Within the world of small business accounting applications, a big battle is shaping up between two of the dominant players: Xero vs Quickbooks Online. For years, Quickbooks, in both its desktop and online versions, has been the “800-pound gorilla” of small business accounting software packages. It’s easy to understand why: it’s powerful, robust, very adaptable, is supported by a large community of professionals, and is affordable. Of course, “Quickbooks” (like McDonald’s for hamburgers or Wal-Mart for retailers) is the first brand that comes to mind when any business owner starts to shop for accounting software.
However, Xero is beginning to give Quickbooks a run for its money. As you can see in the graph above, Xero has increased its global subscriber base by 900% in the five year period between mid-2012 and the first quarter of 2017. Xero is gaining subscribers at a much faster rate than Quickbooks Online; in fact, it is the more popular package in many countries outside of the U.S. In 2012, Xero was being used by only 100,000 businesses. In March of 2017, however, the upstart accounting application reached a milestone: Xero reached the one million subscriber mark! No small feat, and the growth is just beginning. By contrast, Quickbooks Online had a subscriber base of 360,000 businesses in 2012. In the early part of 2017, there are now 1,870,000 businesses using Quickbooks’ cloud-based software. Indeed, while more businesses use QB; consider the well-known application’s rate of growth. QB Online boasts a rather impressive 419% growth in subscribers during the same five-year period noted above. However – that growth rate is less than half of Xero’s growth rate.
We at Statera Services believe Xero is a superior small business accounting package, which is why it is the only package that we support. There is no shortage of accounting and bookkeeping firms that support Quickbooks, and most of those outfits are excellent at what they do. But we have our own view of the Xero vs Quickbooks Online battle: we believe Xero offers more flexible reporting, a large and growing family of add-on applications, unparalleled security, and a cleaner, more streamlined interface. In addition, Xero was built from the ground up as a cloud-based accounting solution, while Quickbooks began life as a desktop solution which has now morphed into its present online-based form.
If your business isn’t using accounting software now, it’s time to think long-term. The longer you delay choosing an accounting system, the more problems and lost opportunities your business will realize. Contact Statera Services today, and we’ll get your financial records in order using, we believe, the best accounting application in the world!
2017: 1 million
2016: 1.5 million
2017: 1.87 million
Sources: annual reports from Xero, Intuit