When Quicken isn’t enough
Quicken can’t do a couple of things that you’ll need if you’re self-employed or you run a side business: it can’t create invoices or track your receivables. You could try QuickBooks, but that’s sometimes overkill for a small operation. Here are four alternatives.
There are several good programs that can handle invoicing and billing. Marketcircle’s Billings ( ; $59), for example, sports a clean, intuitive interface, is easy to customize, and has a great invoice editor.
Pretty Good Software’s iRatchet ($45), another general-purpose invoicing and billing system, costs a bit less than Billings; integrates with Address Book, iCal, and Mail; supports multiple tax rates, multiple timers, and multiple client projects; and tracks mileage and payments.
If you want to both keep track of the services you perform and create invoices, without a lot of other bells and whistles, Clickable Bliss’s Billable ($25) is a good, inexpensive choice. It lets you set different hourly rates for a client; you can also create and customize invoice templates in HTML, and then print them as PDFs.
And for collaborating with many people on a file-based project and billing everyone’s time, check out IGG Software’s iBiz ( ; $50; two-client server version, $90). It lets you associate specific files with a project and then tracks the total time spent working on those files.— Tom NegrinoBillings: Marketcircle’s invoicing program comes with a good selection of easily customizable templates.