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The Best Alternatives To QuickBooks Pro

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Intuit Quickbooks is almost certainly the first name you think of when it comes to accounting software. But should QuickBooks be your first accounting choice?

QuickBooks has a good reputation for a reason, but if you’re a new user searching out all of your options or an existing QuickBooks user looking for a change, there are plenty of other programs out there. Read on for an in-depth look at the top four alternatives to QuickBooks. We’ll compare features, integrations, pricing, and more so you can choose the perfect accounting software for your business.

Column HeaderAccountEdgeXeroQuickBooks OnlineSage 50cloud

Best QuickBooks Alternatives

Best Alternatives to QuickBooks

Best Alternatives to QuickBooks

Best QuickBooks Alternatives

Pricing

$99 - $399/month

$9 - $60/month

$20 - $150/month

$447 - 1,763/year

Size of Business

Small - Large

Medium - Large

Small - Large

Medium - Large

Ease of Use

Difficult

Moderate

Moderate

Difficult

Customer Service

Poor

Poor

Fair

Poor

Number of Users

1+

Unlimited

1 - 25

1 - 40

Number of Integrations

9

700

590

1

Cloud-Based or Installed

Installed

Cloud-Based

Cloud-Based

Installed

Mobile Apps

iOS

iOS & Android

iOS & Android

No

ReviewCompare

ReviewVisit

ReviewVisit

ReviewVisit

Overview Of QuickBooks

Best QuickBooks Pro Alternatives

But before that, let’s take a minute to talk about what makes QuickBooks such a popular choice in the first place…

For those who aren’t familiar with QuickBooks, the first desktop version of this groundbreaking software was launched back in 1992. In the years since, it has developed into the product users know and love today.

More often, when people say “QuickBooks,” they are referring to “QuickBooks Desktop Pro.” QuickBooks Desktop Pro (or QuickBooks Pro) is a strong accounting solution with advanced features and customizability.

The software is locally-installed. A QuickBooks Pro license costs $299.95 (thought Intuit often offers some sort of discount). This license is good for three years, after which Intuit drops all support for that version. You can also purchase a yearly subscription — called QuickBooks Pro Plus — for $299.95/year, which includes unlimited customer support and data backups. There are some extra costs to be aware of (like additional users and customer support) as well.

Pros

  • Strong accounting
  • Robust feature set
  • Accountant approved
  • Tax support
  • Budgeting
  • Strong user permissions
  • Offline access
  • 120 reports
  • 190 integrations
  • Potentially more secure

Cons

  • Steep learning curve
  • Poor customer service
  • Only compatible with Windows
  • Forced upgrades
  • Lack of mobility
  • Poor invoicing
  • Occasional glitches and freezes

Alternative #1: AccountEdge

Best QuickBooks Pro Alternatives

Best For…

Small to medium businesses looking for a strong locally-installed accounting solution.

Formerly the US branch of MYOB, AccountEdge is incredibly similar to QuickBooks Pro in that both are locally-installed programs with strong accounting. However, unlike QB and most other locally-installed programs, AccountEdge offers a mobile app. The software now has over 100,000 users. There are two versions of AccountEdge: Basic and Pro. The Basic plan is simpler, whereas the Pro plan is more advanced and is most similar to QuickBooks Pro in terms of features and offerings.

AccountEdge is ideal for small to mid-sized businesses in need of strong accounting and ample features. The software is locally-installed but can be utilized by either Mac or Windows users. It is not ideal for businesses with multiple users in need of mobility, and the software may be difficult for people with no previous accounting experience.

ProsCons

Advanced features

Steep learning curve

PC & Mac specific versions

Limited integrations

Locally-installed

Mobile app

Pricing

An AccountEdge Basic license is $99 and an AcccountEdge Pro license is $399. These are one-time payments, but you can purchase updates at a discounted rate. Unlike QuickBooks Pro, there are no forced upgrades with AccountEdge. Customer service, payroll tax support, and additional users all cost extra, so read our full AccountEdge review to learn about all of the costs you can expect to pay.

Features

Best Alternative to QuickBooks

AccountEdge supports an impressive number of features that are almost on par with QuickBooks Pro’s offerings. The software’s features are incredibly well-developed and include:

  • Invoicing
  • Estimates
  • Contact management
  • Lead management
  • Expense tracking
  • Inventory
  • Project management
  • Time tracking
  • 100+ reports
  • Payroll
  • Budgeting
  • Commission calculator
  • Retainers, escrows, and trusts
  • Tax support

How AccountEdge Compares to QuickBooks Pro

In many ways, QuickBooks Pro and AccountEdge are neck and neck. They both are locally-installed, both are similarly organized, and both have a pretty steep learning curve. While QuickBooks Online offers more integrations and a project management feature, AccountEdge has features QuickBooks doesn’t, like lead management and mobile apps.

There are a few other important areas that set AccountEdge apart from QuickBooks Pro. Account Edge is available for both Windows and Macs. Compared to QuickBooks, AccountEdge has much better customer service and support options. Perhaps most importantly, the company does not cut support for licenses, so you really are making a one-time payment for your account.

AccountEdge is ideal for small to medium businesses looking for strong accounting; in fact, it is one of the best locally-installed accounting solutions out there. If AccountEdge sounds like it might be a good choice for your business, read our full AccountEdge review to learn more.

Alternative #2: Xero

Best QuickBooks Pro Alternatives

Best For…

Best for medium to large-sized businesses searching for cloud-based software with strong accounting and features.

Xero has been in the ring with QuickBooks since 2006. This cloud-based software offers strong accounting, 700+ integrations, and an impressive number of positive customer reviews. Add unlimited users to the mix and its easy to see why this software is a great alternative to QuickBooks.

The software is ideal for medium-large businesses in need of strong accounting and multiple users. Xero also allows you to set detailed user permissions. The software has recently gotten rid of built-in payroll and customer support has taken a turn for the worse; however, Xero still has a lot to offer.

ProsCons

Unlimited users

Poor customer service

Strong accounting

Limited mobile apps

Advanced features

Semi-steep learning curve

Affordable monthly cost

700+ integrations

Pricing

Xero offers three price plans ranging from $9 – $60/month. Payments are made monthly. Each plan comes with unlimited users. The larger the plan, the more invoices and features you have access to.

Features

Best Alternatives to QuickBooks

One of the most common things Xero customers say is that the software has a great selection of features. Xero’s feature set is about as close as you can get to a locally-installed software like QuickBooks in a cloud-based software (without switching to a full ERP).

Here are some of the many features Xero supports:

  • Invoicing
  • Estimates
  • Contact management
  • Expense tracking
  • Accounts payable
  • Inventory
  • Project management
  • Time tracking
  • 65 reports
  • Budgeting

How Xero Compares to QuickBooks Pro

Xero beats QuickBooks Pro when it comes to mobility without a doubt. Xero also offers unlimited users, which is a huge step up from QuickBooks Pro’s maximum of three users. In addition, Xero has 500 more integrations than QB. And when it comes to features, Xero matches QuickBooks Pro almost exactly, just on a slightly less developed scale.

QuickBooks Pro offers more comprehensive accounting features than Xero and the software could be potentially less expensive if you purchase it once every three years. That said, Xero is still a great alternative to QuickBooks Pro. You gain so much by switching to this full-featured cloud software without sacrificing much in return.

If Xero sounds like it might be a good fit for you, check out our comprehensive Xero review, or learn more about how Xero compares to QuickBooks Pro in our detailed Xero VS QuickBooks post. If you choose to go with Xero, don’t forget to download our free How To Set Up Your Xero Account guide to learn how to get started with Xero software.

Alternative #3: Sage 50cloud

Best For…Bet Alternatives To QuickBooks

Medium to large-sized businesses in search of customizable locally-installed software with advanced inventory.

Formerly known as Peachtree, Sage 50cloud is a locally-installed accounting solution with a cloud-based storage component. With strong accounting and advanced features, Sage has become one of the big names in accounting for a reason. Sage 50cloud is incredibly customizable, offers strong reporting, advanced inventory, and even built-in cash flow management. However, all these features come with a steep learning curve and a steep price.

The software also has very few integrations, poor customer support, and an outdated UI. While these drawbacks may be dealbreakers for some businesses, the software is a good QuickBooks alternative for medium to large-sized business in need of complex accounting, inventory serialization, departmental accounting, or customizable reporting.

ProsCons

Advanced features

Steep learning curve

Strong reporting

Limited integrations

Advanced inventory

Potentially expensive

Pricing

Sage 50cloud offers three pricing points ranging from $447 – $1,763/year (that’s $37 – $146/month to put things in perspective). Payments are made yearly and you must agree to a minimum one-year commitment. The larger the plan, the more features you have access to. Additional users and payroll cost extra; read our full Sage 50cloud review for more pricing details.

Features

Best Alternatives To QuickBooks

Sage 50cloud offers an incredible number of features and is the only program on this list to arguably offer more features than QuickBooks Pro. Additionally, Sage 50cloud is extremely customizable. For example, you can customize the dashboard with over 45 different graphs and charts to suit your business’s needs.

Here are some of the feature you’ll find with Sage 50cloud:

  • Invoicing
  • Contact management
  • Expense tracking
  • Accounts payable
  • Advanced inventory
  • Project management
  • Time tracking
  • 90 – 165 reports
  • Cash flow manager
  • Year-end wizard
  • Tax Support

How Sage Compares To QuickBooks

QuickBooks and Sage are very similar. Both are locally-installed programs, both can only be used on Windows, both offer strong accounting, and in terms of features, Sage 50cloud and QuickBooks Pro both offer strong feature sets, but Sage has a few unique touches that QuickBooks is missing like a year-end accounting wizard, inventory serialization, and cash-flow.

However, QuickBooks offers more integrations and is less expensive than Sage. And, if you thought QB had a steep learning curve, Sage 50cloud is even more difficult to learn.

However, for businesses looking for customizable, locally-installed accounting software with advanced features like inventory serialization and departmental accounting, Sage 50cloud could still be a good choice. Read our full Sage 50cloud review to learn more.

Alternative #4: QuickBooks Online

Best QuickBooks Pro Alternatives

Best For…

Small to medium-sized businesses in need of full-featured accounting software with ample features and built-in lending.

Although QuickBooks Online was launched twelve years after QuickBooks Pro, the software has become a formidable opponent with ample features and over 2.2 million users. QuickBooks Online is cloud-based software, which, likes its cousin QB, offers strong accounting and an impressive number of features. The software also has over 500 integrations, beautiful invoicing automations and customizations, and even built-in lending, making it one of the best accounting programs for small businesses.

QuickBooks Online is occasionally buggy and has poor customer support. However, the features it does have make it worth considering. The software is ideal for all types of small businesses, and the recent addition of a new QuickBooks Advanced plan makes the software a good fit for medium to large-sized businesses with no more than 25 users.

ProsCons

Strong accounting

Limited customer support

Advanced feature set

Expensive

Strong invoicing

Occasionally unintuitive

Good mobile apps

500+ integrations

Pricing

QuickBooks Online offers three pricing plans ranging from $20 – $60/month, with a fourth larger plan called QuickBooks Advanced, which costs $150/month. Each plan comes with unlimited invoices. The larger the plan, the more features and users you have access to. Plans are paid monthly and payroll costs an additional $35 – $80/month plus $4/month per person.

Features

Best Alternatives To QuickBooks

QuickBooks Online offers an impressive number of features. While not quite as developed as QuickBooks Pro, these features are often a lot easier to use and the UI is far more attractive. Plus, the software has a ton of time-saving automations built-in.

Here are some of the features QuickBooks Online has to offer:

  • Invoicing
  • Estimates
  • Contact management
  • Expense tracking
  • Accounts payable
  • Inventory
  • Project management
  • Time tracking
  • 80 Reports
  • Budgeting
  • Tax support

How QuickBooks Online Compares to QuickBooks Pro

There’s a reason QuickBooks Online is able to compete with QuickBooks Pro. The software is incredibly robust and doesn’t skimp on accounting capabilities. QuickBooks Online beats QuickBooks Pro in terms of integrations, mobility, and availability (the software isn’t limited to only Windows). QuickBooks also offers class tracking and much better invoicing, along with attractive templates, invoicing automations, and built-in lending with QuickBooks Capital.

QuickBooks Pro still wins when you consider the depth of its features and accounting capabilities. It also could be potentially more affordable if you purchase it once every three years; however, QuickBooks Online is a great choice for users looking for a more mobile accounting solution with strong invoicing and more users than the three QB allows.

If you’re interested in QuickBooks Online, read our complete QuickBooks Online review for more details. Or, learn more about how QuickBooks Online compares to QuickBooks Pro in our detailed QuickBooks Online vs. QuickBooks Pro (Desktop) post.

Which Software Should I Choose?

Now comes the really hard part: deciding which of these alternatives are best for your business. To summarize:

  • Account Edge: AccountEdge comparable in features to QuickBooks Pro; it is a one-time purchase, locally-installed program that Mac users can use too.
  • Xero: Xero is cloud-based software with an impressive number of features and strong accounting, plus unlimited users and mobile apps.
  • Sage 50cloud: Sage 50cloud is customizable, locally-installed accounting software ideal for users willing to pay the price for advanced features and strong inventory.
  • QuickBooks Online: QuickBooks Online is a great choice for small businesses looking for the strong accounting and feature set of QB without the steep learning curve and lack of mobility.

Each of these programs is fairly distinct, but which option is right for you?

If you currently use Quickbooks Pro, the first questions you should ask are:

  • What isn’t working with my accounting software?
  • Will switching to another program solve these issues, or should I look at upgrading to QuickBooks Premier or Enterprise instead?

QuickBooks Premier and Enterprise offer more users, more features, and industry-specific editions including contractor, manufacturing & wholesale, retail, nonprofit, professional services, and accountant editions. Read our complete QuickBooks Premier and QuickBooks Enterprise reviews to see if upgrading your QB software is the way to go.

If you haven’t committed to a software program yet and are still exploring your options, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Which features do I need for my business to succeed?
  • How much can I afford to spend on accounting software?
  • Do I want a cloud-based or locally-installed program?
  • What is my level of accounting experience?

The answers to these questions will help you pinpoint which software might be the best choice. My biggest recommendation is to take advantage of free trials before committing to any solution. You won’t know if you like it until you try it. As always, our comprehensive accounting reviews can help you learn more about programs’ features, usability, security, customer reviews, and more. You can also read the Complete Guide to Choosing Online Accounting Software for extra help.

Good luck on your journey to finding the perfect accounting software, and feel free to reach out if you have any questions along the way.

Chelsea Krause

Chelsea Krause

Managing Editor - Accounting
Chelsea Krause is a writer who has specialized in accounting for two years and is a QuickBooks Certified User. She has a BA in English & Creative Writing from George Fox University and studied at the University of Oxford as well. She has been quoted in Forbes and her work appears in Startup Nation, Small Business Bonfire, and Women on Business.
Chelsea Krause
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