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3 Types of Contractor Invoicing Apps: Pros & Cons to Consider

April 11th, 2024
7 Min Read

Adopting invoice software is a great way for contractors to streamline their invoicing processes, allowing them to: 

  • Reduce the effort and time it takes to create professional-looking invoices

  • Track unpaid invoices to improve follow-up and maintain cash flows

  • Offer convenient online payment options to clients

However, while any invoice app is likely to be better than handwritten or manually created invoices, it’s important to understand there are different types of invoicing apps available to contracting businesses, and the right one for you depends on your specific needs, preferences, and growth plans. 

In this article, we’re going to share the three main types of contractor invoicing apps and discuss the pros and cons of each to help you figure out the best invoicing software for your business. Then, we’ll wrap up by walking you through the powerful suite of invoicing and billing tools offered to contractors through our platform, ServiceTitan.

Schedule a call to get a free, live, one-on-one walk-through of how ServiceTitan helps contractors streamline invoicing and other processes.

3 Main Types of Contractor Invoicing Apps

1. General Business Accounting Platforms

The first category of invoicing apps is general accounting software. These online accounting platforms — which include widely known brands such as QuickBooks, FreshBooks, and Xero — offer comprehensive suites of financial management tools including invoicing features. 


  • By investing in a larger accounting software system, you get a suite of financial tools that go far beyond invoicing. 

  • Many contractors already use an accounting platform such as QuickBooks Online or FreshBooks to manage their accounting. 

  • By using the invoicing apps that are built into these platforms, all invoicing data is seamlessly integrated into your bookkeeping workflows.


As we discussed at length in our article on field service accounting apps, there are some significant disadvantages to using these types of general accounting platforms for invoicing. Namely: 

  • Accounting software is often disconnected from a contractor’s field operations. If an invoice is delivered or paid in the field, that data must be manually entered later, creating a lag time in which you can’t view real-time financials in your business.

  • In a platform like QuickBooks, for example, if you’re looking at an invoice, all you can see are the prices that were charged on a job. If you want to see whether a job is profitable, you need to jump to other parts of the system to find that information and calculate your job cost.

  • Most major accounting software are manual data entry platforms. As your business grows, you’ll need more team members to manage your accounting.

  • Because these platforms are built for many types of different businesses, they often lack tailored workflows and solutions that contractor-specific invoicing software can offer.

Key Takeaway

On the surface, it can seem convenient to use your accounting software for invoicing, and it is certainly an option. However, many contractors prefer to use separate invoicing apps (discussed below) that offer sleek mobile solutions for invoicing in the field, improved workflow efficiency, integration with the other tools they’re using day-to-day, and more.

2. Contractor-Focused Estimate and Invoice Apps 

The second category of apps includes contractor-focused estimate and invoice apps. In contrast to the accounting platforms discussed above, these apps are designed to offer a small set of tailored features — typically estimates, invoices, and payment processing.


  • These platforms include mobile apps that allow contractors and their staff to easily manage invoices from the field.

  • In addition to handling invoicing, these solutions also tend to offer features for creating estimates and accepting credit card payments.

  • Of the three types of online invoicing apps, these point solutions will generally have the lowest cost because of their limited functionality.


  • Simple estimate and invoice apps often will not seamlessly integrate with your pricebook, requiring manual upkeep of your pricing. 

  • These solutions won’t tend to integrate with the other apps you’re using for day-to-day operations, such as your customer relationship management (CRM) system. This can lead to the hassle of additional manual data entry and workflow inefficiencies.

  • Estimate and invoice apps tend to have limited accounting software integrations. Often they’ll sync with QuickBooks, but if you use a different accounting platform, you may need to use inconvenient manual workarounds to sync your data.

Key Takeaway

If you’re a solo contractor or small business and you want a simple app that’s tailored just for invoicing, point solutions such as these can be a good option. Just know that functionality can be limited compared to the other options, and the lack of integrations can lead to workflow inefficiencies (particularly for growing businesses that want to scale). 

3. Construction or Field Service Management Software

The third type of invoicing solution is construction management software (for construction-focused sub and general contractors) or field service management software (for service-focused contractors). These are holistic business software solutions that allow contractors to manage the majority of their day-to-day operations (including billing and invoicing) from a single platform that is custom-built to meet their needs. 


  • These platforms consolidate business operations into one central location — including project management, time tracking, estimating, invoicing, inventory management, client management, and more — eliminating the need to use an array of disconnected apps for different business functions.

  • These platforms offer significant efficiency gains through automation and a seamless flow of data from one job phase to the next. For example, when an estimate is created in ServiceTitan, materials and equipment can be added directly from our built-in pricebook and integrated supplier catalogs, requisitioned from the estimate as needed, and automatically populated on invoices throughout the job or project lifecycle. There’s no need to repeatedly enter the same information over and over again into different platforms.

  • These cloud-based solutions connect field and office operations so that as work is completed at a job site, that information is immediately accessible to the office staff who can use that information to stay ahead on job tasks and view job progress and financial data in real-time. 


  • Because construction and field service management software covers nearly every aspect of a contracting business, they can take a substantial amount of time to learn and implement into operations. (Note: Most platforms will offer robust onboarding and customer support options to help with this process.)

  • The cost of these platforms is higher than the simple estimating and invoicing apps discussed above. 

Key Takeaway

Although these platforms are a larger investment of time and money, the benefits make them an attractive option, particularly for contractors who want to improve their margins and grow their business.

With holistic solutions such as these, many of the apps you’ve previously used and paid for are no longer needed. The efficiency gains can help reduce administrative overhead. There are many tools to help improve profitability, such as tools for profitable pricing, estimating, and real-time job costing.

ServiceTitan, which offers robust features to support both construction and service contractors, has a powerful suite of invoicing tools for both construction and service work. In the rest of this post, we’ll provide an overview of how they work. 

ServiceTitan’s Contractor Invoicing and Billing Software

Automate Invoice Delivery and Payment Collection to Boost Cash Flow

ServiceTitan offers several features that streamline invoicing and collecting payments. 

Via our mobile app (compatible with Android and iPhone/iOS mobile devices), field technicians can: 

  • Leverage pre-built invoice templates to speed up invoice creation (or create them from scratch as needed)

  • Present and send invoices to customers (which automatically include links for customers to pay via the payment gateway in our customer portal)

  • Accept check and credit card payments 

  • Collect signatures

  • Closeout jobs

At every step, this data is accessible back at the office in real-time. Office staff can do all of the above from our web-based desktop app as well, where they also have advanced settings options for defining payment terms, setting up ACH payments, and more.

These features offer built-in accountability, ensure invoices get to customers, and increase customer satisfaction by offering self-serve options to pay online. Plus, this provides the ability for your business to get paid faster and maintain cash flow.

Manage and Streamline AIA®-Style Progress Billing

For contractors doing longer-term commercial service jobs or construction projects, we also have robust workflows designed for streamlining AIA®-style progress billing. 

Continuation sheets can be automatically generated based on project estimates and easily turned into applications for payment at each phase of the billing cycle, saving contractors and project managers a ton of time on what is usually a laborious process.

Access Invoice and Accounting Data in Real-Time While Reducing Manual Data Entry

Because ServiceTitan is cloud-based, there’s no need to wait until the end of the day for technicians to get back to the office to share their invoices and related financial documents or manually enter everything into your accounting system.

Instead, as soon as a technician has completed a job in the field, for example, that invoice is immediately viewable to back office staff. This means job costing data can be viewed in real-time, and service providers can see an up-to-date picture of customer balances and outstanding invoices at any time.

In addition, there’s no need to manually enter each invoice into your accounting system. Users can simply batch export invoices over to their accounting system at the end of each day. 

ServiceTitan makes accounting processes simple and scalable as your business grows.

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Facilitate Accounting Coordination Among Team Members

While accounting systems such as QuickBooks can show you certain invoice statuses, they primarily show these from the customer's perspective (i.e. when the invoice was sent, viewed, paid, and deposited).

However, from your team’s perspective, there’s no way to see whether an invoice has been reviewed yet. Therefore, when viewing an invoice, there’s no way to easily answer: Did I already review this invoice for accuracy? Did someone else on the team review it? 

In contrast, ServiceTitan offers the invoice statuses mentioned above while also providing you the ability to mark invoices with review statuses, including:

  • Needs review

  • On hold

  • Reviewed

Plus, you can assign team members to review an invoice. 

For example, if you’re an executive or business owner and want someone on your staff to do the work of reviewing the job details of the invoice, looking into whether the job was profitable, etc.,  you can assign that invoice review to someone on your team. That team member will then receive an automated notification that you’ve assigned them that task.

This type of team coordination is invaluable for many businesses, and there aren’t currently features in QuickBooks that allow for the equivalent of this. 

Shorten Job Costing Workflows

Within ServiceTitan, it’s much easier to figure out how much you made on a job because it’s easy to view job costing data from an individual invoice.

Specifically, when viewing an invoice, you’re two clicks away from the job costing page associated with that invoice. This includes an at-a-glance summary of:

  • Invoice total

  • Tax

  • Labor burden

  • Materials

  • Purchase order

  • Equipment

  • Margin (total revenue, total cost, gross margin, gross margin %)

Not only is this page available in real-time (per all the features we’ve discussed above), but it’s automatically calculated for you and much easier to access compared to platforms like QuickBooks. As a result, you can resolve job costing issues faster and better protect your bottom line.

Accomplish Much of What’s Done in Your Accounting Platform with a User-Friendly Interface

In addition to all of the advantages we’ve discussed so far, we offer numerous features that can also be accomplished in traditional accounting software with similar efficiency, albeit with a more user-friendly interface (and within the same platform as the rest of your business operations). 

For example:

  • Mass Actions: Users can make mass selections and perform actions such as emailing and printing invoices, or charging interest for delayed payments.

  • Customer Payments: Users can charge credit cards, or see when credit cards fail and follow up with customers to resolve payment issues.

  • Applied Statuses: Users can track and ensure that all payments received from customers have been applied appropriately to invoices.

These same features for tracking, making mass selections, and taking mass actions are also available on the Accounts Payable side to track and pay your vendor bills. 

Transform Invoicing Workflows and Grow Revenue with ServiceTitan

ServiceTitan goes far beyond what we’ve covered in this post. In addition to helping your team improve invoicing and accounting workflows, it also helps streamline your company’s other core business processes. For example:

Importantly, ServiceTitan connects all of these core business processes in one place and provides a seamless flow of information throughout the entirety of the job lifecycle.

Schedule a call to get a free, live, one-on-one walk-through of how ServiceTitan helps contractors streamline invoicing and other processes.

ServiceTitan Software

ServiceTitan is a comprehensive software solution built specifically to help service companies streamline their operations, boost revenue, and substantially elevate the trajectory of their business. Our comprehensive, cloud-based platform is used by thousands of electrical, HVAC, plumbing, garage door, and chimney sweep shops across the country—and has increased their revenue by an average of 25% in just their first year with us.

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