As the business world becomes more reliant on the cloud and working on-the-go, many small business owners will start to look at every aspect of how their business operates, including their accounting software.
Any Google search for accounting software will turn up a bevy of choices, including newcomer Xero. For years, accounting teams across the globe had one go-to piece of accounting software: Intuit QuickBooks. That’s not the case anymore.
Comparing the two software does carry a few key narratives: The little guy vs. the big guy; new vs. old; and hip vs. proven. Both pieces of software have a place in the small business world — what’s ultimately chosen depends on what’s important to the business owner.
What do you get?
Simply put, you’re getting high-tech accounting apps in Xero and QuickBooks. Both pieces of software give you the ability to run your invoicing, payroll, financial reporting, cash flow and plenty of other financial-related activity. Perhaps more importantly at this stage is that both offer free trials.
All of this can be done in the cloud, also. People tend to associate QuickBooks with an on-premise-I-can-only-work-from-the-office type of software, but it is ready to use in the cloud from anywhere with an Internet connection.
Both applications can integrate with third-party apps, come equipped with bank reconciliation and let you have an unlimited amount of users, but both do all of those things a little differently.
When it comes to third party integration, Xero has more partnerships (more than 300, actually) with third-party business apps. QuickBooks has about 60. Why is this important? Small businesses today are quite technical and want the best possible workflow, so presumably, the more options for integration, the better.
The term “unlimited users” is also defined a little differently between the two applications. The more users added to QuickBooks, the higher the monthly bill. Xero tiers its prices depending on the size of operation, but all three options (ranging from $9 to $70 per month) allow for unlimited users.
Verifying the accuracy of your accounts and making sure all invoices clear on time is the top reason a business even invests in accounting software. Xero and QuickBooks allow for bank reconciliation, but the way it’s handled varies between the two apps.
Xero matches invoices and receipts with account transactions, helping cut down on errors. QuickBooks makes the user search for those transactions, which can be helpful, because it eliminates computer error on fraudulent charges. Human error, of course, is still a possibility.
The bottom line right now is that QuickBooks has been around for some time. It has this proven element to it. When someone talks about accounting software, there’s a good chance QuickBooks is part of that conversation.
Luckily, both offer free trials, allowing small business owners to take both around the block and discover which one is right for their business.
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