Quickbooks vs Freshbooks vs Wave Accounting Software
Quickbooks vs Freshbooks vs Wave Accounting Software: Which Should You Choose?
When setting up “the books” for small business accounting, most business owners select Quickbooks because it’s the most-used and best-known small business accounting software. It’s also the most universal application for accountants. There are hundreds of accounting software applications on the market. Some are completely web-based and others are installed on your computer. Yet, many business owners may not even know that they have alternatives to Quickbooks, let alone a couple of very popular ones that are absolutely free! Freshbooks and Wave Accounting both have free options that could serve many businesses without the need for paid upgrades. Usually the only time a fee is required is when the business needs payroll services. Here are some pieces of information that can help you in your decision when choosing accounting software for your business:
Quickbooks is so universal that some accountants don’t work with any other program. If you’re even considering not using Quickbooks, then check with your accountant first. However, a good accountant should be flexible enough to use any accounting software since the practice, principles and resulting financials are all the same no matter what program you use.
Web-based applications, such as Quickbooks, Freshbooks or Wave will allow you to add administrators, such as your accountant and bookkeeper if you’re hiring one. You and the administrators that you add will be able to access your accounting records from anywhere with internet access. This is very similar to a lot of marketing software programs and applications. This feature helps so much when you have a team that works remotely.
The most inexpensive version of Quickbooks is Quickbooks Online. Their recent update to the user interface has aggravated many business owners who liked the old interface better. If you have any experience with the previous version of Quickbooks, then one piece of advice that I received from an accountant is to try to get the regular version of Quickbooks (not Quickbooks Online) but still get it cloud hosted. That way you still get a web-based software with an interface that you’re used to.
Since Freshbooks and Wave accounting are free, they can be very useful for small businesses who are starting on a low budget.
All accounting software will have a learning curve. Personally I’ve tried Wave Accounting which has a very intuitive and easy-to-learn user interface. I selected Wave Accounting because of their receipt scanning feature and other free features that are not included with the free version of Freshbooks.
Quickbooks, Freshbooks and Wave Accounting may all be the wrong programs for your particular business. Some businesses, even if they’re small and/or start ups, may decide to choose an program that is developed specifically for their industry.
For more thorough comparisons of accounting software, try the following pages:
- Capterra’s Accounting Software Page.
- GetApp.com’s Comparison of Quickbooks, Freshbooks and Wave.
- CPApracticeadvisor.com’s 2014 Review of Small Business Accounting Systems.
If you have any advice on choosing accounting software, leave a comment below.