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Xero v QuickBooks – digital shoot-out

We’re doing a lot of work with clients using Xero and QuickBooks Online and consequently we’re doing a lot of compare and contrast between the two.

There is much to say and I guess there will be more digital shoot-outs to come but here are some thoughts about getting data in and information out.

Data in

Bulk data entry is the key advantage built in to cloud accounting services. Downloads from banks and from Receipt Bank and AutoEntry make data entry very easy and save hours of time.

A big thumbs up to both Xero and QuickBooks on this.

But don’t overlook the need to compare your accounting records with your bank statements and statements from suppliers because the bulk data entry can be incomplete.

I am a bit uneasy that there is no distinct bank reconciliation process in Xero.

But where Xero wins at the moment is the capacity to import journals as csv files. This saves time and allows more detail to be put into journals at the spreadsheet level before importing.

Information out

Here we have a clear winner – QuickBooks.

Hats off to Intuit – they have always made sure that the reports you can produce in any version of QuickBooks are first class and QuickBooks Online continues in this vein.

You can easily control the chart of accounts by using top accounts, sub accounts and account numbers and from there you can customise your own reports very easily.

Working frequently as a part-time FD and having bulk data entry largely sorted (see above), the ability to produce and share useful reports is where insight and value to the client lie.


There’s more to both Xero and QuickBooks than I can mention here and I’m very happy to learn more about them both, so if I’m missing something, please let me know 😉


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