Why QuickBooks and FreshBooks Are Not Competing


Accounting. Invoices. Finances. Payroll.

For some, it’s the stuff of dreams. For others, the stuff of nightmares.

Honestly, just hearing the word “finance” makes me stressed. I wish I was kidding. So if anything makes my business accounting and invoicing a little simpler, I’m a big fan.

While there’s always the age-old option to hire someone whose math skills go beyond basic addition and subtraction, there are also a plethora of online, user-friendly accounting systems out there to make your life a little simpler. We use two rather popular programs simultaneously; QuickBooks and FreshBooks.

Why both? Well, for us, they have two very different functions. While both are great tools, they have different features which can make them complementary rather than just competitive.

Freshbooks is great for invoicing, time-tracking, and has a solid client portal where clients can go to see what products and services they’ve paid for. Whereas Quickbooks does a lot more of our accounting for us. We use Quickbooks to run our P&Ls, see a Balance Sheet, review the ledger, make journal entries, do payroll, reconcile our bank accounts, and it will sync cash deposited via internet deposits via Stripe and other payment methods in Freshbooks with the bank accounts.

Here’s a comparison of the two programs’ features:


  • Ideal for small businesses (1 – 100 employees).
  • Can accommodate your business as it grows.
  • Has accounting features such as double-entry accounting, accounts payable, full bank reconciliation, taxes, job costing and inventory tracking.
  • Great for taxes, particularly if you use Quicken for your personal finances.
  • Provides a holistic view of your businesses financial health.
  • While more cost effective, it requires more time and skill to use the software effectively.
  • Contractors/vendors would have to send an invoice to an accountant, who would then have to enter them into QuickBooks.
  • Has a powerful add-on for doing payroll.
  • Can control which users (or employees) can enter or edit data.
  • FreshBooks

  • Ideal for small/start-up businesses with simple accounting needs.
  • Easier to invoice clients directly.
  • Slightly more expensive, but intuitively designed for comprehensive use.
  • Easier for contractor/vendor invoicing as it can be sent directly to you.
  • Ideal for businesses that do not keep inventory counts.
  • Automated emailing for clients, even keeps track of when a customer has viewed an invoice (no more of the “we never received your invoice, can you waive the late fee?” response from clients).
  • Limited control over your user’s permissions.
  • Both

  • Secure, cloud-based data storage.
  • Both services have a single-user plan and multi-user plans.
  • Both QBO and FreshBooks are relatively easy to operate and have a simple setup and smooth, intuitive interface.
  • Here’s a comparison of the two programs’ price points:

    QuickBooks Pricing

  • QuickBooks Online Essentials: $26.95/pm
  • QuickBooks Online Plus: $39.95/pm
  • Free 30 day trial
  • Turn on Enhanced Payroll for an additional $27.30/mo + $2/mo. per employee
  • Turn on Payments for an additional fee
  • FreshBooks Pricing

  • Freemium account – trial/use as a contractor under someone else’s account
  • Free trial for 30 days
  • Free trial doesn’t include all FreshBooks features
  • Four pricing options provided
    1. Sprout: $9.95/mo – Up to five clients. One user
    2. Seedling: $19.95/mo – Up to 25 clients. One user
    3. Evergreen: $39.95/mo – Up to 250 clients. Up to two users. Additional users for $10/month each
    4. Mighty Oak: $79.95/mo – Unlimited clients. Up to six users. You can add additional users for $10/month each.
  • Additional contractors added for free
  • No contracts
  • Pay monthly and cancel the service at any time.
  • Both

  • Free trial available
  • No credit card
  • Subscription based
  • Here’s a comparison of the two programs’ customer service:


  • Ranked #610 out of the 894 companies that have a CustomerServiceScoreboard.com
  • Overall score of 27.36 out of a possible 200 based upon 446 ratings.
  • Some complain they have reported bugs months ago which still haven’t been fixed.
  • Unresponsive to users.
  • FreshBooks

  • Customer support is available Monday – Friday, 8am – 8pm EST.
  • No hold time, no annoying voice recognition menus.
  • Online Form – You can submit inquiries via FreshBooks’ online contact form.
  • Social Media – FreshBooks maintains an active presence on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Online Help Center – FreshBooks offers a FAQ section and two tutorial videos.
  • software

    In the end, which program you choose boils down to what your business needs and your personal preference. While QuickBooks is the natural choice for meeting all of your accounting needs, FreshBooks is an easy-to-use tool for small business owners looking for an invoicing software. QuickBooks is more expensive starting at $26.95 per month while FreshBooks has many pricing options with the lowest starting at $9.95 a month. FreshBooks seems to provide better customer support, which is a plus. But with all the accounting features that QuickBooks has, you really have to take the specific needs you have into consideration. Both have free trials, so it may be a good idea to try both and see which adds the most value to your company!

    So go forth and account! You can do it!

    Jason Long

    Jason Long is the founder and CEO of BrainLeaf. A self-professed serial entrepreneur, he is always interested in new businesses, new ideas, and new ways to change the world. He has over 15 years of experience in design and development and has served in a variety of different roles ranging from designer to CEO. He spends most of his time focusing on the build and development of new ventures while trying to travel the world.