FreshBooks costs less than QuickBooks, provides better customer service, and offers better invoicing customization. On the other hand, QuickBooks builds mileage tracking into all of its plans and comes with inventory management. In other words, FreshBooks might be better for you than QuickBooks—or vice versa. It depends entirely on what your business needs.
Since FreshBooks and QuickBooks are two different accounting programs, you can’t integrate one with the other. If you have both a FreshBooks account and a QuickBooks account (not something we’d recommend), you’ll have to keep the software separate—unless you sign up for FreshBooks’ custom plan, FreshBooks Select. According to the site, this plan includes Xero and QuickBooks integration. But honestly? We’re not sure what on earth that means, so be sure to ask about it if you call for a quote.
FreshBooks and QuickBooks do integrate with many of the same third-party apps, like Expensify for expense management and TSheets for employee time tracking.
QuickBooks Online is Intuit’s cloud-based accounting solution. If you use QuickBooks Online, all your information is stored in the cloud, where you can access it from any desktop, laptop, or web-enabled device. Like most cloud-based software, QuickBooks Online costs a monthly fee.
In contrast, QuickBooks Desktop Pro is Intuit’s desktop accounting program. You’ll download the software onto one computer, which means you can access your data only from that device. QuickBooks Desktop Pro costs a one-time fee of $299.95.
QuickBooks Self-Employed is a QuickBooks Online plan for freelancers. It starts at $15 a month, and for its price, it has quite a few useful features:
- Payment acceptance
- Mileage tracking
- Basic reporting
- Receipt capturing
- Income and expense tracking
So if QuickBooks Self-Employed costs the same as FreshBooks Lite, why did we label FreshBooks the more affordable provider? Because QuickBooks Self-Employed doesn’t have anything to offer businesses with multiple employees. Meanwhile, FreshBooks Lite is tailored towards freelancers, solopreneurs, and small businesses with employees on hand—basically, it packs more of a punch for more types of business owners.
That doesn’t mean QuickBooks Self-Employed won’t work for you. FreshBooks Lite’s reporting and invoicing features are more thorough than those included with QuickBooks Self-Employed, but QuickBooks includes more tax features.
For instance, QuickBooks calculates quarterly taxes for freelancers who want to pay smaller, more manageable sums during the year instead of one lump sum in April. And if you fill out a Schedule C form for itemized tax deductions, QuickBooks will highlight deduction categories you might have missed otherwise (which means you'll get a better tax return).