6 Best Alternatives to Quickbooks Online

Harry Lees
November 12, 2021
Finance & Accounting

6 Best Alternatives to Quickbooks Online

A quick google search for online accounting software will return a long list of contenders. QuickBooks will be at the top of this list, for good reason. QuickBooks has been around since 1992 and is the most popular accounting software used today. QuickBooks introduced QuickBooks Online (QBO) to take advantage of cloud convenience as well as decreased hardware and IT costs. However, the complaints about QuickBooks Online will be as numerous as it’s praises.

“[Needs] better customer support [and] more training options for newcomers, it’s not an easy to learn software if you’ve never used accounting software before.”

Verified User | Marketing Executive | Online Media Company

“With QuickBooks Online you cannot export your data to even QuickBooks Desktop versions. However, you can import from Desktop versions to QuickBooks Online. They hold your data hostage, with no way to export it. The rising costs have upset many small business owners, including us. We basically have to start all over with a new program. QuickBooks doesn’t have any justification for these huge increases other than profit. They are not adding any new features in exchange for the large increases.”

Don F. | Partner | IT Services Company

“The program runs WAY TOO SLOW! Every click takes too long to connect with the server.”

Verified User | General Manager | Music Company

“…Do you have inventory? Do you need job costing? If they answer yes to either of these two questions, then QuickBooks Online may not be right for [you]…

Cindy H. | Certified QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor | Accounting

The two most frequent cons of QuickBooks online among TrustRadius reviewers are customer support and high subscription costs. Others are frustrated that the limited Inventory Management features require many users to upgrade to more expensive software.  

If these are concerns for your business, or you have your own unique issues with Quickbooks Online, there are alternatives that can serve your needs.

6 Alternatives to Quickbooks

The list below is generated from the many competitors listed in the Accounting Software section on TrustRadius. These products are listed in order of their volume of ratings and reviews. 

Xero

Xero trScore 8.7 out of 10

Best for Small Accounting Firms

Xero is an online accounting solution for personal and small business use. Xero also offers invoicing, purchase orders, expense management, and tax management.

Currently the #1 Top-Rated accounting software, based on user reviews, Xero is a popular option for a reason.

Pros

Xero users consistently appreciate the affordable cost and ease of using the software, especially with invoicing and account reconciliation. Xero handles multi-currency transactions well. Finally, Xero makes it easy to fix errors and it records changes to establish an audit trail. Other accounting software packages delete records once they are changed and you lose visibility to any changes.

Cons

Currently, Xero is somewhat limited in the amount of third-party integrations it offers. It also doesn’t offer 1099 generation. Some users feel it doesn’t serve complex businesses well. Xero started in New Zealand and is the most used online accounting tool there, but Xero is still working on global market saturation. Therefore, fewer US accountants may be familiar with Xero, as compared to QuickBooks.

Why people chose Xero over QuickBooks

Users agree that Xero is easier to use than QuickBooks. Xero also offers better customization of reports. 

“I used to use Quick Books and found it very confusing for the non-accountant. I am a small business, and I need to get invoices created quickly and tracked. I need to reconcile my account, so I can just let my accountant in at the end of the year to do my taxes. I love that I can get excellent support via email reasonably quickly. For me, it’s the best solution out there. I’m not sure if a larger company would feel the same.” 

Alyssa O. | Owner | Marketing & Advertising

Is Xero Right for you?

Xero is a great accounting choice for those looking for generalist software for a very reasonable price. Invoicing, payroll, general accounting features, Xero can do it all. Those with needs for extreme customizability may find the features slightly lacking. There is no POS functionality as of this post, but this will not be an issue for many users.

There are fewer reviews by enterprise-level companies by our users on TrustRadius, so those shopping for big companies may prefer Quickbooks. The tool is easy to use relative to Quickbooks, but not a simplistic tool. The user interface is well-made, but not made for simplicity as a #1 priority like Freshbooks.

FreshBooks

FreshBooks trScore

Best for Invoicing, Billing, and Payment Collection

FreshBooks is a cloud-based accounting system for small businesses and self-employed entrepreneurs that need to integrate invoicing, billing, and payment collection.

Pros

Reviewers frequently report that FreshBooks is easy to use, easy to learn, and has a user friendly dashboard. FreshBooks invoicing features include online invoicing, recurring or automated payments, and time tracking.

Cons

TrustRadius users state that the accounting features of FreshBooks are not as comprehensive as the invoicing features. FreshBooks offers a mobile app, but the app has limited functionality, especially with regards to reporting. Finally, FreshBooks is not as feature rich as QuickBooks and it does not handle complex business situations well.

Why people chose FreshBooks over QuickBooks

FreshBooks is easier to use than QuickBooks for those with limited accounting experience. FreshBooks is usually cheaper than QuickBooks, depending on the package selected. Finally, small businesses or the self-employed tend to choose FreshBooks over QuickBooks because of the additional invoicing and expense/time tracking features.

“As a small business owner, I needed an easy way to issue invoices, track payments and expenses, track revenue and P&L. The problem FreshBooks solves for me is eliminating the need for using something like Quickbooks (which requires a long learning-curve), or hiring someone to do tasks that are basically simple, but can be time consuming, especially since I don’t perform those tasks on a regular enough basis to feel comfortable.”

Kathleen A. | President | Writing and Editing

Is Freshbooks right for you?

Freshbooks is an eay-to-use alternatives for those whos accounting responsibilities fall on the shoulders of those who may not have as much experience. People looking for a more comprehensive tool will be better served with others on this list. This is not a tool for enterprise level accounting or those who need very advanced features. Individuals who want a smart user interface and to manage payroll services and billing will find this tool helpful.

Wave Accounting

Wave Accounting trScore

Best for Free/Freemium Users

Wave Accounting is a free cloud-based accounting platform with invoicing, expense management, and receipt scanning for small businesses. Wave offers additional modules for a fee. 

Pros

Besides the obvious cost benefit, users consistently appreciate the features Wave offers, such as invoicing, reporting, contact management, and expense tracking. Wave Accounting is easy to use and easy to search for transactions. 

Cons

Some users have issues with linking their banks to Wave and others complain about the lack of phone support. Wave Accounting does not offer inventory tracking. Lastly, some transactions are subject to long ACH processing times.

It is also worth nothing that some users have reported customer support issues beyond lack of phone support and billing issues for more premium services.

Why people chose Wave Accounting over QuickBooks

Cost is the main reason most small businesses choose Wave Accounting over QuickBooks. Most users agree Wave Accounting is more intuitive and easier to use than QuickBooks. Finally, the ability to add on pay features, such as payroll and credit card processing, creates a one stop shop for small businesses.

“I think Wave is so well suited for sole proprietors like myself or other solo entrepreneurs who need to keep their income and expenses organized, but need a simple and easy program to do it. They don’t need a bulky and expensive program like Quickbooks, just something to keep all money related details together. This free program helps me with invoicing, tax time, and monthly money reports—basically everything I need for my small business to keep track of ingoing and outgoing money!

Megan R.| Owner and Head Designer | Graphic Design Company

Is Wave right for you?

The best feature of Wave is its price point: Free. Comaparing the tool to something like Quickbooks directly would be unreasonable. For simple invoicing, contract management, and expense tracking, the features will be enough for many. This is a great way to save money for those with limited needs.

Sage 50cloud Accounting

Sage 50cloud Accounting trScore

Best for Accounting Features

Sage 50cloud Accounting is a superb accounting tool for creating financial reports, record keeping and overall business management, such as payroll, inventory, and sales optimization features. The depth of Sage 50cloud Accounting’s features compares most closely with QuickBooks online.

Pros

Sage 50cloud is a robust accounting platform that offers a large ecosystem of third-party integrated solutions, such as expense management, accounts payable automation, and payment processing. Users appreciate Sage’s ability to do cash flow management and batch processing. Sage 50cloud also offers a free trial period.

Cons

Sage 50cloud Accounting can be challenging to use, especially for non-accountant users. Reviewers cite the lack of training modules as a source of dissatisfaction. Others complain of slow load-times.

Why people chose Sage 50cloud Accounting over QuickBooks

Sage 50cloud Accounting has safety features which set it apart from QuickBooks. Sage 50cloud closes out the income and expense accounts from a previous year before it begins a new year, which prevents users from accidentally changing the data. Sage 50cloud Accounting also reverses, instead of deletes, transactions which leave a better audit trail with increased visibility.

“Sage 50cloud Accounting is a pretty good option for a small business. It has a robust feature set, but the cloud functionality is limited to a very small size, and only being able to edit data over a two year period is a shortcoming. Sage 50 bridges the gap between QuickBooks and a larger more robust manufacturing package.” 

Herm H. | Vice President | Manufacturing Company

Is Sage 50cloud right for you?

Integreations are one of the key benefits to this software. For those using a wide array of tools, with the tech departments or individuals to get the most out of them will find this very useful. The feature set is comprehensive, though a little more difficult than some alternatives on this list.

Zoho Books

Zoho Books trScore

Best For Zoho Ecosystem Users

Zoho Books is a cloud-based accounting platform for small and growing businesses that also offers invoicing, time tracking, and workflow automation features. Zoho Books offers seamless integration with more than 40 business apps, such as Zoho CRM, Zoho Inventory, and Zoho Subscriptions.

Pros

Zoho Books easily manages accounting, invoices, and time tracking. Users also rave about the client portal, which frees up internal resources by allowing clients to self-manage. Zoho Books is also affordable, offers online support, and has a customizable dashboard.

Cons

The cost to print checks with Zoho Books is more expensive than with QuickBooks. Zoho Books seems to be more suited to simple business processes and suffers when trying to apply it to a complex process. Finally, Zoho Books offers relatively low cloud storage allocation per organization.

Why people chose Zoho Books over QuickBooks

Zoho Books users appreciate that Zoho is easier and cheaper to use than QuickBooks. Zoho Books users also tend to use other applications in the Zoho ecosystem, especially Zoho CRM, which is a recognized industry CRM leader. 

“Zoho Books is a great lower cost, full function finance software that is great for a company that doesn’t need a big name product, or already has some part of the Zoho suite and is looking for a finance software that integrates with it. Trying to integrate books into another CRM or product is not the easiest, so I would only recommend it if you don’t have a CRM, or are running Zoho CRM.”

Verified User | Vice-President | Internet Company

Is Zoho Books right for you?

If you are using Zoho for CRM or other needs, this is likely going to be a great software for you. The flawless integration between the vendor and Zoho’s huge array of offering can allow users to assemble a piecemeal suite for exactly what they need. The features are more simplistic, but will get the job done, especially paired with complimentary tools.

FreeAgent

FreeAgent trScore

Best For Freelancers

FreeAgent is an online accounting solution designed specifically for free agents, small business owners, and their accountants.

Pros

FreeAgent offers several features that make it ideally suited to a freelancer. Integrated tax reporting and preparation helps the freelancer navigate complex tax rules. Additionally, a team of support accountants are available to provide tax support. FreeAgent offers project accounting, versus ledger accounting, which includes quotes, invoices, purchase orders, and mileage tracking on a per-project basis.

Cons

Reviewers state FreeAgent has only basic reporting features and that the mobile app is lacking functionality. There are also very limited third party integrations with FreeAgent. 

Why people chose FreeAgent over QuickBooks

Users choose FreeAgent because it is easier to use than QuickBooks.  It is also particularly well-suited to project and/or time based billing.

As a freelancer, working on projects and also time based billing, FreeAgent has helped streamline client account management, time billing, invoicing and accounting. It is indispensable to the way my business operates.”

Eddie M. | Web Developer and Consultant | Internet Company

Is Freeagent right for you?

Are you a free agent? If so, this is a strong conteder. It is that simple. The tool is easy to use for those who do not have the time, energy, or background for complicated accounting tools. Freelancers will not be worried by the lack of scope of the software, given their lone wolf status. All in all, this is a niche tool fulfilling its users with a strong offering.

Is QuickBooks Online still the best option?

There are still some advantages for choosing QuickBooks Online, especially given its position as a market leader. The products’ longevity means there are a large number of expert users as well as scores of online technical help from third-party sources. Since it is the most popular small business accounting platform, nearly every bookkeeper will support it. QuickBooks Online also provides the perfect ecosystem for many third-party integrations. 

Reviewers agree on several areas where QuickBooks Online excels: budgeting, simplifying and filing tax returns, calculating sales tax, and processing payroll. QBO offers automated back-ups and is constantly releasing improvements and updates. The cloud based solution offers remote access and a convenient mobile app. Finally, most users agree that QuickBooks Online is the best product suited for complex business situations.

Check out our comprehensive user reviews on TrustRadius to help you determine which solution is best for you.

About the Author

Harry Lees
I am a proud University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, with a Comprehensive Honors degree in Political Science and Journalism. Go Badgers! A dual-citizen with the U.S and U.K, in my free time I support Liverpool Football Club, obsessively follow politics and do extremely nerdy things with my friends.

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