It’s no hardship finding a cloud-based accounting software for your business, there is an overwhelming number of options on the market. The problem comes when it’s time to choose the one that you want. For example, the two biggest names out there are Xero and Quickbooks – but how do you choose between two very capable software options that offer a nearly identical feature set? Which, if any, is better?
To help you pick the right one for your business, this article compares Xero vs QuickBooks.
QuickBooks vs Xero: A brief overview
Both Xero and Quickbooks Online are specifically geared towards small to mid-sized businesses. As well as most businesses, they also tick many of the boxes for agencies, retail stores, and startups too.
Offering web-based platforms, business owners can benefit from on-the-go access either via desktop or their free mobile apps. Additionally, both platforms also offer multiple pricing plans so that you can choose the budget and features that best suits your business needs.
Although both programmes have overarching similarities, there are differences that set them apart. Developed in 2004, QuickBooks Online beat Xero to the accounting scene by two years and was (and still is) renowned for its advanced accounting features, quality invoicing, 550+ integrations, and its lending feature which is a big unique selling point. Xero soon became its rival, however, as it offers robust accounting features, access for unlimited users, over 700 integrations, and much more.
Xero vs QuickBooks: who wins?
Looking at the 8 most important features that a cloud-based accounting software offers, here is a winning comparison of Xero vs QuickBooks.
Winner: Xero & QuickBooks
When it comes to accounting features, there is no outright winner. Each platform uses double-entry accounting and supports cash-basis and accrual accounting while offering other essential features such as bank reconciliation, reporting, and accounts payable etc.
QuickBooks Online takes this win as it offers two features that Xero doesn’t: lending and tax support. This together with better invoicing and project management makes QuickBooks superior to Xero in this area. More features are only available with Xero on their most expensive plans.
Read: An Essential Guide to the Pros and Cons of QuickBooks
Winner: Xero & QuickBooks
The winner when it comes to pricing depends on the size of your business and your budget. QuickBooks Online offers four pricing plans ranging from $20-$150 per month with payroll costing an additional $35-$80 per month (plus $4 per employee). Xero offers three pricing plans ranging from $9-$60 per month with payroll starting at $39 per month (plus $6 per employee). While Xero may look cheaper upon first glance, it is actually QuickBooks Online that is more affordable for small businesses as you get a lot more bang for your buck on their cheapest plan. For larger businesses with more users, Xero’s pricing is better as it offers unlimited users.
#4 Ease of use
Another clear win for QuickBooks as it’s quick to set up and easy to learn how it works. While Xero is easy to navigate once you get to know the software, you need to invest a lot of time and learning to get what you want out of the system.
No comparison here as Xero has over 700 integrations compared to the 590 that QuickBooks has.
You would think that security would be another tie since both systems are cloud-based but Xero has set itself apart here. As well as data encryption, redundancy, and physical security measures that QuickBooks also has, Xero boasts a figure of 99.97% uptime which means that it has one of the strongest security reputations in the cloud accounting world.
#7 Users and permission
You can’t beat unlimited users so that’s why Xero takes the lead here. QuickBooks Online only supports 1 to 10 users depending on its pricing plan while Xero offers unlimited users regardless of what plan you’re on. Not only that but it also offers incredibly strong user permissions too!
#8 Customer service and support
Winner: Xero & QuickBooks
For years, QuickBooks has been known for its poor customer service while Xero has boasted great customer support. Recently, however, the complaints about Xero have risen as phone support and email responses have declined.
QuickBooks vs Xero – How To Choose?
As you can see from this comparison, there is no clear winner between QuickBooks and Xero. They are both strong contenders when it comes to accounting software and the decision ultimately depends on your business—what features you need, what your budget looks like, and what capabilities are most important to you.
Whatever your decision, you will be able to efficiently manage and streamline your accounting processes using one of these systems. It is just worth bearing in mind that, overall, QuickBooks tends to be more suited to freelancers and small businesses while Xero is ideal for mid- to large-sized businesses or businesses looking for scalable software that will grow with their company.
Test each platform using their 30 day free trials and see what you think!
We can help!
Goringe Accountants are members of the QuickBooks ProAdvisors and have an in-depth knowledge of Xero so we can sit down with you and go through all of your software options (there are many more beyond these). Once you’ve chosen your software, we then offer 2-4 hour sessions to help you set it up correctly from the beginning so that you feel completely comfortable using it. Don’t hesitate to ask us for our advice!