QuickBooks is a better accounting software than Freshbooks almost across the board. QuickBooks would be a great fit for any business looking to really nail down their accounting — regardless of size and industry.
Freshbooks does fit in very well for small retail businesses — particularly if they have an ecommerce presence. Its inventory management features and ecommerce integrations are available on its cheapest pricing tier, making it a great choice for small businesses in the retail sector.
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Here are the key differences to know between QuickBooks and Freshbooks.
QuickBooks is best for:
- Businesses of all sizes
- Complex functionality such as cash-flow projections and project accounting
- Value for money
FreshBooks is best for:
- Small retail businesses
- Businesses that need deep integration with ecommerce platforms
FreshBooks vs. QuickBooks Online: Which Accounting Software Is Right For You?
Overall, QuickBooks has more features than FreshBooks, with extensive project accounting and cash-flow services. QuickBooks also makes many of these complex features available on its cheapest pricing tiers.
QuickBooks lets you get started from $15 per month with its self-employed plan. However, this plan is designed for freelancers and sole traders so, if you're running a larger business, we'd recommend the Simple Start plan which costs $25 per month. The Simple Start plan lets you create budgets and cash flow projects, as well as starting a supplier database and allowing you to generate purchase orders.
FreshBooks is a good fit for small online retail businesses. It integrates with top ecommerce platforms and providers inventory management on all of its pricing tiers. However, it does limit you to 50 clients until you get to the $50 per month Premium plan.
FreshBooks' pricing plans start from $15 per month with the Lite plan which gives you custom invoicing and lets you import expenses. If you choose annual billing with the Lite plan, rather than monthly billing, the relative price drops to $13.50 per month.
At first glance, FreshBooks appears to be a cheaper option than QuickBooks. However, QuickBooks offers a more comprehensive feature set than FreshBooks for less. What's more, QuickBooks never places a limit on the number of clients your business can have — which could be essential.
We think that QuickBooks, on balance offers better value for money than FreshBooks.
Both services offer a 30-day free trial. Here's the in-depth breakdown of their plan pricing.
Does it include bookkeeping functions?
Does it include a range of accounts payable functions?
Does it include a range of accounts receivable functions?
Does it offers tools to track different projects?
Does it offer financial reporting tools?
Budget & forecasting
Does it offer budgeting and forecasting tools?
$15 per month
$13.50 per month
$25 per month
$22.50 per month
$40 per month
$45 per month
$150 per month
Expenses tracking only
QuickBooks Self-employed vs FreshBooks Lite
Both these plans are designed for a single user — think a sole trader or a freelancer who needs to keep on top of their money. The QuickBooks plan costs $15 per month while the FreshBooks option is slightly cheaper at $13.50 per month.
However, there is one big reason why we would choose the QuickBooks option over the FreshBooks alternative — FreshBooks Lite limits you to just 5 clients. QuickBooks, meanwhile, lets you pay and receive money from an unlimited number of clients.
Both platforms will let you import bank statements but only QuickBooks offers receipt scanning. FreshBooks allows you to track expenses while QuickBooks doesn't. Both platforms offer extensive accounts receivable functions but FreshBooks offers you the ability to track overdue client payments and set up a client database — though, considering the plan limits you to just five clients, this seems a bit unnecessary.
QuickBooks Simple Start vs FreshBooks Plus
QuickBooks' Simple Start and FreshBooks' Plus plans are similarly priced, $25 per month versus $22.50 per month, respectively, but they offer quite different features.
With the Simple Start plan, you'll be able to record fixed assets in your books, something you couldn't do with the cheaper Self-employed plan. However, both FreshBooks Lite and Plus offer the feature — as well as inventory management.
QuickBooks Simple Start will allow you to create a supplier database and purchase orders — which FreshBooks can't match. However, FreshBooks will allow you to track expenses. When it comes to accounts receivable functions — from payment reminders to recurring invoices and even online client payment portals, both providers are equally matched.
QuickBooks Simple Start still won't let you track employee time on projects but they will let you generate custom reports — something FreshBooks can't manage on any of its plans. Similarly, QuickBooks will let you create cashflow projections for certain projects — these advanced features will see it pull ahead of FreshBooks.
QuickBooks Essentials vs FreshBooks Premium
QuickBooks Essentials costs $40 per month while FreshBooks Premium is a mite more expensive at $45 per month. FreshBooks Premium also gives you an unlimited number of clients — something QuickBooks offers on all of its plans.
FreshBooks, however, still doesn't offer receipt scanning but the QuickBooks plan still doesn't offer inventory management. Similarly, QuickBooks Essentials will let you scan bills to speed up your accounts payable functions.
FreshBooks plan will let you calculate employee labor costs, as well as project-specific expenses. You can also track a project's profitability with FreshBooks Premium — QuickBooks Essentials, meanwhile, offers none of these features. QuickBooks, meanwhile, will let you create custom reports and create cashflow projections.
QuickBooks Plus vs FreshBooks Select
This is where the pricing plans diverge somewhat. QuickBooks' Plus plan costs $70 per month while FreshBooks will give your business bespoke pricing to use the Select plan. QuickBooks' plan will let you have up to five users while FreshBooks' plan will only let you have two.
QuickBooks' plan gives you automatic bank reconciliation, employee labor cost calculations, project-specific expenses, and the ability to track project profitability. You'll also get access to the budget management interface which lets you create multiple separate budgets.
The FreshBooks Select plan gives you a dedicated account manager and can help you move from other accounting software with custom onboarding. It also removes FreshBooks branding from client emails. The Advanced Payments add-on, which normally costs $15 per month, is thrown in for free and lets you save and charge client credit cards, offer subscription billing, and create a virtual terminal.
The QuickBooks Advanced plan costs $150 per month and lets you have up to 25 users working on the same account at once.
QuickBooks' plan lets you create, enter, edit, and send invoices in batches, as well as giving you access to exclusive premium apps, workflow automation, and on-demand training. You'll also get a dedicated account team to resolve technical issues and continuous data backups that allow you to restore to a previously saved version.
QuickBooks vs FreshBooks: Features
Our research found that both accounting software services offer a broad range of the most frequently needed accounting features, covering the basics of invoicing, expensing, and time-tracking, with plenty of third-party integrations to handle everything else.
All features offer in-depth functionality as well, letting users tweak templates to get just the right setup. Here's an overview of what to expect from each service.
FreshBooks has a “Double-Entry Accounting” feature, which tracks revenue items against their related expenses, in order to give users a mini snapshot of their profits and losses at a granular level. It'll also automatically check that debit and credit amounts are equal to each other, pinpointing errors in the moment, and not leaving them for users to sort out during tax season.
Financial transactions are imported and categorized into FreshBooks, with categories for equity, transfers, or refunds, and a summary report can be exported to Excel too. Your own accountant can be added to a FreshBooks account with a few clicks, giving them the ease of exclusive access.
QuickBooks is similarly built around tracking all your expenses: It sorts transactions into tax categories and links photos of receipts to the transactions they represent, generating a variety of reports from the raw data. QuickBooks' mobile app also users smartphone GPS to automatically track miles driven, creating a report that logs accurate business trip deductions.
QuickBooks is our winner when it comes to the nuts-and-bolts of accounting with neat extra features which can make your life easier.
Invoicing and Payments
When invoicing, any automated processes are a huge boon: They help businesses establish regular billing periods or send follow-up reminders with as little effort as possible, saving employees time to do their real work.
QuickBooks offers 6 personalizable invoice templates, automatically added billable hours (with integrations available for Google Calendar and QuickBooks' own TSheets), automated reminders, alerts to let users know when their customers have viewed or have paid an invoice, recurring invoices, and automatic matching, which pairs payments to invoices to leave a paper trail of who's paid what.
QuickBooks also offers bill scanning on its Essentials and Plus plans, something FreshBooks can't match. QuickBooks also lets you create purchase orders on all of its plans.
FreshBooks offers an invoice generator, which not only lets users create a custom template complete with a logo, but also includes a thank you email to accompany it. Tracked time and expenses can be quickly added as well, and taxes can be added automatically if needed.
Follow-up reminders can also be automated to be sent at any set intervals, while late fees can be charged, either as a percentage or a flat rate. FreshBooks' software lets businesses accept payment through Automated Clearing House (ACH) bank transfers, major credit cards including Mastercard, Visa, and American Express, and Apple Pay.
QuickBooks takes the biscuit again with its affordable range of accounts payable features.
Quickbooks' business expense tracking features can integrate with users' accounts across platforms, including bank accounts, credit cards, PayPal, Square, and more. Users can create custom categories to automatically shunt expenses into, and can run reports for added visibility.
The mobile app can snap photos of receipts, and then automatically process the information, adding it fluidly this feature also cross-applies to invoicing, letting users add receipt images to their invoices when needed. There's also a built-in cash flow statement feature, which keep users updated on their profits and losses at any given time.
FreshBooks has many of the same expensing abilities: Bank accounts and credit cards can be connected, multiple currencies are supported, receipts can be photographed and logged, expenses can be categorized to make tax filings easier, and it's all backed up on the cloud. Client-specific expenses can be marked as billable to the right client, marked up, and automatically included with the invoice.
This one is too close to call for us, both providers are strong across the board.
FreshBooks includes time tracking features in its core plans. It offers a timer, available across mobile and browsers, that users can clock in and out through, with fields for noting which client to bill and how each time period was spent. Integrations allow for time to be tracked from within Asana, Basecamp, Trello, and Teamwork, among others. Entire teams' times are visible in a calendar view, allowing for a full birds-eye view of an operation in real-time.
QuickBooks, however, offers a more feature-rich time tracking function at an additional cost. Called “TSheets by QuickBooks,” the service is designed for assigning employees tasks in addition to allowing employees to track their time. The base plan is called Premium and costs $8 per user per month, on top of a base fee of $20 per month. It includes job and shift scheduling, real-time reports, time-off management, alerts, and even a time clock kiosk with facial recognition.
The other plan, Elite, costs $10 per user per month after a base $40 per month fee. It includes everything in Premium, plus project estimates that can be compared to actuals, a project activity feed, timesheet signatures, and geofencing.
If you're a small business comfortable with letting your employees manage their own time, FreshBooks offers the best time tracking. If your projects require more top-down oversight (and you have the money to pay for it), QuickBooks' TSheets add-on is for you.
FreshBooks' time-tracking feature is cheaper but QuickBooks' option offers better and more useful features.
FreshBooks does not have a native feature for processing employee payrolls, but it does offer two integrations: Gusto (formerly ZenPayroll), which costs between $6 and $12 per user per month after a base $39 per month fee, and PaymentEvolution, a Canada-only payroll service that has a limited free tier as well as a $22 per month tier.
All of QuickBooks' plans offer a full-service payroll ability, including unlimited payroll runs, auto-calculated taxes, and end-of-year forms, an online portal to let employees view pay stubs and tax data, support for garnishments and deductions, and downloadable historical data reports. The Premium plan also adds support for same-day direct deposit and workers’ comp administration, as well as an HR support center.
QuickBooks offers full payroll abilities, making it the clear winner here.
Integration with other software
Both QuickBooks and FreshBooks offer plenty of integrations with commonly used services for payments, payroll, ecommerce, bookkeeping, CRM, file storage, and marketing, among others.
We've included a partial list of the most popular options for each accounting service below. The full, searchable databases for both QuickBooks integrations and FreshBooks integrations are available online.
FreshBooks offers more integrations overall and even makes its API available to developers interested in creating their own.
FreshBooks' range of integrations and open API make it the only choice, this time.
- Housecall Pro
- G Suite
Reporting and Dashboards
Both accounting services offer plenty of reporting. FreshBooks has reports for profit and loss, sales tax summaries, client accounts, payments collected, and expenses. The dashboard is populated with the most relevant graphs and charts, covering outstanding revenue, monthly recurring revenue, total profit, revenue streams, spending, and unbilled time.
QuickBooks users can find the Reports Center on their navigation menu, for a quick way to locate the software's standard preset report templates or to customize new ones. A ‘management reports' section lets users create professional versions complete with a cover page, table of contents, preliminary pages, and endnotes. The preset templates include audit logs, balance sheets, statements of cash flow, open invoices, customer reports, sales tax reports, and budget overviews, as well as profit and loss reports compiled by month, class, customer, and year-to-date.
QuickBooks offers impressive custom reporting tools on almost all of its plans, which FreshBooks can't compete with.
QuickBooks vs FreshBooks: Ease of Use
Both services offer a graph-filled main dashboard, with a vertical sidebar on the left, from which users can jump to a variety of categories that cover the main features they'll use. Both services are also easy to pick up, with a relatively intuitive structure that should turn up the needed feature with just a few clicks, even via the mobile app version.
At the same time, neither service is perfect. Functionality for certain features may be too inflexible for some: FreshBooks' ticketing system is a little stripped-down, for instance. However, there are no large-scale failures to point towards, and the basic user will likely be just as well off with either.
And, when it comes to adding third-party integrations and add-on services, both FreshBooks and QuickBooks make it easy. However, some reviewers maintain that QuickBooks doesn't make it quite as easy to unsubscribe from these extra services an issue that FreshBooks does not face.
Both platforms are brilliantly easy to use so there's little to split them here.
Some of the resources on the QuickBooks online portal
QuickBooks vs FreshBooks: Customer Service and Support
QuickBooks offers a searchable online portal, with articles and video tutorials to guide users through common issues. It's divided into categories like ‘Reports,' ‘Payroll and Workers,' and ‘Advanced Accounting,' among many others. There's also an additional resource center, video training courses, a blog, and a community forum where users can interact with their peers.
If logged in, users will also have access to live support, either through a live chat function available from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT Monday through Friday, or via phone call. Our research found some users have left reviews indicating that their experience with the support team was slow and unhelpful for them.
Similarly, FreshBooks has its own online support portal, with categories including ‘Dashboard & Settings,' ‘Invoices & Payments,' and ‘My Team.' It also offers phone support (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET). The two offerings are essentially the same, so while FreshBooks has fewer negative reviews, you'll likely be pretty happy with either.
FreshBooks has better reviews and offers longer support hours.
Online help center
Live chat hours
Paid consultations available
6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT, M-F
6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT, M-F
8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, M-F
6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT, M-F
8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, M-F
Yes, around $200-$600/Month
Verdict: QuickBooks vs FreshBooks
QuickBooks is the better option for almost all businesses. It outshines FreshBooks when it comes to its features, reporting, and value for money.
The only time you should choose FreshBooks is if your business is a small retail operation with a reliance on ecommerce. But, even then, it's likely that your business will expand to a point when it needs QuickBooks.
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