At a recent convention I attended, I was able to participate in a discussion surrounding an accounting software that was relatively new to me, Xero.  Xero started in New Zealand and has quickly spread across the globe with small businesses from 180 countries utilizing the services Xero can offer.  While at the conference, I was able to ask and get answers to a few questions surrounding the differences between QuickBooks Online (QBO) and Xero.

The main question people have is the cost difference between the two.  The pricing scheme on both softwares are fairly similar, with one glaring difference.  When you purchase Xero, you get to run payroll on the system for free.  QBO makes you purchase an add-on in order to have the capabilities of payroll.  Xero is only available as an online software where QuickBooks still has the desktop version.

Another question I had was if there was a difference in the platform between the two companies.  As far as usability goes, it seems that Xero might have something that is going to work for more people as more often than not, the owners of a given business aren’t accountants or even versed in the vernacular of the trade.  Xero takes that into account and helps guide the user through accounts with easier to understand account names and work flows.

What happens if you don’t like QBO or Xero, can the data be transferred between software?  One of the nice things about the world we live in is that data is getting more transferable.  If you try QBO and Xero and don’t like them, you can export your data and import it into the other option without too much hassle.

In conclusion, the difference between the two could boil down to what the needs of your firm are at this time.  It is a great idea to try them out as they both offer an initial 30-day free trial period as you are first getting started.

What accounting system is your favorite and why?

About Rob

Rob Condie is our Regional Director based in Rock Springs and covers Sweetwater, Lincoln, Sublette, and Uinta counties.  Rob’s background is in banking and he is the Wyoming SBDC QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and advises Wyoming entrepreneurs about their financials.  When Rob isn’t busy helping small businesses improve cash flow, Rob enjoys hunting the Wind River Range and spending time with his family.  You can reach Rob atrcondie1@uwyo.edu or by phone at (307) 352-6894

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