I do a bit of freelancing sometimes. And when you do that, you need to be able to invoice your clients.
Of course, you could just whip a quick invoice in Words or any word processor that you use. But where’s the fun in that?
Now imagine this — invoicing is FUN (yes, apart from getting paid). I want to introduce you to CurdBee.com. That’s what I use for invoicing my clients.
CurdBee.com is an online, web-based invoicing software by a company called Vesses. I am starting to really like this company and the things they do.
I have been checking out online invoicing for some time now. I didn’t really test everything out, but I know about the others like FreshBook, BlinkSale, CashBoard, Zoho and others. But when checking these options out, I am drawn to CurdBee.com.
Why I am drawn to CurdBee.com? One is because of their generosity.
You see, online invoicing software makes money by charging you a monthly fee. But at times they still let you in for a free peek. But these free peek accounts are always limited in some ways. Well CurdBee has a free account that is limited too. But the main difference here is this — While others limit you by how much you can earn with their software, CurdBee does not.
Let me explain.
Other online invoicing software would limit your usage to their software either by these methods:
- your free trial account expires after certain period like a month, a week, etc
- you can only create X number of invoices
- you can only store X number of clients’ information
- you can only invoice up to X amount
So those limitations repel me from even signing up to their “free” account.
Then I found CurdBee. CurdBee does not do that to you. Of course there are ways that CurdBee limit its software and try to get you to upgrade. But they do it in a much nicer way. CurdBee does not “force” you to upgrade. CurdBee proves it with its superior software features.
To put it in a simple perspective, even with the free account, you can build your business to the millions and you don’t have to upgrade!
With the free account at CurdBee, you can:
- store unlimited number of clients’ information
- invoice unlimited amount
- create as many invoice as you need
- no expiring “free trial” period
- you don’t need to give them your credit card info sign-up for a free account
Like I said, you can run your business to the millions and still be on the free account. However, CurdBee does limits its software by features.
Here’s what you can do with the free account
- receive payment with Paypal & Google Checkout
- accept multiple currencies (this is important to me)
- customize invoice with your own logo
- import and export data
And here’s the extra things that you can do when you upgrade (starting at $5 per month)
- supports PDF invoice
- customize emails and notifications
- add multiple contacts per client
- supports SSL encryption
- unbranded invoice and emails
- supports recurring billing (via extended module)
- supports 2CheckOut (via extended module)
- supports Authorize.NET (via extended module)
- supports quotes or estimates (via extended module)
MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH CURDBEE
I signed up because of CurdBee’s generosity with its free account. I don’t know of any other online invoicing software that offers this. I see that other online invoicing software is a bit greedy with their offering. It’s as if like “if you make X amount of money, they must make Y amount”.
But here’s the thing — once I am inside, I am hooked!
Like I said, I haven’t tested any other invoicing software, but with Curdbee, things really feels easy. As a developer myself, I really believe they put a lot of thought and planning into the software. And it was really well-developed.
Creating a new invoice takes only 2-3 minutes. You can create items on the fly. You can also create a new client on the fly while creating a new invoice. You don’t have to go to 2 or 3 different pages before having an invoice created.
Having experienced all that inside CurdBee, I upgraded to Pro Account right away. It’s only $5 per month or $50 per year. You can pay with credit card or Paypal.
And the other extra features like estimates, recurring billing, 2Checkout integration and Authorize.NET integration is only an extra $5 each or $50 per year. So if you take up estimates and recurring billing along with your Pro Account, that only $150 per year, or $12.50 per month (paid annually).
Now how does this compare to desktop invoicing software?
There are things that desktop invoicing software cannot do what online invoicing can.
My favorite feature is the payment integration. You can send an invoice and get paid immediately via Paypal, Google Checkout, 2Checkout or Authorize.NET. I don’t think desktop invoicing software that runs in your computer can do that.
And another thing is the recurring billing feature. Imagine offering a service that people would have to pay monthly payment to you. This can be like web hosting, SEO services, or press release retainer fees. With an online invoicing software like CurdBee, you can create a recurring invoice and the invoice goes out to your client automatically every month. You don’t have to create the same invoice every month and send them out manually.
Now I deal with local and international clients. And being able to invoice in multiple currency with Curdbee is just awesome. You can set the client’s default currency when you create their data in Curdbee. For my local Malaysian clients, I charge them in MYR. And with international clients, I charge in USD.
And since Paypal supports both of these currencies, these two types of clients can simply pay me with Paypal when they receive my invoice. Alternatively, I can always update the invoice manually when I get their payment.
Oh yeah, did I also tell you about localization? This is another feature that I like. Where I am from we don’t use the term “Estimate” so much. Here we use the term “Quote”. But both are the same thing. And with localization, you change the labels on your invoice to use the terms that your client would be more familiar with. And it’s easy to do too. With their in-line editing field, you see exactly where each labels go and just click on them to edit it. When done, just hit “Save”.
I guess that’s it for my review of Curdbee. And let me just conclude, if you are looking for an invoicing solution, I highly recommend Curdbee. It’s what I use myself.