The tools used in a restaurant are often a make-or-break situation. This is particularly true for accounting software. With a wide variety of choices for the field, business owners need to compare and contrast options to make a wise decision.
Two of the most popular accounting software platforms are QuickBooks Online and Xero. This comprehensive comparison is to assist with determining what works best for you and your staff.
QuickBooks Online Overview
QuickBooks Online, or QBO, is a robust, cloud-based, double-entry accounting platform.
It is typically used for small businesses but is flexible and offers more expensive plans that could accommodate a larger company.
QBO is known for its ease of use, strong features, integration options, and intuitive mobile app availability.
QBO offers the following plans based on the type of plan you choose:
- Simple Start - As the QBO basic plan, Simple Start pricing is $15 for the first three months and then $30 thereafter. This provides free guided set-up, captures receipts, tracks incomes and expenses, has an unlimited number of invoices and payments, allows for creating estimates and then sending them, and records 1099 contractor payments. Simple Start clients can only have one user and one sales channel for e-commerce transactions.
- Plus - For the Plus plan, QBO users will pay $42.50 for the first three months and then $85.00 a month after the trial period. The Plus plan offers everything Simple Start has but adds inventory, managing and paying bills, time tracking, and calculates project profitability.
- Advanced - Clients who choose the Advanced plan pay $100 monthly during the trial period and then $200 each month afterward. Advanced QBO furnishes all the Simple Start and Plus programs benefits with additional advantages such as customizing, batching, business analytics, employee expensing, exclusive app integrations, custom fields, a dedicated team, access to on-demand training, more automation, and the opportunity to restore company data if lost.
Please note that Intuit typically adjusts the price of QBO annually but it is typically not that large of an increase.
Pricing for QBO is monthly or yearly, and there is a savings for annual sign-up. Each plan comes with an add-on Payroll service customized according to your needs.
Like QBO, Xero is a robust program with cloud-based access and dual-entry accounting. The difference is that Xero provides unlimited users versus the limitations based on the plan under the QBO platform.
Xero is more challenging to learn and has many other vital constraints.
Payroll is available through Gusto. Here is a breakdown of the pricing and what each program includes:
- Early - Similar to QBO, Xero has a starting plan of only $6.50 monthly for the first three months and then increases to $13 monthly. This option only includes up to 20 invoices and quotes, five bills, reconciles bank transactions, captures receipts and bills, and features a short-term business and cash flow report.
- Growing - When your company is ready to upgrade, Xero offers this plan that includes everything in the above Early package but doesn't have limitations on the number of transactions. It also adds bulk reconciliations. For the Growing plan, users pay $18.50 a month during the trial period and thereafter $37.00 monthly.
- Established - Established businesses can use this program and reap all the benefits of the Early and Growing plans plus use multiple currencies, claim expenses, track projects, and see more in-depth business analysis. The cost is $35 a month in the trial period of three months and then $70 a month.
Comparing QuickBooks Online and Xero
While both platforms are popular, QBO is the favorite. All of QBO's plans, with the added payroll option, offer unlimited payroll runs, automated forms, and tax payments, managed deductions and garnishments, availability in 50 states, and expert support backed by 28 years of experience.
QBO's intuitive platform, inventory tracking, and preference by many small business accountants make it the best option for your restaurant.