Freshbooks vs. QuickBooks Online – Who Will Win This Race?

Eric Greenspan Cloud Accounting Leave a Comment

I’m not sure it’s really fair to compare Freshbooks vs. QuickBooks Online, but I’m going to do it anyway. They are both used for “some” of the same purposes and they both do things very differently. What’s most interesting is the “way” they do it in terms of user experience. Hands down, Freshbooks is cooler. Feet up, QuickBooks blows it away in functionality and quite frankly, Freshbooks just doesn’t have enough features yet to get a mainstream user’s attention.

First, let me tell you that I’m NOT a bookkeeper. I’m a serial entrepreneur and many time startup champion. I have been the chef, the waiter and the dishwasher many a time. I’ve sold the jobs, done the work and tackled the books. So I know these two online apps pretty darn well, from a layman’s perspective. I’m not in love with one or the other, yet, but I do prefer QuickBooks vs. Freshbooks for many reasons and while Freshbooks is slicker, “fresher” and has potential, it just simply lacks critical functionality.

Freshbooks is fresh. The interface is simple and easy to learn. Setup is a snap. It does the job well. But it doesn’t do the job that most need it to do. I’ve given it three whirls and each time I outgrew it within six months. I’m not sure if this is there intention or if they plan to add more. I imagine they will, so keep an eye on them.

The App War

Both Freshbooks and QuickBooks have solid apps. By far, Freshbooks blows the QuickBooks app away. Both are easy and do the job, but the manner in which QuickBooks displays the open invoices, payments and other transactions in the activity screen is useless, particularly while jogging in the morning and trying to bill someone concurrently. Here, Freshbooks takes the prize.

Here’s a few other points worth considering:

1. QuickBooks has capital and a long history. What doesn’t work, will get better, fast.

2. Quickbooks does it all, almost.

3. Freshbooks, well, doesn’t. Expense management is limited. Payroll is missing. Their really isn’t a chart of accounts or a check register as one would expect.

4. Intuit, QuickBooks parent company, should buy Freshbooks, learn from it and call it QuickAndFreshBooks.

I would love to hear what you think. Bookkeepers, accountants and business owners alike.

Be sure to check out We will be offering courses soon on Freshbooks and QuickBooks Online.

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