Xero Vs. QuickBooks

Compare Xero vs. QuickBooks. See pros and cons of Xero vs. QuickBooks and easily decide which accounting software is right for you.

When it comes to cloud accounting applications, there are two names that tend to stand out – Xero and QuickBooks. Both of them are extremely good at what they’re meant to do. But, you can only choose one. So, which one do you go for?

Well, let’s find out with a comparison in our latest article – Xero vs. QuickBooks. But, before that, a small introduction to both applications.

QuickBooks Online launched in 2004 and over the years, has evolved into a top-notch cloud-based accounting solution with over 400 integrations, stellar invoicing, and a range of other accounting features. Needless to say, all this has made it one of the most sought-after accounting solutions on the planet.

Xero came into being a little later after QuickBooks. It’s a solution that many would say is just as capable. Not surprisingly, that has allowed it to stay at QuickBooks’s heels in terms of popularity. Xero provides everything from excellent feature selection and unlimited user access to brilliant customer service and state-of-the-art mobile apps.

But, as we stated earlier, most businesses are limited to a single choice and have to decide between QuickBooks or Xero. So, we’ve made things easier by providing a detailed comparison of the two. The comparison is based on careful research and testing.

The categories we’ll be assessing these applications would be with regard to aspects such as ease of use, pricing, accounting, and general features/functions. So, let’s start with the most important category.

Xero Vs. QuickBooks Accounting Software Comparison

Accounting

Both QuickBooks and Xero offer excellent accounting functions and features. They both provide double-entry accounting and also support accrual and cash-basis accounting. Other than that, you also get to enjoy features such as a range of accounting reports, a chart of accounts, fixed asset management, and bank reconciliation.

So, this round of Xero vs. QuickBooks would be a tie. They’re both cocked and loaded.

Features

For this round, we looked at the following features:

  • Invoicing
  • Expense Tracking
  • Estimates
  • Chart of Accounts
  • Bank Reconciliation
  • Depreciation
  • Fixed Asset Management
  • Accounts Payable
  • Contact Management
  • Time Tracking
  • Inventory
  • Project Management
  • Reports
  • Tracking Categories
  • Print Checks
  • Budgeting
  • Multi-currency
  • Tax Support
  • Sales Tax
  • Importing & Exporting

As we stated earlier, Xero and QuickBooks are like identical twins when it comes to features. However, there were a few differences, but that still wasn’t enough for us to actually settle the matter on who would win this round.

For instance, with regard to features like Project Management and Invoicing, QuickBooks turned out to be the better option. However, Xero outdid QuickBooks in areas like Contact Management.

But, we finally decided on Xero as the winner because it made the features more accessible. In QuickBooks, features like Budgeting, Inventory, and Project Management were only available on the more expensive plans.

Xero, on the other hand, does not have this limitation. So, this round of Xero vs. QuickBooks naturally goes to Xero.

Pricing

QuickBooks offers 3 pricing plans. The first one starts at $15 per month while the most expensive plan costs around $50 per month. If you want payroll, you’ll have to spend an extra $25 per month and another $5 for each employee.

Xero offers a total of 5 scalable plans. The cheapest one costs around $9 per month and the most expensive one costs $180 per month. However, Xero does not charge extra for payroll and you even get unlimited user access. So, if you’re a small or medium business, Xero is your ideal choice.

However, when it comes to downright affordability, QuickBooks is the cheaper option. So, we choose QuickBooks as the winner of this round of Xero vs. QuickBooks.

However, the real decision should be based on your business size. Our decision was made purely on pricing as a factor.

Hardware/software requirements

Now, QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based application and therefore, it works on any device as long as you have the Internet to access it. Also, it is best accessed via browsers such as Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome, but you will have to make sure they’re all updated to their latest versions.

Apart from that, both applications provide mobile apps that are compatible with both, iOS and Android.

But, here’s the thing – Xero wins this round of Xero vs. QuickBooks.

“Why,” you ask?

Well, Xero has a slight edge over QuickBooks in that it is also compatible with Linux, which is a huge deal and something that QuickBooks currently cannot do.

User access/permissions 

Xero, as we already mentioned, accommodates an unlimited number of users across all its 5 plans. Additionally, it boasts some of the most robust user permissions with regard to cloud accounting programs in general.

As a contrast, QuickBooks accommodates users based on the pricing plan. This can vary from one to five. However, you do get to add up to 2 accountants for each plan.

So, it’s obvious that Xero wins this round of Xero vs. QuickBooks; simply for the fact that it accommodates an unlimited number of users. You can’t ever go wrong with that.

Ease of use 

QuickBooks dominated the “Ease of Use” category once upon a time. However, that’s not the case anymore because there have been plenty of changes the QuickBooks interface has undergone. Unfortunately, these changes haven’t always been the most positive and users have started to complain about issues such as navigation.

Xero, on the other hand, has a learning curve. But, once you’re over that, the application is fairly easy to use. The learning curve might intimidate some, but Xero makes it easy by offering plenty of support as well.

So, if we had to choose a winner in this round of Xero vs. QuickBooks, it would be Xero. Even with the learning curve, it is still an “easy to use” software at the end of the day. The learning curve isn’t exactly a problem. It’s just something you have to overcome.

However, QuickBooks has a genuine issue that shouldn’t be there

Verdict 

Winning 4 out of 6 rounds, it’s quite clear that Xero wins the overall battle. However, QuickBooks does outperform Xero in certain areas and if those areas are a priority, you should go for QuickBooks. But, if a generally good cloud-based accounting application is all you need, Xero is your best bet.

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