Accounting Software For Small Business: QuickBooks vs FreshBooks

Gabriel Nwatarali

Mar 21 2019

Today your business’s success is largely determined by how efficiently you transact. The popularity of the Internet has been a game changer. Consumer behavior and how businesses operate has been altered by it. People want things done quickly and as a result, good accounting software is no longer an option but a necessity. This article compares two popular accounting software for small business.

There are two names that typically come to mind when we think of accounting software. These are QuickBooks and FreshBooks. They’re the top players in the industry of cloud-based accounting solutions. We’ll be focusing on them for our accounting software comparison.

While they both offer similar features, each has things that make them unique, like pricing and usability. The small details matter when it comes to accounting software for small business. This is because whatever solution you choose must fit your business situation.

Before we begin, it’s worth noting that there is other highly capable software such as Tipalti and Zoho Books, which are also excellent choices. That being noted, let’s get going with our QuickBooks vs FreshBooks 2019 review.

Usability or ease of use

The reason we rely on accounting software for small business is to save time and further streamline day-to-day operations. Basically, we want to be more efficient and there’s none of that without good usability. Hence, accounting platform intuitiveness and ease of use are crucial. Great usability facilitates onboarding and efficiency.

FreshBooks has a fantastic guide that activates the moment you sign up for an account and verify your email address. The simplified walkthrough helps you fill out your business and industry details.


Their user interface is bold and clean with straightforward navigation, making it easy to find what you’re looking for fast. Checkmarks help track what you’ve completed in the quick start guide and specific videos address information gaps. FreshBooks is practically a no-brainer to use.


QuickBooks also has a user-friendly interface and a guide that immediately shows up once you’ve registered. Surprisingly, you don’t have to verify your email address to start using the software.


However, there’s much more thinking involved when using QuickBooks compared FreshBooks. Their platform is not as intuitive. Overall, it’s got a great user interface but far from a no-brainer. Though, most accountants will understand it quickly.



You can customize your invoices with FreshBooks. There are two templates and fonts to choose from. In addition, you can pick whatever colors you’d like to use (e.g. your brand colors). Users can send a test invoice to their email address once a template is set up.


Also, FreshBooks makes it super-easy to automate recurring billing for monthly subscriptions or services. Customers can register a credit card with their file so that payments can be automatically withdrawn.

QuickBooks provides the same features. But as previously noted, there’s a learning curve to using this accounting software for small business. In general, you’ll spend more time setting up invoicing with QuickBooks vs FreshBooks.


There are up to five invoice templates to pick from, which are more design choices than FreshBooks and include color customization. One advantage of using QuickBooks is if your business is inventory-based. The platform can manage your inventory, including update items as they’re sold or received. This feature is only available on the highest tier plan.

An inventory function isn’t directly available with FreshBooks. But, it can be added by integrating a third-party application such as BarCloud. Both services offer time tracking and hourly billing for invoices. This is useful to small businesses and freelancers that work on a per-project basis.

However, FreshBooks takes this a step further. You can send project proposals that become invoices if accepted by your client. Other notable support for both accounting software for small business includes late fees and past due reporting.

Bill payment and expenses

Both platforms allow you to process bill payments with reoccurring support, which is important for any growing business.

Overhead expenses such as rent or the occasional office supplies can be tracked and managed via FreshBooks. You can even bill expenses to customers. There’s also a mobile app that makes it possible to manage expenses on the go.


QuickBooks offers much of the same and they also have a mobile application you can download for on-the-go management. Keep in mind that apps for both organizations do more than pay bills because you can access features that are available on a desktop too.


Both platforms can connect with your business bank account to automatically import expenses and even pay bills. This feature is a serious time saver. But, the billable expense feature is only offered at Plus level pricing with QuickBooks vs FreshBooks, where it’s provided at no additional investment.

Pricing and packages

They both offer monthly subscriptions with a free 30-day trial. FreshBooks supports annual billing with a 10 percent discount. QuickBooks does not. There are several plans and prices available that rise based on user access or features.

For instance, FreshBooks allows users to add team members for an extra $10 per month. Their Lite package allows up to 5 clients, the Plus plan lets you manage 50 clients and Premium is up to 500 customers. However, you get unlimited invoices, tracking, and support for all major credit cards with every plan.

Companies that process more than 150K in transactions per year or have more than 500 clients can sign up for FreshBooks Select. Investment varies based on the business.


The Lite or Plus plan is perfect for businesses who are just starting out. But established companies looking to buy/switch accounting software for small business will need a Premium or higher plan.

QuickBooks plans come with much of the same features but there are more limitations. For example, you won’t be able to pay bills with their basic plan unless you upgrade. Plus you’re limited to one user/employee.


The best bet for most businesses will be the Plus or Advanced plans with regards to QuickBooks. They aren’t providing much when it comes to accounting software for small business unless you pay more. In contrast, FreshBooks provides every essential feature your business needs with every plan.

Also, QuickBooks merchant processing fee increases from 2.9 to 3.4 percent + 25 cents when customers use credit cards. You’ll pay the same percentage for credit card transactions with FreshBooks, which is 2.9 percent + 30 cents. Though, American Express cards are 3.5 percent + 30 cents. This is true whether the transaction is international or domestic.


Every business needs accurate reporting to effectively grow. Good accounting software goes beyond inputting and outputting data. They provide means to analyze and identify growth opportunities.

QuickBooks is equipped with more advanced reporting features than FreshBooks. Pre-created reports can be customized to show specific kinds of data and in certain ways. For instance, you may choose to show your profit and loss statements by month.

FreshBooks reporting is much simpler to utilize and includes 12 key reports. All in the areas of accounting, invoice, expense, payments, and time tracking. Essentially, FreshBooks has all the necessities as far as business reports are concerned without a customization feature.

The platform’s reporting is highly focused on profit margins and tax-related info, which is perfect for small business. QuickBooks provides a variety of reports with customization capabilities that suit almost any accounting need. It’s the most ideal for large corporations.


Integrating with third-party applications will extend the capabilities of your accounting software. There are several integrations available with both vendors. FreshBooks app integrations are geared towards small businesses. You’ll find useful applications like Zapier, HubSpot, Shopify, WordPress and much more.

QuickBooks has a wider selection of app integrations and supports most of the same applications as its counterpart. However, FreshBooks integrations will suffice for the majority of small business.

Customer service and support

Access to support is easy to find for both organizations. QuickBooks permanently has a link on the top right corner of its dashboard. FreshBooks makes it a bit simpler to access from the bottom right of its dashboard.

Overall, both have support documents such as FAQ (frequently asked questions) or guides, and they can be reached by phone, including email. QuickBooks has live chat, which isn’t available with FreshBooks.


Both vendors have strong security measures in place as far as accounting software for small business goes. All communications are encrypted with high-grade TLS (Transport Layer Security). Also, they have redundancy measures, robust firewalls, anti-virus systems, and other safeguards to protect their data centers.

Concluding our accounting software comparison

Large corporations that handle massive amounts of transactions can benefit from QuickBooks. However, FreshBooks is better suited for small businesses because it has a simpler workflow and all the essentials. Pricing is also more sensible than QuickBooks.

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