FreshBooks VS QuickBooks: Which Is Right For Your Small Business?
|Ease of use||Excellent||Good|
|Reviews & Complaints||Excellent||Fair|
|Best For||Small businesses selling a product||Freelancers or contractors|
In the world of accounting, many companies are racing to be the #1 cloud-based accounting solution. And believe it or not, QuickBooks Online isn’t the only runner in this race. A few other plucky accounting solutions, including FreshBooks, are giving the company a run for its money.
Both QuickBooks Online and FreshBooks are cloud-based software programs designed with small businesses in mind.
QuickBooks Online has been a big player in the accounting scene since 2004. With advanced accounting features, beautiful invoicing, and over 550+ integrations, it’s easy to see why the software is so renowned. FreshBooks, also founded in 2004, now serves over 10,000,000 customers. With a new design and added usability, the software is easier to navigate than ever. It offers strong invoicing, full-featured mobile apps, multiple invoice languages, and more.
But which software will cross the metaphorical finish line first and come out on top? Well, that’s what we’re here to tell you.
At Merchant Maverick, our goal is to help you to find the best software for your small business needs. To make your decision easier, we’ve carefully researched and tested both products. We’ll put QuickBooks Online (QBO) and FreshBooks head to head by comparing features, pricing, customer experience, reputation, and more, so you don’t have to. Read on to see which software is right for your business.
Don’t have time to read the whole post? Are you looking for a different accounting option? Check out our top-rated accounting solutions to see our favorite recommendations.
Table of Contents
- The Key Differences Between FreshBooks & QuickBooks
- FreshBooks VS QuickBooks: Pricing
- FreshBooks VS QuickBooks: Features
- Customer Reviews & Complaints: Which Accounting Software Do Users Like Better?
- Is FreshBooks Or QuickBooks Better For My Business?
- Comparing QuickBooks VS FreshBooks: The Bottom Line
- FreshBooks VS QuickBooks FAQs
FreshBooks VS QuickBooks Overview
In the battle of FreshBooks vs. QuickBooks Online, both are highly intuitive and versatile products ready to assist you with your online accounting needs. Each offers invoicing and a wide-range of accounting tools. FreshBooks, however, is better for independent contractors, freelancers, and service-based industries. QuickBooks scales better for large companies with a need for inventory management and more robust accounting features.
FreshBooks Pros & Cons
FreshBooks, one of the biggest names in the invoicing and accounting scene, was created by Mike McDerment after he became frustrated with the lack of features in programs such as Word and Excel. FreshBooks is ideal for freelancers, micro-businesses, and small businesses in need of simple accounting and basic features, such as invoicing, expense tracking, and project management. The software is not ideal for small businesses that require in-depth accounting and more advanced features, such as budgeting, accounts payable, or tax support. (FreshBooks does not offer native payroll but does integrate with Gusto for businesses in need of payroll services.)
Recently, FreshBooks added more features, improving navigational issues, adding user permissions, increasing the number of integrations, and adding double-entry accounting and key accounting features. Other awesome things: FreshBooks has an outstanding customer support team.
FreshBooks is definitely a QuickBooks competitor, but its simple UI and limited users mean that it is better suited for a smaller business based in service, a sole proprietor, or contractors.
- Easy to use
- Well-designed UI
- Numerous integrations
- Expensive monthly cost
- Limited features
QuickBooks Pros & Cons
QuickBooks has been a leader in accounting software for a long time for good reason: It’s the gold standard.
QuickBooks Online comes with a wide breadth of features and complex accounting capabilities that small business owners need. The software offers an impressive number of integrations and is working on bettering customer support. Recently, QuickBooks Online added a much-needed project management feature along with other new features, such as progress invoicing and multilingual invoicing. The best addition may be the new QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping service, where users can gain expert accounting advice and outsource some of their bookkeeping tasks.
The software has a lot to offer, but there are some drawbacks, including navigational difficulties, a semi-steep learning curve, and lengthy support wait times. QuickBooks Online is also an expensive choice for some businesses.
Despite these drawbacks, QuickBooks Online has some great things going for it: strong reporting, customizable invoices, inventory capabilities, multiple currencies, and over 650 integrations.
- Advanced features
- 650+ integrations
- Good mobile apps
- Not always intuitive
- No payroll
- Poor customer support
The Key Differences Between FreshBooks & QuickBooks
The key difference between FreshBooks and QuickBooks is that FreshBooks is designed for someone working as a contractor, freelancer, or sole proprietor with a need to manage invoices, while QuickBooks is better suited for small-medium-sized businesses selling a product that need streamlined accounting software.
FreshBooks’ features cater to that demographic (the contractor/freelancer crowd), and QuickBooks’ features cater to its targeted demographic (product-based businesses with multiple employees).
FreshBooks VS QuickBooks: Pricing
FreshBooks offers three different pricing levels. Only the two largest plans come with double-entry accounting and the subsequent accounting features. You can make monthly payments or purchase a yearly subscription, which will get you a discount. There is a free trial available. No credit card or banking information is required, and you can cancel the service at any time. Pricing is tiered by billable clients, not by users (like QuickBooks).
QuickBooks Online has three pricing plans as well, ranging from $25-$70/month (not including any posted promotions) and an advanced $150/month plan for businesses with 10+ users. This does not include the bookkeeping or payroll options — which are extra. QuickBooks is billed by users.
While both plans are fairly equal and on the more expensive end of software prices, you get more bang for your buck with QuickBooks in terms of features and users.
FreshBooks VS QuickBooks: Features
|Chart of Accounts||✓||✓|
QuickBooks Online has more features hands-down than FreshBooks. However, features are only as useful as your need for them. If you have a smaller business that needs budgeting tools or tax support, QuickBooks is perfect. If you don’t need those things? Why bog down your user experience with features you won’t use.
With that said: Not only does QuickBooks Online offer more features than FreshBooks, but the features it has are more developed and robust. For example, both software companies offer invoicing, but FreshBooks only gives you two templates to choose from, while QuickBooks Online has five. Additionally, QuickBooks Online has some of the best invoice customizations and automations available. QuickBooks Online also allows you to generate up to 80 reports versus FreshBooks’ ten.
FreshBooks does offer a better client portal as well as a proposal feature and the unique ability for customers to comment directly on estimates and invoices. However, without full inventory, tax support, accounts payable, or class tracking, FreshBooks isn’t at QBO’s level yet in terms of features.
Here’s a closer look at how some of those features stack up against each other:
When it comes to accounting features, QuickBooks is the clear winner. It has everything you might need for robust accounting tools built right into the system. It’s true that you have to pay more for all of the accounting features, but QuickBooks Online offers multiple routes to automation.
FreshBooks accounting features are basic and offer general ledger records, profit and loss reports, expense reports, and balance sheets. The program also provides accountants with secure access (QuickBooks Online does as well). A bonus for FreshBooks: The program does have a built-in time-tracking application. QuickBooks Online integrates with multiple time-tracking applications. Neither program has built-in payroll, but FreshBooks integrates with Gusto small business payroll, and QuickBooks Online easily integrates with Intuit Online Payroll, the company’s payroll option inside the QuickBooks suite.
FreshBooks’ invoices are quick and easy. Businesses may not have many customizable options, but FreshBooks does an amazing job of basic invoicing that integrates well with its accounting software. FreshBooks is more user-friendly, which means that its invoices are the best for business owners just branching out. While QuickBooks offers more customization, and both are equally intuitive, FreshBooks is better for the novice or busy small business owner who needs invoicing over other software needs.
Inventory is available on the Plus plan for QuickBooks Online. FreshBooks integrates with BarCloud and 2Ship but doesn’t have a built-in inventory tracking program. In that regard, QuickBooks is much better if your small business is selling an actual product.
QuickBooks Online takes after its counterpart, QuickBooks Pro, in the sense that the software is occasionally difficult to navigate and comes with a bit of a learning curve (not nearly to the extent of QuickBooks Pro, but still).
FreshBooks, on the other hand, is incredibly easy to learn and use. The software is well-organized and intuitive, with a beautiful UI and ample customer support if you lose your way.
If you have ever read a QuickBooks review, you know that customer service is not the company’s strong suit. Longer-than-average wait times and a complete lack of email support put QuickBooks Online in a bad spot (though the company has been working to shorten the wait and hold times and has revamped its help center).
FreshBooks, on the other hand, offers incredible customer support. I have never been put on hold when calling FreshBooks, and representatives are always informed and kind. The company also provides plenty of support options, including a help center, webinars, and in-software support.
QuickBooks Online offers over 650+ integrations to FreshBooks’ 80.
Customer Reviews & Complaints: Which Accounting Software Do Users Like Better?
This is one category QuickBooks Online should not want to win, and yet here it is. QuickBooks Online has received many user complaints regarding poor customer service, bugs, limited mobile apps, and even unauthorized charges.
FreshBooks, on the other hand, has received a much smaller number of customer complaints.
Is FreshBooks Or QuickBooks Better For My Business?
Which one is right for you? Let’s break it down again:
Choose FreshBooks If…
- You are a freelancer, contractor, sole proprietor, or micro-business
- You want ready-to-go forms/invoices and don’t need a ton of customization
- Your business doesn’t sell a product but instead sells a service
- Quick, in-product support is important to you
Choose QuickBooks If…
- You need robust accounting features
- You are selling a product
- If you are already familiar with the QuickBooks products
- You need/want accounting software with numerous integrations
Comparing QuickBooks VS FreshBooks: The Bottom Line
With the recent addition of double-entry accounting, FreshBooks puts up a good fight, but QuickBooks Online is still the better cloud accounting software for most small businesses.
QuickBooks Online is a full accounting package rolled up into handy, cloud-based software that offers more developed features, more integrations, and strong security. QuickBooks Online is ideal for small businesses wanting strong accounting and features. For these reasons, it not only beats FreshBooks in this match-up, but it’s also one of our top choices for small businesses here at Merchant Maverick.
But just because QuickBooks Online is the winner here does not mean that it’s the best choice for your company. FreshBooks is a good choice for small businesses that want easy-to-use software with excellent customer support, strong mobile apps, and quick templates. Unique features such as proposals and being able to chat on estimates could also come in handy for some business types.
Or maybe after reading this, you want to check out a different software entirely. Our comprehensive reviews can help you explore all of your options and make an informed decision during your hunt for the perfect accounting software.
Read our full QuickBooks Online review or FreshBooks review for more information. After doing your research, be sure to take advantage of the free trials that accounting software companies offer and feel free to reach out with any questions you have along the way.