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Xero VS QuickBooks Desktop: How Do These Two Accounting Software Giants Compare?

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Chelsea Krause

Chelsea Krause

Content Strategist - Accounting & eCommerce
Chelsea Krause is a writer who has specialized in accounting for over three 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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139 Comments

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    Nathan Evans

    Unfortunately, I strongly disagree with Quickbooks being the easiest to use. As an accountant we service clients using both systems. Quickbooks is by far harder to find exactly what your looking for and to correct accounting errors, and far less user friendly to business owners who do not have book keeping training. Xero is more intuitive in use and pro-active in it’s development, but comes at a higher price. I have had numerous clients converting from Quickbooks to Xero, but, as yet, none the other way around.

      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

      Mohammed W Maalik

      Hi there,

      i run a small company in UK with around 5-8 casual employees and few subcontractors at the moment we use a local accountant but i am in between places to decide what would suite us most cost wise and user friendly we basically need the following from the accounting software, Payroll, VAT submission, & Invoicing its really hard to choose although QB & Xero are offering discounted rates i thought it would be better to ask what would work out better for a small firm like us in the long run.

      Have blessed weekend.

        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

        Jessica Dinsmore

        Hi Mohammed,

        A good place to start would be to talk to your accountant, as some prefer to work with one software over the other. If your accountant likes both, QBO may be the better choice. Both programs offer VAT support, invoicing, and accounting features, but QBO has better invoice designs and automation and the smaller price plans for QuickBooks offer more bang for your buck (example: the smallest Xero plan is cheaper but you can only send 5 invoices vs unlimited invoices with QBO).

          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

          Nigel Rathbone

          Hi Chelsea,
          Great review. I have been using QB for about 6 months now, but due to a change of the company structure, I am having to set everything up again. This has given me the opportunity (problem?) to compare packages again.
          One feature that I use A LOT is the rostering component. I have up to 30 casual employee’s, as well as some sub-contractors that need to be rostered, and obviously paid.
          Are there any comparisons on this side of the accounting packages currently available?

            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

            Chelsea Krause

            Hi Nigel,

            I’d recommend sticking with QuickBooks Online. In QBO, you can add as many “time tracking only” employees and contractors as you want without affecting your user limit, and with so many employees and contractors, I think QuickBooks Online will be the more cost-effective option compared to other programs on the market.

            Best wishes,

            -Chelsea Krause

              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

              Jamie

              I’m in the process of opening my own bookkeeping/administrative services company. My goal is to offer basic bookkeeping, AR, AP, and payroll services. I would operate out of my home office. My goal is local clients but virtual would also be an option. I’m torn between QBO and a desktop version. Opinion?

                This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                Chelsea Krause

                Hi Jamie,

                If you’re looking at virtual to be an option, the mobility of QuickBooks Online might be a better fit. QuickBooks Online is also easier for clients to use, so if you’re not working with seasoned business owners who have a ton of accounting experience, QBO might be a better bet. You can also talk to some local business owners and potential clients and see which product they use. Or, you could always offer services in both and just pick one to do your own business’s accounting with.

                Let us know if you have any other questions!

                -Chelsea Krause

                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

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