cosmetic improvements to the UI, Invoice Ninja is still a great solution that could be game-changer for a lot of small businesses — so long as they don’t need full-fledged accounting software.
To learn if this software is right for you, open a free account or sign up for a free trial of the paid plans.