Most online invoicing solutions are purposefully generic so they can attract the largest possible number of customers. That’s not the approach And.co takes. This service, acquired by Fiverr in 2018, specifically targets freelance workers who sell services. Since we last reviewed And.co, it has changed dramatically, starting with a major user interface refresh. It’s no longer free if you have more than one client, but its new features and tightly focused attention to the freelance market may make it worth the subscription fee.
New functionality includes flexible invoice scheduling, subscription management, a setup tool, proposals, and much more online assistance. Still, it doesn’t have the broader appeal of our Editors’ Choice winner, Zoho Invoice.
How Much Does And.co Cost?
And.co started out charging for users who had more than one client, but it was free the last time we reviewed it. The company is now charging again for multiple clients. It costs $18 per month for the Pro version if paid annually, and it’s $24 per month if paid monthly. Paying also removes And.co branding—which persists in the one-client free version—and allows you to edit contracts. You can connect up to six bank accounts, instead of the two in the free version.
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You will also encounter standard merchant fees for accepting payments electronically, should you choose to do so. And.co supports PayPal and Stripe, which means you can accept bank transfers and credit card or debit card payments, Merchant fees are usually about 2.9 percent, plus 30 cents per transaction. Zoho Invoice lets you integrate with significantly more multiple payment gateways.
Zoho Invoice’s free version supports up to five clients, and its feature set is comparable to And.co’s—better in some areas—though it can’t create proposals or contracts. Wave and Sunrise are totally free and unlimited. But they, too, lack features like contracts and time tracking.
And.co introduces itself through a good setup tool. You create an account and provide some basic details about your business. Once that’s done, you can either create your first invoice or go to the site’s dashboard, which is called My Desk. If you choose the latter, you can complete your setup tasks using a wizard that helps you upload your logo and choose your And.co interface colors, then specify your currency, date and time format, and time zone. Enter your address and Tax ID, and you’re done.
You can then create an invoice, add clients or projects, or go to My Desk. This last is a very simple home page and not quite as helpful as GoDaddy Bookkeeping’s. It allows you to develop goals for yourself, view your to-do list, and create transactions and other items. After you add data, it also displays real-time totals of income and expenses, your current profit, and links to outstanding and overdue invoices.
The process of creating an invoice in And.co is different from that of competing websites. Most sites allow you to choose from multiple invoice templates. And.co only has one. With competitors, you typically fill in the blanks by choosing from drop-down lists of options such as customers and items before entering data directly in fields. And.co instead puts you through a step-by-step wizard to complete a sales form.
And.co is more flexible about item rate language than competitors.
The first screen asks you what you’re invoicing, such as an existing project, a new project, or something that is unassigned to a project. If you’re adding to an existing project, the next screen displays items already recorded for that project. You can add to them or move on to send the invoice. If you’re creating an invoice that’s not related to a project, you enter an item name and price, then indicate whether that price is a flat fee or per hour, day, item, or word. I haven’t seen this kind of flexibility on other sites, and it’s good for freelancers. And.co saves price types as you add them. So, if you create an item called Session, the list will contain a Per Session item the next time you open it.
You can change settings for an And.co invoice as you’re creating it.
This approach makes sense for freelancers, but it’s not typical of most competing sites. It may be frustrating for businesses that charge the same for items every time, because And.co doesn’t link services to prices unless they’ve already been established for a project. When you create an invoice that’s not linked to a project, you have to type the first letter of the item name to see a drop-down list of items you’ve already created. The items aren’t linked to prices, and there’s no master list of items and their prices, so you have to remember what you charged before (if it’s an existing item). Freelancers might bill different clients different prices for the same service, so it works for them.
You can schedule invoices to recur at specific intervals or set up your own custom dates.
After you enter all of your line items, you add the name and address of the company that’s being invoiced on the next screen. This gets saved, so you can use it on future invoices. Your invoice appears on the next screen and you can still modify it before sending. For instance, you can change the terms or edit the items by clicking on the pencil icon to open a sliding panel on the right. You can also schedule the invoice to repeat weekly or monthly or manually enter custom recurring dates. Click on Invoice Settings, and you can modify those, too, for the current invoice or for all future ones. As with most other invoice sites, your invoices can include discounts and multiple sales taxes, as well as attachments. After you’re done making changes, you can edit your invoice message and set up a payment service before sending the invoice via email.
Every invoice has its own home page where you can check its status.
You have the option to save the invoice as a draft at any point before sending it. Invoices in either the draft or sent stage have their own home pages. These screens display the invoice and give you the option to send, edit, download, or delete it. There’s also a timeline to the right of each invoice that indicates its progress with checkmarks next to each stage in the life of the invoice: created, sent, viewed, and paid.
This step-by-step approach is effective, though—again—it’s not the way most invoicing sites operate. Instead, they present you with a template up front, and you select the client and items directly from that one screen. And.co’s method is probably better for many freelancers, but not the best for businesses that charge fixed prices for items and services.
There’s a lot more to And.co, much of which intersects with invoices. For example, the site’s project management is as good as any other invoicing service we’ve reviewed. The project-creation screen contains fields for a name, client, and beginning and end dates. You can also add the services assigned to it and the billing schedule (deposit amount, invoice dates, and reminders).
Every project gets its own home page. The first screen here displays the information you entered when you created the project, as well as the option to request invoice reminders. Tabs in the toolbar open pages where you can view and create or edit related project elements. These include tasks, activities (with a timer), invoices, income and expenses, and files.
From this screen, you can also create a proposal or contract. Proposals lay out the details of each project. You can edit this information and add sections (text, images, tables, columns, and files), then either type your name (it’s converted to script) or upload a signature file.
Contracts, created from proposals (you can do one or the other or both), are based on a modifiable template that was designed in conjunction with the Freelancers’ Union. It contains text about standard issues like confidentiality, term and termination, payment terms, and limitation of liability. When you’re satisfied with it, you can preview the accompanying email and review your document again, then email it. No other service I’ve reviewed in the invoicing space does proposals and contracts this competently and thoroughly. It’s very well done.
Time tracking is available outside of the project management tool. You can create single activity records and assign them to projects (optional), either entering the number of hours and minutes or setting the timer. Reminders are generous here. The site can ping you (if you’ve set up browser notifications) when you need to track time or when your timer is running longer than usual. You can see a weekly view of tracked time and run reports by assigning filters like Client and Invoiced Status. Timed activities, of course, appear on the related project page. When a project is open, there’s a link that takes you to an invoicing page with the hours already included. You can either invoice tracked time directly or manually.
And.co supports the import of transactions from your bank accounts so you can track income and expenses. Rather than displaying them immediately on your Transactions page, the site creates a task reminding you to view them and make any changes necessary before accepting them. This may be annoying to users who just want to see their recently downloaded transactions and not necessarily deal with them right away. It’s a good way to force yourself to monitor all of your transactions, but it would be nice if this was an option you could turn off.
And.co allows you to import transactions from your online financial institutions and further define them.
As you review transactions, you have several options for further defining them. You can select a category if the site has guessed the wrong one and enter a purpose. If the transaction should be assigned to a project, you can designate that. You can also attach a receipt. When you’re finished, you click the green button to clear it, and it will appear on your Transactions page. This screen keeps a running tally of your income and expenses and displays your real-time profit. You can bulk edit income and expenses from this page, too.
You can also manually add transactions from the Transactions screen. If you have income that for whatever reason didn’t get downloaded from your bank, you can create a record containing fields for the amount, currency, client or source, tax category, and purpose. You can also add a note and assign it to a project. Expense records are equally thorough. They contain fields for total and currency, merchant, purpose, and tax category. Your expenses can include taxes and notes and can be set to repeat. They can also be designated as either tax-deductible or billable to a client.
And.co also has a handy feature called the Shoebox. You can either upload files to it or email them to an address on the site. This can be a good place to store files like receipts and other documents related to projects, so you have them all in one place.
And.co’s User Experience and Support
Since it was designed for freelancers—who are unlikely to have extensive knowledge of accounting processes—you might expect that And.co would have a simple, understandable user interface and navigation system. Indeed, it does. The home page is My Desk, which I described earlier. A toolbar runs vertically along the left side, containing links to the site’s main sections, like Clients, Invoices, Proposals, and Time Tracking. Two links in the upper right corner take you to support and to a menu that links you directly to screens where you can create things like invoices, tasks, and expenses.
Once you get inside a section, it’s easy to see what you need to do there. For example, when you click on Clients, you eventually see a table listing all of the records you’ve created. Click the New Client button, and the site asks only for contact information, which is less than most competitors request. Click Create Client, and And.co takes you back to the main Client page. Click on your client’s name and their home page opens.
You can see how helpful this screen is once you started working with a client. A toolbar across the top opens pages containing that individual’s related tasks (to do, future, and done), address and contacts, projects, invoices, transactions, and notes. Other elements of the site work similarly. And.co asks you for information and then it feeds it back to you in easy-to-understand ways. As for the site’s aesthetics, they’re a few steps behind sites like FreshBooks and Zoho Invoice, but the user experience is pleasant enough.
Support has been beefed up since our last review. There’s now a chat feature, dozens of how-to articles, and FAQs. You can also sign up for a 15-minute phone call with a support rep as you get started. Freelance accounting websites are simple enough that you won’t need a lot of help, but And.co’s options have improved over the last couple of years.
Reports and Mobile
When you click a link in the toolbar like Clients or Projects, the first thing you see is a list of your entries. You can sort and filter these, which makes them function like mini-reports. And.co doesn’t offer a reports section, but it has what it calls Statements. This can be confusing at first because a statement usually refers to a document that contains a client’s history of payments and invoices.
And.co uses that term to describe the three simple reports that you can run. There’s a basic Income Statement, an Expense Report, and a Tax Report. These have a few customization options and can be exported in the PDF or CSV formats. The site then emails you a copy. Reports aren’t overly important for freelance accounting websites as long as you have filtered views of transactions and records and other items (like And.co does), but competing sites offer more in this area.
You can easily create and track expenses away from the office on the And.co Android app (left). Using the And.co iOS app (right), you can time activities while you’re working on other screens.
And.co offers both an Android app and iPhone app that are similar to each other in many ways but have some internal differences. They both use a toolbar along the bottom for navigation, labeled Timers, Projects, My Desk, Invoices, and In & Out (expenses and income). Clicking on the + sign in the lower right creates an action menu that contains links to creating projects, tasks, invoices, income, and expenses. The iOS version also has a link that takes you to the timer, which is harder to access on the Android version. You can’t enter time blocks manually on the apps.
Once you’re inside a work area, the apps are very similar. Differences lie primarily in the structure of the individual operating systems. Neither duplicates all the functions found on the browser-based version, but there’s enough there that you can get a decent amount of work done while you’re out and about, including snapping photos of expense receipts. Neither version has many internal buttons for backing up or canceling screens, so you either have to use the toolbar to jump to a different section or use back arrow. These minor complaints aside, both apps are attractive and intuitive.
Custom-Built for Freelancers
We like And.co’s refreshing approach for service-centric freelancers, but we wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for a small business that always bills the same amount for products and services. The site has a distinct way of doing things and it’s clearly aimed at freelancers. Competing sites like Wave and Zoho Invoice also have appeal for independent contractors who need invoicing as well as income and expense management, but they’re generic and full-featured enough that they would be appropriate for larger businesses in some cases. This is especially true of Editors’ Choice winner Zoho Invoice. Its free version could serve a lot of freelancers well, but a growing business could continue to use it as it evolves.
And.co is well-positioned for its target user. It has all of the basic features you might want, assuming that you don’t need a full-blown accounting system. We very much appreciate the ability to create contracts for projects. Our guess is that studios, rather than individual freelancers, will be the most likely clients.
The Bottom Line
Fiverr’s And.co is a flexible, easy-to-use invoicing tool for freelancers who sell services. Larger businesses will likely need more features and flexibility, though.
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Source By https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/and-co