8 min read

QuickBooks vs FreshBooks: Detailed Comparison Guide

In the digital age, having efficient and reliable accounting software isn’t just an option anymore, it’s an essential requirement for running any successful business. Remarkable solutions such as QuickBooks and FreshBooks have emerged to meet this demand, offering an array of features and functionalities tailored to streamline financial tasks and promote improved financial management. This discussion aims to take an in-depth look at these two leading contenders in the accounting software market, providing a comprehensive overview, a detailed comparison of their functionalities, an outline of their strengths and weaknesses, and a discussion of their suitability for different types of businesses. With this understanding, business owners can make informed decisions on the best software to suit their unique needs.

Overview of QuickBooks and FreshBooks

Overview of QuickBooks

QuickBooks is an accounting software package developed and marketed by Intuit Inc. The American company is known for its financial management tools designed primarily for small and medium-sized businesses. QuickBooks’s inception dates back to the 1980s when Scott Cook and Tom Proulx cofounded Intuit. Since then, QuickBooks has emerged as one of the leading accounting software worldwide.

Features offered by QuickBooks primarily include business payroll functionality, operations management, invoicing, bill payments, expense tracking, and detailed financial reporting. Users can also attach receipts to expenses, create custom estimates, schedule recurring invoices, and sync with their bank accounts in real time, promoting seamless financial operations.

QuickBooks offers a tiered pricing structure that caters to different business needs. The Simple Start plan, priced at $25 per month, covers basic functions like receipt organization and mileage tracking. Their intermediate tier, Essentials, priced at $40 per month, adds bill management and time tracking capabilities. The Plus plan, priced at $70 per month, includes features for project and inventory management. The Advanced plan, at $150 per month, expands these capabilities for larger businesses and includes a dedicated account team.

Understanding FreshBooks

FreshBooks emerged in the business landscape in 2003 as an invoicing and time-tracking tool developed by a small business owner, Mike McDerment. It has grown into a widely-used cloud-based accounting software largely favoured by small businesses and freelancers. Its intuitive interface ensures a user-friendly experience, and its extensive customer service facilitates simplified financial management for those without an accounting background.

The platform incorporates a diverse range of functions aimed at simplifying financial tasks, such as invoicing, expense tracking, time tracking, online payments, reporting, and cost estimating. Moreover, it provides the convenience of logging and categorizing expenses, timing billable hours using a built-in instrument, automating client payment reminders, and designing comprehensive financial reports.

With an aim to cater to various business needs, FreshBooks offers multiple pricing tiers. The $15 per month Lite plan, apt for businesses having up to 5 clients, covers essential features like invoicing, expense and time tracking. The Plus plan, costing $25 per month, expands its reach to 50 billable clients and includes features such as payment reminders, scheduled late fees, and client retainers. The Premium plan, priced at $50, can accommodate up to 500 billable clients. Alternatively, custom plans are available for larger businesses with specific requirements.

Though FreshBooks and QuickBooks are frequently drawn into comparison, they essentially cater to different audiences. QuickBooks finds its niche among businesses seeking robust, all-inclusive accounting software, while FreshBooks excels in its unparalleled simplicity and emphasis on client billing requirements. As such, a direct comparison may not be justified given their diverse scopes and superiority in different areas. Prospective users should align their choice with their specific business needs and priorities.

Detailed Comparison

QuickBooks Compared with FreshBooks: Essential Functionalities and Features

Both QuickBooks and FreshBooks are emerging as leading contenders in the accounting software realm. QuickBooks, a product of Intuit, serves as an exhaustive platform oriented towards supporting small to mid-sized businesses, on the other hand, the design and functionalities of FreshBooks are primarily targeted towards meeting the requirements of small business owners and freelancers.


Both Quickbooks and Freshbooks offer robust invoicing capabilities. QuickBooks has customizable invoice templates, automatic matching of payments to invoices, and a feature to schedule recurring invoices. FreshBooks has similar features but stands-out with its ability to accept credit card payments directly through invoices.

Expense Tracking

On the expense tracking front, QuickBooks integrates smoothly with bank accounts for automatic update of expenses, supports photo uploading of receipts, and provides a clear view of income and expenditures. FreshBooks also offers automatic expense import from bank accounts and allows for custom expense categories, but its standout feature is the ability to mark expenses as billable to clients.

Time Tracking

With regard to time tracking, QuickBooks stands tall thanks to its project profitability feature which records the time spent on a project against the billed amount. FreshBooks takes things a step further by enabling tracking of unbillable time, the ability to add tracked time to invoices, and a team time tracking feature, making it ideal for collaboration.


When it comes to reporting, QuickBooks provides numerous pre-built reports, which can be customized according to business needs. Its reports are also more comprehensive and detailed. FreshBooks has less depth in its reporting, but it does offer essential financial reports such as profit and loss, sales tax summary, and invoice details.

Ease of Use

QuickBooks is powerful, but there’s a steep learning curve associated with it. On the other hand, FreshBooks is known for its incredibly user-friendly interface, with intuitive navigation, straightforward setup, and easy-to-understand features.

Customer Service

While both software platforms offer customer support, the service levels vary. QuickBooks offers phone and chat support, and a comprehensive help center. FreshBooks matches QuickBooks with phone and email support, a detailed online knowledge base, but also offers a callback feature to cut down on wait times.

User Reviews and Ratings

Users of QuickBooks have praised the platform’s depth of functionality and numerous integrations, but have expressed frustrations over the lack of customer service response and steep learning curve. Meanwhile, FreshBooks users applaud the platform’s ease of use, customer-friendly interface, and top-notch customer service, but also note the limited depth of its reporting functionality.

Final Thoughts

Comparing QuickBooks and FreshBooks reveals insights into their strengths and challenges. Both of these accounting software solutions may have attributes that align with the needs of your small business. It is vital to understand these aspects for selecting the right accounting software for your business operations.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Comparing User Experiences: QuickBooks and FreshBooks

The user experiences that QuickBooks and FreshBooks provide differ significantly. QuickBooks, for instance, delivers more sophisticated features but might be a bit challenging to navigate for its comprehensive financial tracking and reporting systems. While this could be beneficial to some, it may overwhelm those who are new to accounting or prefer simpler interfaces.

FreshBooks, however, leans more towards simplicity and user friendliness. Hence, it can be an ideal choice for the self-employed or smaller businesses that seek an accessible way to manage time tracking, expenses, invoicing, and online payments.

Both QuickBooks and FreshBooks offer mobile apps for iOS and Android platforms. Although, the reviews suggest users tend to find FreshBooks’ mobile app more user-friendly and functional compared to its QuickBooks counterpart.

Customer Support: Quickbooks vs. Freshbooks

Quickbooks and Freshbooks both offer customer support; however, their methods of support vary. QuickBooks offers a robust Help Center with articles and video tutorials. They also offer phone support, a community forum, and live chat during certain hours, as well as an “Ask the Expert” feature. Customers have reported mixed experiences with QuickBooks’ customer service, noting that they sometimes experience long wait times.

FreshBooks also offers a selection of support options, including email, phone, and an online knowledge base. Users report a high level of satisfaction with FreshBooks’ customer support, frequently highlighting the team’s responsiveness and helpfulness.

Integrations: Quickbooks vs. Freshbooks

When it comes to integrations, both QuickBooks and FreshBooks interact effectively with many platforms. QuickBooks slightly leads in this area, integrating with a larger array of third-party apps—about 600, compared to FreshBooks, which integrates with over 100 apps. Examples of these integrations include online payment processors, sales tools, and marketing platforms.

Price: Quickbooks vs. Freshbooks

Both Quickbooks and Freshbooks have different pricing tiers targeted at the size and scope of different businesses. QuickBooks’ pricing starts from $25 a month for their Simple Start plan and goes up to $180 a month for the Advanced plan. Each increment in plans offers more features such as bill management, time tracking, and inventory tracking.

FreshBooks’ pricing starts at $15 a month for the Lite plan and goes up to $50 a month for the Premium plan. The difference in the tiers is mainly on the number of billable clients you can have, starting from 5 clients for the Lite plan up to 500 clients for the Premium plan.

It’s important to note that while FreshBooks’ plans might seem more affordable, each additional user costs $10/month. So, for teams with multiple users, this could significantly increase the cost, whereas with QuickBooks, the cost of multiple users is built into the pricing tiers.

To Summarize

When analyzing both QuickBooks and FreshBooks, it becomes apparent that each offers unique assets and drawbacks, catered to various users. QuickBooks, while being a more expensive option, delivers a wide array of advanced and in-depth features, making it an ideal candidate for larger businesses requiring comprehensive accounting solutions. Meanwhile, FreshBooks stands out with its streamlined interface and impressive customer service. It is best suited for freelancers and small businesses with simpler accounting essentials.

Suitability for Different Businesses

Delving Deeper into QuickBooks and FreshBooks: A Closer Look at their Key Features

Both QuickBooks and FreshBooks dominate the market as top-tier accounting software options. QuickBooks, a creation of Intuit, delivers a spectrum of functionalities designed specifically for the needs of small to midsize businesses. These functions span from invoicing to bill management, payment processing, tax prep work, and even payroll support.

Meanwhile, FreshBooks, which originated as a basic invoicing tool, has continually grown in functionality while also preserving its effortless user experience and comprehensible interface. The software shines with features including expense and time tracking, project management, and client retainers, all alongside invoicing.

Business Size and Industry: Who uses QuickBooks and FreshBooks?

According to general industry assessments, QuickBooks is well-suited for a wide range of business sizes, from solo entrepreneurs to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). While larger businesses or corporations may use QuickBooks, they often opt for more robust enterprise solutions. QuickBooks has users across multiple industries, including but not limited to retail, non-profit, manufacturing, and professional services.

FreshBooks, however, is largely targeted at freelancers and small businesses. It is especially valuable for service-based industries, due to its robust time tracking and project management features. Creative professionals, consultants, and firms providing legal, marketing, or architectural services often find FreshBooks meets their unique needs better than other software.

Considering the Budget: Pricing of QuickBooks and FreshBooks

QuickBooks generally has plans that are more expensive than FreshBooks. The initial prices for QuickBooks range from $25 to $150 per month, depending on the plan, whereas FreshBooks charges between $15 and $50 per month. However, both software options often have promotional pricing for the first few months.

While QuickBooks is generally more expensive, business owners should remember that it often provides more feature-packed options. Therefore, businesses with more complex needs might find that QuickBooks offers better value for money.

Specific Business Needs: Evaluating the Niche offerings

Both QuickBooks and FreshBooks cater to specific niches in their offerings. For instance, QuickBooks has a version specifically geared towards independent contractors (QuickBooks Self-Employed) that makes it easy to track and categorize expenses, and calculate estimated quarterly taxes.

Contrastingly, FreshBooks provides strong project management features, making it an attractive choice for businesses that need to manage and bill for project-based work. Additionally, its user-friendly interface and efficient customer service make it popular among businesses with less accounting experience.

The decision between QuickBooks and FreshBooks comes down to the nature and size of a business, the industry within which it operates, budget constraints, and specific features that may be vital for business operations. Both platforms provide excellent accounting solutions, but their suitability will depend largely on individual business needs and circumstances.

After meticulously examining both QuickBooks and FreshBooks, it’s clear that each software offers unique benefits and boasts an impressive array of functionalities aimed at making financial management effortless for businesses. While QuickBooks excels in some aspects, FreshBooks holds its ground firmly in others. The choice between the two isn’t purely black-and-white, as the best pick largely depends on the specific requirements, business size, industry, and budget constraints that are unique to each business. Regardless of the choice businesses make, both QuickBooks and FreshBooks are reliable companions committed to simplifying accounting tasks and contributing significantly towards the growth and success of businesses.