There’s time tracking in all plans and phone support is available from 8 a.m. The first two plan tiers put a limit on billable clients, but not on invoices. Includes project tracking tools in most expensive plan; limited transaction tracking tags; lacks industry-specific reports; users with multiple businesses must pay for separate subscriptions.
Although it can work this way, we still don’t see it as a great solution since there’s no paper trail or change log when editing POs. Xero, QuickBooks, and Zoho each take different approaches to enabling third-party integrations. Its invoice page is more straightforward, featuring only the most relevant fields, such as invoice number, issue date, due date, and the client. QuickBooks works on Windows PCs, Macs, and major browsers including Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Edge. If you have Windows, you’ll need to be running Windows 7 or newer, with at least 4GBs of RAM and a processor comparable to the Intel Core i5.
FreshBooks offers unlimited time-tracking in its lowest-tier Lite plan, whereas Xero users would have to opt into the highest-tier Established plan for that feature. Xero doesn’t provide a phone number on its customer support page, but a representative will call you if necessary. This is a serious drawback if you want to be able to pick up the phone and talk through an issue or are new to accounting software and have lots of questions. For example, you can give all employees the ability to send quotes and invoices, allow some to enter expenses and limit who can see the company’s complete financial picture. To keep things organized, Xero logs every action users make and compiles the history of every transaction.
If needed, you can easily send customers reminders, and can match any payments received with the correct invoice for efficient bookkeeping. FreshBooks doesn’t offer quite as many connections, with just 100 partner apps. However, you’ll be able to find integrations to help you analyze data, book appointments, manage projects, run payroll and so much more.
These include everything from data integration to point-of-sale programs. Popular options include apps such as Zapier, Gusto, 9Spokes, CollBox and Zynk Workflow. You can enter five bills on the base plan, but this becomes unlimited on the higher plans. This helps you see when all your bills are due and schedule batch payments accordingly. Today’s leading accounting platforms offer standard security features like data encryption, secure credential tokenization and more. While human error will always play some role in security breaches, you can be confident in your accounting platform when it comes to keeping your information safe.
However, we found that Xero isn’t suitable for nonprofit entities or specific businesses needing multicompany accounting features. Although overall, it’s great for daily accounting, inventory keeping, and project management. We recommend it for project- and product-based companies because of its flexible features. Businesses migrating from spreadsheets can make the transition smoothly with Xero’s connections to solutions like Google Sheets.
Both are also reasonably priced on the base plans, costing less than other powerhouse software such as QuickBooks. Katherine Haan, MBA is a former financial advisor-turned-writer and business coach. For over a decade, she’s helped small business owners make money online. When she’s not trying out the latest tech or travel blogging with her family, you can find her curling up with a good novel. Xero and QuickBooks have similar pricing, except when it comes to QuickBooks Desktop. The Desktop plan offered by QuickBooks starts at $349.99 per year, goes up to $804 for your first year and renews at $1,340 per year.
You can reach support by raising a case (similar to filing an IT ticket) on the Xero website. Number of users aside, Xero is a better fit for small businesses with multiple employees, whereas FreshBooks is more ideal for freelancers and independent contractors. Integrates with more than 100 third-party apps; limited choices for direct payroll and point-of-sale integrations. Yes, you can use Xero to track inventory, and the feature is available in all plans.
Xero strategically targets high-value topics to accelerate new user onboarding and core feature adoption. For example, Xero’s profit and loss reports can be viewed as line or bar charts over custom date ranges. Its dashboard gives visual snapshots of cashflow, account reconciliation, expenses, how to reduce overhead costs for small businesses and more. For many users, digesting data through visuals is faster and more impactful. However, Xero provides more flexibility for businesses to build custom reports tailored to their unique needs. Users can mix and match various data sets and choose specific fields to include.
For invoice creation, we found that Xero doesn’t give users the ability to customize the invoice in terms of invoice color, layout, and font. Although it lets you customize invoice elements, such as invoice line items, we wanted to see some personalization in creating invoices. QuickBooks may be the better choice for accountants working with small businesses that need robust inventory management and job costing features. The learning curve is gentler with QuickBooks compared to Xero, but it lacks some of the automation and flexibility of Xero. In contrast, Xero offers a smaller set of manuals and user guides focused on key workflows like reconciling bank transactions, tracking sales tax, and configuring user permissions. While less comprehensive than QuickBooks, Xero’s guides dive deeper into topics critical for small businesses to maximize value from the software.
QuickBooks also includes over two dozen prebuilt reports; custom report functionality is available in the highest tier. We like how much power QuickBooks gives you over your monetary data. QuickBooks is an accounting industry leader, so its app integrations are exceptionally diverse and high-quality.
However, FreshBooks seems to have more in-depth client features, as it lets you store their contact info, communications and any internal notes you might have about them. It does have the option to input your inventory as invoicing items, but this is clunky and not as intuitive as Xero’s inventory process. Our only QuickBooks bill-paying disappointment was that you can’t access the feature via the Simple Start package. If the most affordable QuickBooks solution is your priority, you forgo the ability to pay bills through your software. You can also use QuickBooks to schedule payments in advance, including partial bill payments.