The Complete Square VS QuickBooks Comparison For Businesses
Both Square and QuickBooks offer a lot of services and are competing to become the all-in-one business software of choice. Find out which is best for you.
|Ideal For||Small-to mid-sized businesses||Businesses with strong accounting needs|
|Base Monthly Pricing||$0/month with advanced tiers and add-ons available||$30-$200/month|
|Payment Processing Cost||
|Biggest Advantages||Free Intuitive interface All-in-one platform App Marketplace||Simple pricing Robust features Intuitive card reader|
|Biggest Disadvantages||Fund holds Some features lacking||No eCommerce Sketchy customer support High per-transaction fees|
|What’s Next||Visit Site
Table of Contents
- Square VS QuickBooks At A Glance
- What’s The Difference Between Square & QuickBooks?
- Do I Need QuickBooks If I Have Square?
- Square VS QuickBooks Pricing
- Square VS QuickBooks Features
- Which Is Better For My Business: QuickBooks Or Square?
- Can You Use QuickBooks & Square Together?
- Square VS QuickBooks Comparison: The Bottom Line
- QuickBooks & Square FAQs
Square VS QuickBooks At A Glance
In this Square vs. QuickBooks comparison, you’ll find that each provides a full slate of tools for business owners of all sizes. QuickBooks relies primarily on third-party providers, while Square focuses mainly on proprietary in-house services and features. Both companies provide basic credit card processing services and a range of hardware options for accepting payments.
Square is best known for its mobile processing system, which combines a tablet/smartphone app with a small card reader to offer the same transaction processing capability as a traditional countertop credit card terminal. QuickBooks has a similar system called QuickBooks GoPayment.
- All-in-one system
- Access to the app marketplace
- Intuitive interface
- Free options available
- Occasional fund holds
- Need an advanced plan for 24/7 customer service
Square stands apart from most traditional providers in that it has always primarily focused on meeting the needs of small and newly established businesses. The company is best known as a payment processor offering simple, competitive rates for small businesses.
Merchants signing up for Square today will discover a broad range of products and services that goes way beyond just credit card processing. Even with a free account, you’ll have access to Square Invoices, Square Inventory, Square Online Store, the Square App Marketplace, and other services, such as gift cards and loyalty.
Square also has a variety of software and hardware options to suit your establishment.
- QuickBooks integrations
- Mobile card reader
- Affordable processing
- Costs can add up
- No built-in eCommerce
- Limited POS app
While QuickBooks is best known as an industry-leading small business accounting software package, Intuit also offers QuickBooks Payments for users who need a merchant account for credit card processing.
Like most merchant services providers, QuickBooks Payments includes various products and services to help you run your business, such as credit and debit card payment processing, QuickBooks GoPayment mobile processing app, and QuickBooks Invoicing.
QuickBooks has multiple software plans and accompanying services as well to round out its small business suite.
What’s The Difference Between Square & QuickBooks?
There’s certainly some overlap between Square vs. QuickBooks Payments. For instance, both offer a basic, low-cost solution to accept credit and debit cards and keep tabs on your business. However, one major difference between these two providers is that QuickBooks Payments offers a full-service merchant account rather than the aggregated accounts available with Square.
While merchant accounts require more time and paperwork to set up, they provide better account stability than aggregated accounts. That means you’re far less likely to have your account suddenly frozen or shut down than you are with a payment service provider such as Square.
Both providers also have other differences in the products and services they offer. For the most part, Square offers proprietary services that can only be used with a Square account. On the other hand, QuickBooks Payments places a little more emphasis on integrating services from third-party providers.
Both QuickBooks & Square Offer…
- Acceptance of all major credit/debit cards
- Magstripe/EMV/NFC and online payments and ACH transfers
- Point of sale platforms accepting multiple payment types
- Mobile card readers
- Invoicing plans
- Add-on payroll functionality
- Recurring billing
Only Square Offers…
- Built-in eCommerce
- Intuitive hardware
- Cash payment support
- Expansive app marketplace
- Full QR payment support
Only QuickBooks Offers…
- Full-service merchant account
- Built-in accounting
- Better rates for high-volume sellers
Do I Need QuickBooks If I Have Square?
Square has a very deep feature set with tons of products and services either included in a base subscription plan or available as add-ons. It does not come with its own accounting platform, however.
Square does integrate with QuickBooks, but it also integrates with multiple third-party accounting programs, so you can choose the best one for your individual needs.
Square VS QuickBooks Pricing
|Card Reader||$49 for a chip reader||$49 for a chip reader|
|POS||Free with higher tiers available||$30-$200/month|
|Payroll||$35/month + $5 per employee||$45-$125/month + $5-$10 per employee|
|Invoicing||2.9% + $0.30 per online transaction||2.9% + $0.25|
|Banking||No monthly fee||No monthly fee|
|Capital||Custom rates||Custom rates|
One of the bigger differences between Square vs. QuickBooks is their pricing structures. Square’s pricing offers free versions of its main software plans, Square POS, Square for Retail, Square for Restaurants, and Square Appointments. It also has paid monthly plans with additional features if your business needs advanced inventory or reporting, for example, and those run between $29 and $60/month.
Square’s processing rates are transparent and competitive but can add up for high-volume sellers. Square also has add-ons that you can purchase, such as Square Payroll and its loyalty and gift card features.
QuickBooks POS is considerably more expensive upfront, but its fees are one-time-only and range from $1,200 to $1,900. Its processing fees are similar to Square’s but are tailored to higher-volume sellers. QuickBooks Online software runs between $30 and $200/month, and you can also add payroll for an additional fee.
QuickBooks’ pricing is a little more intensive upfront, but if you’re planning on using it long-term and selling at a high volume, it can be cost-effective.
Is Square Or QuickBooks Cheaper?
Square and QuickBooks both offer good value for what they provide. Square caters more to small and mid-sized businesses that may not have a lot of upfront capital. Square also allows individuals to choose the features they plan on using that are within their budget.
QuickBooks gives you more of what you need initially and comes with a deeper feature set overall while also allowing you to add additional services, such as payroll.
- QuickBooks processing is cheaper for high-volume merchants
- Square Payroll is cheaper than QuickBooks but with fewer features
- Square Invoice is cheaper than QuickBooks Online if you only need invoicing services
Square VS QuickBooks Features
Square and QuickBooks both offer generous feature sets with the option of adding additional services, making them highly scalable products. Square can be used simply for its payment processor but also has one of the most affordable and intuitive POS systems around.
Square offers free plans with all of its software plans and includes basic inventory management and reporting. Square’s hardware offerings are also generous, starting with its free magstripe reader and ranging up to its all-in-one POS and processor Square Register. Through Square’s App Marketplace and its wide variety of services, you can make it whatever you want. Square comes with a free online store for eCommerce and has payroll and invoicing functionality for added monthly fees. Square also has the option to use Square Cash App for person-to-person transactions like Venmo or PayPal.
QuickBooks is best known for its robust accounting platform to which payroll can be added if your company needs it. Its POS software is also solid, albeit a bit expensive initially. But you get deep features, including invoicing and advanced marketing tools. QuickBooks also offers a free business checking account with no balance minimums. QuickBooks has hardware bundles available for purchase and its own card reader.
For more details on each of these vendors, some good places to start are our Square credit card processing review and the product reviews linked under the Square and QuickBooks overview sections.
Which Is Better For My Business: QuickBooks Or Square?
Square has been the provider of choice for many small businesses in recent years, and with its ever-expanding lineup of services, it’s very close to being a one-stop shop for all your business needs.
This success has drawn a lot of competitors, most of which have never been willing to break completely free of the processing industry’s bad habits. In contrast, QuickBooks Payments is a worthy alternative to Square and may, in fact, be the better option in some cases.
Here are some guidelines to consider in choosing between these two platforms:
Choose QuickBooks If…
- You already use QuickBooks and want to add credit card processing without additional fees
- You want a stable, full-service merchant account
- You want all of your merchant services to integrate with QuickBooks Online seamlessly
- You’re in a professional services industry and collect most payments through invoices
- You process over $7,500 per month and want to negotiate a custom processing rate plan
Choose Square If…
- You already have a Square account and are satisfied with its pricing and features
- You run a seasonal business and don’t want to pay any fees during your downtime
- You run a small online business and don’t need a fancy eCommerce platform
- You’re in retail and need a strong inventory management system
- You’re in the restaurant business
Can You Use QuickBooks & Square Together?
QuickBooks and Square each integrate with each other, so you can absolutely use them in conjunction with the other. QuickBooks and Square integrations can help bolster the other’s services.
Square’s accounting services are lacking, so if you need in-depth reporting and analytics, using the QuickBooks integration can be very valuable. Likewise, you may be happy with QuickBooks and may have been using it for years to do your books, but if you want to add payment processing or a point of sale system to your small business, Square could be the right choice.
Choose QuickBooks & Square If…
- You want simple processing to go along with robust accounting
- You use QuickBooks and want an affordable POS
- You want a free online store with excellent bookkeeping
- You have a foodservice establishment with in-depth accounting needs
Square VS QuickBooks Comparison: The Bottom Line
Square and QuickBooks are two of the most recognizable names in the payments industry. So when it comes to Square vs. Intuit, which comes out on top for your business?
While Square is known mostly for opening up credit card acceptance to thousands of small businesses that previously couldn’t afford it, QuickBooks has been one of the industry’s most popular small business accounting services for decades.
QuickBooks is the clear winner for your bookkeeping needs, with Square not even trying to offer a competing service. In fact, many business owners will find that using QuickBooks for accounting and Square for credit card processing and everything else will be a winning combination. At the same time, there are distinct advantages to having a full-service merchant account, and QuickBooks Payments is one of the few providers that offer one with no monthly fee or long-term commitment.
At the same time, eCommerce is clearly QuickBooks’ Achilles heel, and other QuickBooks alternatives meet this need. While it’s true that the monthly fees for Shopify or BigCommerce will add up to more than this amount after a few years, both of these platforms offer more features and constantly upgrade to introduce new capabilities and integrations.
With both contenders offering minimal fees and nearly identical flat-rate pricing, most businesses won’t see a significant overall price difference between them. Whether QuickBooks vs. Square will be the better choice will mainly come down to which of the two companies offers the better features your business needs to grow and thrive. Good luck!