Xero vs. QuickBooks: Which Of These Features Are Important To You?

Business owner using QuickBooks or Xero features to achieve efficiencies running her business

In the previous articles in our series on Xero vs. QuickBooks, we talked about how to set up the accounting software platform that makes sense for your business or practice. We also covered how to use the main functionality of each platform that you select to help run your business. In this third installment, we will talk about the various features and functionality that can help you achieve efficiencies using the selected platform.

You need to make sure the accounting system makes sense to you and supports your approach. While all accounting systems do essentially the same things, the way they do things can be very different.

Your ideal accounting system may include an accountant who can set up the system, the syncs, and integrations. It may include an accountant who can record and reconcile activity and provide periodic reports. Or, if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, this article may be the closest you come to an accountant until it’s tax time.

A key step in using the accounting system you selected is to consider what level of interaction you want with it. What matters to you in how you use software? Our goal in this article is to point out some things to consider while you ponder your desired use of your accounting software platform.

Xero vs. QuickBooks: Functionality and Features That Matter

Both QuickBooks Online and Xero can hold your financial data and create reports you can use to manage your business. They aren’t, however, the same. They are organized differently. Their processes are different. The way you get data in is different. The ability to create and modify reports are different. Here are some of the key differences that will apply to how you use the software platform you selected.

1. Dashboards

Dashboards are great. They give you a quick overview of your business. Both packages offer a dashboard but with slightly different focuses.

– QBO takes you directly to reports and graphs. It looks like a dashboard. If your underlying data is accurately and consistently recorded, then the dashboard can provide a lot of information. Interestingly, navigating QBO to get data can be a bit more confusing than Xero.

– The Xero dashboard includes some graphs. Some very high-level cash in and cash out information is presented on the dashboard. The lion’s share of the real estate on the dashboard, however, is focused on getting info into the system using the bank feeds. Getting your data into Xero is easier than QBO if you’ve set up bank feeds and a payroll integration. Getting information and reports out of this system, however, can be a bit more cumbersome than QBO.

2. Integrations

Both QBO and Xero offer integrations with third-party packages.

– Xero approached the creation of their accounting software platform to incorporate best-of-breed integrated solutions as a core component of their strategy. You can take a look at their partner library and find multiple partners for just about any solution you want to bolt on. In total, Xero offers 700+ third-party integrations.

– QBO was one of the first web-hosted accounting solutions targeting small businesses. When they started, there weren’t many complementary solutions with which to integrate. Because of this history, they tend to have a few more built-in solutions. While this can eliminate some of the challenges presented by using multiple vendors, you may not be as thrilled to use some of the built-in solutions. Check out their list of 650+ business app integrations.

3. Tools to Try Out

There are some other interesting tools that can help you achieve more efficiencies using Xero or QuickBooks.

– Xero has a feature called “Find and Recode.” This tool allows users to search transactions that may have been categorized in error and reclassify correctly in bulk.

– QBO has a mileage tracking tool built within the software subscription. This allows a user to track business miles traveled for expense reimbursement and tax reporting purposes.

In Conclusion: Which Features and Functionality Matter To You?

You want your chosen platform to work for you, not against you. You don’t want to spend too much time and effort trying to perform necessary tasks or trying to generate reports.

We can help you take advantage of the various features and functionality included in QuickBooks or Xero. We’ll also help you evaluate the integrations offered by both platforms to see which add-ons can help you achieve greater efficiencies.

We’ll meet you where you are. We’ll help you get to where you want to go. Talk to our Houston CPA firm about utilizing the capabilities of QuickBooks or Xero to support your business needs. Call us today to discuss. We can help!