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Choosing Between FreshBooks & QuickBooks for Small Businesses


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When it comes to accounting solutions for small businesses, FreshBooks and QuickBooks are both prominent names that surface. Each of these software programs is designed to simplify financial management and has unique features and functionalities that cater to different business needs. This comprehensive analysis will delve into the nuances of both FreshBooks and QuickBooks—taking into account aspects such as their main features, pricing, usability, customer support, and, of course, customer reviews and recommendations. The ultimate goal is to provide a clear perspective on these platforms, thereby empowering small business owners to make an informed decision tailored to their specific requirements.

Overview of FreshBooks and QuickBooks

Overview of FreshBooks and QuickBooks

FreshBooks is a powerful accounting software designed to benefit small businesses and self-employed professionals. It was initialized back in 2003 by 2ndSite Inc., based in Toronto, Canada. Today, it is serving over 24 million people around the globe and continues to gain influence in the niche market of small businesses and freelance industries. The platform is best known for its superb invoicing features including customizable invoices, automatic invoice follow-up, and the ability to accept credit card and ACH payments. Apart from this, it also offers expense tracking and time tracking tools, and allows for easy integration with many other small business solutions.

On the other hand, QuickBooks, created by the financial software giant Intuit, has been a mainstay in the accounting software industry since its inception in the late 1980s. It is often cited as one of the best overall accounting software options, especially for small to medium-sized businesses. QuickBooks prides itself on features such as income and expense tracking, invoice and payment acceptance, inventory tracking, and payroll processing. Additionally, it offers powerful reporting tools, hundreds of integrations and it provides different versions to cater to various business needs such as QuickBooks Online, Desktop, Self-Employed and Enterprise.

Both software options have significant influence within the market. According to data from Datanyze, as of 2021, QuickBooks holds the largest market share in the accounting sector, occupying approximately 58.23%. FreshBooks, on the other hand, holds about 2.89% market share. However, FreshBooks has established a strong presence in niche markets like freelance and consultant businesses.

Evaluating FreshBooks and QuickBooks for Small Businesses

Navigating the world of small business accounting can be complex, but two platforms stand out: FreshBooks and QuickBooks. Known for its user-friendly interface, FreshBooks makes generating professional-grade invoices easy and offers excellent client and project management features. These aspects are especially useful for service-oriented businesses.

On the flip side, QuickBooks excels in providing strong reporting and tax support, with more diverse report options than FreshBooks. An essential feature of QuickBooks is its capacity to automatically sort transactions by tax category and its integrated process for tracking and managing sales tax- a vital resource for small businesses.

Moreover, both FreshBooks and QuickBooks offer a range of pricing plans tailored to different business needs and sizes. FreshBooks’ pricing structure is unique, basing its cost on the number of billable clients. Meanwhile, QuickBooks’ pricing is built around features with each successive plan offering a more comprehensive set of tools.

Deciding between FreshBooks and QuickBooks will ultimately depend on a small business’s specific needs and resources. Factors such as the sector, size of the business, budget, and specific accounting requirements all play a crucial role in this decision-making process. Both platforms offer substantial features but cater to diversely different facets of small business operations.

Features Comparison

Comparing FreshBooks and QuickBooks: Invoicing Capabilities

Both FreshBooks and QuickBooks are equipped with powerful invoicing features, but they differ in the details of their functionalities. FreshBooks holds an edge with its ability to customize invoices extensively, enabling users to incorporate their branding elements such as logos, color schemes, and personalized thank you emails. Additionally, FreshBooks support multi-language invoicing, further increasing its user-friendliness.

Expense Tracking

FreshBooks and QuickBooks both offer reliable expense tracking features. FreshBooks provides an easy-to-navigate interface for tracking expenses and categorizing them for tax purposes. It also allows users to attach expense receipts to the invoice directly, making it a simpler, user-friendly application for small businesses.

On the other hand, QuickBooks offers receipt capture and mileage tracking in their expense features. QuickBooks uses OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology to automatically fill out expense forms based on scanned receipts, which reduces manual work. This is highly beneficial for businesses dealing with a high volume of expenses.


When it comes to financial report generation, QuickBooks surpasses FreshBooks with a more comprehensive suite of reports. It offers over 50 types of reports, including profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements, providing small businesses with an in-depth analysis of their financial health.

FreshBooks, while less extensive, provides essential reports like taxes, profit and loss, expenses, and invoice details. It proves to be more user-friendly with its selection of visual reports for businesses that prefer simplicity and a quick overview.

Integration Capabilities

Both platforms offer a wide range of integration possibilities. FreshBooks integrates with numerous third-party applications like G Suite, Shopify, Gusto, Stripe, and more, making it a versatile tool that can fit into various business models.

QuickBooks connects with an equally extensive pool of third-party apps. Moreover, it integrates with tax software, which simplifies the tax filing process. However, some users find integrating QuickBooks with other tools more challenging than FreshBooks due to its more complex interface.


Both platforms have their limitations. FreshBooks lacks more comprehensive and in-depth reporting features that QuickBooks provides, making it less suitable for businesses requiring detailed financial analysis. While FreshBooks is user-friendly, its features may be too basic for larger or more complex businesses.

Conversely, QuickBooks has a steeper learning curve due to its rich feature set and complex interface. Some users find it less intuitive than FreshBooks, making it potentially more time-consuming to master. However, for those who can navigate its complexity, it offers a broader range of capabilities.


In a nutshell, both FreshBooks and QuickBooks are equipped with a wealth of features specifically tailored for small businesses. However, the decision to choose between them ultimately hinges on several individual factors. These include the intricacy of the reports, the need for integration, and the simplicity of the user experience.

Pricing Structures

Understanding FreshBooks Pricing Model

FreshBooks has different pricing tiers suitable for small businesses looking for enhanced bookkeeping and accounting solutions. The entry-level tier, the Lite package, is available at $15/month and caters to up to five clients you can bill. For a wider client range, the Plus package is an ideal fit, priced at $25/month, encapsulating up to 50 clients. Adding extra users will cost $10 per month for each individual.

For businesses requiring a more extensive client limit and additional specialized features, the FreshBooks Premium package, which is billed at $50/month, permits up to 500 clients to be billed. Each FreshBooks pricing tier includes the ability to send unrestricted personalized invoices and has an unlimited time tracking tool incorporated in the package. These offerings could yield significant value for money, particularly if they are crucial for your business operations.

Lastly, the Select plan can be a practical choice for your small business if you have more than 500 clients. This plan comes with premium features and extras, such as personal account managers, team-specific training, as well as lower transaction rates, making it a comprehensive custom plan. The cost of this plan would be determined in accordance with your business’s specific requirements.

QuickBooks Pricing Structure

In comparison, QuickBooks offers different plans starting from $25/month (the Simple Start plan) to $180/month (Advanced plan) for its online services. These plans accommodate an increasing range of features as you move up through the tiers.

The Simple Start plan, QuickBooks’ base level, allows for unlimited invoices and expense tracking. For $40/month, the Essentials plan includes time tracking and bill management features, while the Plus package at $70/month adds project tracking and inventory tracking features. All these features can provide considerable value for a business that requires a comprehensive financial management tool.

One of the key differences with QuickBooks is that all its plans allow for adding unlimited users, unlike FreshBooks. However, the transaction fees, which can range from 1-4%, could add up depending on your business volume.

The Advanced plan best suits growing businesses that need to scale with advanced features. With $180/month, you can access features like business analytics and insights, custom user permissions, dedicated account managers, on-demand online training, automated workflows, and more.

Potential Discounts

Both FreshBooks and QuickBooks offer potential discounts to customers. FreshBooks gives users the option to save up to 10% on yearly subscriptions when paid in advance. Similarly, QuickBooks regularly offers new customers a 50% discount for their first three months. Considering these discounts, businesses can find substantial value in committing to a long-term plan with either platform.


To sum it up, both FreshBooks and QuickBooks offer pricing plans to suit different business needs and budgets. The choice of picking FreshBooks or QuickBooks for your small business primarily depends on your specific requirements, user count, and the importance you assign to the features each software provides.

Usability and Customer Support

Usability: FreshBooks vs QuickBooks

In terms of usability, both FreshBooks and QuickBooks offer fairly direct and user-friendly interfaces, though each brings a unique user experience.

FreshBooks offers a modern, intuitive design that’s easy to navigate, even for those with little technological expertise. Its sleek interface and simple functionality reduce the time spent getting acquainted with the system. Apart from being accessible via any browser, FreshBooks also has a highly-rated mobile app compatible with both iOS and Android devices, making it very accessible.

Conversely, QuickBooks sticks to a standard design that isn’t as aesthetically pleasing as FreshBooks, but it’s been trusted in the industry for years. It adopts a more comprehensive feature set and its somewhat complex interface may require a little more time to grasp completely. QuickBooks is accessible via a browser, yet its standout feature is the mobile and desktop applications. Also, QuickBooks allows integration with hundreds of third-party apps, thereby extending its reach for various business requirements.

Customer Support: FreshBooks vs QuickBooks

Customer support is another important consideration. Both FreshBooks and QuickBooks offer extensive support but differ in their methods and availability.

FreshBooks offers numerous ways for customers to receive assistance. The company has a robust online help center with guides, FAQs, and the ability to submit a ticket for more complex queries. In addition, they offer phone support Monday through Friday during business hours. FreshBooks also offers a strong social media presence where customers can touch base.

QuickBooks offers a few more support options, including phone support, chat support, and a vast online community where users can ask questions and share advice. QuickBooks also provides advanced tutorials, video guides, and weekly webinars to educate their customers. However, some customers report difficulties getting in touch with customer service, longer wait times, and inconsistent quality of customer service with QuickBooks.

In terms of customer support, QuickBooks has a wider range of services, but FreshBooks seems to be more reliable and user-friendly.

Device Compatibility: FreshBooks vs QuickBooks

Device compatibility is an essential aspect in our technologically advanced age. Both FreshBooks and QuickBooks understand this need and cater to it through robust mobile applications.

The FreshBooks mobile app, available on both iOS and Android platforms, has received positive feedback for its usability and features. However, it’s important to note that some functions are limited on the mobile app when contrasted to the desktop version.

Similarly, QuickBooks offers a mobile app for iOS and Android users. The application is highly regarded for its quality, although it’s mentioned that it has a somewhat steep learning curve. Unlike FreshBooks, QuickBooks ensures that almost all functionalities found on the desktop version are also available on its mobile app.

In summary, both FreshBooks and QuickBooks address the needs of small businesses through their specific features and services. Where FreshBooks shines with its user-friendly interface and prompt customer service, QuickBooks provides a comprehensive suite boasting a vast array of features and seamless integration with third-party apps. The decision between these two major player should take into account your specific business requirements and preferences.

Customer Reviews and Recommendations

Consumer Feedback on FreshBooks for Small Businesses

FreshBooks is praised by its users for its user-friendly interface, robust set of features, and excellent customer service. According to Capterra, FreshBooks enjoys an average rating of 4.5 out of 5, suggesting a high level of satisfaction in its user base. Among the platform’s standout features, users frequently mention its time tracking, invoicing, and expense management capabilities. FreshBooks is also known for its project management features, which small business owners find useful in keeping track of task progress and team productivity.

User Reviews on QuickBooks for Small Businesses

Similarly, QuickBooks enjoys positive reviews by its users, scoring an average of 4.3 out of 5 on Capterra. It’s lauded for its comprehensive financial management tools, offering robust reporting capabilities, detailed financial analyses, and depth of features in aspects such as tax filing and payroll management. Some users find QuickBooks to be an integral tool for their business, helping them manage complex financial tasks with ease.

Expert Recommendations

From an expert perspective, both FreshBooks and QuickBooks have their strengths and might appeal to different businesses based on their needs. FreshBooks is often recommended for service-based businesses or freelancers who need efficient time-tracking and project management features alongside their accounting needs. On the other hand, QuickBooks’ sophisticated financial analysis tools and advanced reporting feature are picked up by businesses with more sophisticated accounting needs.

It is emphasized for potential users to clearly delineate their requirements before choosing an accounting software. Factors like business size, industry, required features, and budget should be considered. Additionally, taking advantage of free trials offered by both platforms can be a practical way to see if the system suits the specific needs of one’s business before committing.

After taking the journey through the intricate landscape of these two potent software applications, one thing is clear: FreshBooks and QuickBooks are both capable of adding tremendous value to small businesses in their unique ways. They each exhibit strengths in different areas, reflecting their commitment to simplifying the financial management process for a wide array of businesses. However, the final decision ultimately boils down to what aligns best with the unique requisites of each business—whether it’s the robust reporting functionalities of QuickBooks, or the excellent invoicing and usability of FreshBooks. Hence, small business owners are advised to consider their specific needs and challenges, to opt for the solution that provides the most fitting, value-rich response.