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Xero VS Sage VS QuickBooks: Which Is Better?

Xero, Sage, and QuickBooks are all excellent accounting software options for small businesses, but which one is best will depend on your business's needs.

    Erica Seppala
  • 140 comments
  • Updated on:
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Erica Seppala

Erica Seppala

Expert Analyst & Reviewer at Merchant Maverick
An expert in accounting, finance, and point of sale, Erica has been researching and writing about all things small-business since 2018. Erica's insights into personal and business finance have been cited in numerous publications, including MSN, Real Simple, and Reader's Digest. She is a graduate of Limestone College.
Erica Seppala
View Erica Seppala's professional experience on LinkedIn.

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This easy-to-use and feature-rich software is ideal if you have no bookkeeping experience and want top-notch customer support. Get Started.

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140 Comments

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    Genny Godwin

    Thank you so much for this Review. When you are thinking and debating about switching it hard to wrap your head around it being a good idea for all the work it would take to switch and then switch back if its not all that great. I use Class tracking with QB a lot and even their own online version doesn’t let me run a P&L by class, so I am nervous about other software. This makes me believe Pro Desktop is the place to stay. Thx

      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

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        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.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