Best Invoicing Software for Small Business: QuickBooks vs FreshBooks

Graeme Messina

Jan 14 2019

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Online invoicing software comparisons for your business are tricky things to get to grips with. This is especially true if you haven’t had much exposure to finances and bookkeeping before. Luckily, there are many popular options for you to choose from. Here, we’ll take a look at two brands many consider to be the best invoicing software for small business: QuickBooks vs FreshBooks.

We’ll see how QuickBooks vs FreshBooks compare in order to help you decide on the best invoicing software for small business owners. As is the case with most accounting software comparisons, your requirements will be as individual as your business.

Best invoicing software for small business: feature comparisons

In order to find the best invoicing software for small business, we’ll need to do a bit of a comparison between two popular brands: QuickBooks vs FreshBooks. This isn’t an ‘apples to apples’ comparison by any means. These two applications have different approaches to the same problems. It is important to make the distinction between a locally installed application and an online, cloud-based app. What we hope to do is highlight how they both accomplish the same tasks while using different methodologies. This should reveal which contender is the best invoicing software for small business. It is also important to note that each application might have features that the other doesn’t, so you will need to decide which solution works best for you.

QuickBooks vs FreshBooks: invoicing features

Invoicing is probably going to be the primary reason you will want to have QuickBooks or FreshBooks in the first place, so we’ll start here with a comparison between the two’s invoicing capabilities.


QuickBooks allows users to create custom invoices that are not only easy to generate, but also look very professional. You can also generate sales receipts and estimates and quotes relatively quickly, letting you request payments really fast. QuickBooks gives you the option to customize and personalize your own invoices, or use one of the stock templates that come with the application. Once you are happy with your invoice design, you can send them via email and track when they have been viewed by your client. It’s possible to further track your invoices by looking at the outstanding accounts and then send further reminders to your clients.

  • Create personalized invoices or edit one of the many invoice templates to suit your business needs.
  • Generate and send invoices from any device such as laptops, smartphones and tablets.
  • Quickly and easily convert quotations into invoices for prompt delivery via email.
Track your small business expenses, paid and unpaid bills, and more with QuickBooks.


FreshBooks takes a more cloud based approach to their invoicing solution, as it is all done online via their secure cloud platform. To create custom invoices, simply log in to your account and use the simple, yet powerful invoice builder. You can add a logo and create a customized thank you email to send with each invoice. Personalizing your communications gives your payment requests a more personalized feel. Perhaps the most convenient feature that FreshBooks offers is the credit card payment facility that you can use on your invoices. Clients can simply follow the link on your invoice and pay you directly on the internet. You can even add a deposit request to your invoice so that you can get paid a percentage of the job before you get started, which can also be paid online quickly and easily by your clients.

  • Create personalized invoices online.
  • Request payments and deposits directly from the invoice.
  • Follow up on client payments with reminders.

QuickBooks vs FreshBooks: expense tracking

When looking for the best invoicing software for small business, you want to be able to track your spending. Tracking your business expenses is difficult if you don’t use a digital system. If you only have physical paper copies, receipts and invoices can get lost or damaged. QuickBooks or FreshBooks both have features that help with this, although they vary in their execution.


QuickBooks is aimed at the small business owner that is always on the move. They have created a mobile app that lets users take pictures of receipts and tax invoices as soon as they receive them. This makes it much easier to keep track of expenses throughout the year. Also, it creates a much better experience for the user when tax season opens and all of the vital expense information is required. The effect is that the general administration of the business can be handled while the user is out of the office. This makes much less work for later.

  • Easily record expenses for tax season.
  • Receipts are easily photographed via the mobile app.
  • Receipts can be added and tracked via the QuickBooks Online mobile app.


FreshBooks offers similar functionality to QuickBooks when it comes to tracking expenses. However, they add another component that would benefit a bigger business: direct transaction importing from your bank and credit card. You can automatically import your expenses daily. This means that you no longer have to manually enter expenses. With FreshBooks users can snap pictures of receipts from a mobile device and upload them to the cloud. You will still have to log those transactions if you did not use a bank card or credit card, otherwise the transaction can be matched up to the receipt for easy record-keeping. FreshBooks also categorizes all of your expenditure into convenient sections. This makes your tax filing that much easier to do.

  • Direct credit card and bank transaction imports into FreshBooks.
  • Mobile app for recording receipts while on the move.
  • Easy expense category creation for tax filing.
Send invoices and manage your small business invoicing with FreshBooks.

QuickBooks vs FreshBooks: additional features

In comparing QuickBooks vs FreshBooks, we can see that both products share similarities. Therefore, depending on your needs, either one of them could be the best invoicing software for small business. Where they start to separate from one another is in the additional features that they provide. Let’s look at some of the features that you might find useful in both of the products. This will help you to find the best invoicing software for your small business.


  • Cloud Accounting is an online feature that lets users access their account from any device that has an internet connection. It lets users log in and manage their business by tracking expenses, looking at outstanding invoices, and finding out if payment has been made. This helps with staying organized so that there are no nasty surprises when they go back into the office. This is especially convenient because it is accessible via smart phone, laptop and tablet devices.
  • If your business needs your accountant to work on your system, then you can set up accountant access for them. This allows your accountant to manage your records and make changes whenever they need to.
  • Perform automatic backups daily, so your records are never too far out of date in the event of a disaster recovery scenario.
  • Security is handled by 128-bit SSL encryption, ensuring that your data is safe from prying eyes. For a full run down on all of the features available with this invoicing solution, be sure to check out our full QuickBooks review.


  • If you are a professional that needs to bill for your time, then FreshBooks has a great time tracking feature. This feature helps make sure that you are charging your clients for all the hours that you’re putting into their projects. Start the timer when you begin your work and stop when you’re done.
  • FreshBooks logs your hours so you don’t have to, and automatically enters them into your invoice.
  • FreshBooks has created the FreshBooks Chrome Timer app that allows for additional tracking for billable hours, and integrates with Asana, Basecamp, Trello and Teamwork. If this sounds like the kind of invoicing functionality that you are after, then be sure to take a look at our FreshBooks review here.

Best invoicing software for small business: final word

It would seem that both QuickBooks or FreshBooks would work well for a freelancer, small business, or side gig that needs invoicing, payment tracking and expense recording. Whichever one you decide is the best invoicing software for your small business will be determined by a few factors.

The benefits of QuickBooks vs FreshBooks depend on your business needs. If you require accountant access, then you could do very well with QuickBooks. If you need to track your hours for client invoices, then you might find that FreshBooks works better for you. Some users even use a mixture of the two, depending on the features that they need. This is an ideal approach since it saves the hassle of migrating from QuickBooks to FreshBooks and vice-versa. The best invoicing software for small business depends on your requirements. Therefore, either one of these brands would be a fantastic choice.

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