Comparing Small Business Cloud-Based Online Accounting Software

We’re using the cloud for more and more these days. For small business owners, the cloud is a valuable resource that helps to save time and money. Cloud-based accounting software has exploded in popularity, so we thought we’d take a little look at some of the more popular offerings in the space and see which has the best bang for your small business buck.

Spoiler Alert: They’re all amazing, and we’ve negotiated exclusive deals to save on whichever one you like best. That’s what our FS Local PERKS small business coupons are all about!

THE USERS

Contractor Carl

Contractors
  • Business: Small construction company
  • Goals: Financial success, flexibility, control.

Carl loves being his own boss and the flexibility of owning his own company. He also enjoys the financial benefits. He needs online accounting software that’s powerful and easy to use.

About This Persona

Executive Earl

Executives
  • Business: Design firm
  • Goals: Increase revenue, grow reputation.

Earl is the principal business executive at his small but growing design firm. He loves being creative and interacting with clients. He needs his cloud-based accounting system to be high-end and robust.

About This Persona

Cupcake Cathy

Virtual Business Owners
  • Business: Home-based baked goods
  • Goals: New customers, brand awareness.

Cathy is just starting her new cupcake business, and people are responding well to the product. She doesn’t know accounting, but needs to be able to handle it all at once in the field.

About This Persona

THE PRODUCTS

FreshBooks Cloud Accounting

FreshBooks Logo
  • Launched: 2003
  • Based: Toronto, ON

FreshBooks bills itself as the #1 cloud-based accounting software for small businesses. They promise innovation.

FreshBooks Coupons

Intuit QuickBooks

QuickBooks Logo
  • Launched: 1994
  • Based: Palo Alto, CA

QuickBooks has the history and the market share. But have they done enough to stay ahead of the powerful challengers?

QuickBooks Coupons

Xero

Xero Logo
  • Launched: 2006
  • Based: Wellington, NZ

Xero are the young guns, but they’re backed by some incredibly smart people. Their customer base is growing rapidly.

Xero Coupons

THE ACCOUNTING FEATURES

THE ACCOUNTING FEATURES

An online accounting application is only as good as how it does the actual work of accounting. We picked a few of the main functions of an accounting system and broke down which does them best.

In addition to covering the old-school hardcore accounting functions, we also looked into how these cloud-based accounting softwares handle life outside of the office. Because that’s where a lot of work is done these days.

FreshBooks Cloud Accounting
THE UP & COMER
Accounting software designed specifically for non-accountants.
Main Accounting Features
Time Tracking
Forms
Inventory Management
Client Access
Payroll
Salesforce
Mobile Features
CC Processing
Edit Client Data
iOS App
Invoices
Receipt Tracking
Android App
LEARN MORE
Intuit Quickbooks
THE OLD GUARD
The experienced player with 20+ years in the game.
Main Accounting Features
Time Tracking
Forms
Inventory Management
Client Access
Payroll
Salesforce
Mobile Features
CC Processing
Edit Client Data
iOS App
Invoices
Receipt Tracking
Android App
LEARN MORE
Xero
THE CHALLENGER
Powerful features, designed to look great and work well.
Main Accounting Features
Time Tracking
Forms
Inventory Management
Client Access
Payroll
Salesforce
Mobile Features
CC Processing
Edit Client Data
iOS App
Invoices
Receipt Tracking
Android App
LEARN MORE

Breakdown of the Main Accounting Features


Time Tracking


So you work outside the office? That doesn’t mean you aren’t working. You the ability to bill for your hours quickly and correctly.


Forms


Any cloud-based accounting software worth its salt needs to come with all of the latest forms- in the appropriate formats – for doing business.


Inventory Management


It’s good to have the ability to deal in product types – even better to have the details of every piece of stock at your fingertips.


Client/Vendor Access


So you work outside the office? That doesn’t mean you aren’t working. You the ability to bill for your hours quickly and correctly.


Payroll


Some might say this is the most important function that cloud-based accounting software needs to perform. Clean, simple integration is the key.


Salesforce Integration


Organize data with the popular CRM app and get a unified view of your customers. Sales, productivity, efficiency – all increased.

Breakdown of the Mobile Features


Credit Card Processing


Once a pie-in-the-sky dream, mobile credit card payment processing is now absolutely expected from an accounting platform.


Edit Customer Data


Customer data changes regularly and rapidly. Your mobile application should let you update it on the go, when it happens.


Apple iOS app


Some say Apple is the standard, some call those people fanboys. Either way, your software needs to work on iPads and iPhones.


Invoices


Invoices needs to look like their paper cousins, easily integrated from all over the platform, and bonus points if you can send one via snail mail.


Receipt Tracking


You want to add receipts the minute you spend the money, and your app should do it, with pictures. Click, take a pic, and it’s logged.


Android app


Android powers nearly half of every mobile device on the planet. If your software doesn’t work on them, you’re losing customers.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Whether you need your mobile accounting software to be powerful and easy to use, high-end and robust, or simple and good looking, we don’t think you can go wrong with any of the three choices.

Mobile accounting is the new reality for thousands of small businesses. Because so many businesses need cloud-based accounting software and FS Local exists to help small businesses succeed, we’ve negotiated exclusive discounts on all the software featured in this comparison.

Check out the pricing chart below and click the links to take advantage of the FS Local PERK on your software of choice. Remember that to take advantage of the PERK pricing, you must have an FS Local profile set up (you’ll be taken to the page where you register or login).

FreshBooks Cloud Accounting
10% OFF
10% Off + 30-Day Free Trial
Price
Live Support
Reputation
GET PERK
Intuit QuickBooks
50% OFF
50% Off ESSENTIALS & PLUS, or EASYSTART 30-Day Free Trial
Price
Live Support
Reputation
GET PERK
Xero
FREE TRIAL
30 Day Free Trial
Price
Live Support
Reputation
GET PERK

Breakdown of the Bottom Line


Cost


Small business owners, especially those just starting out, need to be mindful of expenses. The cost of any cloud-based accounting software can be a factor.


Live Support


Time is of the essence when you’re trying to make a small business work. If you have issues with your online accounting application, you want help when you need it. Now.


Reputation


When choosing a cloud-based accounting program, or any software, the differences can sometimes be too small to measure. Industry reputation may be the deciding factor.

Online Accounting Software Coupons for Small Business Owners

We’re updating our FreshBooks coupons, QuickBooks coupons and Xero coupons all the time, so keep an eye on FS Local PERKS, our collection of negotiated small business discounts for all of our exclusive deals.



Become a member of the FS Local directory for exclusive access to PERKS small business discounts.

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Content Manager at FS Local


Jesse is a typical class clown. Born and raised just north of the Toronto, he fell in love with the City on school trips to the ROM and the Science Centre. He tried Vancouver for a few years, but the call of home was too strong to resist. Today he lives in the North-East Upper Beaches. (What? It’s a thing!)

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