Invoice Ninja Review

Daniel Rosehill

In a Nutshell

Invoice Ninja is an invoicing and payment solution trusted by more than 130,000 businesses worldwide. It’s available both as a cloud-hosted software and as a free on-premises tool that can be hosted on users’ servers. The Premium tier of the cloud version supports an API integration and a branded subdomain. Invoice Ninja provides a user friendly and useful invoicing and accounting setup for small business.

pros

  • Self-hosted and SaaS options available
  • Free tier with 100 client support
  • Bulk emailing support

cons

  • Self-hosted requires hosting
  • Reports not included in free version

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Invoice Ninja  at a Glance

Best for: Small businesses that need an invoicing tool
Price range: From $10/month (Ninja Pro)
Apps: App Store and Google Play

Features and Add-ons

Proposal Editor

Invoice Ninja proposal editor

While many freelancers and small businesses prefer to write and edit proposals using a Word processor, keeping everything related to bidding and invoicing in one system makes a lot of sense. For one, downloads of proposals sent can be called up alongside quotes, estimates, and invoices. Secondly, users can make use of the easy visual drag-and-drop editor to create attractive layouts which can be directly emailed to prospects or saved within the system. 

Self Hosted Or SaaS

Invoice Ninja one-click installation

Companies that prefer to host business software on their own infrastructure could find Invoice Ninja a good match. Not only can the script be downloaded as a free community edition, the Softaculous One Click Installer, which is built into many shared hosting packages, supports Invoice Ninja as one of its installable scripts. Using Softaculous, users can quickly install the latest version of the script onto their hosting at the touch of a button. The SaaS and self-hosted versions provide the same features and look and feel.

Invoice Ninja dashboard

Invoice Creator With Private Annotations

Invoice Ninja allows users to create online invoices which can either be directly emailed to clients or downloaded and sent. There are fields for users to enter the corresponding PO number, annotate descriptions, and append private or public notes to the invoice. Users can also preview the invoice as it is being put together in a preview window which will show how the document will render in PDF format. Users can also choose from a variety of different templates and preview the document in the window after applying each branding style to it. 

When emailing the invoice, the system generates a unique link which allows the recipient to view the invoice online. The system also includes a number of prepopulated templates for requests for payment and follow-up messages. Of course, the invoice due date and upfront deposits and discounts can also be configured in the invoice editing mode. 

Invoice Ninja invoice creator
Invoice Ninja email template

Payment Gateways

Invoice Ninja payment gateways

Invoice Ninja integrates with more than 40 payment gateways, allowing users to directly receive online payments for invoices through Stripe, Paypal, WePa, Bitcoin, and more. In order to configure the payment gateway integrations, users generally simply need to input the API keys they receive from the partner service. The PayPal integration includes a test mode in which users can troubleshoot and test the integration before deploying it live on websites.

Custom URL

Going with the SaaS option doesn’t mean that you have to give up the chance to display your company branding with your sent invoices. Those on the Pro plan are able to opt for a custom subdomain that allows company branding to come before the hosted part of the domain. Two options are available:

  • Yourcompany.invoiceninja.com
  • Yourcompany.invoice.services

Easy Export and Import

A common concern among businesses thinking about moving mission-critical systems to cloud providers is the idea that they will be locked in to one vendor. Thankfully, those thinking about using Invoice Ninja for their invoicing and accounting needs can rest easy. Invoice Ninja makes it easy to both move data into the platform and to take it out from it. Both import and export tools allow users to easily move data to Invoice Ninja from another accounting platform or to migrate to another tool should they so choose. 

Invoice Ninja data importing
Invoice Ninja expenses billing

If you have clients who you bill for projects and expenses, then Invoice Ninja’s expense-adding system will be something you’re sure to appreciate. While in the client page navigation, users can click on the ‘Expense’ option under ‘New’ in order to associate an expense with a particular account. If the expense is marked as billable then it can be appended to the next client invoice. 

Client Portal

While Invoice Ninja contains plenty of functionality for sending invoices and quotes through email or by export, sometimes clients like to have access to an online system where they can view a complete record of all invoices received from a supplier. This is essentially the functionality that the client portal is intended to provide. Unique URLs are generated for clients in the system which they can access to see a complete record of invoices received and payments made. Those on the Pro tier can add password protection so that details of invoices don’t fall into the wrong hands. 

Invoice Ninja pricing

Users have 2 ways in which they can use Invoice Ninja for free. Firstly the server-side program, which users install and host on their own servers, is completely free. For those that prefer the idea of accessing Invoice Ninja through a SaaS model, the Forever Free tier allows billing for up to 100 clients with unlimited invoices and quote generation. 

Those that move up to the Nina Pro Plan tier can sign up to the platform for $10 per month. Those paying annually get 2 months for free and there’s a 14-day free trial. The Pro Plan gives users a custom URL and removes the ‘Created By Invoice Ninja’ branding from invoices—which appears on documents created through the free version. 

Finally the Enterprise tier costs $14 per month and special plans are available for companies that need multiple seats with each subscription. 

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Usability

Invoice Ninja is easy to use whether you’re signing up for the service through the Invoice Ninja website (as a SaaS tool) or whether you plan on hosting it on your own website. 

Those thinking about going with the self hosted route needn’t worry about how difficult downloading the script and connecting it to a database will be: if your shared hosting offers Softaculous then it’s one of the supported One Click Install scripts. 

Conclusion

Invoice Ninja is a powerful invoicing and quote generation software that can be used by both small businesses and those on the way toward scaling. The software is delivered through a SaaS model and as server software—allowing users to choose whether they’d like to host it on their own infrastructure or use it through a public cloud.

Daniel Rosehill is a technology writer and reviewer whose experience includes leading marketing communications strategies at 2 SaaS companies. His interests include backups and disaster recovery, Linux and open source, and cloud computing.

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