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Xero vs. QuickBooks Online: Which is Better for Your Small Business?

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Quickbooks Online vs. Xero

As a business owner, you have many important decisions to make– especially about your company’s finances. One key to simplifying your processes and making your life easier is choosing the right online accounting software. There are 2 industry standards: Xero and Quickbooks Online (QBO).

Let’s compare them and help you decide which best meets the needs of your business. Need help now? Feel free to call Intelli Bookkeeping at (617) 531-0701 or contact us online .

Quickbooks Is The Incumbent.

Xero Is The Challenger.

Is Quickbooks the Champ?

Xero and Quickbooks online are the two big players in the small business online accounting software market. They’re fighting for market dominance. This can make choosing the right software complicated.

To be honest, neither dominates when it comes to managing every aspect of online accounting. But with the use of flexible cloud accounting software on the rise, it’s becoming more difficult for simpler cloud models, like QBO, to compete. Xero, a New Zealand based company, has managed to differentiate its services enough to challenge QBO in this increasingly competitive market.

What Is “Cloud Software”?

what is cloud software?

Years ago, all the software you used was installed on your computer’s hard drive. Today, many programs now run in “the cloud.” So what do we mean by “cloud software”?

When you use a cloud-based program (like Xero, QBO, Google Docs, or even Facebook), you’re not running a program on your computer. Instead it’s running on a secure computer elsewhere. You access the program and your data through your internet browser, like Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Microsoft Edge.

Cloud software is great because your data is stored securely and you can access it from any computer with a web browser.

Quickbooks Online is trading on its household name and brand awareness. Most people have at least heard of Quickbooks, even if they don’t own a business. Quickbooks has invested millions in advertising and promoting their brand. Unfortunately, it feels like Quickbooks is resting on its laurels and not improving their software as quickly as Xero.

With a promise of “Beautiful Accounting”, Xero accounting software not only matches QBO in pricing, integration, and security services, but also delivers a more personal approach to online accounting. Xero updates their software about once a month!


When comparing pricing between QBO and Xero, there are many factors to consider, including your:

  • Location
  • Budget
  • Business size

Xero and QBO offer tiered services, whose prices depend on the size of your business and the services you require.

If you want to get the most out of a standard software program, go with Xero.

Not only does Xero offer a fully integrated “Standard Plan”, it also lets you pay invoices through popular online payment networks, like PayPal and Stripe. Xero’s software makes making online payments easy, and saves you from paying high processing fees.

Ease of Use

If you’re seeking quick and efficient business accounting, then Xero is the software for you.

Xero’s intelligent design takes the hassle out of daily accounting tasks, so you can focus on running your business. Xero’s banking page is easier to navigate, simplifying the process of importing transactions and matching new transactions to old.

With Xero’s personal accountant service, your accountant can organize all your banking transactions on a spreadsheet for your convenience.

But I’ll talk more about the personal accountants later on.

Product Features

Xero understands that your small business accounting software needs to adapt to your business size, operation, and schedule.

That’s why they designed a flexible software service that can be customized to fit any business structure. Unlike QBO, Xero lets you include as many users as you want on your team.

Xero’s Standard Plan includes:

  • Data import and export
  • Automation
  • Reporting
  • Basic inventory management

If you choose QBO, you’ll pay extra for each of these features.

Additionally, Xero’s global platform is better designed and suited to serve international clients. It supports multiple currencies that adapt to business transactions worldwide. QBO, primarily based in the United States and Canada, doesn’t offer multi-currency services, which limits its payment options.


Both companies deliver exceptional security. This important because it ensures that their clients’ finances stay protected from online attacks.

Mobile Experience

Xero Mobile Experience

While the QBO app offers the same services as the website, Xero focuses on the functions that users need on the go. Xero has a more limited approach to mobile services, but a stronger focus on the functionality you’re likely to actually use.


Xero and QBO have similar levels of integration. But Xero has been pulling ahead and now has about 40 extra add-ons. The main difference between the two is that Xero includes more features and integrations in its Standard Plan, whereas QBO requires additional payments for the same services. For example: Stripe for Xero.

The Bottom Line: Quickbooks Online vs. Xero


Quickbooks Online (QBO)


Ease of Use ✗ – Steeper learning curve for beginners ✓ – Well-thought out, intuitive design
User Limits ✗ – Limited by the plan you choose ✓ – Unlimited users can be added to your account
Mobile App ✗ – Same features as QBO website ✓ – Optimized for on-the-go use
Security ✓ – Very secure ✓ – Very secure
Updates ✗ – Infrequent updates to their main service ✓ – New features and updates every 3-6 weeks
Features You’ll need to pay more for the features you want ✓ – Get more features without paying extra
Pricing ✓ – Different plans for different sized businesses

✓ – Different plans for different sized businesses

While Quickbooks is something of a household name, that doesn’t mean they offer the best online accounting and bookkeeping software.

Xero has built an outstanding product that measures up in nearly every way.

Collaboration with Your Accounting & Bookkeeping Team

Xero Intelli Partners

Intelli Bookkeeping is Xero’s First Boston Silver Partner!

What’s better than unlimited access to accountants in your area?

Xero partners with professional accountants worldwide who are trained and certified to help take the stress out of your accounting experience.

Intelli Bookkeeping is one of Xero’s Boston partners. With over 25 Xero clients to date, Intelli was the first Boston partner to earn the title “Silver Partner ”. Intelli Bookkeeping has a personalized team of financial professionals who are qualified to deliver exceptional one-on-one accounting services to its Boston clients.

With its convenient software and network reliable accountants, Xero is designed to manage all of your small business accounting needs.


  1. Ibrahim hassan says:

    I can’t open Xero program in sudan?!
    I have small business but Xero not available in sudan!

  2. Amelia Walker says:

    Hey, You have shared a complete comparison point of the blog. It will help in selecting the best one for business owners. Thanks for sharing. very informative.

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