Quickbooks or Xero? This question has long troubled businesses in Australia. New or old, large or small, every business needs some sort of accounting software to maintain good running, and so software has become a necessity. These two being major players in the Australian market, are competitors. Let us decide through this article which software will be best for your business in Australia. We’ll also see if there is some other way.
First, let us explore what is needed in accounting software and what parameters need to be monitored while choosing one in our question, ‘Quickbooks or Xero?’
Qualities of accounting software
Accounting software provides a lot of help to a business. It is like an employee working 24×7 with zero error. It also helps with taxes, which is quite helpful for businesses in Australia, especially those that are new and lack accounting knowledge. Now, we will go through some characteristics of general accounting software that will help us better understand the Quickbooks or Xero debate.
- Cost-Efficiency: Employing numerous accountants may not always be a necessity for businesses. Accounting software can efficiently manage these tasks, instilling confidence in its reliability.
- Facilitating Business Growth: Accounting can be daunting for smaller and medium-sized enterprises with limited resources. By utilizing software for these tasks, you can free up additional resources to support your organization’s expansion.
- Comprehensive Analysis: Accounting software offers in-depth insights and reports on various aspects of your business, such as payroll, inventory management, and outstanding invoices.
- Managing International Transactions: If your company engages in international business transactions or plans to do so in the future, accounting software becomes indispensable for maintaining accurate records.
- Tax Support: Managing tax obligations can be challenging, but it’s crucial for the legal operation of your company. Accounting software ensures that your tax-related responsibilities are handled accurately.
- Enhanced Security: By adopting accounting software, you also invest in robust data security measures. This guarantees the protection of your financial data against unauthorized access and breaches, offering peace of mind while safeguarding your company’s integrity.
- Support from the software company: If you are stuck somewhere in operating your software or any discrepancy arises, the software service support helps you handle it. Customer support would be a crucial factor for our Quickbooks vs. Xero debate.
How to choose an accounting software
When selecting accounting software, consider factors like cost, usability, and features. Costs can vary based on functionality and the number of users, with cloud-based subscription models being a popular choice.
Usability is crucial; determine whether you need a mobile app, multi-user access, or integration with other business tools. Features should align with your business needs, such as basic accounting functions, inventory tracking, time management, and tax preparation capabilities.
Leading accounting software providers include QuickBooks, Xero, Profitbooks, FreshBooks, Sage, and Wave Accounting. Each has its strengths, so choose based on your specific requirements. Here though will majorly compare only for the ‘Quickbooks or Xero’ domain.
You can opt for either cloud-based or desktop accounting software, each with its advantages. Cloud-based software offers accessibility from anywhere, automatic updates, and robust security, while desktop software works offline but may lack the same features and flexibility.
Key features to look for in accounting software include basic accounting functions, automation of tasks like invoicing and reconciliation, tax preparation capabilities, third-party integrations, and the ability to calculate and pay taxes.
When evaluating accounting software options, take advantage of free trials and assess customer support quality. Ask questions about industry fit, customization options, scalability, data backup, security measures, total costs, and available tech support channels to ensure you choose the right solution for your business.
Quickbooks in a beat
QuickBooks is a widely used accounting software designed for small businesses. It operates in the cloud, providing flexibility in managing finances, creating invoices, and assessing business performance at any time. This software offers a centralized platform for tracking accounts and sales, reducing the complexity of financial management.
QuickBooks is known for its versatility, covering various business needs like bank feeds, inventory management, and tax tracking. It simplifies online banking by integrating seamlessly with financial transactions. However, it’s important to note that access to advanced features may require upgrading to a higher-priced plan, and the base plan allows only one user at a time.
It is a powerful accounting tool suitable for businesses of different sizes, particularly those involved in product sales. Its cloud-based nature provides convenience and adaptability, making it a valuable asset for businesses aiming for growth and efficient financial management.
Xero in a beat
Xero, an affordable cloud-based accounting software, is a solid choice for medium to large-sized businesses, offering plans starting at $13 per month. It simplifies financial processes, including billing, expenses, and project management. While Xero provides unlimited users and clients, its lowest-priced plan limits quotes and invoices to 20 per month.
Pros of Xero include competitive pricing, a user-friendly interface, and a free 30-day trial, along with extensive online tutorials and support for complex tasks. However, it has limitations, such as the cap on quotes and invoices in the basic plan and a learning curve.
For those needing robust accounting systems and integration with other software and applications, Xero is an excellent choice. Freelancers and solopreneurs seeking basic invoicing may explore free alternatives like Profitbooks.
Quickbooks or Xero: A comparison of characteristics
Both of them are not easy to work with and offer various options. Reports are also in a variety on both the software. This makes the management of finances tough for a new user. Training on using the software is necessary to eliminate this problem for you.
Xero provides a very good tutorial series supported by a demo account in the software which can be used to understand the working. All the reports and analyses could be made familiar. The tutorials also are great and in-depth.
Quickbooks also provides a comprehensive guide on training, but they aren’t very apt at it. The modules don’t explain all the functionality in detail with simple language. They probably are trying to improve on this, but I definitely wouldn’t guarantee you an improvement.
So, Xero takes a point over Training in this ‘Xero or Quickbooks’ battle.
Quickbooks provides multiple plans priced as follows in Australia, ‘Simple Start’, ‘Essentials’, and the ‘Plus’ plans valued at $12.50/month, $20/month, and $27.50/month respectively.
Xero on the other hand has four plans in Australia. The starter plan is $16/month, the standard plan is $32.50/month, the premium 5 plan is $42.50/month, and the Ultimate 10 plan is $57.50/month.
Quickbooks has cheaper plans, which makes using it a bit more cost-effective compared to Xero. Overall though both of these software costs are on the higher side. This makes their purchase difficult for small and medium-sized businesses.
Xero has over one thousand integrations with platforms like Shopify and PayPal. It offers a seamless transition of data and helps in cross-border transactions too. They have an ‘Xero Appstore’ of their own for connecting to other apps in the software itself.
Quicbooks also have a separate app integration interface, serving several integration options like SOS inventory, Erplain, and others. These are though overall less than those offered by Xero.
In general, when you study all these integrations, you’ll notice that not all or most of them are not necessary. Especially for small and medium-sized businesses they are just showy features. ‘Quickbooks or Xero’ has no winner at this juncture.
4. Customer support
Xero has no Customer support over the phone which is one of its major drawbacks. That leaves clients with delays in their functioning. Support over mail usually addresses the issues in a day.
Quickbooks provides support over the phone but that does not change the picture much. It is trivial considering the quality of support and the reviews for their support only strengthen this claim.
As at the previous checkpoint, ‘Quickbooks or Xero’ has no victor here too.
5. Invoices, Bills, and Payrolls
Xero has wonderful invoicing, but it has a lot of technicalities that could at times be only handled by an accountant. This makes it an accountant’s software. Billing and Payrolls are pretty smooth too. These services are not provided in the basic plan though.
Quickbooks provide good invoices with a little simpler process. Payroll is not included in any of the plans and hence has to be purchased separately. Quickbooks loses a lot here and makes itself expensive for small and medium business owners.
Xero in my opinion would slightly have an edge here.
Pros and Cons of Quickbooks and Xero
Pros and Cons of Xero
- Simple and elegant user interface
- Efficient payroll management
- Batch payments
- Powerful integrations with multiple complimentary applications
- Fair pricing
- Graphic reports and charts are unavailable
- Random bugs make the UX unpleasant sometimes
- Customer service can be better
Pros and Cons of Quickbooks
- User-friendly interface
- Strong integration with other systems and flexibility with third-party applications
- Provides good accounting reports
- Easily accessible through other devices
- Lacks some advanced and business-specific features
- Needs improvement in multi-user features
- Needs more invoice design tools
- Limitations on the number of transactions
- Mobile application needs to be more robust
- only suitable for international businesses as they are closing Indian operations.
Why would Profitbooks be a better option?
ProfitBooks stands out as a compelling choice when compared to Xero and QuickBooks for several reasons. Firstly, ProfitBooks is very user-friendly. This means you can efficiently manage your accounting without the need to hire an accountant, making it an excellent choice for those who aren’t accounting experts.
While Xero and QuickBooks may have more direct integrations with other platforms, ProfitBooks offers a practical workaround using Excel for data transfers, ensuring you can still connect your financial data when necessary.
Unlike Xero and QuickBooks, which can sometimes inundate users with complex reports and features, ProfitBooks maintains a focused approach to essential accounting tasks. This allows you to concentrate on what matters most for your business, leading to more profound insights and steady, substantial growth. They also offer beautiful invoices and bills with simplicity.
Perhaps most impressively, ProfitBooks offers a lifetime FREE plan that is not a watered-down version. This plan can be especially valuable for start-ups and small businesses, providing a cost-effective alternative to the paid options of Xero and QuickBooks. Overall, ProfitBooks presents a compelling case for businesses looking for a user-friendly, straightforward, and cost-effective accounting solution that goes beyond ‘Quickbooks or Xero thought.
As a conclusion, selecting QuickBooks or Xero as your preferred accounting software in Australia is a difficult option. It all depends on the unique requirements of your organization, your financial situation, and your personal tastes. These two platforms each have a unique set of benefits and drawbacks, but they each provide a wealth of valuable functionality.
QuickBooks is a fairly well-liked option that is renowned for its convenience and flexibility. It works well for companies of all sizes, particularly those engaged in product sales. Just keep in mind that you might need to upgrade to more expensive plans if you want access to more advanced services. Oh, and just one user may log in simultaneously with the base plan.
The cost-effective cloud-based option Xero, on the other hand, is a good fit for medium- to large-sized organizations. It has affordable prices, an easy-to-use UI, and a decent free trial period. It has several restrictions, such as caps on quotes and invoices with the basic subscription, even if it shines in areas like billing and expenditure management.
The availability of training materials, the cost, integrations, customer support, and the invoicing, billing, and payroll features are all important considerations when making your choice. When it comes to training materials, Xero has the advantage, but QuickBooks has the advantage with more affordable options. Both offer a huge number of integrations, but neither truly excels in terms of customer assistance.
Last but not least, don’t overlook alternatives like ProfitBooks. It is simple to use, includes a creative workaround for Excel data transfers, and concentrates on key accounting activities. The cherry on top is that ProfitBooks provides a feature-rich lifetime FREE plan. That makes it a highly alluring option, especially for new firms and small corporations.
The choice between QuickBooks, Xero, and ProfitBooks ultimately comes down to the requirements of your company. Spend some time determining your particular needs, your financial limitations, and your own preferences. Making a well-informed choice will ease your financial administration and promote the expansion of your Australian company.