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By Erin Ryan Updated on October 14, 2021

FreshBooks vs. QuickBooks Review

FreshBooks vs. QuickBooks: How do the two accounting software platforms compare?

No doubt, both FreshBooks and QuickBooks bring some spreadsheet mojo to the table. That said, we’re reviewing the cost, user-friendliness and functionality of each program, so you can find out which one’s better for your business.

Freshbooks vs. QuickBooks Online: Overview of Basic Features

FreshBooks QuickBooks
Categorize expenses Turn estimates into invoices or create invoices from scratch
Unlimited time tracking Track income and expenses
Easily add billable hours to invoices Review profit and loss and balance sheets
Customized invoices (unlimited for up to 5 clients) Photo capture receipts to maximize tax deductions
Track inventory Track mileage
Track mileage via mobile Share your books with your tax professional or export important documents for tax season
Track sales and see reports Customize estimates and see estimate statuses
Assign roles and permissions to staff Accept mobile signatures
Easily collaborate between employees, clients and contractors Accept payments
Accept credit card payments and ACH transfers Automatically calculate sales tax
Add images and text content to proposals and estimates Forecast cash flow
FreshBooks for payroll option available by connecting FreshBooks to the Gusto app Assign vendor payments to 1099 categories, see payment history and prepare and file 1099s

All features noted above are included in the basic plan within each respective platform. Additional features and users are available at higher plan tiers. 

Advanced Features of FreshBooks and QuickBooks

FreshBooks 

Here are a few of the features for plan tiers above Lite, FreshBooks’ most basic option.

FreshBooks Plus FreshBooks Premium FreshBooks Select
Expenses tracked automatically X X X
Unlimited estimates, proposals and client retainers X X X
Automated recurring invoices X X X
Double-entry account reporting X X X
Bank reconciliation X X X
Accountant access X X X
Accounts payable X X
Customized email templates, signatures and automated client emails X X
Project profitability X X

FreshBooks charges a base monthly rate that varies by plan, plus $10 per month, per person, regardless of the plan.

QuickBooks 

While all QuickBook plans offer users all of the features previously noted, here are additional features for plans higher than base subscription (i.e., QuickBooks Simple Start).

QuickBooks Essentials
(access for 3 users)
QuickBooks Plus
(access for 5 users)
QuickBooks Advanced
(access for 25 users)
Pay bills X X X
Track time for employees or clients X X X
Generate sales, accounts receivable and accounts payable reports X X X
Manage inventory and bills X X
Monitor project profitability X X
Generate enhanced sales, profitability, template-based reports X X
Get business insights and analytics X
Create batch expenses and invoices X
Get custom dashboards and reporting X
Restore lost data X
Benefit from on-demand training and dedicated support team X

Freshbooks vs. QuickBooks Online: Pros and Cons

Ease of Use

FreshBooks QuickBooks
Easy-to-navigate menu Menu bar offers quick access to all system functions
Clean, eye-catching dashboard Multiple navigation subtabs could be overwhelming
Data displayed simply Better for individuals with some accounting experience

Here’s a view of FreshBooks’ online dashboard:

Snippet of FreshBook’s online dashboard with menu navigation options

Here’s a view of QuickBook Online’s dashboard:

Snippet of QuickBook’s online dashboard showing menu navigation options

Integration with Other Software

FreshBooks QuickBooks
Integration with more than 100 third-party apps (e.g., Stripe, HubSpot, Shopify) for the following:

  • Payroll
  • Inventory
  • Ecommerce
  • Customer relationship management 
  • Tax management
More than 650 apps available (e.g., PayPal, Bill Pay for QuickBooks, Salesforce, QuickBooks Time):

  • Documents
  • Marketing automation
  • Business credit
  • Customer relationship management
Can also connect to more than 1,500 apps using Zapier Connect with apps within the QuickBooks platform
  • Export FreshBooks Invoices to QuickBooks

    It is possible to export invoices from FreshBooks to QuickBooks, thanks to the ability to convert invoices to comma separated value (CSV) files. Once you download the CSV file, you can upload that CSV file to QuickBooks.

    Alternatively, third-party data integration apps, such as One SaaS or Skyvia, could sync data between FreshBooks and QuickBooks Online.

Customer Support

FreshBooks QuickBooks Online
  • Live support
  • Telephone support (M-F, 8AM-8PM)
  • Online help center
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Ask a question online
  • Live chat
  • Call-back option 
  • Resource library
  • Ask the online community
  • Get matched with certified advisors, bookkeepers and accountants

What’s the Difference Between FreshBooks vs. QuickBooks Self-Employed?

Here’s a comparison of some of the features of FreshBooks vs. QuickBooks Self-Employed:

FreshBooks QuickBooks Self-Employed
Invoice clients X X
Organize expenses X X
Generate basic reporting X X
Accept payments X X
Facilitate double-entry accounting X
Track inventory X
Track time X X (in beta)
Photo capture receipts with automatic entry of data X
Estimate quarterly taxes X
Track miles Only available for business owners X
File Taxes with Tax Bundle Option X

Here’s a snapshot of QuickBooks’ Self-Employed dashboard:

QuickBooks’ Self-Employed dashboard display with menu navigation options

As far as ratings go, FreshBooks earned an 8 out of 10 score on software review site TrustRadius. This was based on 159 reviews. Not too far off, QuickBooks Self-Employed earned an 8.5 out of 10 score based on 40 reviews. 

Here’s how reviewers compared the two accounting programs.

TrustRadius’ reviews of FreshBooks, which has a 4-star rating, vs. QuickBooks Self-Employed, which has a 4.5-star rating

Comparing FreshBooks Costs and QuickBooks Costs

Below is a breakdown of pricing for each platform as well as QuickBooks Desktop version.*

FreshBooks QuickBooks Online QuickBooks Desktop
  • Lite (5 billable clients)
    • Yearly price: $13.50 a month
    • Monthly price: $15 a month 
  • Plus (50 billable clients)
    • Yearly price: $22.50 a month
    • Monthly price: $25 a month
  • Premium (unlimited billable clients)
    • Yearly price: $45 a month
    • Monthly price: $50 a month
  • Select (unlimited billable clients) 
    • Custom pricing
  • Simple Start: $12.50 a month for the first 3 months, then $25 a month
  • Essentials: $20 a month for the first 3 months, then $40 a month
  • Plus: $35 a month for the first 3 months, then $70 a month
  • Advanced: $75 a month for the first 3 months, then $150 a month
  • Self-Employed: $7.50 a month for the first 3 months, then $15 a month (self-employed plans with TurboTax bundles are also available for additional fees)
  • Pro Plus 2021 
    • $199 a year
    • Up to 3 users
  • Premier Plus: 
    • $299.99 a year
    • Up to 5 users
  • Enterprise: 
    • $892.50 a year
    • Up to 40 users

*Pricing as of April 2021. For the most up-to-date pricing, please visit each company’s website. 

FreshBooks vs QuickBooks: Which Is Better in 2021?

Pink background with image of FreshBooks’ logo on one side and QuickBooks’ logo on the other

There’s no clear-cut answer to this question. It really depends on your needs. If you’re a solopreneur, FreshBooks’ accounting software is easy to use and has a solid list of features for freelancers or the self-employed. 

For small businesses with more in-depth needs, such as advanced reporting capabilities and tax assistance, QuickBooks may offer a better solution. 

If you still have questions, test them out for yourself. Both plans offer free trial periods, so you can determine which one’s better for your needs.

Erin has more than 15 years’ experience writing, proofreading and editing web content, technical documentation, instructional materials, marketing copy, editorials, social copy and creative content. In her role at Fast Capital 360, Erin covers topics of interest to small business owners, including sales, marketing, business management and financing.
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