FreshBooks vs. QuickBooks vs. Xero: The Ultimate Comparison Review

FreshBooks vs. QuickBooks vs. Xero

Finding the right business accounting software makes managing your finances much simpler—especially with an online-based, flexible solution. When it comes to choosing one such solution, you might find yourself comparing FreshBooks vs. QuickBooks vs. Xero—three of the most well-known options.

At their core, all three accounting software platforms have similar features. Each of these web-based solutions offers the essential tools needed to manage your basic bookkeeping and accounting. This being said then, how do you choose between FreshBooks, QuickBooks Online, and Xero?

We’re here to help you do just that. In this guide, we’ll compare FreshBooks vs. QuickBooks Online vs. Xero in terms of pricing, features, user reviews, and more—so you have everything you need to make an informed decision about which software is best for your business.

The FreshBooks vs. QuickBooks vs. Xero Comparison Guide

FreshBooks vs. QuickBooks vs. Xero: Comparison Chart

 

FreshBooks QuickBooks Online Xero
Plans
Lite, Plus, and Premium plans; Select custom-priced plan
Simple Start, Essentials, Plus, and Advanced plans
Early, Growing, and Established plans
Pricing
$15 to $50 per month
$25 to $150 per month
$9 to $60 per month
Top Features
– Unlimited invoices, expenses, estimates, and time tracking

– User-friendly interface and excellent mobile app

– Integrated, in-house payment processing with option for FreshBooks Advanced payments solution

– Four, scalable plan options with advanced features for invoicing, reporting, inventory, and taxes

– Wide variety of integration options, as well as QuickBooks/Intuit tools

– Integrated, in-house payment processing with options for in-person payments

– Unlimited users with all plans

– Customizable and robust advanced features for inventory, reporting, invoicing, etc.

– Largest app store for third-party integrations

– 24/7 online customer support

Users
$10 per team member; up to 10 accountants included with Plus and Premium
One to 25 included users based on plan level
Free unlimited users with all plans
Mobile App
Mobile accounting app available for iOS and Android
Mobile accounting app available for iOS and Android
Mobile accounting app available for iOS and Android
Integrations
100 integrations across multiple categories
Over 600 apps across various categories, including additional Intuit tools
Over 800 apps across various categories, including tools owned and created by Xero
Customer Support
Phone and email-based support, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET
Phone and live chat support, Monday through Friday from  6 a.m to 6 p.m PT; Saturday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m; Advanced plan support is 24/7
24/7 online support from Xero accounting team
Best For
Freelancers, contractors, and service-based businesses
Product- and sales-based businesses with more complex accounting needs; businesses looking for a highly scalable solution
Product- and sales-based businesses with more complex accounting needs, especially those looking for a lower-priced QuickBooks alternative

FreshBooks vs. QuickBooks vs. Xero: Pricing

As FreshBooks, QuickBooks Online, and Xero are all web-based software solutions, they all have multiple plan options and operate on subscription-based pricing.

At a quick glance, Xero has the lowest price option overall, with their Early plan priced at $9 per month. Conversely, you’ll find the highest pricing with QuickBooks, as their Advanced plan costs $150 per month.

Diving deeper, however, you’ll find that the way each solution is priced is slightly different. 

  • FreshBooks: With three subscription plans, FreshBooks pricing is largely based on the number of billable clients included with your account. FreshBooks also offers a custom pricing plan.
  • QuickBooks Online: With four subscription plans, the pricing for QuickBooks Online is based on the specific features included with each level.
  • Xero: With three subscription plans, Xero differentiates their pricing tiers based on the number of included invoices and quotes, bills, and bank transactions.

Let’s break down the pricing differences between FreshBooks, QuickBooks Online, and Xero in greater detail.

FreshBooks vs. QuickBooks vs. Xero: Features

Like we mentioned earlier, FreshBooks, QuickBooks Online, and Xero all have the same basic features. 

Each of these solutions is web-based, meaning you can sign on and use your account anywhere you have internet access. Additionally, they each provide essential accounting tools—allowing you to connect your bank account, reconcile transactions, track income and expenses, send invoices, accept online payments, and more.

With these similarities in mind, let’s take a look at what differentiates the capabilities of these top accounting software options.

FreshBooks vs. QuickBooks vs. Xero: User Reviews

How do users factor into our FreshBooks vs. QuickBooks vs. Xero comparison? Let’s find out. 

Overall, all three software solutions are highly rated across the internet—you’ll find that FreshBooks, QuickBooks Online, and Xero each have a rating of four stars or higher on most review sites.

FreshBooks Reviews

In terms of the benefits of FreshBooks, user reviews tend to focus on:

  • Ease of use, approachable for beginners
  • Excellent invoicing features, especially for self-employed professionals and smaller businesses
  • Time tracking and ability to work easily with clients
  • Great functionality of the mobile app

On the other hand, critiques of the FreshBooks software often include:

  • Limited reporting features
  • Occasional syncing issues and bugs
  • Could continue to add more features

QuickBooks Online Reviews

With QuickBooks Online, you’ll find that positive reviews typically mention:

  • Generally excellent functionality
  • Ability to access it regardless of location (often mentioned in comparison to QuickBooks Desktop)
  • User-friendly, widely well-known
  • Great integration options, easy to connect to QuickBooks

When it comes to criticism of QuickBooks Online, reviewers often discuss:

  • Limited capabilities and advanced features in comparison to Desktop versions
  • Some bugs and connection issues
  • Poor customer support
  • Expensive cost, especially if you add services

Xero Reviews

For Xero’s customer reviews, users often talk about the following as top advantages of the platform:

  • Cost-effective
  • Great overall functionality, particularly reconciliation and general customization capabilities
  • Access to variety of third-party apps that are easy to integrate
  • Excellent support, plus Xero training and educational resources

On the other hand, these are a few points where Xero often sees criticism in user reviews:

  • Interface not always the most user-friendly, can take some time to learn
  • Could have better tax tools
  • Issues with certain features, particularly reporting

FreshBooks vs. QuickBooks vs. Xero: Pros and Cons

As you can see, there are a variety of different aspects to consider when it comes to comparing FreshBooks vs. QuickBooks vs. Xero. To make the process easier, let’s boil down the pros and cons of each of these business accounting software solutions:

Pros Cons
FreshBooks
-User-friendly, great mobile app

-Unlimited invoices, expenses, and estimates with all plans

-Excellent time tracking tools with all plans

-Competitively priced

-Great tools for freelancers, contractors, and service-based businesses

-No bill pay/accounts payable features

-No inventory management tools

-Have to pay for additional users

-Plans limit number of billable clients

QuickBooks Online
-Robust overall functionality, especially tax tools, inventory, invoicing, and time tracking

-Integrated payment processing with slightly lower rates and options for in-person processing

-Option to use proprietary payroll software

-Most plan options, very scalable

-Most expensive plan pricing

-Need higher-level plans to access more than one user account

-Some of the best tools (bill pay, inventory, advanced reporting) require expensive, higher-level plans

Xero
-Lowest priced plan ($9 per month)

-Unlimited users with all plans

-Highly customizable advanced features, especially inventory and reporting tools

-Largest app store for third-party integrations

-24/7 online-based customer support

-First plan option limits invoices, quotes, bills, and transactions

-Limited tax tools

-Time tracking and multi-currency tools require highest-level plan

-Mobile app doesn’t include digital receipt capture

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, only you can decide which of these three top accounting software solutions is right for your business. To this point, as you’ve seen through our FreshBooks vs. QuickBooks Online vs. Xero comparison, all of these options are highly functional, user-friendly, and fairly affordable—there’s no doubt that any of them has the potential to serve your business well.

This being said, however, when it comes down to it, FreshBooks is typically best-suited for freelancers, contractors, and service-based businesses—due to their focus on invoicing, time tracking, client-specific tools, and overall user-friendliness.

QuickBooks Online and Xero, on the other hand, are usually a better-fit for product- or sales-based businesses, especially those with more complex accounting needs. Between QuickBooks and Xero, QuickBooks is a great option for scalability and popularity in the industry—especially with their inventory and reporting tools. 

Although Xero and QuickBooks are very similar in many ways, Xero does have a price advantage—making them a top QuickBooks alternative—as their highest-level plan is more affordable than half of the QuickBooks Online plans.

Of course, the choice is ultimately up to you, so if you’re having trouble deciding between these solutions, we’d recommend testing them out for yourself—as all three offer a 30-day free trial.

Randa Kriss

Randa Kriss is a senior staff writer at Fundera.

At Fundera, Randa specializes in reviewing small business products, software, and services. Randa has written hundreds of reviews across a wide swath of business topics including ecommerce, merchant services, accounting, credit cards, bank accounts, loan products, and payroll and human resources solutions. 

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