Quickbooks Online vs. Xero

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Quickbooks Online vs. Xero
Quickbooks Online vs. Xero

Quickbooks is a master in the accounting management system industry covering atleast 85% of the American and Canadian market. It was founded by Intuit Inc.  and offers both on-premise and cloud based versions.

Xero, another cloud based accounting system, was founded by Rod Drury alongwith his personal accountant, in Wellington, New Zealand in the year 2006. It has touched $ 80 million in revenues and has markets across Australia, US and UK.

Ease of Use – Quickbooks Online vs. Xero

Xero has an exceptional layout sense and comes with a unique navigation which works more efficiently than before. Using Xero, even for the newer people, would be like a smooth drive. Also, when there is a self-sufficient knowledge base available, users tend to get more comprehensive and well-organized help from the system.

Quickbooks Online is known for its simplicity and hence, widely accepted. But since the overhaul in 2013, the system became bug-stricken and there are tremendous inconsistencies in data.

The steps are loaded with unnecessary ones, making the process long-drawn and unwanted. Plus, there is no hard core knowledge base to guide users through the system. Users need to acquaint well with the system before using the same.

Reliability – Quickbooks Online vs. Xero

Customer service is of utmost importance. Quickbooks Online has a Monday to Friday (Business hours) and Saturday half day customers support whereas Xero offers 24*7*365 service. So you can understand the difference of support quite clearly between the two.

Quickbooks’ reps are not that informative at the lower levels, but as you go up the ladder, there will be informed reps, who can solve your problems quite easily.

Xero offers email support as well as on phone whereas Quickbooks offers only phone support. So, no email or chat is available with Quickbooks.

Speed – Quickbooks Online vs. Xero

Both systems have direct access to automated bank feeds and users can manually import CSV files to enhance the process. Xero allows faster import of data through various API connections.

Quickbooks allows applying recurring transactions to multiple customers at once reducing time taken in making entries. Xero doesn’t have such ability. Each customer has to be treated separately thus, increasing transaction time.

Quickbooks requires larger storage space in the memory drive to run a bit fast, so, there are challenges in performances making the system laggard and unresponsive at times. Uptime with Xero is around 99.998% in comparison to 99.95% of Quickbooks.

Features – Quickbooks Online vs. Xero

Quickbooks provides an automated structure, reducing manual entries and thus, errors and silly mistakes. Notes can be attached directly to transactions, making reference checks much easier.

It doesn’t allow the users to create credits/deposits. No further changes can be made in the imported file. Xero comes with unique cash coding, which allows users to categorize transactions as a whole. It makes it easier to sort and categorize mass transactions manually.

Xero has the ability to create a contact group wherein users can send the same line items to many customers at once. This may not be that accurate but comes in handy with industries having membership, rentals, subscriptions entries etc.

Quickbooks also has a feature which allows users to pre-schedule entries in advance. The entry can be scheduled, automatically send the invoice to the customer, charge to the credit card and many others. Xero also has such repeat transactions, but has limited scope. Xero is much more flexible as customization of invoice and email templates is very easy.

Whilst sending out invoices to the end customer, Xero allows the user to choose a template before sending the same. The customization is available in .docx template, which has creative edge over Quickbooks Online. Such customization level is available in Quickbooks Labs.

Xero does have an approval process to release invoices and payments which can be customised to 3-4 levels as per the requirement. It is not available in Quickbooks. However, in Xero, there is a quote approval process wherein the organisation can send the quote but the recipient business cannot reply back.

It also has a customer portal which allows customers to login and view their outstanding invoices. Xero enables to import/export data through spreadsheets, whereas in Quickbooks Online paid version, one can import most transactions through lists and spreadsheets via Transaction Pro Importer.

The reporting structure is Quickbooks is unparalleled. The level of customization can’t be matched, including acrruals, subcolumns, sub-rows, customers, products etc.

Even report groups can be created to take several reports and tag them together. Management reporting brings together cover pages, notes and key reports. Xero has the ability to make business performance reports, management reports and budgeting.

The customization level is not at par with Quickbooks, but still serves the purpose well. Taxation part in accounting is managed better with Quickbooks. Both have the ability to integrate with third-party softwares and manage the taxation.

Security – Quickbooks Online vs. Xero

Both have extreme security cauldrons across the data centres. They have the security servers firewalled with Tier 4 data centers and have SSL encryption around it.

Both perform third party audits of their security to come up with a fool-proof security setting. The data is backed up every now and then and saved at other seismic zones to prevent disaster recovery.

High level data encryption and having HTTPs access to all pages makes it even more secure to enter the servers containing sensitive information.

Summary – Quickbooks Online vs. Xero

From the above comparison, it is quite clear that there is no clear winner. Xero is more dynamic, flexible and customizable, whereas Quickbooks has its own payment processor, payroll processor and taxation management, seamless integrations, which makes it limitless to integrate with other softwares.

Quickbooks is a leader of course, but Xero has been making efforts constantly to catch up by continuously shoving out new and advanced features. Xero is missing out on the US payroll package; once it comes out with it, it surely will give a tough competition to Quickbooks, even in the US.

In case you are still confused, try out the free trial versions of both softwares and take your choice. It’s a matter of time when we may have a winner in our hands.


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