QuickBooks Online vs. FreshBooks: Choosing the Right Accounting Software for Your Business

QBO vs. Freshbooks

As a small business, accounting software can transform your working life. It’s the easiest way to monitor cash flow, bill customers, and simply process your finances at the end of the year. In this new business era, most organizations are looking for simple accounting software to streamline their operations and make the work as efficient as possible. 

In the accounting software landscape, there are numerous applications available in the market. However, this article will cover a detailed comparison of two of the most widely used accounting programs by US market share for small business. FreshBooks accounting software is one of the most popular accounting software packages developed while keeping small businesses in mind. The other powerhouse is QuickBooks Online which is used by businesses of almost all sizes.  When we started Carmichael 13 years ago, Quickbooks was the obvious choice.  To switch accounting platforms is no small task, so we’re happy with our decision.

While both are great tools for running your company’s accounting, it is essential to compare them in order to select the right one to fit your needs. According to data from Enlyft, over 85% of Quickbooks users are located in the US, and the majority of its users are businesses with 50-200 employees. The data for Freshbooks, however, shows that it caters to small businesses more heavily, with the majority of customers coming from 1-50 employee companies. 


When should you use Freshbooks?

Both FreshBooks and QuickBooks offer reliable time tracking and invoicing features, but FreshBooks is more cost-effective if you only require a few users to access your accounting software. Numerous small businesses also favor it due to its exceptional customer service. Small business owners, and particularly freelancers, are the target market for FreshBooks. You may have heard their advertisements and recognized their brand if you often listen to podcasts about entrepreneurship. 

Expense tracking plays an integral role in preparing budgets and managing the finances of any business. Users have shared that FreshBooks offers an expense tracking feature to help you view your business expenses and profits on a single platform. Tracking time spent on each customer or project is simple with FreshBooks. Additionally, when it comes to billing, you can easily convert the hours into an invoice or mark them as paid without actually making an invoice from them.  This is a big differentiator for Freshbooks.  Solutions like Expensify and Concur exist to fill this gap in accounting packages.

If you’re starting a business or working on a small side hustle plan, you might not want to shell out unnecessary money on a fancy accounting package and fully commit. In terms of simplicity and new user-friendliness, Freshbooks has the advantage over Quickbooks Online. Freshbooks boasts a 9.2 on the G2 scale for ease of use. It proves to be the standout option if you’re trying to simplify your accounting processes as much as you can. 


What about Quickbooks Online?

QuickBooks is a great all-in-one solution for your accounting and invoicing needs. There are no major gaps outside of expense management.  Other QuickBooks products like QuickBooks Point of Sale will fill the tiny gaps. This means you can get away with a smaller app stack. Intuit provides comprehensive accounting software that is designed to scale. It offers a more extensive feature set than FreshBooks and is built for a wider range of business sizes and types.

Most of the capabilities found in FreshBooks are also available in QuickBooks Online, including the ability to create recurring invoices, quick invoice creation, and direct invoice customization. QuickBooks is tailored to accountants, or people who know their way around business finances, so there is much more data entry required for the same tasks, for a more refined, detailed experience. The platform offers a plethora of customizable reports that provide insights into your business’s financial performance. From profit and loss statements to cash flow forecasts, QuickBooks Online equips businesses with the data they need to make informed decisions.

Let’s talk about pricing!

Both software packages offer flexible and affordable pricing plans that business owners like you can choose according to needs and budgets.

The three FreshBooks plans differ in terms of the features offered and the number of billable customers allowed. The pricing for FreshBooks is detailed below: 

Lite: $15 per month, including five billable clients and one user.

Plus: $25 per month covers 50 billable clients and one user.

Premium: $50 per month, including unlimited clients and one user.

Select: Customized pricing; two users and unlimited clients are included.

FreshBooks lists their prices here.

Alternatively, the four QuickBooks Online plans differ regarding user count and feature offered. If you wish to manage unpaid invoices, you must at least purchase QuickBooks Online Essentials, and if you need to track inventory, you must at least purchase QuickBooks Online Plus.

Simple Start – $12.50 per month

Essentials – $25 per month

Plus – $40 per month

Advanced – $90 per month

You can find the more detailed price scale here.

So, which one is best for you?

Choosing the right accounting software is a critical decision for small businesses, and the choice between QuickBooks Online and FreshBooks depends on various factors such as complexity of accounting needs, user experience, scalability, and integration requirements. Quickbooks offers a more comprehensive and scalable approach to accounting, and is meant for customers of larger, more established businesses that need large-scale software to meet their needs. 

On the other hand, FreshBooks is focused on a narrower audience: freelancers, small businesses, and solopreneurs looking for simple and hassle-free software. Since it avoids complexity, you’re more likely to need to sync FreshBooks with other tools to achieve some custom outcomes, but this is simple to do.

Our team at Carmichael Consulting Solutions helps businesses make the right decision, and utilize their QuickBooks or FreshBooks software at its best. We have been providing quality IT and small business services for over 12 years in the Metro-Atlanta area, ensuring our clients regain control over financials, increase transparency, optimize resources, streamline processes, and save on costs. 


Also Read: Enhancing Small Business Security: EDR vs. Antivirus

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