The complexity of doing business globally has affected accounting software in many ways. For one, the issue of security cover has taken an unprecedented magnitude, as security breaches have exposed countless accounts to the exploitation of cybercriminals all over the world. This is further exacerbated by the demands of global businesses to include features to facilitate the reckoning and transfer of financial assets between businesses and clients, businesses and banks, and businesses and other businesses.
Meanwhile, governments have taken it as their duty to implement stricter rules and guidelines to ensure privacy, security, and compliance with local government laws. This has gone to such a scale that accounting professionals and accounting systems that can handle international and local laws are becoming highly in demand.
While large enterprises often have no trouble enlisting the services of these highly talented—and thus overly expensive—professionals, the same cannot be said of their small and medium enterprise counterparts. The next best option is to outsource all their accounting operations, which is not all that cheap or easy either. Hiring in-house accountants remains an option, but often this comes with its own risks. What to do? The answer is of course by investing in a first-rate accounting software that is flexible enough to handle compliance, adjust to local laws, and remain easy to use enough to operate.
It is for these reasons that we are presenting this FreeAgent vs QuickBooks comparison. As the two leading names in this software category, they ensure that your pick is no pushover and certain to meet your business needs. But which one suits you best? Let’s try to find out below.
What is FreeAgent?
One of the longtime veterans in accounting software, FreeAgent was launched in late 2007 as an accounting solution for small businesses. Founded on the double-entry accounting tradition, it allowed businesses to import previously manual transactions. With the accounting platform, businesses can now handle large and complex accounting operations. Since it runs on the SaaS model, businesses are spared the high cost of licensing, installation, and other expenses associated with an on-premise deployment.
Through the years, FreeAgent has added more feature sets to its core accounting capabilities. Among these, users especially laud the incorporation of payment handling, tax management, and expense management.
For its payment tool, FreeAgent is loaded with invoicing templates right from the get-go. Using any of these templates or customizing them as the need arises, businesses can transfer money to target recipients. The payment transfers are facilitated via Stripe, GoCardless, and Paypal.
What is QuickBooks?
For the longest time the de facto accounting software for businesses and accounting professionals alike, QuickBooks offers all the bells and whistles you’d expect from the alpha brand that is synonymous with accounting software itself.
Equipped with double-entry accounting and audit trails tools, QuickBooks provides the capabilities that professional accountants and businesses require. While catering to this market group, it remains flexible and easy to grasp enough for small enterprise owners who do not have the formal accounting credentials of their more sophisticated counterparts.
Always receptive to the evolving demands of users all the world, QuickBooks has incorporated multiple functions beyond its original form. A business of any size will almost certainly find what it needs in the application, from tax reckoning, time and expense tracking, to payment processing and inventory management.
FreeAgent and QuickBooks similarities
We’ll start with this FreeAgent vs QuickBooks comparison by pointing out the similarities between the two software.
- Platforms: Both FreeAgent and Quickbooks work on web-based browsers but you can also install and operate FreeAgent and Quickbooks in Android and iOS devices.
- Cloud saving: One of the best features of both software, data is stored automatically in the cloud, so that anyone can access and use information anytime and anywhere there is an internet connection.
- Customer support: Quickbooks and FreeAgent provide total customer support for users in the form of four platforms: phone, online, knowledge base, and video tutorials.
- Language: As of this writing, both software are available in English.
Ease of use
As both FreeAgent and Quickbooks target individual users and small businesses, ease of use is high on the list of potential users. Thankfully, both software feature an easy-to-use and intuitive UI that makes it easier to learn, adapt to, and eventually master. With drag-and-drop functions and ready-to-use templates available, getting started shouldn’t pose a problem.
Both Quickbooks and FreeAgent automate basic accounting tasks common to small businesses and freelancers. This includes accounting management, bank reconciliation, billing and invoicing, cash flow management, discount management, invoice management and processing, receipt management, sales tax management, time and expense tracking, and others.
Both FreeAgent and Quickbooks provide a secure computing experience for users with a number of security features. This includes at multi-step authentication, https pages for all access via the web, rest encryption of sensitive data, and auto alerts when there are security issues. In addition, both software automatically remove customer data upon termination or cancellation of service.
FreeAgent and QuickBooks differences
This section of our FreeAgent vs QuickBooks comparison is where the two software take different paths. Read for yourself how they fare against each other.
While both Quickbooks and FreeAgent allow integrations with other software, Quickbooks takes the prize for most number of integrations at 711 and counting! Meanwhile, FreeAgent manages to integrate with 47 applications and counting.
FreeAgent includes project management components that help you manage projects, including project estimating, budget tracking, and time tracking. Quickbooks does not have this feature although you can integrate project management software for added functionality.
Off the bat, Quickbooks supports credit card integration and processing, ACH payment processing, and ecommerce transactions. FreeAgent requires integration with Paypal and other ecommerce payment systems in order to proceed.
Invitations and Email
FreeAgent can issue invitations and email alerts to employees, clients, and partners to remind on payment dues, billings, and upcoming deadlines. Quickbooks does not offer this as a native feature.
Quickbooks features GPS integration and geolocation which can help track inventory. This is especially helpful for tracking incoming and outgoing shipments. FreeAgent does not support this feature.
Quickbooks has a tiered pricing plan ranging from $25/month for a Simple Start program to $70/month for the Plus program and $150/month for the Advanced program. It also offers a choice between a free trial for 30 days or a 50% discount for your first 3 months of purchase. FreeAgent offers three plans with 50% discount rates for the first six months: $10.26/month for Sole Trader ($20.52/month after six months), $12.96/month for Partnership/LLP companies ($25.92/month after six months), and $15.66 for the Limited company plan ($31.32/month after six months). It also has a 30-day free trial.
In this FreeAgent vs Quickbooks comparison, we get to see up close the differentiating features of the two. FreeAgent is a more compact, utilitarian tool that’s ready to get you up and and running in no time. It’s ease of use, complete features, and relatively low price lends itself well to new business ventures and freelancers. Quickbooks, on the other hand, is a reliable software that not only delivers what you need today, but gears up in anticipation of future business growth. While costs for Quickbooks are much higher, the integrations are plentiful and gets you plugged in to many popular supporting software.
Whether you’re new to the cloud accounting trend, or just need an infusion of fresh solutions to your existing business, it can’t hurt to take both software for a spin. Spend some time getting the feel of the UI and check which product is more receptive to your unique requirements. You can also check out our Wave vs QuickBooks comparison; it can help you make a more informed decision.