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Need To Improve Your Accounting? Compare Xero and Quickbooks

Category: Comparisons

Many small business owners get tied up in performing administrative work and are not able to allot precious time and resources for more important tasks. For accounting, they use spreadsheets or accounting software like QuickBooks.

But now, there is another option available in the form of Xero accounting software. QuickBooks is popular in the US, while Xero which is based in New Zealand, commands a large market in the UK, Australia, and its home country. Its entry into the US stock market, however, has yet to come.

Let’s take a look at the features of both Xero and QuickBooks to see what they can bring to your business.

Common Features of Xero and QuickBooks

  • Free trials
  • Mobile friendly
  • Countless add-ons and integrations
  • Billing management
  • Document sharing
  • Multi-currency
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Financial reporting
  • Payroll
  • Invoicing
  • Banking synchronization
  • Online accounting


Mobile vs Desktop

Xero, being new, is attuned to working in the cloud, while QuickBooks is a more traditional software that you buy and install on your PC. Xero is thus more readily accessible on mobile devices, but QuickBooks has redesigned its product to make it more mobile friendly, while retaining the familiar workflow.

Xero’s mobile application is named Xero Touch and it helps you keep track of transactions on the field. The app has nifty features for invoicing and tracking receipts. You can click photos of invoices and store them in the app.

Most of QuickBooks’ desktop functions are available on its mobile app, which is more suited to tablets than to devices with smaller screens like smartphones.

Easy Bank Reconciliation

Xero’s bank reconciliation feature is outstanding because it enables users to match receipts and invoices with account transactions. This can help you easily find errors as well as fraudulent charges, if any. The feature is simple to understand and use.

QuickBooks uses a search engine type of approach to cover bank reconciliation which can be a bit tedious compared to Xero.


In today’s integrated world, small businesses look to link CRM, proposal, project management, and accounting softwares to manage everything on the go. Thus, integrations have become a necessity, not a luxury.

Both Xero and QuickBooks can be integrated with a range of third-party apps to improve functionality. In fact, Xero can be integrated with more than 300 third-party apps.

QuickBooks integrates with around 60 apps, as well as with its own tools for functions such as payroll and payments.

Both can be integrated with file-sharing applications such as ShareFile, which allows you to add users who can view, sign and annotate information from your Xero and QuickBooks accounts.

Read more:  How To Stretch Your $300 Budget To Last 30 Days

Access and Pricing

Xero offers unlimited access for users and its basic package costs $9 per month. The plan includes payroll services and can be scaled up to meet the requirements of a higher number of employees each month.

QuickBooks’ basic version is named Simple Start and it allows one user for $12.95 per month, up to three users for $24.95/month, and up to five users for $39.95/month. This means you need to pay extra to use QuickBooks for processing more employees.

So, calculate your current and future needs before you decide to opt for Xero or QuickBooks.


Some users claim that Xero can be a bit risky as it is new, while QuickBooks has a dependable reputation. But others point out that Xero is inherently mobile-friendly and ideal for growing businesses. We advise you to try out the free trials of both accounting softwares to make up your mind. This will help you decide which integrations and features best suit your business processes and requirements.

By Nestor Gilbert

Senior writer for FinancesOnline. If he is not writing about the booming SaaS and B2B industry, with special focus on developments in CRM and business intelligence software spaces, he is editing manuscripts for aspiring and veteran authors. He has compiled years of experience editing book titles and writing for popular marketing and technical publications.

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marie says:

If there's one best feature I love about Xero it's live bank feeds. I can reconcile my finances immediately and not only this saves me time, but ensures timeliness of my finances. Its rules and reporting is also worth the subscription.

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Luigi says:

Quickbooks is nice if you're breaking into the basics of accounting software. Shortly after, you'll outgrow it, then you need a more robust (and pricier) software. In my case, I liked how Quickbooks got me into automating my accounting, but I since switched to Xero once I needed more features. You can use other OS, you get bank feeds fast, and you can let clients simultaneously see your notes with you so you can discuss issues even while you're on the go... these are some of the things I'm liking in Xero.

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