QuickBooks is an excellent accounting software solution, but it’s not a perfect fit for everyone. You might be looking for something that’s more affordable or addresses your business’s specific needs. In that case, it’s worthwhile to explore QuickBooks alternatives so you can feel confident that you have the best tools to run your business.
Top QuickBooks alternatives
When looking at QuickBooks alternatives, there are a few top contenders you should consider:
- Netsuite: Better for global businesses
- Xero: Better for flexibility
- Wave: Better for tight budgets
- Freshbooks: Better for freelancers
Netsuite: Better for global businesses
Oracle’s Netsuite product is a comprehensive enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. It’s a more advanced tool and accomplishes a wider variety of goals compared to QuickBooks, which is important for small businesses that need to stretch their tools and budgets as far as possible. This means it also provides capabilities for supply chain and inventory management, customer relationship management (CRM), e-commerce, and human resources.
The most distinguishing feature, however, is Netsuite’s inherent support for global business management. If you have plans to take your business international, you can use Netsuite to manage multiple currencies, tax regulations, and financial reports from one centralized platform.
Netsuite’s pricing structure is based on how many licenses and modules your business needs, which has benefits and drawbacks. On one hand, you know you’re only paying for exactly what you need, but the lack of transparency around pricing makes it difficult to compare costs. QuickBooks, in contrast, has a clear-cut pricing structure that makes it easier to understand how it will fit into your budget, but that also means it’s somewhat less flexible than Netsuite’s customized subscription plans.
Read more: Netsuite vs. QuickBooks
Xero: Better for flexibility
Xero is a versatile cloud-based tool that helps businesses on the larger end of the SMB spectrum manage their finances. If you’re looking for a straightforward solution, Xero’s interface is somewhat less cluttered and easier to navigate than QuickBooks. Plus, it’s more affordable and offers unlimited users, which is a huge advantage for companies that need to have a lot of users on their accounting platform.
One of the biggest benefits of Xero is that it strikes a balance between customizability and user experience. QuickBooks, on the other hand, is an easy-to-use tool, but it lacks some of the customization options that allow small businesses to get exactly what they need from the software. For example, Xero connects to more than 1,000 apps without charging more—to get the same integrations with QuickBooks, you may need to upgrade to the most expensive edition. Even then, you might not be able to integrate it with all of the third-party apps you use.
Read more: Xero vs. QuickBooks
Wave: Better for tight budgets
Wave is an ideal accounting solution for businesses with very basic needs. It offers invoicing and expense and income tracking for free, so Wave might be the perfect fit if you’re looking for an affordable way to monitor your business finances. If you need payment processing or payroll management capabilities, Wave offers those options too for a minimal fee.
Cost is the primary differentiator between Wave and QuickBooks. If you need more advanced features like time tracking, automatic mileage tracking, contractor management, or help with tax preparation, QuickBooks might be a better choice. However, Wave’s limited fees make it an ideal option for new business owners who don’t want to worry about how much they’re spending on the tools that help them keep track of their spending overall. Wave’s user interface is also more intuitive than QuickBooks, so it’s the better choice if you want a tool that’s as friendly for your users as it is for your budget.
Read more: Wave vs. QuickBooks
Freshbooks: Better for freelancers
Though Freshbooks might not be an optimal accounting platform for all small businesses, it’s hard to find one that’s better for freelancers and solopreneurs. Freshbooks is more straightforward and easier to manage for just one user compared to QuickBooks, and it also offers project management features that eliminate the need for a separate project management software.
Even compared to QuickBooks Self-Employed (QBSE), Freshbooks is more affordable and offers some unique features that QuickBooks doesn’t. For example, Freshbooks allows you to send automated payment reminders, schedule late fees, track your time, and create an unlimited number of estimates for client-facing projects. In comparison, QBSE only offers basic accounting functions for nearly double the cost. For freelancers who want to get the most out of their financial management platform, Freshbooks offers better value and more functionality.
Read more: Freshbooks vs. QuickBooks
Choosing the right accounting software
When it comes to accounting software, the best fit usually depends on your business’s unique needs. Perhaps you need something that will allow you to expand your business to the global market. Or maybe you want a solution that will give you all the basic features without breaking the bank.
In any case, you may have considered QuickBooks and decided it doesn’t quite hit the mark. It’s worth exploring QuickBooks alternatives to see if a different solution is a better choice, or if you’re better off sticking with one of the giants in the accounting software market. To compare all of these alternatives and others, check out our list of the Best Accounting Software for Small Businesses.