Finding the right accounting and invoicing software plays a critical role in tracking your business’s finances. It allows you to complete bookkeeping tasks, track expenses and revenue and send invoices to your customers. Two of the best small business accounting software programs are FreshBooks and QuickBooks.
This article will help you choose between these two big-name accounting brands. We evaluated FreshBooks and QuickBooks on several important criteria, including price, invoicing capabilities, customer service and third-party integrations.
FreshBooks and QuickBooks offer user-friendly software to maintain your business’s books, send invoices and perform other accounting functions. Here is a look at how the two stack up against each other.
Five per month; email, payment acceptance, customization, recurring, reminders and time tracking
Unlimited invoices; email, payment acceptance, customization, recurring and reminders
Email, chat, phone and online frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Email, chat, phone and online FAQs
Invoices, expense capture, mileage and time tracking
Accounting, invoices, payments, receipt capture, reconcile transactions and message customers
More than 100
More than 750
FreshBooks is accounting software that caters to small businesses and independent contractors. Apart from offering traditional double-entry accounting and reporting features, FreshBooks excels at generating invoices. Its unique ability to convert estimates and billable hours into invoices swiftly makes it an excellent choice for service-based businesses, especially those that need to get paid on the go. Learn more in our complete review of FreshBooks.
QuickBooks has been the leading provider of small business accounting software for over two decades. With a market share of more than 80 percent in the United States, most accountants and bookkeepers will already possess extensive knowledge of QuickBooks’ inner workings. Like its competitors, QuickBooks offers comprehensive double-entry accounting and report features, and the software is packed with a variety of additional tools that business owners should find useful. These factors make QuickBooks a solid one-size-fits-all choice for small businesses.
This screenshot from a demo shows QuickBooks’ feature-rich dashboard. Source: Intuit
In this section, we will dive into the differences between FreshBooks and QuickBooks, including how they compare on pricing, invoicing capability, customer service, mobile app features and third-party integrations.
FreshBooks currently offers four paid service plans based on a business’s number of clients. It does not offer any free versions of its software:
You can save 10 percent on a FreshBooks subscription by paying an annual lump sum, rather than monthly.
There is an $11 monthly charge per user for additional users. When utilizing FreshBooks Payments for accepting credit card payments online, each transaction incurs a fee of 2.9 percent plus 30 cents. For those who prefer to accept credit card payments by phone and in person, FreshBooks offers Advanced Payments, which carries a cost of $20 per month, in addition to 3.5 percent and 30 cents per transaction.
Here is a breakdown of each service plan:
Five billable clients, time tracking, invoicing, unlimited estimates and invoices and mobile app
50 billable clients, recurring invoices, payment reminders and late fees, reports and double-entry accounting
Unlimited clients, additional reporting capabilities and client tracking
Dedicated account manager, dedicated support and tailored onboarding
QuickBooks offers five paid plans geared toward small and medium-sized businesses. Like FreshBooks, it does not offer a free tier:
While most business applications have transitioned entirely to cloud-based software in recent years, QuickBooks is unique in that it still sells an old-fashioned desktop version. Desktop Pro Plus and Desktop Premiere Plus go for $549 and $799 per year, respectively.
Additionally, QuickBooks Online offers various bundle deals with other Intuit software products such as QuickBooks Payroll. [Read more in our full review of QuickBooks Payroll.]
Income and expense tracking, receipt organizing, tax estimating, basic reports and miles tracking.
One billable user; cash flow analytics, unlimited invoices, tax deductions, sales tax calculation and 1099 preparation tools.
Three users; time tracking and bill pay and management tools.
Five users; project management and inventory tracking tools.
25 users; one Smart Reporting license, 20 classes, online training, dedicated account team and workflow automation tools.
Comparing the pricing for FreshBooks and QuickBooks isn’t straightforward because much depends on what features you prioritize and how much you want to spend. Overall, we give QuickBooks the edge on pricing because its base plan is less expensive. Unlike FreshBooks, QuickBooks doesn’t set limits on the number of customers. We would also note that QuickBooks allows you to invite your accountant on the $15 Self-employed plan while FreshBooks users must upgrade to the $30 Plus plan to access this feature.
QuickBooks also doesn’t charge separately for additional users, and its most advanced plan allows for a total of 25 people from your business to access the software. FreshBooks only provides access to multiple users for an additional monthly fee of $11 per user. This makes QuickBooks a better choice for small businesses with multiple employees that need to access the accounting system.
If your business prioritizes time tracking, FreshBooks is likely the better choice because it includes time tracking on all of its paid plans. Meanwhile, QuickBooks only includes time tracking on the $55 Essentials plan.
QuickBooks offers various discounts on accounting software if you bundle with other Intuit products, such as TurboTax and QuickBooks Payroll.
FreshBooks Invoicing Capabilities
FreshBooks distinguishes itself from competitors with its strong emphasis on invoicing:
This screenshot shows your invoice from the customer’s perspective. Source: FreshBooks
Another standout feature is the in-house payment software, which significantly simplifies the payment process for invoices. With a click of a button on an email invoice, customers are directed to a web page where they can enter their credit card details. Alongside this, FreshBooks offers various other invoicing tools, such as recurring invoices, payment reminders and the option to apply interest and late fees on overdue invoices.
QuickBooks Invoicing Capabilities
QuickBooks’ invoicing features are more robust than many competitors in the accounting space:
QuickBooks allows you to invoice customers for partial payments, as shown in this screenshot. Source: Intuit
FreshBooks and QuickBooks are very similar in terms of invoicing capabilities. We give the edge to FreshBooks based on its user-friendliness and abundance of built-in features. Unlike QuickBooks, which offers a separate service for time tracking, FreshBooks includes time tracking tools. The one downside of FreshBooks is that it limits your monthly invoices on lower pricing plans while QuickBooks offers unlimited invoices on all plans.
You can sync time tracking with invoicing on FreshBooks, allowing you to convert billable hours into an invoice.
FreshBooks Customer Service
QuickBooks Customer Service
Again, QuickBooks and FreshBooks offer similar options for customer service. However, the Trustpilot scores show clearly that FreshBooks wins on support. Actual users report feeling mostly pleased with FreshBooks’ customer service while QuickBooks fares poorly with user-generated feedback. That said, QuickBooks does offer dedicated account representatives for its highest-paying customers.
FreshBooks Mobile App Features
QuickBooks Mobile App Features
QuickBooks’ mobile app contains more accounting-specific features for you to run your business from a smartphone, making it the clear winner compared with the more invoice-focused FreshBooks app. The only downside of the QuickBooks app is its relatively mediocre rating on the Google Play store, although the iOS version scores highly.
FreshBooks integrates with more than 100 third-party business applications, including a number of well-known brands:
QuickBooks integrates with more than 750 third-party business applications, including the following well-known apps and ecommerce platforms:
QuickBooks’ number of third-party integrations puts it far ahead of FreshBooks and most other accounting software applications. While there is some overlap in third-party integrations, we would note that both FreshBooks and QuickBooks include some syncing options that the other doesn’t. We recommend that you make a list of the business productivity apps that you use most often and check for compatibility on the QuickBooks and FreshBooks app stores.
Yes, but you need to subscribe to the Premium plan. All QuickBooks plans allow you to invite an accountant.
Smart Reporting, powered by Fathom, provides tools to analyze your business metrics.
Yes, both FreshBooks and QuickBooks are cloud-based applications, although QuickBooks also offers a desktop-based solution.