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FreshBooks and QuickBooks Online: Software considerations for your small business

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If you have a small business and have started looking into online accounting software solutions, you’ve probably come across FreshBooks and QuickBooks Online since they are the two most popular web-based accounting solutions for small businesses available on the market today. Being a QuickBooks ProAdvisor personally with limited FreshBooks experience, I thought I would easily say that QuickBooks Online is the best online software for your small business, however, after researching FreshBooks further, they really have added a lot of additional features putting them on a more comparable level to QuickBooks Online. When deciding between the two you will want to consider desired features, user capabilities, and your businesses size and plans for growth.


FreshBooks generally is ideal for smaller service-based businesses with its biggest focus on their time tracking solutions within the software. QuickBooks is well suited for a variety of businesses but especially those that are more mid-sized and growing and need more advanced accounting tools and reporting as well as inventory management. Inventory management has been one of the biggest differences between the two software’s and was introduced as a new feature for FreshBooks within the last year. Some other newer features of FreshBooks are Accounts Payable tracking and Cash Flow reports.


QuickBooks still has additional benefits over FreshBooks, including the ability to track 1099 payments and process 1099s at year end. QuickBooks also allows you to be able to set up different business classes or locations to track productivity. Budgeting and forecasting tools are available with QuickBooks online as well and not with FreshBooks. QuickBooks provides extensive general reports as well as access to a large community base of other customized reports helpful to your business management. Both platforms are capable of applications integration in order to achieve any needed custom features that aren’t offered. FreshBooks has over 80 plus apps that can integrate with the software. QuickBooks Online coming from a longer established main software company Intuit however has over 650 different apps to potentially integrate with. QuickBooks additionally offers their own integrated payroll solutions at an additional fee, whereas FreshBooks does not.


The software’s both have different plan levels with increasing features included on each plan level. FreshBooks pricing model focuses on the number of customers the business has with the most basic level allowing for 5 customers and costing only $15 a month. FreshBooks has a $10 flat fee for each additional user a month. If your business however has over 500 customers, you will need a custom pricing on their select plan. QuickBooks pricing models focus on the number of users with the simple start version at $25 a month to the highest plan capable of 25 users and costing $150 a month with half off for the first three months and potential other discounts available through your accountant. In general, FreshBooks can tend to be less expensive and has started adding more accounting and reporting features but is more suitable for smaller businesses. I am impressed with FreshBooks growing improvements but still conclude that QuickBooks is an overall better choice providing more features for growing business owners to budget and forecast as well as manage payroll, inventory and multiple locations or classes.


Our Accounting and Tax Group at Pease, CPAs uses a variety of accounting products to ensure our clients are positioned for success. If you have a question or are curious of what solution is best for your business, please reach out to Claire Stanislawski at cstanislawski@peasecpa.com.

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