Accounting remains an inseparable part of the business and, at the same time, an increasing number of businesses relying on software for various operations. That makes accounting software a necessity for the businesses. When it comes to choosing accounting software, QuickBooks comes as the most popular choice among SMBs. Laced with a number of features in a simplistic interface; QuickBooks has been ruling the accounting software market for years.

In May 2015, Intuit (the makers of QuickBooks) announced an increase of 120,000 subscribers for QuickBooks Online within one-quarter to take the overall toll to 965,000 paying subscribers [1]. It means a growth of 20 percent for total QuickBooks payers in just one quarter. In May 2014, total QuickBooks Online users were 624,000. On the other hand, Xero, one of the closest QuickBooks competitors, earned 191,000 new paying customers to reach 475,000 in a year [2]. More than 70% of which, are located in Australian continent (Australia and New Zealand). The favor for QuickBooks is quite evident with these figures. Is QuickBooks really worth it or is just riding on its popularity. Let’s compare them on various scales:

1. Features:

Features that a small business may require with the accounting software are endless, depending on what it serves. Since this article compares QuickBooks with other software, we will skip directly to the one which is closest to the features count. So, Xero comes to this battle. Other accounting software, such as- Kashoo and FreshBooks, are way too simplistic to give a scare to QuickBooks. Competing with Xero, QuickBooks Cloud has an upper hand in terms of better templates and built-in payroll, payment, or tax processing options. If your business lies in between the small and medium-size businesses, then QuickBooks is more likely to be your choice. If your business comes in the microscale businesses, then Xero can be a better choice. Further down, Kashoo and FreshBooks can come into play.

2. Price:

Pricing is one of the most important considerations when it comes to choosing accounting software. Unfortunately, the price plans of various accounting software vary on different parameters, so it is tough to compare them on the same scale.
Let us discuss them on their smallest packages. QuickBooks Pro arrives at $18.86 per month to offer income and expenses tracking, invoice and estimate creation, bank accounts sync, bill payments, and instant reports. For inventory tracking and 1099-S form prints, higher price plan needs to be chosen. Xero offers a $19-per-month plan for 5 invoices and bills each, along with 20 lines reconciling of items. Kashoo has a $20-per-month plan, which can be reduced to $16 per month average for an annual payment. Then, FreshBooks gives a free usage, but that is limited to 3 clients. For more, their minimum plan charges $19.95 each month to allow up to 25 client usage.
Price variation does not look immense on the core. So, all this has to sum down to the requirements of the accountants. One cannot simply declare one better than the others in this case.

3. Reliability:

As mentioned above, QuickBooks enjoys a greater customer base than any other accounting software for small and mid-scale businesses. It has been in the business for more than 2 decades and still looking very strong. That adds a lot to its reliability. With the various cloud hosting plans on offer, its future roadmaps appears smooth as well. Its competitors lag on the customer base, but they have also earned many years of experience in the market. Most of them have their cloud plan in action but ups and downs with the market performance with some of them are a concern.
But there is another side of the story. Being massively popular, QuickBooks is often criticized for delays with support services. Lesser fame and customer base of its competitors act in their favor as they are able to deliver faster support.


There are some ifs and buts with almost all accounting software, depending on which various businesses have their individualistic take. For greater services and more features, QuickBooks looks the most dependable option but for the accountants, it is necessary to understand the business needs and then pick the best one.


[1]. Third Quarter Revenue and Expectations | Intuit

[2]. Fiscal 2015 Results | Xero

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