Accounting Software, QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online vs Xero for Small Businesses

Team members exploring QuickBooks Online vs Xero

QuickBooks Online is designed for small to mid-sized businesses that need comprehensive accounting and financial management tools. It excels in offering a broad range of features, including inventory management, payroll, and extensive integrations with other business apps. Xero, on the other hand, is suitable for small businesses and startups that value a user-friendly interface and robust accounting capabilities with strong multi-currency support. Key differences include QuickBooks Online’s advanced inventory and payroll features, while Xero stands out with its ease of use and unlimited users.

When to Use QuickBooks Online vs Xero

QuickBooks Online

  • Businesses with Employees: QuickBooks Online offers robust payroll management, making it ideal for small to mid-sized businesses that need to manage employee payroll, taxes, and benefits efficiently. The integrated payroll feature streamlines the entire process, ensuring compliance with tax regulations and simplifying payroll operations.
  • SMBs with Multiple Revenue Streams: Businesses with diverse revenue streams benefit from QuickBooks Online’s detailed financial tracking and reporting capabilities. The platform allows users to manage multiple income sources, track profitability across different segments, and generate comprehensive financial reports, aiding in better decision-making and financial planning.
  • Companies Needing Extensive Integrations with Other Business Apps: QuickBooks Online supports a wide range of integrations with other business applications, including CRM, e-commerce, and POS systems. This makes it a suitable choice for businesses that rely on a connected ecosystem of software tools to manage their operations efficiently.
  • Businesses Needing Inventory Management: QuickBooks Online provides advanced inventory management features that help businesses track inventory levels, manage orders, and monitor product sales. This is particularly beneficial for businesses that deal with physical products and need to maintain accurate inventory records.
  • Service-Based Businesses Seeking Project Management Features: QuickBooks Online offers project management tools that allow service-based businesses to track project expenses, monitor progress, and bill clients accurately. These features help businesses manage projects more effectively and ensure that all billable hours and costs are accounted for.


  • Startups and Small Businesses: Xero is designed with startups and small businesses in mind, offering an easy-to-use interface and essential accounting features. It provides everything a small business needs to manage its finances, from invoicing to expense tracking, in a user-friendly package.
  • Businesses Operating Internationally: Xero’s strong multi-currency support makes it an excellent choice for businesses that operate internationally. It allows users to manage transactions in multiple currencies, track exchange rates, and generate multi-currency reports, simplifying international financial management.
  • Businesses That Need Unlimited Users: Unlike QuickBooks Online, which limits the number of users based on the subscription plan, Xero allows unlimited users at no additional cost. This makes it ideal for growing businesses that need multiple team members to access the accounting system.

QuickBooks Online vs Xero: Features

QuickBooks Online and Xero both offer a range of features to help small businesses manage their finances, but QuickBooks Online stands out in several areas.


  • QuickBooks Online: Offers customizable invoicing with the ability to create and send professional invoices, track payments, and set up recurring invoices. It also provides insights into unpaid invoices and helps automate the invoicing process, making it more suitable for businesses with complex invoicing needs.
  • Xero: Provides invoicing features with a focus on simplicity. Users can create and send invoices, set up recurring invoices, and track payment statuses. While Xero offers essential invoicing capabilities, it lacks some of the advanced customization options available in QuickBooks Online.

Expense Tracking

  • QuickBooks Online: Allows users to track expenses by linking bank accounts and credit cards, automatically categorizing transactions, and capturing receipts via mobile apps. It offers detailed expense reports to monitor spending, providing a more comprehensive expense tracking solution.
  • Xero: Also offers expense tracking with automatic transaction categorization and receipt capture. However, QuickBooks Online’s expense management features are more robust, making it a better choice for businesses that require detailed expense tracking and reporting.

Bank Reconciliation

  • QuickBooks Online: Provides automated bank reconciliation, matching bank transactions with those recorded in QuickBooks. This feature ensures that financial records are accurate and up-to-date, offering more sophisticated reconciliation tools.
  • Xero: Offers similar bank reconciliation capabilities, automatically matching bank transactions and allowing users to manually reconcile any discrepancies. While Xero’s reconciliation is effective, QuickBooks Online’s advanced tools provide a more seamless experience.


  • QuickBooks Online: Offers a wide range of customizable financial reports, including profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and cash flow reports. These reports help businesses gain insights into their financial performance, offering more in-depth analysis and customization options.
  • Xero: Provides detailed financial reporting with customizable templates. Users can generate various reports to track business performance, but QuickBooks Online’s reporting capabilities are more comprehensive, making it the superior choice for businesses that need detailed financial analysis.

Payroll Management

  • QuickBooks Online: Includes comprehensive payroll management features, allowing businesses to process payroll, manage employee benefits, and handle payroll taxes. It simplifies the payroll process and ensures compliance with tax regulations, offering a more integrated payroll solution.
  • Xero: Offers payroll management, but its capabilities vary by region. Xero’s payroll features are integrated with its accounting software, but QuickBooks Online’s payroll system is more robust and reliable, making it a better option for businesses with significant payroll needs.

Multi-Currency Support

  • QuickBooks Online: Supports multi-currency transactions, enabling businesses to manage international transactions and generate multi-currency reports. This feature is particularly useful for businesses with global operations, offering a more advanced multi-currency management system.
  • Xero: Excels in multi-currency support, allowing users to handle transactions in multiple currencies and track exchange rates. Xero’s multi-currency features are strong, but QuickBooks Online offers comparable functionality with additional integration options.

Project Management

  • QuickBooks Online: Includes project management tools that help businesses track project expenses, monitor progress, and manage billable hours. These features are beneficial for service-based businesses that need to manage multiple projects, offering more advanced project management capabilities.
  • Xero: Offers project tracking features, allowing users to monitor project budgets, track time and expenses, and generate project reports. While effective, Xero’s project management tools are not as comprehensive as those offered by QuickBooks Online.

Inventory Management

  • QuickBooks Online: Provides advanced inventory management features, enabling businesses to track inventory levels, manage orders, and monitor product sales. This feature is ideal for businesses that deal with physical products, offering a more detailed inventory management system.
  • Xero: Also offers inventory management, allowing users to track inventory items, monitor stock levels, and manage orders. Xero’s inventory features are solid but not as advanced as those in QuickBooks Online, making QuickBooks the better choice for businesses with extensive inventory needs.


  • QuickBooks Online: Supports a wide range of integrations with other business applications, including CRM, e-commerce, and POS systems. This extensive integration capability makes it a suitable choice for businesses that rely on a connected ecosystem of software tools to manage their operations efficiently.
  • Xero: Also offers numerous integrations with third-party applications. However, QuickBooks Online provides a broader range of integration options, making it more versatile for businesses that need comprehensive connectivity with various business tools.

Ease of Use

Both QuickBooks Online and Xero are designed to be user-friendly, but they cater to different levels of user experience. QuickBooks Online offers a more feature-rich interface that might require a learning curve for beginners, but it provides comprehensive tutorials and support to help users get started. Xero, on the other hand, is known for its clean, intuitive interface that is easy to navigate, making it ideal for users who prefer simplicity over a vast array of features.

Customer Support

QuickBooks Online provides extensive customer support through various channels, including phone, chat, and email support, as well as a robust knowledge base and community forums. Xero offers limited customer support; you can rely only on email support and its extensive online help center. It doesn’t offer live customer support options like live chat and phone support.


QuickBooks Online and Xero both offer powerful tools for small businesses, but QuickBooks Online stands out with its more comprehensive feature set, particularly in areas like payroll management, inventory tracking, and integration capabilities. Businesses with complex needs and a preference for detailed financial analysis will find QuickBooks Online to be a better fit. Xero, while strong in ease of use and multi-currency support, may fall short for businesses that require more advanced accounting functionalities.

To fully leverage the benefits of QuickBooks Online Plus or Advanced, including exclusive discounts, free consultation, and ongoing support, contact Paygration. Our team is ready to assist you in optimizing your accounting processes and ensuring you get the most out of your QuickBooks Online subscription. Get started by calling 866-949-7267 or clicking the link below.

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If you have any questions about the features of QuickBooks Online, you can give us a call at 866-949-7267 and one of our experts can walk you through the details. 

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