Ballpark is an invoicing and payment solution intended for small businesses and freelancers. The user can access their dashboard to see which invoices have been paid, accepted and sent. The user can create new invoices or estimates directly from the dashboard. Invoices can be sent as a team and include all services, worked hours and amounts due. Invoice activity feeds also includes comments from the client. The client can make payment immediately through the invoice using Paypal or download the document as a PDF. The user will also know how to handle late payments by viewing client activity on an invoice. The application reveals when or if the client has viewed the invoice yet. Late payments are also highlighted along with the number of days overdue.
Ballpark was developed by MetaLab. The application is intended to give professionals a quicker, easier way to invoice clients. The current version makes life easier for clients and professionals with built in Paypal payments and tracking options. The tracking options have attracted some attention from professionals because they allow the user to see if the client has accessed the invoice and when they viewed it. Ballpark has received a few mentions, including praise from Jeff Battersby of Macworld Magazine.
Ballpark offers many of the same features that other invoicing applications provide. The main difference is in the tracking features and the easy payment system. The application includes a built in button that invites clients to pay through Paypal. The user can also view the status of a payment or invoice as well as when the client viewed the invoice. This can eliminate some of the frustration that can be felt when trying to figure out why a client hasn’t paid an invoice yet. The user will know right away if the invoice has been viewed by the client.
Ballpark utilizes a very simple design that incorporates hints of green and red to help the user determine the status of invoices and estimates. Profile images accompany comments left by clients and the user. The simple design looks dated, but manages to get the job done when paired with Ballpark’s additional features. The dashboard is clean and tidy so the user doesn’t feel lost in a sea of stats and contact details.
A new user can create a Ballpark account by clicking the blue “Sign Up” button in the upper, right hand corner of the homepage. The form on the following page asks for the user’s company name, desired Ballpark URL, the user’s name, email address, login name and a password. The user can also enter their OpenID login name and password to register with their OpenID account if they prefer to do so. After clicking the green button below the form, the user is invited to log in and begin using Ballpark.
New users are automatically signed up for a free personal plan. This plan includes up to three estimates and one invoice per month (no credit card is required). Users can also upgrade to one of four paid membership plans. The first is the Freelancer plan which costs $6 per month and includes unlimited estimates, up to 10 invoices per month, access for one user, Paypal instant payment options and unlimited contacts. The Studio account costs $24 per month and includes up to 25 invoices per month and access for three users. The Agency plan costs $49 per month and includes up to 50 invoices per month and access for up to 10 users. The Corporate plan costs $99 per month and includes unlimited invoices and access for unlimited users.
Ballpark is a helpful invoicing tool for small businesses and independent professionals. The application includes a number of helpful features as well as five membership options that suit a wide range of budgets. The application may not be visually appealing, but it gets the job done. Users who don’t mind a plain interface can appreciate the features and convenient Paypal payment option included with Ballpark.