The Future of Easy Invoice

Submitted by mathew on Tue, 31/01/2017 - 10:05

From 23 February 2017, new users will be able to create 60 entries for free, and will need to purchase a subscription to add more.

Q&A

What if I already use the app?

If you have been using Easy Invoice already, I don't think it's fair to restrict you to 60 entries without giving any notice.

So I'm adding 10 weeks from the time you create your online account, so you can continue to use Easy Invoice to create an unlimited number of invoices. After this cut-off time, the app will be limited to 60 entries. You'll receive an email to confirm the exact date, as it differs depending on when you updated the app.

When the time comes, you can decide whether you want to:

What's happening to Easy Invoice?

From your cut off date, the app will be able to store 60 entries for free, and will require a subscription to store more.

The app will still open after that time, I wouldn't want to lock anyone out of getting to their old data. In fact, I've added a new report into the app called "All Transactions". You can run this to view (and save) all your invoices and payments received.

Why the change?

I'm an independent developer, based in the UK. I started writing iOS apps in 2009, shortly after the App Store opened. I try to make my apps user-friendly and easy to use. And I love what I do. But sales have been declining, I assume from more competition from bigger companies. I know it's part of being in business. But I need to make some changes if I want to carry on doing what I'm doing.

My hope was that by making this invoicing app free, it would promote Easy Books and that people would try the Online Sync service (which I charge for). But after three years as a free app, Easy Invoice is not financially viable for me as it stands.

I am now taking what I think is the logical step and I'm charging a reasonable fee for my work. But please note I will make sure you can always read the data you've stored in the app. So don't worry about losing your data - you won't.

How do I export my data?

You can run the new "All Transactions" report to export your data in CSV format if you want to leave.


Pricing

I think charging a fee for my work is reasonable, and given the nature of the app, you're probably in business yourself and I hope you will understand.

I looked at the following pricing models:

  • Paid up-front. This is the simplest pricing model and I've tried this model in another app. Users pay a one-time fee before they download the app. But as I expected, people don't want to pay for software they don't know, and without a way to try it out first, the app failed to achieve any downloads. But software just isn't like products you buy from a store. Instead of wearing out and getting replaced, people expect software to be updated for a new OS, bug fixes, new features and so on. The whole cost of ongoing development, maintenance and support is funded by new users. Costs increase over time, especially for support while revenue stays the same or decreases from competition.

  • Freemium. I started Easy Invoice with this model. The idea was to allow people to try the app for free, and offer an in-app purchase for a sync service. This has not been successful, with only a small percentage of people paying for the feature.

  • Ad-Supported. I have never tried this option, but the way it works is simple. Advertisers would pay me on a 'per click' basis for showing adverts within the app. After working out the likely income based on the number of people using the app, it was not viable.

  • Subscription. By charging a subscription, I think I can continue to build a successful long term business. The money I make is proportional to the number of people using it. So it's in my interest to improve the app to keep existing customers as well as attract new ones.

If you would like to continue using Easy Invoice, please choose a subscription for the "Steel Plan". If you prefer to keep all your data locally stored that's fine; using the Online Sync service is not essential.

My intention is to continue to develop and improve Easy Invoice. I will also provide bug fixes and updates for compatibility with new operating systems.

Other invoicing apps

If you don't think Easy Invoice is worth the money, I've put together a short list of alternatives. There are many others available from the App Store.

  • Free Invoice Generator, by Zoho Corporation
  • Invoice 2go, by invoice2go.com
  • Albert Invoice, by HQ Mobile Limited

Upgrade to Easy Books

Easy Books can issue invoices too. But it does a lot more! Use it to record purchases (expenses or assets), keep track of bank balances, track time and work in more than one currency. Run financial reports such as Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet and Trial Balance from just a single tap or click!

Transferring your data to Easy Books is simple; Easy Books will open backup files created with Easy Invoice.