Accounting · Startups

Xero vs. Quickbooks online (or others)?

Lucas Jaz

August 4th, 2015

Looking for reviews/recommendations on which accounting and payroll software fellow entrepreneurs prefer. Quickbooks online is what we're used to, but have heard great things about XERO. Wondering if there are other or what you recommend between those 2.

Pete Lopez Business Development Manager at TempCFO Solutions Inc.

August 4th, 2015

QuickBooks is great and NetSuite for a complete cloud solution is the answer if you are going to scale your company. Conversion costs can become very high if you decide to convert later on!!

David Johnson CEO

August 4th, 2015

Stay with QuickBooks.  Xero is too new, in fact last I checked it cannot produce a CashFlow Statement.  And Most accountants know how to use QB.

Mark Wald Managing Director at Supporting Strategies - Santa Monica

August 4th, 2015

Freshbooks is simple and easy for tracking billable time and expenses if you're selling consulting services--but it is NOT a complete accounting software, meaning you can't easily maintain your balance sheet using their software and you can't easily record your expenses on an accrual basis.

QuickBooks is the gold standard in the US as an entry level complete accounting software. The guided GUI workflows help novices to follow most standard accounting conventions, but if your business is expected to grow rapidly you'll probably be best served hiring a professional to manage your accounting (my company offers this service). The online edition has a growing marketplace for 3rd party app integrations, but beware that the marketing spin on the true value and functionality of those integrations often over promise and under-deliver...

Netsuite is a very powerful SaaS platform that is a great fit for ecommerce businesses and other complex companies that can justify a $25-75k annual license fee + $25-75k implementation cost in exchange for the sophisticated ERP functionality and countless workflow automation & integration options it offers.

Xero is a direct competitor to QuickBooks Online.  It offers some minor competitive advantages to QuickBooks, together with some relatively minor compromises.  One would have to discuss your business in more detail to be able to determine/recommend whether or not Xero would be a good fit for you.

Contact me directly for more info, guidance, etc!

Anthony Miller

August 4th, 2015

A front runner for me is WaveApp. They've built a nice platform, and it continues to get better! 

Alison Lewis CEO/Creative Director

August 4th, 2015

Adding to the conversation. Quickbooks bogged my company and me down in annoying and complex setup. You have to be 100% on your business plan and how it runs and when we pivoted, it became a mess to deal with the books.   I haven't used the other tools yet, but I'm interested to know more about XERO and if it works for product sales and consulting businesses. 


August 5th, 2015

We made the switch from QB Pro & Enterprise to Xero about one year ago (covering three separate companies). I would say that it has been a net improvement.

Xero's major deficit is simply development time. QB has about a 15-20 year lead on development (not always for the better). QB built in payroll offering is better than the Xero offering. The integrated payroll options are too simple (ZenPayroll) or crazy expense (ADP). This is a major development emphasis for Xero - they are planning on having all US states fully online by the end of 2015.

One of the major security upsides in not having to have RDP server access for accountant access to books, which is common with QB Pro/Enterprise.

Overall, we are pleased with the consistent improvement with the platform. It still has some definite gaps (that are often covered by add-on products for extra dollars). Over the next 2-3 years, QB & Sage will have a real battle on their hands. 

Radner Reyes Digital Marketing | Business Development

August 6th, 2015

I think any startup business should go for simplicity and ease of use while deciding on any software. If you don't plan on spending too much time working on accounting, you may want to look at SlickPie. It was built from scratch keeping mobile in mind. It's very user friendly, has a very nice feel to it and has a low learning curve. 

John McMahon CEO at Starter Inc.

August 4th, 2015

Especially if you're doing billable hours, I'm a huge fan of FreshBooks -- their mobile apps and web app are great for invoicing, billing out subcontractors on projects, and they have a really nifty Time Tracking apps.

At my former company, we used QuickBooks for years, we were using the on-premise QuickBooks Pro edition and just starting to go online.

When I found FreshBooks, I really appreciated the streamlined approach, and the lack of bloat.

If you want to check it out, I have a discount code here:

Earl Rudolfo Cloud Accounting Beancounter for Small Businesses

August 4th, 2015

Both have good accounting and payroll functionality. However, Xero would be my first choice because of the huge add -on ecosystem and it has a more user-friendly interface. Regards, Earl

Shelley Facius Head of Communications at Coretech, a WPP Company

August 4th, 2015

I haven’t used Quickbooks, but would also recommend Xero. I’m based in London and I handle clients with multiple currencies which Xero caters for. I agree with Earl that it is very user-friendly and the customer service/ helpdesk is first rate. The company is very responsive to user feedback and requests for new features and many UK accountants use it for their own accounts. It’s also not that new, I’ve been using it for a few years.