As a small business owner, you likely know that you need to keep track of your income and expenses. If you’re like most, you may have even narrowed your accounting software down to two great choices: QuickBooks and FreshBooks.
However, when you compare FreshBooks vs. QuickBooks, it can be hard to know which is the best one for you. Each of these powerful tools has different strengths and features. This post will show you the pros and cons of each so you can make the smart choice for your business.
FreshBooks Vs. QuickBooks
When you run a small business, it’s imperative to track all your expenses and incomes. Not only will this help you when it’s time to figure out tax deductions, but when you run reports, you will be able to see where your money is going.
Some people hire an accountant for this. But if that’s not in your budget, then use an accounting program that is intuitive and easy. The two most popular choices are FreshBooks and QuickBooks.
Both FreshBooks and QuickBooks offer online accounting services. And they are pretty similar to each other too. But which account software is best for you? The best way to find out is to try them out with a free trial.
Before you try them out, here are differences so you can make a smart decision for your small business accounting.
Credit Card Fees
When you send invoices through either software, you can accept credit cards directly from your customers. The fees are slightly different between the two.
FreshBooks Credit Card Fees:
- All major credit cards: 2.9% + $0.30
- American Express: 3.5% + $0.30
QuickBooks Credit Card Fees:
- All major credit cards: 2.9% + $0.25
- The fee is lower for card reader transactions because the card is present, and you can verify the cardholder information.
In addition to the subscription cost, both programs will charge various additional fees. Here’s a rundown of what they are and how much they cost.
For the complete list of fees, read the detailed information on the QuickBooks website. The prices are different between monthly plan subscribers and pay-as-you-go users.
Here are just two of the miscellaneous fees you could experience from QuickBooks. Most fees come from processing credit cards.
- Chargeback fee: $25 + you are responsible for the full chargeback amount
- Returned check fee: $10
You should read through the list of FreshBooks fees on their website. The fees don’t change between the different plan levels.
They charge a $15 chargeback fee. That’s it.
FreshBooks Vs. QuickBooks Pricing
How much do they cost? Let’s look next at the cost of both FreshBooks and QuickBooks. It’s difficult to say which one is more affordable since the pricing is so different.
There are four different plans from which you can choose. You can pay either monthly or annually. You will save money if you pay annually.
As the plans go up in price, they give you access to bill more clients.
Here’s an overview of the tiers and pricing. Prices are subject to change and might be different from what is listed here. Check their site for current rates.
- Lite: $15/month. 5 billable clients.
- Plus: $25/month. 50 billable clients.
- Premium: $50/month. 500 billable clients.
There is one more tier that isn’t listed with a price because it requires a custom pricing. This top tier is for larger businesses that want a custom price because they need a personal account manager and hands-on training.
QuickBooks Online Pricing
For the most accurate pricing, check the QuickBooks website. QuickBooks used to sell software licenses, just like Microsoft Office. But now they offer advantageous cloud accounting plans that you can access from any computer and any device.
Just like FreshBooks, QuickBooks Online has different plans. However, QuickBooks has five plans instead of only 3, and one of them is designed specifically for the self-employed.
- QuickBooks self-employed: $15/month. Basic income and expense reporting.
- Simple Start: $25/month. Send estimates and manage 1099 contractors.
- Essentials: $40/month. Manage bills, track time, and include 3 users.
- Plus: $70/month. Includes 5 users and track inventory.
- Advanced: $150/month. Import and send batch invoices, a dedicated account manager, and on-demand online training.
They also offer live bookkeeping. You can hire an accountant to help manage your books if you don’t have time to do it yourself.
Ease of Use
Between QuickBooks and FreshBooks, which is easier to use? In this realm, FreshBooks is the clear winner.
QuickBooks is Robust
There is a lot you can access and do with QuickBooks. Even so, it can be a bit overwhelming. Most of what you need can be obtained from the nav bar on the left-hand side.
Many people find they need additional help or training to set up and navigate QuickBooks. You can watch their training videos free on their YouTube channel. These videos will take you step-by-step through every situation that you could encounter when using it.
FreshBooks Is Simpler
FreshBooks also has an introductory video that walks you through what it looks like and how to use it.
At first glance, FreshBooks looks more natural to use. It can still do pretty much everything QuickBooks can, but all that information isn’t on the first page. The website has a cleaner look with fewer options in the navbar. Most things are tucked within different categories instead of sitting out on the first page.
Personally, I use and recommend FreshBooks for this very reason. Most of my clients are pleasantly surprised at how simple their invoicing and bookkeeping becomes using this tool.
Determining which one is easier is like asking you what your favorite color is. Some people prefer to see all the options at once. Others want to have a clean page with just a few main options at a time.
Trying them out is the only way to decide.
If you still struggle with getting the most out of them, both programs have customer service. However, it’s been my experience that the customer service with FreshBooks is vastly superior. This has also been the experience of my clients.
QuickBooks customer service is easiest to contact directly from your QuickBooks online account. On the top of your screen, you will find a handy little “Help” button. Clicking it will connect you directly with an agent. They offer a phone option as well, but the wait times are quite long. In fact, one of my colleagues shared that he was on hold over an hour waiting for assistance.
On the other hand, I’ve had a great experience with FreshBook’s customer support line. When I have personally called FreshBooks, a live customer rep usually answers in 3 rings. I love that it doesn’t send you to a telephone menu prompt.
If you prefer to stay away from the phone, FreshBooks also have agents ready to chat when you need help with their products, or you can contact them via email within your account.
Both FreshBooks and QuickBooks offer mobile account management from their apps. This is convenient if you travel or want to accept credit cards when you are away from your computer.
To download the QuickBooks app, text Intuit and they will send you the download link.
FreshBooks Vs. QuickBooks – Which Should You Use?
When it all comes down to it, between FreshBooks and QuickBooks, which should you pick? They both have apps and cloud services so you can log in from any device, anywhere. Both are robust programs with different price levels. And both offer you the ability to send invoices and receive credit card payments.
However, I use and recommend FreshBooks. The ease of use makes this software the clear winner to me. After all, the best accounting tool is one that you will actually use.
FreshBooks Testimonials from Clients
Don’t take my word for it, however. Here’s what some of my clients had to say about making the switch over to FreshBooks.
“This FreshBooks is much more user friendly and is like a breath of fresh air.
Now I can really see myself having an accounting/ bookkeeping system. I had the QuickBooks program since 2015 and never really used it before. I always had issues with the software along with the navigation of the program.
FreshBooks was able to answer the call for a much-needed alternative to QuickBooks, but still just as efficient or better booking/accounting system.”
“Thanks for jump-starting my bookkeeping with FreshBooks. You showed how FreshBooks was significantly easy in journal entries and the easy to use page setup that displays all subtitles, headings with clear, bold and with simple formats. After talking with Sylvia, anyone will be comfortable with bookkeeping and accounting for their business.”
– Jay Dyas, President, New Growth Development
“I recently started my own business, and even though I had the confidence and ability I was struggling with the accounting side. I had tried one of the top brand accounting software’s and it was so convoluted I finally gave up on the whole process. I was recommended to Sylvia Inks a Small Business Coach. After speaking with Sylvia, I knew she was the ticket to helping me with my new small business.
Sylvia introduced me to FreshBooks, and I couldn’t be happier, the ease of use and understanding was amazing. I use a local community bank, and have to import my bank statements, but the process is so easy this has turned out not to be an issue. In fact, this extra step allows me to clean-up and label transactions myself, and once done and imported FreshBooks automatically remembers from previous uploads. My credit card imports are a no brainer and now with my accounts imported every transaction is automatically linked to my FreshBooks account. I can now view profit & loss, issue reports, create and send invoices in no time at all! Thank you Sylvia for introducing me to FreshBooks, what a time saver.”
– Catherine Cotta, C.A. Cotta Corporation
In conclusion, if you are ready to level up your business in an easy, manageable way, either FreshBooks or QuickBooks will do the trick. However, I find the ease of use that FreshBooks offers to be the easiest way to jumpstart bookkeeping. Give it a try and see!
Which feature is the most important to you when considering an accounting software? Share in the comments your thoughts and feedback if you’ve tried or considered using one of these tools.