This article originally appeared in issue 85 of Linux User & Developer.
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Pros: It’s free and has a simple yet good-looking front end. Being web-based, it’s accessible from anywhere, and is cross-platform. The software itself is pretty advanced: it supports various billing formats and even allows several user accounts. This is great for a small organisation’s requirements
Cons: The primary drawback is that it requires a LAMP setup to be installed – non-technical users may prefer a hosted solution or even a desktop application. It also lacks integration with other hosted project management solutions such as Base Camp HQ
Simple Invoices is a simple, lightweight web-based invoicing application. It’s an open source application that you have to install on a computer running a LAMP stack. Its hardware requirements are quite minimal, depending upon your level of usage. Simple Invoices opens in your web browser and has a simple, yet aesthetically pleasing user interface. The application supports multiple users, and requires you to log in before you can access the software. Let’s look at some of the features in detail.
Despite the use of the word ‘simple’ in its name, the software is packed with all the bells and whistles seen in commercial alternatives. It provides support for several currencies, tax rates, custom fields for data entry, custom text in your invoices, among other things. There are five options in the main menu at the top of the screen. Using these, you can create and view invoices, manage users, and view and change the general settings of the software.
The Settings Panel has a lot of tabs. Here you can modify the settings of your tax rates, modes of payment, choose which template to use, and also take a backup of your database. Under the ‘Invoice Preferences’ tab, you can view and edit the settings for your invoices. You can also view the settings for other documents such as quotes, receipts and estimates.
A good number of file formats are supported. You can export your invoices as PDF, Microsoft Word, plain text, Open Document Format or Microsoft Excel documents. This is great since you can store your invoice in the web interface and export it in a format your client is comfortable working with. It’s a flexibility missing in some commercial invoicing applications.