Why Xero is Surpassing Quickbooks

Here at Balance, people have been asking which cloud-accounting software offers the best value for small businesses. Xero is the new and easy-to-use cloud-based accounting software that offers the same services as Quickbooks and more. Developed in 2006, this New Zealand based company burst onto the scene two years after Quickbooks, employing over 1,800 people around the world. Xero leads the Australian, UK and New Zealand cloud accounting markets and have their sights set for the US.

The advanced accounting features provided by Xero make it a great choice for small business owners who want to balance their books and ensure accurate and timely payroll. There are many variables that separate Xero from Quickbooks and other accounting softwares like Freshbooks, Kashoo and Zoho Books. The integrations, ease of use, and the project management features provided by Xero are second to none. As far as popularity goes, Quickbooks is widely known as the American standard for cloud accounting softwares. In the near future, Xero will surpass Quickbooks simply because of their amazing customer service and support.


Customer Service

Customer service is extremely important to each and every business. Xero takes the cake in comparison to its counterpart, offering a wide variety of online resources. Xero partner programs help bookkeepers become certified and help clients as efficiently as possible; the in-depth training courses provided by Xero gives customers the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage in their niche markets.

Quickbooks has been attempting to improve their customer service problems over the years, but they still have a long way to go. The software tends to crash when using certain add-on programs, which they have continued to fix over time. Response times in their customer service hotlines have been rumored to be very slow, and Quickbooks has yet to implement a help center for their customers.

Negative Reviews and Complaints

Quickbooks 2017 R5 was a problematic update that caused a number of customer complaints for the software giant. Quickbooks online has also received many user complaints regarding bugs, poor customer service, and unauthorized charges which never happens with Xero subscribers.

In contrast, Xero has been working hard to build on their customers already strong confidence and loyalty. They have indeed gotten customer complaints (which is inevitable considering the number of users) but not as many as Quickbooks online. Their cloud-based accounting software is well-loved by its users and receives higher ratings than Quickbooks.

Integrations and Security

Even though Quickbooks online was developed two years prior to Xero, the integrations of Xero has surpassed their counterpart. With over 500 seamless integrations and counting, Xero has become a one-stop-shop with custom-made functions for its users. Companies like PayPal, Constant Contact, and Salesforce work in conjunction with Xero to help users keep track of sales opportunities and contacts.

Quickbooks online offers most of the same options, but Xero has set itself apart when it comes to security. Xero has one of the strongest security reputations in the cloud-accounting world, with a whopping 99.97% uptime. Both Quickbooks and Xero use data encryption and two-step authorization methods that prove to be great for securing sensitive information.

Features and User Permissions

Both Quickbooks online and Xero offer most of the same features, but there’s a much better value Xero. For example, Xero offers unlimited users for all of its pricing plans (Including Xero Partner programs). In contrast, Quickbooks limits the number of users based on their pricing plans which makes it a no-brainer for beginners in the market for accounting softwares. In the corporate world, we are taught to underpromise and overdeliver. Once we dig deeper into the features and user permissions, Xero clearly offers the better value compared to Quickbooks online.

Data Import/Export and File Attachment

Once again, Xero beats out Quickbooks in another critical category. Quickbooks online offers an add-on for an additional charge that allows users to input most transactions via spreadsheet. In comparison, the Aussie software can import/export these same transactions and API endpoints for no extra cost.

Xero allows you to:

  • Attach documents during a reconciliation.
  • Set up a folder structure for attached documents.
  • Create more types of transactions (than QuickBooks Online) using already uploaded documents.
  • From the Account Transactions list view allows you to see whether transactions have an attachment.
  • A solid document viewer that lets you zoom in and rotate.
  • Side-by-side viewing of documents and transaction forms.
  • Email in files.

QuickBooks Online allows you to:

  • View all attachments from its Attachments page. This is important to note, because in Xero, documents not placed in user created folders can’t be viewed in the Xero’s Files page.
  • Add notes.
  • Batch-download all files.


Pricing Plans

Overall, both Quickbooks and Xero are comparably priced for general consumers. Underneath the surface, Xero offers partner pricing for small businesses that complete their Advisor programs and courses. With certain plans starting at under $5/month, Xero has a very unique pricing structure that offers most of the same functionality as Quickbooks. Upfront fees are not a thing for Xero, but data migration will result in some additional fees applied your Quickbooks subscription.

User Interface and Navigation

This category is subjective to personal preferences, so we will point out some unique features of both Xero and QBO. We enjoy the Universal search feature in Quickbooks, which Xero has recently implemented also. In Xero, the dashboard is very customizable, which makes for ease of use unlike its competitor. Also, the bank reconciliation screen in Xero is much better than Quickbooks. User navigation can get a bit tricky in the Xero interface, but once you get the feel for it the software offers a world of opportunity for accountants and bookkeepers alike.


Both softwares offer great features for personal and business use, providing a more efficient solution to manual bookkeeping. Quickbooks online has been the leader in cloud accounting software for almost a decade, but Xero provides great customer service and better pricing. Also, Xero HQ is the perfect program for lifelong learners who are looking to gain an edge over the competition.

If you’ve read this far, it should be fairly easy to make an informed decision about which cloud accounting software we recommend. Be sure to leave a comment below, we love to hear your feedback!

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