I constantly get asked by entrepreneurs and business owners which accounting system they should use: QuickBooks vs. Xero. I used to run them through a side-by-side feature comparison and watch them quickly lose interest in all of the technical bean-counting jargon.
QuickBooks vs. Xero in Layman’s Terms
I think a better approach would be to tell them to imagine that QuickBooks is vanilla ice cream and Xero is chocolate ice cream. Both flavors are good and life’s much better having ice cream than not having ice cream. It’s just up to you which flavor you prefer.
Similarly, having a trusted piece of accounting technology is MUCH better than not having one. And you can rest assured knowing that you can’t go wrong with either Xero or Quickbooks. Both cost about the same and both work about the same way. And here’s the honest truth: There are a million things more important things in the daily life of a founder or business owner than debating which of the two systems is better.
Here’s who does care about the QuickBooks vs. Xero debate:
- The old guy who has always liked vanilla and thinks that all of these new Ben & Jerry’s flavors are ridiculous. Why change a classic? Give him his tried and true soft-serve vanilla and a QBO license.
- The young hipster who only wants organic craft ice cream churned by the loving hands of a locally-owned artisanal business owner. No way he’s eating grocery store vanilla ice cream like his old man. Give him his sea salted cacao chocolate gelato and a Xero license.
- The ice cream manufacturers who spend a lot on marketing to sway your preference. But they also have spent a TON on R&D, so they compete heavily with each other and thus give us, the consumers, a much better set of products.
Nothing against old guys and hipsters… I’m certainly not young and I do have some hipster tendencies. But Xero and QBO are both super solid tools for entrepreneurs and estimates put them at >90% of the total accounting systems market for SMBs. So at least get away from using desktop software, spreadsheets, bank statements, and sticky notes, and step up to a legit accounting system. And then ask yourself “Chocolate” or “Vanilla”?
Anddddd on that same note, if you’d rather someone else scoop and serve your ice cream, we’d be happy to assist.