Quickbooks Online vs Xero: The Best Online Accounting Software for Your Business
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Quickbooks Online vs Xero: The Best Online Accounting Software for Your Business


When it comes to streamlining your business’ accounting process, there are a great deal of things that need to be taken into consideration. It can be easy to simply fall into a rut with the software you’ve been using for a long period of time, which can make it difficult to get the most out of your accounting. But you need to be aware that most business functions are turning to cloud-based software as the norm. Therefore, if you’re ready to embrace this trend, it’s important to know your options.

Quickbooks Online and Xero are two of the most well-known cloud accounting systems on the market, and each comes with its very own set of pros and cons. Making the choice between the two can be difficult, however, which is why it’s important to look at a few of the pros and cons of each option.

Quickbooks Online vs Xero: The Best Online Accounting Software for Your Business

Quickbooks Online – Pros

There’s a lot to love about Quickbooks Online, really.  For one, the online version of Quickbooks also allows you to grant access to your accountant if need be, which can be a huge time-saver in the long run. Many users are quite fond of Quickbooks Online’s Banking Center also, as it can be used to maintain multiple bank accounts quickly and efficiently. Finally, Quickbooks Online offers three pricing structures, meaning you don’t have to subscribe to a “one-size-fits-all” monthly payment.

Quickbooks Online – Cons

Not everything about QBO is ideal. Perhaps the most important thing to point out is that the look and feel of the online version of Quickbooks is dramatically different than that of the desktop version, which will make the switch difficult for many people who are used to the offline software. It also lacks an open window feature, forcing users to hit their back button instead if they need to open up a new report. Finally, it is essential that one be connected to the Internet to access their information, so if your connection goes down or the site is under repair, you’ll be out of luck.

Xero – Pros

Xero comes along with a great deal of pros. Many users who have tried both applications find Xero’s UI to be highly superior to Quickbooks Online, and the fact that it allows you to create customizable reports means that you aren’t restricted to the rails of the software. Xero’s real-time data is extremely helpful for those who want to stay updated on their cash-flow situation, and the free software updates at log-in mean you don’t have to pay for additional support. There are, however, a host of available add-ons that can be applied to Xero should you see fit.

Xero – Cons

As with Quickbooks Online, Xero is not a perfect piece of software. Some users report that the bank feed can be slow at times, which can become a pain when you’re in a rush. Setting up the application itself can be time-consuming as well. Finally, the two lower-tier plans (“Small” and “Medium”) are more expensive than Quickbooks Online’s comparable options, which means those who are on a tight budget might wish to choose the alternative.


If you’re interested in a more detailed breakdown of Xero and Quickbooks Online, you should definitely check out Charlie Russell’s detailed reviews of Xero and Quickbooks Online. Something else to consider is that Intuit is in the process of releasing a new interface for Quickbooks Online called “Harmony” which could push Quickbooks Online ahead in this race. Be on the lookout!

In the end, both Xero and Quickbooks Online offer a good user experience for those who would prefer to keep their finances in the cloud. The best way to choose which is right for you is to give each option a shot and see which one sticks.


photo credit: Jeremy Brooks via photopin cc

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