Accounting Software
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QuickBooks vs Xero: Which Accounting Software is Better in 2024?

by Envoice
10 min read

When it comes to online accounting software, two names often come to mind – Xero and Intuit QuickBooks Online. Marketed as the ideal tool for small businesses, many entrepreneurs and SMEs wonder if they are better off using Xero or going for QBO.

In the US, QuickBooks has become a household name for small business accounting. Intuit, the company behind QuickBooks, launched an online version of its accounting software to cater to small business owners. As the needs of businesses evolved, so did QuickBooks Online. QBO now offers comprehensive features to support the accounting needs of companies from start-ups to growing businesses with complex needs.

Xero, on the other hand, stands out for its simplicity and ease of use. Designed with entrepreneurs and business owners in mind, Xero is easy to navigate and understand. Compared to QuickBooks, Xero is also more budget-friendly.
In this guide, we will see how Xero compares to QBO.

Let’s get started.

QuickBooks Online vs Xero: An Overview

Screenshot for QuickBooks website
Source: QuickBooks.com

QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online markets its accounting software as the world’s number one, with more than 5.6 million users.
Intuit, the company behind QuickBooks, has been around since 1983 and is a trusted name for providing both online and offline accounting and tax solutions.
As one part of Intuit, QBO is an established brand in the market. QuickBooks has also ventured into providing additional services like QuickBooks Payroll and QuickBooks Time for project management and time tracking – creating an ecosystem that makes it easy to support the needs of growing companies.

Xero

Xero is a professional cloud-based accounting solution founded in New Zealand in 2006. With 3.5 million users, Xero has its fair share of subscribers. Simplicity is at the core of Xero and it provides an open platform that allows integration with various services to make accounting tasks easier and more efficient.
Xero makes up for missing features by offering solutions from third-party apps like Dext for receipt capture or Envoice for automating invoice approvals.

Pricing

QuickBooks

QuickBooks Online offers the following plans: Simple Start ($30 monthly), Essentials ($60 monthly), Plus ($90 monthly), and Advanced ($200 monthly).

QBO offers various discounts and promotions like 50% off on all plans for 3 months. New users are also eligible for a free 30-day trial for QBO. QuickBooks Online subscriptions also include free access to the Assisted Bookkeeping feature for 30 days.

Prices only include a monthly subscription for the accounting software; there are additional fees for add-ons like the payroll service or time tracking. Actual prices may vary depending on your region.

Xero

Screenshot for Xero website
Source: Xero.com

Like QBO, Xero offers a 30-day trial for new users. There are also year-round subscription discounts like a 60% discount off your subscription for the first 4 months. Xero pricing is as follows: Early ($15 monthly), Growing ($42 monthly), and Established ($78 monthly).
Prices may vary depending on your location and ongoing promotions.

QuickBooks Online vs Xero: Side-by-Side Comparison

QuickBooks Xero
Pricing* Starts at $30/month (30-day free trial available) Starts at $15/month (30-day free trial available)
Features
  • Robust reporting tools and customizable reports
  • Inventory tracking in high plans
  • Professional invoicing
  • Shareable access to accountants
  • Receipt capture through mobile app
  • Project tracking tools
  • Payroll and HR management
  • Cloud accounting

Unique Features:

  • Comes with a desktop version
  • Built-in tool for inventory management
  • Invoicing for an unlimited amount of clients
  • Live Assisted bookkeeping
  • Robust reporting tools and customizable reports
  • Basic inventory tracking in all plans
  • Professional invoicing; early plan limited invoices and bills
  • Shareable access to accountants
  • Receipt capture through Hubdoc
  • Project tracking tools
  • Payroll and HR management

 

Unique Features:

  • Provides multi-currency support
  • Tracks real-time project profitability
  • Unlimited users
  • Option to add Analytics Plus
  • Receipt capture
Integrations Over 750 apps Over 1,000 apps
Security QuickBooks Data Security ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certified Xero Data Security ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certified
Cloud storage Yes Yes
Interface SaaS/Cloud/Mobile SaaS/Cloud/Mobile
Customer Support Email, but you can request for a representative to call you Email, live chat, phone support
Reviews 4.3/5[1] 4.5/5 [2]
Pricing may vary depending on location and ongoing promotions

Xero vs QuickBooks Key Features

Accounting Automation

QuickBooks

QuickBooks reduces time spent in bookkeeping by allowing users to either link their bank accounts or manually import statements into the accounting software. Users can also create rules for categorizing bank transactions.
Through QBO, users can reduce manual work by using features designed to automate payment reminders, bill payments, and recurring invoices.

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Xero

Accounting automation is common to both Xero and QBO. Xero users can also connect bank accounts or payment platforms to the accounting software. Users can do bulk reconciliation and set up rules to make bank reconciliation easier. Like QBO, Xero provides an option to automate tasks like payment reminders, journal reversals, and autopay.

Invoicing

Screenshot for Xero invoicing page

QuickBooks

QuickBooks Online provides multilingual invoicing and invoice tracking. All subscription tiers support unlimited invoices at no added cost. Users can also attach supporting documents to invoices, customize invoice design, auto-schedule invoices, and send reminders for late payments.

Xero

Xero accounting software offers similar capabilities to QuickBooks in terms of invoicing. However, the most affordable plan for Xero users limits the number of invoices that can be issued to 20 per month. Users can also customize templates, do bulk invoicing, and send automatic payment reminders. With Xero, dealing with international clients is also easier since you can send and receive payments in more than 160 currencies.

Integrations

QuickBooks

QuickBooks has been constantly reinventing its products and services to support paperless accounting. QBO supports integration with more than 750 apps, including payroll processors, CRM, payment processors, and tax management software. Robust integrations with third-party apps make data transfer faster and more seamless.

Built-in features designed to support complex accounting and support for hundreds of third-party apps make it easier to scale with QBO. However, access to more seats and features may require companies to pay more for added capabilities.

Screenshot for QuickBooks website

Xero

When it comes to integrations, Xero wins since you can connect this cloud-based accounting solution with over 1,000 third-party apps. Through integration, Xero can be a viable software even for expanding teams that require access to advanced features like automated invoice approvals, advanced inventory management, and payroll processing.
Since Xero supports unlimited users, businesses can use the platform to scale up operations while keeping costs low.

Customer Support

QuickBooks

All QuickBooks subscription plans include access to 24/7 live chat support. Phone support is also available but only within certain hours. Those who run into issues with their software can readily seek help through various channels. QuickBooks Advanced, the highest subscription tier for QBO, provides priority access to customer support.

Xero

While Xero provides a lot of tutorials and online resources for its users, users have no access to live chat or phone support. You can only get in touch by raising a case through the Xero website. You have the option to request for a call back and talk to a customer support representative. Once you have an open ticket, you can also monitor the progress of the case and follow up if needed.

Who is it For?

QuickBooks

QuickBooks provides more benefits to businesses requiring more complex accounting and are willing to spend more for their accounting software. QBO is more popular in the US and North America, and accountants are more likely to be familiar with QuickBooks than Xero.

Since QBO allows limited users, you should be willing to limit the number of people who have access to your accounting software to a few members of the organization.

screenshot for Xero website access plan

Xero

QuickBooks users who feel overwhelmed with the information provided by their software and small business owners looking for a more affordable accounting tool are ideal candidates for using Xero. If you need all employees to access your accounting software and you don’t have a very complex business that requires advanced accounting, consider signing up for Xero.

Claim to Fame

QuickBooks

When it comes to advanced accounting features that allow business owners and accountants to track financial data and customize reporting – QuickBooks readily comes to mind. With its robust accounting features, QBO can keep up with the evolving needs of companies with complex accounting requirements.

Since QuickBooks focuses on functionality, users can access numerous functions to understand and analyze their company’s financial data.

Businesses willing to spend money to access advanced features can also take advantage of other QuickBooks add-ons.

Xero

Xero stands out in terms of ease of use, simplicity, and staying on top of vendor payments. Dashboards on the home screen show a visual representation of your current financial position.

Compared to other cloud accounting tools, small business owners are likely to find Xero less intimidating. For instance, the bank reconciliation screen uses “Spent” and “Received” as headers.

Another area where Xero excels is in staying on top of your bills. With Xero, you can schedule batch payments for one or more vendors. You can also track and monitor expenses quickly in Xero. However, there are limits on the number of bills in the lowest plan.

Conclusion

Business owner weaving the hands trying to choose between QBO or Xero

While the choice to go with QBO or Xero ultimately lies with your business needs, budget, and personal preferences, here are some suggestions on choosing the right accounting software.

First, consider location.

Although QuickBooks and Xero are both popular, you may have to consider your location. QBO is more popular in the US and Canada. Meanwhile, accounting professionals outside of the US – New Zealand, Australia, and Europe – may be more familiar with Xero.

Think about the scale of your operations next. Startups and entrepreneurs often prefer Xero. With Xero, you have access to accounting software with a clean and simple interface. Since there are no user caps, you can have unlimited users while paying less than $100 a month for your subscription.

On the other hand, if your business requires advanced accounting features and specialized services like handling taxes and preparing payroll, QuickBooks Online is likely a better choice. QBO provides scalable solutions, robust reporting features, and powerful invoicing capabilities that businesses eventually require as they grow.

Each software has its merits and limitations so it’s better to sign up for their free trial and explore the features of each platform. However, if you’re hesitant because none of them meets your requirements – check out supported third-party integrations that could potentially solve your biggest pain points.

Xero and QBO boasts of more than 800 integrations – so if you’re struggling with invoice volume, tracking approvals, and monitoring payment status try using an app like Envoice to automate invoice processing. Since Envoice works with Xero, QuickBooks, Microsoft Dynamics, and other popular accounting tools, you can automate pre-accounting and reduce invoice processing backlogs without changing your accounting software.

Looking for a way to make your accounting software more powerful? Explore Envoice features to understand how it boosts the capability of your accounting software – reducing time and effort spent on pre-accounting during the month-end close.

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