FreshBooks vs QuickBooks Online: Detailed Comparison

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FreshBooks and QuickBooks are two of the most popular web-based accounting tools on the market.

QuickBooks has been around since 1980s, but its latest web-based iteration QuickBooks Online provides the same accounting services as a modern cloud-based accounting system. FreshBooks, founded in 2003, is relatively new when compared with QuickBooks. It’s tailored more towards small businesses and solopreneurs or freelancers.

In this article, we will be comparing these two accounting tools on these factors: pricing, product features, ease of use, customer service, and customer feedback & reviews.

Let’s deep dive into each of the factors and see how these tools measure up.

FreshBooks vs QuickBooks Online: Which is the Best Accounting Software?

FreshBooks vs QuickBooks Online: In this article, we will be comparing these two accounting tools on these factors: pricing, product features, ease of use, customer service, and customer feedback & reviews.

Pricing

Both FreshBooks and QuickBooks have a three-tiered pricing system, but QuickBooks is relatively cheaper. Furthermore, both services offer a free 30-day plan which is a great way to familiarize yourself with the product and test some of the product features.

The basic plan for FreshBooks (called Lite) starts at $12.95/month, and it allows you to create unlimited invoices, track expenses and time. However, you can only bill up to 5 clients.

QuickBooks has recently introduced the Self-Employed plan which you can sign up for $10/month and $5 per month if you are willing to pay for six months in advance.

From the price perspective, QuickBooks has an edge over FreshBooks, but it may be lacking some of the features that the latter provides which we’ll explain next.

FreshBooks Pricing 

FreshBooks Pricing: In this article, we will be comparing these two accounting tools on these factors: pricing, product features, ease of use, customer service, and customer feedback & reviews.

QuickBooks Online Pricing

QuickBooks Pricing: FreshBooks Pricing: In this article, we will be comparing these two accounting tools on these factors: pricing, product features, ease of use, customer service, and customer feedback & reviews.

Winner: QuickBooks

Product Features

Both FreshBooks and QuickBooks have some really good features. The size of your business will probably determine which accounting software you like more.

Here are some features which FreshBooks provides better than QuickBooks:

  • Features a late payment reminder which QuickBooks doesn’t have
  • Has a payment history feature that allows both you and your clients to view your past transactions and payments.
  • Gives you access to a downloadable copy of your expenses
  • Has forecasting and budgeting features to secure the future of your business
  • Has built-in time-tracking and project tracking features
  • Excellent customer support, far better than QuickBooks (more on this later)
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And here are some features which QuickBooks provides better than FreshBooks:

  • Can handle complex inventory situations unlike FreshBooks
  • Has a multiple user feature which you can give permission level individually
  • Has more integrations than FreshBooks (240 add-ons compared to FreshBooks’ 70 add-ons)

QuickBooks has more advanced accounting features such as double-entry bookkeeping, bank reconciliation, etc. making it perfect for accountants and businesses which have complex accounting requirements. For small business owners and freelancers, FreshBooks has a slight edge as their whole solution is tailored towards small businesses and entrepreneurs with little to no knowledge of accounting.

Winner: Tie

Ease of Use

Both FreshBooks and QuickBooks are easy to set up and have a clean, smooth interface. But QuickBooks has a more extensive suite of features than FreshBooks and learning all these features certainly takes time. The navigation is a little complicated and frankly, the first time you use QuickBooks, you may get lost and a little frustrated.

FreshBooks, on the other hand, offers a free 45-minute webinar where you can learn all the FreshBooks fundamentals. It is an accounting software meant for non-accountants and their ad which you can watch below clearly elucidates the buyer persona for their service.


Winner: FreshBooks

Customer Support

FreshBooks is the clear winner here. Many customers have complained about their poor experience with the QuickBooks' customer support team. There is no email support and the support team usually takes a long time to resolve any issue.

In contrast, FreshBooks prides itself on its excellent customer support. Here are a few customer testimonials featured on their website:

FreshBooks Customer Support: In this article, we will be comparing these two accounting tools on these factors: pricing, product features, ease of use, customer service, and customer feedback & reviews.

They also have a very resourceful support page and organize weekly webinars to cover the fundamentals of the product. They have both phone and email support, and the customer representatives are friendly and helpful.

Winner: FreshBooks

Customer Feedback and Reviews

Despite being a prominent player in accounting, QuickBooks has very few positive reviews online.

The overall sentiment around the product is overwhelmingly negative. On G2 Crowd, QuickBooks has a rating of 2.2 out of 5 with 211 ratings.

Here are some of the biggest customer gripes about QuickBooks:

  • Poor customer support
  • Unfriendly interface
  • Frequent service outages
  • Data conversion issues

FreshBooks, in contrast, is a popular product among its user base and has very few online complaints. People usually complain about the lack of basic accounting features, such as double-entry bookkeeping, bank reconciliation, etc. However, these are minor gripes compared to the customer grievances attributed to QuickBooks. The overall sentiment around FreshBooks is positive. On G2 Crowd, FreshBooks has a decent rating of 4.5 out of 5 with 84 ratings.

Winner: FreshBooks

FreshBooks vs QuickBooks: Final Verdict

If you're a small business owner or an entrepreneur who's looking for a reliable accounting software, then you should probably go with FreshBooks. As you can clearly see from this comparison article, FreshBooks has a slight edge over QuickBooks in almost all factors. QuickBooks is meant for complex accounting and is usually the preferred choice for accountants and business owners who have complex accounting requirements.

The decision to buy an accounting software will purely depend on your preference, your knowledge of accounting, and the size of your business. If you check the reviews online, you'll find a lot of complaints regarding QuickBooks and most of them highlight their poor customer service which is a huge factor. When you're setting up and trying to master the accounting software for your business, customer service plays such a crucial role in developing a favorable opinion of the product. In my opinion, good customer service is a hygiene factor and the fact that a company of QuickBooks' reputation doesn't seem to care about it much speaks volumes.

However, the choice is yours. If you've used QuickBooks in the past and are quite familiar with the interface, features and can stand their customer support, then I see no reason for you to switch. On the other hand, if this is the first time you're considering investing in an accounting software and need a top-notch customer service team to guide you with the whole process, then I strongly recommend FreshBooks.

You can try both these tools for FREE for 30 days. Below are the links:

Try FreshBooks for FREE for 30 days

Try QuickBooks for FREE for 30 days

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Sandeep Mallya is the Founder/CEO of Startup Cafe, a Bangalore-based digital marketing agency. He is an active member of the startup community, having worked with several early-stage startups and accelerators. 99signals is Sandeep's inbound marketing blog. Here you can find tips and insights to grow your site's traffic.

6 COMMENTS

    • I have started to use SlickPie(www.slickpie.com) 100% free online accounting software. It’s working fine and it’s indeed pretty simple to use, but to me the best thing about it that it sends automatic payment reminders to clients that haven’t paid the invoices on time.

  1. Wonderful post.I agree with you. I also using quickbooks Accounting Software last 2 years. It is very good accounting software for small business..

  2. I have been using slickpie(http://slickpie.com) accounting software for over a year now. It is easy to use. This is an excellent free accounting software that doesn’t require being an accountant to understand and use it correctly. It is impressive how quickly the software is and how quickly I can navigate the software from any screen to analyze data, reports and any information I need.

    • Hi Jack – Thanks for sharing your insights. Did a quick check on SlickPie and found that it is indeed free. Though the feedback for the tool is quite limited. It has just 1 review on G2Crowd. Perhaps it needs more user adaption to be seriously compete with heavyweights like FreshBooks and QuickBooks.

  3. Freshbooks isn’t really an “accounting” program..it’s an invoicing program. Can’t compare the two. Quickbooks is a complete business accounting system that does everything Freshbooks does plus much, much more. If all you need to do is send invoices and collect payments, Freshbooks is great.

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