Quickbooks vs. Xero (vs. the Others)
We all like to complain about our accounting systems but they really are powerful tools. And they're all created equal so there is a better choice for you depending on your business.
There are a few different questions we can ask that can quickly help us narrow down the best accounting system for your business. So we're going to use a little process of elimination to get down to the right fit.
The first step in our process of elimination is to remove the "others" from the equation. Quickbooks Online and Xero are by far the superior systems compared to the rest of the market. So if you're thinking of one of the others, stop considering those right now and continue reading this article.
If your business provides a professional service and invoices clients like a law firm, design studio, consultant, etc., you should go with Quickbooks. The reason is very simple and practical - it's much easier to get your invoices paid using Quickbooks. As a standard functionality, clients are able to click on their invoice to enter their bank information and submit payment using an ACH transfer, which is free for both them and you. Further, Quickbooks provides you instant confirmation on that payment and automatically syncs with your account. The functionality and it's ease of use also helps keep receivables down, a major headache in any business.
Verdict: For service providers, the clear choice is Quickbooks.
If your business sells a product or you don't consider yourself a service provider, we'd often choose to go with Xero. For us accounting nerds, we like the added functions, details, and flexibility of Xero. Though for beginners, Xero may seem a little bit more cumbersome as the user interface isn't as graceful as Quickbooks Online.
Verdict: If you like Apple, stick with Quickbooks Online, if you use an Android, go with Xero.
Apps & Integrations
Both tools boast many integrations with other major products like payroll providers, time tracking systems, and payment processors. Quickbooks will also brag about the larger number of 3rd party developer apps on their platform compared to Xero. Some of them are quality tools but the most impactful ones are built for power users and accountants like us. It's less likely that the common user will dip into those so don't get too hung up there.
Verdict: A tie. Both softwares allow you to link to the things you need most.
Since these two products are direct competitors, pricing (billed as a subscription) is quite comparable. Xero tends to be a few bucks cheaper than Quickbooks but QB often offers a lower introductory price. Either way, since the costs are so similar,your focus should be on functionality without getting hung up on price.
Verdict: Six in one, half a dozen in the other.
If you're invoicing clients manually for projects or services, definitely choose Quickbooks. If you don't have that requirement, Xero is a great tool to consider as well. With either one you pick, you'll be able to consolidate your accounts, organize transactions, and use really powerful software.