As an accountant here at Lucid Books LLC, I have been able to work with both QuickBooks and Xero, and I have assisted quite a few of our clients in making the transition to accounting in the cloud, switching to Xero from Quickbooks.
For owners who want to select an appropriate accounting software package for their business, here are three features I feel they should consider when comparing Quickbooks vs Xero.
- Knowledge and Simplicity
- Ease of Access
- Bank Feeds
Knowledge and Simplicity
During my two and half years of working at Lucid Books, I have met a variety of small to medium-sized business owners with a range of education and experience.
One of the questions I have been asked is, “How much accounting experience do I need to have?” My response is simple, none! Xero boasts a user-friendly dashboard along with reports and tools that are simple and easy to use and understand.
For example, when you need to create a manual payable or receivable invoice to match against a bank transaction, all you need to do is select “spend money” or “receive money”. It’s as simple as that. QuickBooks, on the other hand, has a dashboard that can sometimes be complicated to navigate, leaving their software easier to use for people with previous accounting experience.
Ease of Access
In most instances, QuickBooks utilizes a disk to install software onto a computer or laptop. With each subsequent software release, the need to continually purchase and install new software can be costly and difficult. QuickBooks also has QuickBooks Online; however, the need for more user access can be costly to a small business.
Xero is in the cloud, and allows customers to have an unlimited amount of users. Access for anyone only requires a computer and an internet connection. Also, business owners don’t have to wait updates to the software. Updates on Xero happen often, and occur during low-peak hours of the weekend, as to not interrupt your working schedule.
While both Quickbooks and Xero allow business owners to import bank statements, Xero has daily bank feeds that do not require any assistance beyond setup and refreshing your browser. These timely bank feeds allow business owners to know, within hours, where their business is at financially, and this feature assists owners to stay on top of their budgets in an almost real-time environment.
Business owners, especially start-up owners, need to know how how their business is functioning financially. When comparing QuickBooks vs Xero, remember these three features:
- Knowledge and Simplicity: Xero allows you to manage your finances with little to no experience. Hints and tips aid you along the way, and Xero has an outstanding help section on their website with tutorials, message boards, and other materials to assist you in navigating Xero.
- Ease of Access: Xero also provides easy access to any number of users within your business, and you can easily invite your accountant firm to the platform as well.
- Bank Feeds: Automatic bank feeds allow you to know within hours where your company is. This empowers you to make the decisions that will profit your business and your customers.
While I have only mentioned these three particular features, Xero has many others that work together to help you manage your finances while avoiding the frustrations of complicated software.
When it comes to choosing small business accounting software your company, do some research, inquire about current user experience, and look for a free-trial of the software so you can kick the tires. and experience the software for yourself before making your final decision.