Q:

What alternatives to QuickBooks are there for small businesses?

A:

Quick Answer

Xero, FreshBooks, Intacct and NetSuite are all potential alternatives to QuickBooks. Unlike QuickBooks, these programs utilize a Web-based infrastructure, allowing clients to access them on tablets, mini laptops and smartphones.

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Full Answer

Xero and FreshBooks, which are geared towards smaller companies, contain everything needed for invoicing, bill paying and general bookkeeping. Xero has already shown success in the market, raising $150 million in October 2013 alone.

Intacct and NetSuite provide both basic and advanced bookkeeping services. These programs target larger companies, with support for multiple users, and tools such as sales order processing, inventory, purchase order, workflows, warehouse management and automation.

The main advantage of Xero, FreshBooks, Intacct and NetSuite is the Web-based infrastructure around which they are developed. While cloud computing allows ease of access on mobile devices and eliminates the server database system, it can also lead to security concerns and an inability to access data without an Internet connection.

In the accounting industry, a bright future is predicted for cloud-based applications in the marketplace. As Forbes contributor Gene Marks opined in 2014: "In the next few years it’s inevitable that you’re going to replace your on-premise QuickBooks system for something cloud-based." For those looking for alternatives to QuickBooks, cloud options such as Xero and FreshBooks are a good place to start.

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