About a month ago I decided to switch to a better Invoicing/Accounting software. The system that I was using was great when I didn’t have that many clients/didn’t bill as much. But over this past year I made some changes with how I bill, business has really picked up, and I’ve started working with a lot more subcontractors. My accounting system started to break down. So I decided it was time to look for a better system. I had several goals in mind.
- It had to be online.
- Reduce the time I spend each month doing billing.
- Time tracking for not only me but my sub contractors.
- For the system to know the difference between my time/billing rate and my sub contractors time and what they bill me.
- Instead of an hourly rate for a task, I wanted to assign a set cost for the task for a sub contractor
- Some sort of reporting per client, per month, per project, per contractor, etc.
- $35/m or less.
I thought this was going to be a pretty easy task to find such an online app. At first I tried QuickBooks Online (QBO). It had the promise of everything that I needed. I signed up for the Plus package which included time tracking for vendors. I learned a valuable lesson. Just because a company is a big name brand doesn’t mean they are doing it right. After spending about 15 hours learning the basics, exploring, setting up my QBO, searching the Internet/QBO support forums/docs, talking with support, working with a QB specialist, I came to the conclusion that QBO wasn’t going to solve my invoicing and job tracking problem.
What frustrated me the most, was how unintuitive QBO was for me. I had to constantly search to find what I was looking for. Things weren’t named as expected and the natural flow was bad. Maybe it is just me but I haven’t been this frustrated since I learned jQuery. But did it meet my requirements?
- It had to be online: Yes!
- Reduce the time I spend each month doing billing: It did at first then because of the sub contractor mix it started taking me longer.
- Time tracking for not only me but my sub contractors: Yes!
- For the system to know the difference between my time/billing rate and my sub contractors time and what they bill me: No! I could see the time my sub contractors submitted, and I could apply those times to my client’s bills but I couldn’t see what rate my sub contractor billed me at.
- Instead of an hourly rate for a task, I wanted to assign a set cost for the task for a sub contractor: No!
- Some sort of reporting per client, per month, per project, per contractor, etc: Not Really! There were a lot of reports but I couldn’t find a report or create one that would show me the hours that my sub contractors billed me and for what client.
- $35/m or less: Yes! Scored a sweet discount.
Talking with support and working with a QB specialist confirmed that I wouldn’t be able to do what I wanted to do. QBO isn’t meant for sub-contractor management. If my sub-contractors just sent me a bill every month, then yes, it would work fine.
So my search continued…
I looked at over 40 invoicing/accounting apps including: SimplyBill, Cashboard, SimplyInvoices, Blinksale, Freshbooks, BambooInvoice, Ballpark, CannyBill, BillingOrchard, Endeve, Freelance Total, InvoiceMore, InvoicePlace, Invotrak, SantexQ, MavenLink. I even tried out about 10 promising ones but none of them meet my 7 requirements. Then when I was just about to give up. I found an app called RoninApp.com. I was beginning to think what I was looking for didn’t exist. It met my 7 requirements and then blew them all out of the water.
RoninApp.com isn’t a full accounting software like QBO, but that’s ok for now. Using it has been awesome. I was able to go back and put in all my past invoices and time then mark it all as paid. I can enter in tasks, log time, assign tasks to sub contractors, easily create and send invoices. But its the little things that make this app great. When you create an invoice for a client and have logged time, you can easily add each logged time item or just certain ones. You can create projects for a client and invite a sub contractor to just that project. You can also have multiple projects per client. It also doesn’t matter how many sub contractors you have per project.
The pricing structure is very reasonable too.
Solo Package – $15/month: 30 clients, 2 contacts per client, 1 staff user, SSL Security, Unbranded Interface, 30-Day FREE TRIAL
Team Package – $29/month: Unlimited clients, 5 contacts per client, 3 staff users, Payment Integration, SSL Security, Custom Domain, 30-Day FREE TRIAL
Agency Package – $49/month: Unlimited clients, Unlimited contacts, 5 staff users, Payment Integration, SSL Security, Custom Domain, 30-Day FREE TRIAL
Free Package – No time limit, Try before you buy, 2 clients, 1 contact per client, 1 staff user
When you invite a sub contractor if they don’t have a RoninApp account already they can signup for the free package and not have to worry about adding on my expense.
Over all I’m very happy with RoninApp. Where many other apps failed to do the sub contractor part correctly, RoninApp shined. If you want to try it out for yourself use this referral link: RoninApp.com to signup for your free 30 day trial.
Looking back, I realized that one software may not fit all solutions and knowing what you need is always the first step to getting an efficient business process!